11.July.2018: Lanegan/Garwood tour in the fall will be both Black Pudding and With Animals played in their entirety! See videos from With Animals, due out 24 August, on youtube now. Save Me, and title track With Animals. From Heavenly:
Duke Garwood adds, “It was a heatwave in LA. 109 in the shade. The riff was early morning, slow cooked in the heat haze, until the awesome moment when Mark laid down the vocals. A delish dish.”
Over the last decade, Lanegan and Garwood have worked in tangent on 2013’s Black Pudding as well as on Lanegan’s solo records (Garwood contributed to 2012’s Blues Funeral and 2017’s Gargoyle after which he toured as part of Lanegan’s band). Writing and recording was split between studio collaboration and sharing music between Garwood’s home in London and Lanegan’s in Los Angeles. Elsewhere, technology helped make the duo’s transatlantic working relationships relatively easy.
“Over the years, we’ve recorded together and apart. This time, I started this record alone, with many animals as company,” says Garwood. “It flowed, I set to work and out it came. Our music is instinct, there is not much talking about it, just creating. I think that if you are at peace with your work, and feeling it right, it flows, and can feel ‘easy’. Music isn’t meant to be hard. Though sometimes it can burn you to ashes. Making music for a singer, so they can inhabit it with a song means hitting the right soul buttons. There is no hit without a miss. It is a healing record, for us the makers, and for the listeners. It grows natural. We are gardeners of sonic feelings.”
While Black Pudding puts Garwood’s mercurial guitar centre stage, With Animals is constructed from a different set of tools. Analogue and dust flecked, it sounds like Lanegan and Garwood have been holed up in a ’60s recording studio while the apocalypse rages outside. Tracks sit on loops that sounds like they’re straight out of There’s A Riot Goin’ On while sparse melodies nod in the direction of British electronic producers like Burial or Boards of Canada. Which is not to say it sounds like any of those things – this is a weird world all of their own design.
“The music is lo-fi, hi-fi run through star dust analogue,” says Garwood. “It’s an 8 track cassette tape machine. Studio tracks got put through the tape to wring out the digital elements of slow tools – one has to override the digital with pure soul, and not be too clean. All effects on the record are genuinely analogue, with love. With dust.”
As befits a record called With Animals, these dusty songs sound like they’re created in the company of the denizens of the night; cats eyes glimpsed in the dark with the fizz and flicker of insects around a dying light.
The album’s most direct, most affecting track is the closing Desert Song. Over two and a little more minutes of acoustics, Lanegan pleads the impossible: “Please let me continue this dream / even though it can’t be believed”. It’s the emotional flip side of Save Me, the album opener – alone and uncertain against that track’s communal voodoo. As Duke points out, the impression the listener is left with is no coincidence.
“After eight days spent recording the bulk of the record, we went up to Joshua Tree to rehearse for a benefit show. I awoke before the dawn; my small island mind was blown away by the sight of the sunrise. I wrote Desert Song right there, took it down the lane to Rancho and we recorded it that night. I truly believe it was meant to be.”
It’s as pure and spontaneous an ending to an album as one could hope for – a catharsis of sorts and a piece of true alchemy created by two brilliantly singular talents. Here’s to many more of those sunrises… and to those midnight gatherings too.
1. Save Me
2. Feast to Famine
3. My Shadow Life
4. Upon Doing Something Wrong
5. L.A Blue
7. Lonesome Infidel
8. With Animals
9. Ghost Stories
11. One Way Glass
12. Desert Song
18.June.2018: Australian dates added on the tours page!
15.June.2018: Brazil date added to Tour dates for Mexico and South America on the tours page. More dates to come…
21.May.2018: New Album with Duke Garwood Due Out August 24, 2018. The new album is titled With Animals, and tour dates to support it have been announced on the tours page. Read more here.
Check out the video for the first single, Save Me.
23.April.2018: Da Capo Press Acquires Lanegan Memoir, as reported in Publisher’s Weekly: Da Capo Snares Seattle Band Member Memoir
Mark Lanegan sold his memoir, Sing Backwards and Weep, to Ben Schafer at Da Capo Press in a world rights agreement. Lanegan, who was represented by Byrd Leavell at United Talent Agency, was an occasional lead singer for such bands as Screaming Trees and Queens of the Stone Age; the book chronicles the years he spent in Seattle, from the late 1980s to the late 1990s, when he was with the Screaming Trees. Lanegan writes about, Da Capo said, his time as “a low-level crack dealer and a homeless heroin addict, during the music phenomenon that rocketed out of the Northwest and brought the bands of some of his closest friends to the forefront of popular music worldwide.” The book is set for a spring 2020 release.