Rolling Stone Magazine (Argentina), http://www.rollingstone.com.ar/nota.asp?nota_id=1140398
translation by Melina
Before his show on Buenos Aires, along with Greg Dulli as The Gutter Twins, the ex Screaming Trees had a talk with RS
Once upon a time when grunge was at its peak and Kurt Cobain hadn't yet decided to put an end to his own history, Mark Lanegan served in The Screaming Trees, a band that was part of the movement with its epicenter in Seattle. As old acquaintances as they were, Lanegan, Cobain and his partner in Nirvana, Chris Novoselic, got together to "break the vice" and shape up a blues EP. They recorded Ledbelly's "Where Did You Sleep Last Night?" but the project never flourished. Lanegan included it in his solo debut (The Winding Sheet, 1990) and years later, Nirvana made its own version of the song at the end of their MTV Unplugged.
"I remember him as a very good person, always with an open heart. I still miss him very much", says Lanegan at the other end of the telephone line. Going through Cobain's Diaries it’s clear that respect and affection went both ways.
The truth is, since then a lot of water has gone by under the bridge. And Lanegan comes to the country for the first time to play a show on the 7th of July with The Gutter Twins, the duo he shares with Greg Dulli, another veteran of the 90's "alternative" scene fronting the Afghan Wings. Can we see you as two icons of the undergrunge?
"We're just two guys who have been playing music for a long time and are still doing it. But it's not up to us how people can see us", he remarks. Though they knew each other from long before, the origin of the duo can be traced back to his part in -Dulli's new band- The Twilight Singers' Blackberry Belle (2003). A year later, Dulli was part of Lanegan's Bubblegum and went with him on tour, playing keyboards. "We're good friends and got together sometimes to write songs. At the beginning, the project wasn't at all serious. But, eventually, we realized we had material for a record and wanted to finish it. That's what we did on Saturnalia" he describes.
How does The Gutter Twins sound live?
Is the challenge to play with less electricity?
Someone described Saturnalia as a record about "saints
and sinners, about good and evil". Do you agree?
In Screaming Trees' "Winter Song", you sung "Jesus
knocking on my door". And the Bible's expression "Until Kingdom
Come" can be found on Bubblegum and on -the first record you did
with (Belle & Sebastian's singer) Isobel Campbell- Ballad of the Broken
Seas as well. Do you consider yourself to be a religious person?
Throughout your career you've worked with very different
people, from Cobain to the English electropop band Soulsavers, to Campbell
and the Queens of the Stone Age. Do you have to do some sort of "mental
switch" to go from one project to the next as a collaborator?
Besides recording with QOTSA there were speculations that
you might become their singer for good. Did you though about it seriously?
In Bubblegum you had Josh Homme and Nick Olivieri from QOTSA,
PJ Harvey, Dulli, Izzy Stradlin and Duff McKagan from the Guns N' Roses
as collaborators. How did you do to get them all together in a record?
What side of you did you get to explore while working
with Isobel Campbell?