news, 6 June 1998

6 June, 1998
by Greg Heller

Screaming Trees' Mark Lanegan Recording Covers EP In Seattle

Fresh off the completion of his Scraps At Midnight solo LP, sometimes Screaming Trees singer Mark Lanegan has headed right back into a Seattle studio to record an EP of covers for a Sub Pop release later this year. Lanegan has already finished up four of the album's expected seven cuts, and they're an eclectic mix indeed. Thus far, he's chosen tracks from seminal psychedelicans The 13th Floor Elevators ("Slide Machine"), legendary blues man Bobby "Blue" Bland ("I'll Take Care Of You"), Stax soulman Eddie Floyd ("Consider Me"), and the late Oregon folk-jazzer Tim Hardin ("Shiloh Town") whose lifelong heroin addiction mirrors Mark's (recently kicked) struggle with the evil opiate. Lanegan has been working with a host of local players on the album, including ex-Dinosaur Jr. bassist Mike Johnson and some higher profile folks to be named later.

Lanegan's chosen covers may well be the same lot he'll be performing out on the road this summer with world beat supergroup Tuatara and Johnson, when all three acts close up the shows on stage together. Those seeking a preview of Scraps At Midnight, due July 28, can check out the Soundcheck compilation double-disc coming June 23 from SubPop. In addition to two tracks, "Last One In The World" and "Bell Black Ocean" from Scraps, the album will feature tracks from The Spinanes, Jesus and Mary Chain and Damon and Naomi, among many others off the SubPop roster, and can be yours, for a limited time only, at the absurdly un-corporate price of $3.98.

One final note: With all the hub-bub surrounding Lanegan's solo album, his tour with Tuatara and now this covers EP, the singer has of yet found no time to record his vocal parts for the Disinformation project. Formerly known as Mad Season, when M.I.A. Alice in Chains frontman Layne Staley was at the lyrical helm, Disinformation is Screaming Trees' (and sometimes R.E.M., Tuatara) drummer Barrett Martin, Pearl Jam's Mike McCready and bassist John Baker Saunders. The band has all but finished up the musical section of the new album and are waiting for Lanegan to record his vocal tracks, something that now appears stalled indefinitely. Disinformation had originally hoped for a fall '98 release, but for the time being its members will have to content themselves with their 429 other projects.