MTV News , January 12, 2000

Screaming Trees Set To Return With Industry Showcase

The Screaming Trees will be replanting themselves in the public eye when the band debuts its new material at the Viper Room in Los Angeles on February 3 and 4. The group, which consists of singer Mark Lanegan, drummer Barrett Martin, bassist Van Conner, and his brother Gary Lee Conner on guitar, has been in the studio cutting demos with producer Toby Wright (Alice In Chains, Korn, Sevendust) with a little help from Queens Of The Stone Age guitarist Josh Homme. A spokesperson for the Seattle-based band told MTV News that the demos are almost complete and that the tapes will be shopped to labels in a couple of weeks, with the Viper Room dates acting as a music industry showcase. With the exception of an appearance at the Bumbershoot festival in Seattle in 1998 (see "Third Eye Blind, Live, Eve 6, Screaming Trees Set For Bumbershoot") and a show few days later at the Roxy in Los Angeles, the label-less group has been on hiatus since it wrapped up touring in support of the band's last album for Epic, 1996's "Dust." Meanwhile, Lanegan continues to work on yet another solo album for the Sub Pop label, this time a CD of originals. His last effort was last year's critically lauded all-covers release, "I'll Take Care Of You." A management spokesperson for Lanegan also confirms the singer has been writing songs and cutting some demos with former Guns N' Roses bassist Duff McKagan, but he cautions that no plans exist for the material. "They're old friends who get together and jam," says the spokesperson. "It might develop into something, or it might just go away. They're both really busy with their own careers." The pair recently worked together on a track for the upcoming West Memphis Three benefit album being organized by the Supersuckers (see "Supersuckers Champion Controversial Cause As New Albums Arrive"). The song also features former Soundgarden bassist Ben Shepherd and ex-Ministry drummer Bill Rieflin. --Sorelle Saidman