By Miles Raymer
Updated August 14, 2014 at 02:20 PM EDT
Afghan Whigs
Credit: Piper Ferguson

Over the years the Afghan Whigs have applied their trademark dark and caustic soul-rock sound to a variety of cover songs, from Jesus Christ Superstar‘s “The Temple” to Frank Ocean’s “Lovecrimes.” During the recording of their latest LP, Do to the Beast, they messed around with the Police’s “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic,” but it didn’t make the final cut. “We sort of made a demo of the song and forgot about it,” says frontman Greg Dulli. “And then when I was mixing the album the engineer said, ‘Hey what is this “Every Little Thing” on here?’ He played it for me and I was like, ‘Oh yeah!’ He was like, ‘Did you want to keep that vocal? You could probably sing that vocal better.’ So I re-sang it in December and then forgot about it again.”

“I’m definitely a fan of [that song],” Dulli says, “and I’m a fan of that album in particular. I remember I was driving in the desert with Mark McGuire, who’s a guitar player friend of mind. He’s a young guy and I mentioned something about the Police and he was like, ‘I’ve never heard the Police.’ So I played him Ghost in the Machine and he loved it. I think that probably was the moment, because I played ‘Every Little Thing’ several times, as I’ll do if I’m in the car and have control of the music. I think it’s just a really well-written song that’s always had this kind of spooky melancholic undercurrent to it that I’m a fan of.”

Dulli and company have brought that spooky undercurrent to the front, and infused the Police’s composition with the dark and dangerous sensuality they specialize in. Thanks to the band’s manager, who wouldn’t let Dulli completely forget they’d recorded it, you can hear it now.

On Sept. 23 Dulli and author Danny Bland will release I Apologize in Advance for the Awful Things I’m Gonna Do, a book of Bland’s haiku and Dulli’s photography, with calligraphy by Exene Cervenka of L.A. punk legends X. Later this month, the Afghan Whigs embark on a two-month U.S. tour.

The Afghan Whigs 2014 Tour Dates

Aug. 26 – Portland, OR – Doug Fir Lounge*

Aug. 27 – Portland, OR – Doug Fir Lounge*

Aug. 29 – Vancouver, BC – Commodore Ballroom*

Aug. 30 – Seattle, WA – Bumbershoot Festival

Sep. 03 – Omaha, NE – The Waiting Room

Sep. 05 – Montreal, QC – Virgin Mobile Corona Theatre*

Sep. 06 – Toronto, ON – Riot Fest Toronto

Sep. 09 – Cleveland, OH – House of Blues*

Sep. 10 – Detroit, MI – St. Andrews Hall*

Sep. 12 – St. Louis MO – Ready Room*

Sep. 13 – Chicago, IL – Riot Fest

Sep. 16 – Nashville, TN – Cannery Ballroom*

Sep. 18 – Orlando, FL – The Beacham*

Sep. 19 – Atlanta, GA – Center Stage*

Sep. 20 – New Orleans, LA – Civic Theatre*

Sep. 26 – Cincinnati, OH – Mid Point Music Festival*

Sep. 27 – Pittsburgh, PA – Mr. Small’s Theatre*

Sep. 30 – Boston, MA – Boston Royale*

Oct. 01 – Washington, DC – 9.30 Club*

Oct. 03 – Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer*

Oct. 04 – New York, NY – Beacon Theater**

Oct. 07 – Chapel Hill, NC – Cats Cradle*

Oct. 08 – Asheville, NC – The Orange Peel*

Oct. 11 – Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue*

Oct. 22 – San Francisco, CA – The Fillmore*

Oct. 24 – Solana Beach, CA – Belly Up*

Oct. 25 – Los Angeles, CA – Fonda Theatre*

Oct. 28 – Salt Lake City, UT – Urban Lounge*

Oct. 29 – Denver, CO – Bluebird Theater*

Oct. 31 – Austin, TX – The Mohawk*

* w/ Joseph Arthur

** w/ Charles Bradley