The year that Screaming Trees released their first album was incorrect in an earlier version of this article. The year was 1986, not 1987. Mark Lanegan, a singer for Screaming Trees and Queens of the Stone Age who was a key figure in the Pacific Northwest grunge scene in the 1980s and 1990s, died on Tuesday at his home in Killarney, Ireland. He was 57 years old.
In a statement, SKH Music, a management company, confirmed his death but did not specify the cause.SKH Music described Mr. Lanegan as “a beloved singer, songwriter, author, and musician.”Though his stints in Screaming Trees, Queens of the Stone Age, and the Gutter Twins did not bring him the fame that Nirvana and Soundgarden, two other Seattle grunge bands, did, he was known for his deep, world-weary voice, which could take a song to both soaring heights and melancholy lows.
In high school, he met the founding members of Screaming Trees, and the band released its first album in 1986, with an aesthetic that combined flannel shirts and long hair with angsty songs and rasping guitars. The band pioneered a sound that fused heavy metal and punk rock, later known as grunge, and helped bring it to the mainstream, with hits such as “Nearly Lost You” in 1992 and “All I Know” in 1996. The Seattle grunge scene achieved critical acclaim in the 1990s, by which time the Screaming Trees were a key player but not a headliner. According to a biography of the band on allmusic.com, the band took a break in 1996 after releasing its seventh album in ten years to work on Mr. Lanegan’s third solo album.
Screaming Trees never found their footing again and disbanded in 2000. He later joined Queens of the Stone Age’s ever-changing lineup, earning two Grammy Award nominations with the band in 2002 and 2003.In a 2012 interview with the YouTube channel FaceCulture, Mr. Lanegan discussed how he liked to keep the meanings of his songs a mystery.” I would never impose my interpretation of a song on anyone else,” he explained, “because the music that I’ve always loved the most is music that nobody told me what it meant.”Mr. Lanegan’s vocal and songwriting abilities were admired by critics and other musicians, with whom he collaborated frequently. He became friends with and collaborated with singers Isobel Campbell, Greg Dulli, Kurt Cobain, and Chris Cornell. According to his IMDb page, Mark William Lanegan was born on November 25, 1964, in Ellensburg, Wash., a small farming town.
According to his well-received 2020 memoir, “Sing Backwards and Weep: A Memoir,” his parents, Dale and Floy, were teachers. In an interview with the YouTube channel FaceCulture, he described one of his first musical memories as being at a fishing pond with his father when he heard a song and thought, Oh man, that’s sad-sounding. He later discovered that the song was “Love Hurts” by the Scottish rock band Nazareth from 1974. Mr. Lanegan was open about his drug use and self-destructive lifestyle offstage.
He chronicled his journey from “self-loathing redneck” to rock star to homeless heroin addict in his memoir. In “Devil in a Coma,” a memoir he released in December, he wrote about how his months-long battle with Covid-19 confined him to a hospital. Shelley, his wife, survives him, according to SKH Music. There was no immediate word on a complete list of survivors. Mr. Lanegan appeared on the podcast “Come to Where I’m From” in July 2019, where he discussed how humbling it was to hear from fans about how his music had changed their lives.
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