AllStar News article 4/1/98


Also On Deck: Solo Album And Disinformation

Even though his original band, the Screaming Trees, may be the slowest-growing greenery in the rock forest, lead singer Mark Lanegan isn't letting that band's sluggish pace keep him from seeing some long overdue material to fruition.

While it's still in the early stages, Lanegan is working on an as- yet-untitled project with former Guns N' Roses bassist Duff McKagan and Paul Solger, who's played with Lanegan for some time. (Together, Solger and McKagan also comprise Seattle post- punk stalwarts/ Sub Pop recording artists 10 Minute Warning, whose debut arrives May 5.)

Lanegan began writing with McKagan and Solger as a lark, but the trio was so enthusiastic about their material they've already completed 15 songs and are contemplating an album as a band. "It's a totally new entity," says McKagan, "and it's really bad-ass, with a stylistic range from funk to Burt Bacharach. And Mark loves Burt Bacharach."

The Seattle native's first priority, though, is his long- awaited solo album, Scraps at Midnight, which is his third set in nine years and first since 1994's masterful Whiskey for the Holy Ghost. Along with Solger, the band lineup includes former Dinosaur Jr bassist Mike Johnson, drummer Kenny Richards, guitarist Fred Drake, and multi- instrumentalist Dave Catching.
The album is due July 28 on Sub Pop.

According to Solger, Scraps at Midnight "beats [Lanegan's] other two records by far" in terms of composition and arrangement. Lanegan's sporadic productivity has long been attributed to drug use, which came to an ugly head in public last fall during his disastrous CMJ appearance. But sources close to Lanegan say the singer/ songwriter is currently clean and doing well in a house- monitored detox program.

Also in the works for Lanegan is his role in Mad Season, or rather Disinformation, the name by which that Seattle supergroup currently goes. As widely reported, it seems former Mad Season (and Alice in Chains) vocalist Layne Staley couldn't pull himself together long enough to lay down vocal tracks to Mad Season songs long- rumored to be near completion.

That's when the band brought in Lanegan -- at first to accompany Staley on vocals. Lanegan would do half, Staley the other on a two-disc set, but Staley, still in the grip of his own narcotic mess, couldn't swing it. So the band, which also includes Pearl Jam's Mike McCready and Tuatara/R.E.M. drummer Barrett Martin, recruited Lanegan full time under the moniker Disinformation. An album is tentatively due in the fall on Epic.

-Bob Gulla