The Recording Academy Chicago Chapter played host for GRAMMYs On The Road at Lollapalooza on Aug. 3–5 in Grant Park in Chicago. The Chapter conducted exclusive backstage interviews with artists performing at the festival, including Greg Dulli of alternative rock group the Afghan Whigs and hip-hop collective Doomtree.
Dulli discussed his return to Sub Pop Records, reuniting the Afghan Whigs and what makes a band stand out to him, among other topics.
"You have to write great songs and believe in them when you're performing," said Dulli. "Make a cool record, even if you never play a show. You have to make something that makes me feel something."
Formed in Cincinnati, the Afghan Whigs emerged as one of the most critically acclaimed alternative bands of the early '90s. Driven by singer/songwriter Dulli's angst-ridden lyrics, the Afghan Whigs — John Curley (bass), Steve Earle (drums) and Rick McCollum (guitar) — released their debut album, Big Top Halloween, in 1988. The album helped earn the band a contract with Sub Pop Records and they subsequently released 1990's Up In It. Gentlemen was released in 1993 with the single "Debonair" garnering considerable airtime on MTV. The band's most recent studio effort, 1965, was released in 1998, just a few years before they decided to go on hiatus. The Afghan Whigs reunited this year for their first world tour in more than a decade.
Doomtree discussed collaborating as a group, creativity and inspiration and advice for aspiring hip-hop artists, among other topics.
"I think at this point it's kind of like second-nature," said rapper P.O.S. on collaborating as a group. "We've all gotten to a point where we know … how to [collaborate] without pushing too hard on each other and without having to argue for ego."
Hailing from Minneapolis, Doomtree features rappers P.O.S., Cecil Otter, Dessa, Sims, and Mike Mictlan, and producers Paper Tiger and Lazerbeak. The group released False Hopes in 2007 on their own Doomtree Records, followed by a self-titled album in 2008. Their most recent release, No Kings, was released in 2011. Doomtree is currently on tour throughout the United States with dates scheduled through September.
(GRAMMYs On The Road at Lollapalooza: Interviews and news contributions by Ramon Alvarez-Smikle, Christina Castillo, Max O'Kane, and Emily Ornberg.)
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