Screaming Trees Singer Says New LP Coming

Power-rock band's frontman, Mark Lanegan, revealed group's plans to head back into the studio.

Screaming Trees singer Mark Lanegan may be up to his ears in solo material, but that

doesn't mean he's not planning a new release from his band or that his own music will

have any bearing on the group's upcoming efforts.

In fact, he said that the Ellensburg, Wash.-based Trees were working on making plans to

enter a studio to begin piecing together their first album since parting ways with Epic

Records earlier this year.

"We have a lot of new songs," Lanegan said of the pioneering '70s-influenced power-

rock group, whose members include drummer Barrett Martin, bassist Van Conner and

guitarist Gary Lee Conner.

Not only has Lanegan recently released his third solo album, the dusky Scraps at

Midnight, recorded enough additional solo material for a double album, written songs

with Trees bandmate Martin and R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck for an unnamed side project,

but he's also preparing to record the first new Trees album since 1996's Dust.

Lanegan revealed his full schedule of plans during a SonicNet chat this week.

Asked if the quiet, introspective feel of his solo material might influence the sound of the

new Trees songs, Lanegan said, "With us there's always a progression. To me they

always feel like a step in a new direction. I don't think the solo albums have a bearing on

that."

The group, known for the melodic, heavy sound of such songs as

HREF="http://www.addict.com/music/Screaming_Trees/Nearly_Lost_You.ram">"Nearly

Lost You" (RealAudio excerpt), will likely reveal a few of the new tunes at the

upcoming annual Bumbershoot music and arts festival in Seattle (Sept. 4-7), according

to Lanegan.

"I'm looking forward to recording," said Lanegan, who did not divulge any new song

titles. "We'll start recording as soon as we find a home for it."

The group parted "as friends" with Epic Records after three albums, Lanegan said. The

decision to leave the label, he said, came about primarily because "most of the people

we worked with along the way in the eight years or so we were there are no longer

around."

In addition to the new Trees material, Lanegan said he is in the middle of recording what

was supposed to be an EP of covers, but might now be a full album. "I was doing some

covers for British B-sides, and I liked how it was going, so we kept recording," Lanegan

said. "It's easier than writing your own songs." Although he didn't give specifics, Lanegan

said the currently unscheduled album will feature "lots of folk, Tim Hardin songs, some

late '60s soul songs."

Next up are plans to finish another solo album, which Lanegan said he hoped would be

a two-CD effort, since he has already recorded 20 songs. Two more collaborative

projects are also currently up in the air.

One involves R.E.M.'s Buck and Trees bandmate Martin, with whom Lanegan has written

some songs. "We've talked a little about recording," Lanegan said. "I'm a singer. Those

guys were writing music for me to write words on." The project currently has no release

date.

Contrary to some news reports, however, Lanegan said he likely won't be included as a

vocalist in Martin and Buck's so-far all-instrumental, jazzy world-music side project,

Tuatara. "At this point, I don't think there will be a Tuatara album with me on it," Lanegan

said.

Another long-rumored project that is still in its early stages is Disinformation, formerly

known as Mad Season. The band, which featured Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready,

Trees drummer Martin, bassist John Baker Saunders and Alice in Chains vocalist Layne

Staley on its 1995 debut, Above, has been re-named and re-fashioned, with

Lanegan taking over for Staley. "I think it's a different band entirely," Lanegan said, "but

when it'll happen, I don't know."

Lanegan has agreed to take part in the recording of a Disinformation album, but no

release is currently scheduled. Earlier this year, Martin said that two albums' worth of

music had been recorded for a potential Disinformation project.