Billboard (, June 2003

Lanegan Feels 'Relief' On New Solo Set

When discussing his upcoming solo album, "Bubblegum," Queens Of The Stone Age vocalist (and former Screaming Trees member) Mark Lanegan tells the project's main criteria is more cathartic than anything else.

"I don't want to use the word therapy, but it is more like relief from the seriousness," says Lanegan. "Queens is pretty serious and focused, and these other things give me a chance to do music but not have such an importance placed on it. And by importance I mean, with Queens, we really take it seriously but it is still a lot of fun. But with these things, I don't really care how it turns out. It is the doing of it that is the important part, not the finishing of it -- if that makes any sense."

The fall album, which will be preceded by an EP, is Lanegan's first for Beggars Banquet. It finds the singer cajoling familiar friends (QOTSA guitarist Josh Homme and bassist Nick Oliveri, Polly Jean Harvey, former Guns N' Roses members Izzy Stradlin and Duff McKagan, Greg Dulli, and Dean Ween, among many others) to lend a hand. "I seek to pretend I am a drummer, and whenever I get the chance to play drums, I'm there," Homme tells of his contributions.

As for Screaming Trees, who broke up for good in 2000, Lanegan says he is still in contact with the members and doesn't rule out recording together, but not under the Trees moniker. For now, Lanegan is reveling in his role with QOTSA. "It is kind of funny because I couldn't have dreamt up a better job, if that's what you call it," he says. "I get to travel around with my friends and not work very hard."

Indeed, while QOTSA has been on the road constantly in support of its latest Interscope album "Songs for the Deaf," Lanegan is one of three vocalists in the group and often finds himself leaving the stage completely. Where does he go during those moments?

"I sleep," jokes Lanegan. "Actually, I'm trying to learn how to read. I have a tutor out on the road. It is great. It's not just a band, it is a program to take inner city kids like myself and to sort of empower them." -- John Benson, Cleveland