John Doe, Kristin Hersh, Grant-Lee Phillips bring ‘Exile Follies’ tour to South Orange

John Doe interview

From left, John Doe, Kristin Hersh and Grant-Lee Phillips will perform at the South Orange Performing Arts Center, Feb. 8.

Veteran alt-rock artists John Doe (of X), Kristin Hersh (of Throwing Muses) and Grant-Lee Phillips (of Grant Lee Buffalo) will perform together at the South Orange Performing Arts Center, Feb. 8 at 8 p.m., under the name “The Exile Follies.”

“We’re all very different but it all kind of blends together in this great songwriter soup,” Doe told Robert O’Donnell (DJ Easy Wind) of the Boonton-based internet radio station, “I get to play X songs and Kristin will join me on X songs, and Grant-Lee’ll play Grant Lee Buffalo songs, and I can join him on that. It’s really kind of a modern American songbook (show).”

You can listen to the entire interview below.

The three first played together in this format in 2002.

“Kristin had stopped playing with Throwing Muses,” said Doe. “Grant had stopped playing with Grant Lee Buffalo, X was on a short hiatus, and we all had played this club in L.A. called Largo. And Grant had this crazy idea for all of us who were sort of exiled from our bands at the moment to do a tour called ‘The Exile Follies.’

“You know, we have a real different … all of us have a unique way of approaching our songwriting, but it’s all melodic, and it’s all pretty deep, as far as the lyrics. So it just works together.”

Each artist will play a set of his or her own, “and then each of us joins the other, and then we all play together at the end,” said Doe. “So it’s not like a ‘Songwriter in the Round,’ which I find unrewarding, sometimes, because you don’t really get a flow. This way you get each member to do their own thing for a while.”

Doe was calling from Los Angeles, where X is recording new music. Arguably the most important band of the Los Angeles punk scene in the ’70s and ’80s, X has reunited occasionally since then, while Doe has maintained a busy schedule outside the group as a solo artist, actor and author.

X is planning to tour in May and June — “I think some on our own, some with Cracker, some with Violent Femmes,” said Doe.” And then in September, we’re gonna tour with The Damned and possibly Blondie. So, we got a lot of stuff coming up.”

For information on the South Orange show, visit There will also be shows at the City Winery in Philadelphia, Feb. 5 at 8 p.m., and The Cutting Room in New York, Feb. 6 at 8 p.m.


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