Shocked by the sudden death of friend and Hollywood producer Ted Demme over three years ago, Greg Dulli shelved a nearly-finished nine-song project to begin work on what would become a tribute of sorts to his pal, the Twilight Singer’s 2003 release “Blackberry Belle.” As for the unreleased album, “Amber Headlights,” it will finally appear later this summer.
“I kept having a bunch of people ask me about it and like I do a lot of times, I forget about stuff,” Dulli tells Billboard.com. “I went back and listened to it and it sounded good. It wasn’t done but it was going to be done and I think after all of the drama of the loss of my buddy, I was able to look at it with perspective. I thought it sounded great and I thought it should be out there.”
Due Sept. 6 via Dulli’s own Infernal Recordings label, “Amber Headlights” features three tracks that have already been released in some fashion (EP, B-side and promotional release), including “So Tight,” “Domani” and “Wicked.” Other “Amber Headlight” tracks that fans will be familiar with stem from elements of “Cigarettes” and “Get The Wheel,” which were released in a different form as “Follow You Down” on “Blackberry Belle.”
As for the next Twilight Singers album, “Powder Burns,” Dulli has given himself a Nov. 1 deadline to complete the project for a hopeful late winter release date. However, it should be noted he told Billboard.com last year a similar self-imposed deadline would be followed by a hopeful spring 2005 release for the project, which quickly came and went without a new Twilight Singers album in stores.
“I tend to labor over these things quite a bit and I think the fact that I toured until December of last year kind of slowed me down,” Dulli says. “And then I went back over and toured with After Hours, the Italian group I produced. I’m going to go play with them again [in September].”
While in Italy, Dulli has also scheduled two Gutter Twins dates with partner Mark Lanegan. As for their anticipated collaborative record, “It’s going to be done someday,” he says. “I think we have 13 songs now.” He’s also looking forward to fronting the DKT/MC5 show set for Sept. 17 at Royce Hall in Los Angeles.
As it stands now, “Powder Burns” features guest appearances from Ani DiFranco, Joseph Arthur and Lanegan and is bound to both challenge and surprise longtime fans. “It’s rock and sometimes hard rock,” Dulli says. “It’s the way I’m feeling. It’s just what’s coming out. Its multi-layered and very textured and there’s soft ones but there are a preponderance of faster, harder [ones].”
Dulli says with or without a new Twilight Singers album in stores, he plans on touring in February.