Members of the Seattle Music Community Remember Mark Lanegan
Mark Lanegan, mostly known for his work as the frontman for Screaming Trees, died yesterday (Feb. 22) at the age of 57, and it was another huge loss for the rock 'n' roll community. Rockers have been posting tributes all over social media since the news broke, but for the members of the Seattle music community, it's an especially intimate time.
Lanegan formed Screaming Trees in 1984 in Ellensburg, Wash., which is a little over 100 miles southeast of Seattle. They became a part of the underground rock scene that was blossoming in the Pacific Northwest, which saw bands play shows in surrounding cities such as Olympia, Tacoma and Portland, in addition to Seattle.
While Sub Pop put out releases by fuzzy, garage rock bands including Mudhoney and Nirvana, Screaming Trees' more psychedelic undertones caught the attention of SST Records, which later put out Soundgarden's debut album Ultramega OK in 1988. Susan Silver, who managed The U-Men and a few other local bands, started managing Screaming Trees, and also later Soundgarden and Alice in Chains.
A year before Nirvana's Nevermind catapulted Seattle rock into the mainstream, Screaming Trees signed a major label deal with Epic Records. Though they had achieved a more modest amount of success by this time than their contemporaries had, their 1992 album Sweet Oblivion, which featured the hits "Nearly Lost You" and "Dollar Bill," garnered them more of the recognition they deserved.
Throughout the '90s, Lanegan released four solo albums in addition to his work with Screaming Trees, and the band called in quits in 2000. He had a tenure with Queens of the Stone Age for a couple of years afterward, and went on to release a plethora of records — the most recent being a 2021 collaborative effort with Skeleton Joe, titled Dark Mark vs. Skeleton Joe.
Many members of the Seattle music community have been posting tributes about Lanegan since the news of his death yesterday. Fellow musicians, including members of Alice in Chains, Guns N' Roses' Duff McKagan — who played in several Seattle bands before moving to Los Angeles — Soundgarden and more honored their late friend. Seattle radio hosts, photographers and industry personnel have also shared their sentiments and memories.
"Well... the world has lost a true one of a kind artist and friend, one of our greats," Soundgarden wrote on their Nudedragons account. "But, truly, give a wish, or prayer to our friend and brother Mark William Lanegan, one of the truest, grittiest people and singers in our generation, or any recorded so far. One of the main bullshit detectors is gone, so be on the watch for each other. It's all gonna sound like jive for a whole long time now."
See the posts below.
Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder also paid tribute to Lanegan last night during his concert in Seattle. A video uploaded to YouTube by PearlJamOnline shows footage of the rocker talking about his late contemporary, saying, "I got here about four o’clock and all of a sudden my body started shaking a little bit.
“I started to feel really terrible and I think it was because I was having an allergic reaction to sadness. Because we lost… there’s a guy called Mark Lanegan. You know, there are a lot of really great musicians, some people know Seattle because of the musicians that have come out of the great Northwest. Some of those guys were one of a kind singers. Mark was certainly that and with such a strong voice.
“It’s hard to come to terms, at least at this point," Vedder continued. "He’s gonna be deeply missed, and at least we will always have his voice to listen to and his words and his books to read, he wrote two incredible books in the last few years. Just wanted to process it and put it out there, let his wife and loved ones know that people in his old stomping grounds have been thinking about him and we love him.”
Watch the clip below.
Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder Pays Tribute to Mark Lanegan During Concert
Alice in Chains
Jerry Cantrell (Alice in Chains)
Duff McKagan (Guns N' Roses)
Matt Cameron (Soundgarden/Pearl Jam)
Cathy Faulkner (Radio Personality)
Bruce Pavitt (Founder, Sub Pop Records)
Charles Peterson (Photographer)
Marco Collins (Radio Personality)