About Mark Lanegan
Mark Lanegan (born November 25, 1964 in Ellensburg, Washington) is a singer and songwriter. He has had a noteworthy career as a solo artist, but is best known for his tenure as the lead singer of the Screaming Trees, a band that was part of the Seattle grunge phenomenon of the 1990s.
The Screaming Trees put out their first album, Clairvoyance in 1986 and recorded 9 albums and EPs of original material between 1986 and 1996. The band was among the pioneers of Seattle’s grunge music phenomenon, but never achieved the success or notoriety of contemporary Seattle grunge acts such as Nirvana and Pearl Jam. Lanegan’s solo career began while he was still working with the Screaming Trees, but has continued beyond the band’s dissolution in 1996.
In 1990, Lanegan released his first solo album, The Winding Sheet, on the legendary label Sub Pop, which also hosted Nirvana and many others. Nirvana’s frontman Kurt Cobain was a notable guest artist on this album, appearing on the tracks “Down in the Dark” and “Where Did You Sleep Last Night?” as a backing vocalist and guitar player, respectively. Nirvana’s bass player Krist Novoselic played bass on the latter track (a Leadbelly cover) which would later appear on Nirvana’s Unplugged album. The Winding Sheet was a modest commercial success, and Lanegan has recorded five more full-length albums since then.
Lanegan’s solo albums show more distinct blues and folk influences than his work with Screaming Trees. This is most apparent on the 1999 album I’ll Take Care of You, on which Lanegan covers songs by prominent folk and R&B artists such as Tim Hardin and Booker T. and the MGs.
On his latest album, Bubblegum (2004), Lanegan was joined by a cadre of prominent artists, including P. J. Harvey, Josh Homme and Nick Oliveri of Queens of the Stone Age, Greg Dulli of The Afghan Whigs, and Duff McKagan and Izzy Stradlin of Guns N’ Roses. Also appearing on Bubblegum is Lanegan’s ex-wife, Wendy Rae Fowler. The favorably reviewed album is his most commercially successful to date, reaching number 39 on Billboard’s Top Independent Albums chart.
Lanegan also frequently appears as a guest on other artist’s records. He has been a major contributor to (although not a full-time member of) Queens of the Stone Age. Joining his friend Joshua Homme, who supported the Screaming Trees as their touring guitarist in 1996, Lanegan’s distinctive vocals are featured on many of QOTSA’s most notable hits (Hangin’ Tree, Song for the Dead, and In the Fade, among others). Improbably, he also recorded a song by Sandra Boynton, “Sneakers”, for her 2005 rock-and-roll children’s album, “Dog Train.” He has worked with Mad Season, Masters of Reality, Melissa Auf der Maur, Martina Topley-Bird, Mondo Generator and The Twilight Singers.
In September of 2005, Lanegan performed with Greg Dulli in Europe as the Gutter Twins. Other current projects include a collaboration with Isobel Campbell called “Ballad of the Broken Seas” will be released in early 2006, an album recorded with former Soundgarden bassist Ben Shepherd’s band Hater, as well as a Gutter Twins studio album.