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Mike Doughty: I Wanted to Separate the Soul Coughing Songs from the Darkness

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Embarking on the project was both scary and surreal for Doughty -- and unexpected for fans. "I think I found myself wondering who I was back then and wanting to separate the songs from the darkness and look at them in a purer light. It really had to do with excising the song from the past, as opposed to trying to cure the past," he says.

The new album, referred to as Circles Super Bon Bon (the full title is the names of the 13 reimagined songs), pairs Doughty with hip-hop/house producer Good Goose, a collaboration that's both clubbier and poppier than the original Soul Coughing recordings.

"I wanted to make these songs as I wanted to make them back then. I felt like I would have a chance to really fulfill the vision that I had a long time ago," Doughty says. "They'd been dormant for many years, but when I wrote them, there was a pop impulse and there was an impulse towards real club bangers. Both of those were frustrated impulses back then."

Circles Super Bon Bon let Doughty reconnect with the memories of writing the songs -- "True Dreams of Wichita" came on the roof of his apartment building on Manhattan's Lower East Side, while he wrote later drum 'n' bass influenced songs the dance floor of London clubs -- but playing them live now with bassist Catherine Popper and drummer Pete Wilhoit is all about the present.

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Eric is a freelance writer covering music, travel, science, and food and drink.
Contact: Eric Swedlund