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
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
"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
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
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
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.