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R.I.P. Mark Lanegan, Rock Pioneer and Screaming Trees Frontman Dead at 57

Lanegan was also a one-time member of Queens of the Stone Age and The Gutter Twins

Mark Lanegan book COVID
Mark Lanegan, photo by Steve Gullick
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    Mark Lanegan, the powerful force behind Screaming Trees who was also known for his work in Queens of the Stone Age and The Gutter Twins, has died at the age of 57.

    “Our beloved friend Mark Lanegan passed away this morning at his home in Killarney, Ireland,” a representative for Lanegan said in a statement. “A beloved singer, songwriter, author and musician he was 57 and is survived by his wife Shelley. No other information is available at this time. The family asks everyone to respect their privacy at this time.”

    Born in Ellensburg, Washington, Lanegan was a pioneer of the grunge scene, fronting Screaming Trees from 1985 until their breakup in 2000. The band released several albums during its run, scoring the rock hits “Nearly Lost You” from 1992’s Sweet Oblivion and “All I Know” from 1996’s “Dust.”

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    He also was an essential member of Queens of the Stone Age throughout the years, appearing on five of the band’s albums, including their breakthrough LPs Rated R and Songs for the Deaf.

    No cause of death was given, but in a recent interview with Consequence, Lanegan detailed a horrific battle with COVID — which left him in a three-week coma and temporarily deaf. He was still dealing with long-term effects of COVID, but it is unclear whether any of that is related to his death.

    At the time of our interview a few months ago, Lanegan told us he was on the mend, remarking, “[I feel] a million times better — I finally turned the corner. But it took a really long time. It was crazy. There’s some residuals. Whatever I had, it attacks places where there was trauma in the body previous times.”

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    He added, “I had a number of accidents over the course of my life. I have a chronically f**ked up knee which still gives me some pain. That was one of the strange things about the thing — it went for any place where you were injured or had something happen before.”

    Lanegan released one album, 2008’s Saturnalia, with Afghan Whigs singer Greg Dulli under the name The Gutter Twins. He was also a prolific solo artist, releasing 12 albums under his own name, including his most recent effort, 2020’s Straight Songs of Sorrow.

    IN 2021, Lanegan teamed up with The Icarus Line’s Joe Cardamone to form the duo Dark Mark vs. Skeleton Joe, releasing a self-titled album in October. Over the years, Lanegan also released collaborative efforts with Duke Garwood and Isobel Campbell.

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    The singer detailed his battle with COVID in his latest book, Devil in a Comawhich was released in December. That followed up his autobiography, Sing Backwards and Weep: A Memoir.

    Heavy Consequence also caught up with Lanegan at the Sonic Temple festival in 2019, where he reflected on his time with Screaming Trees and Queens of the Stone Age, and discussed his solo work (watch the video below).

    Regarding Screaming Trees, he told us, “I realize there’s people out there who like the music. It’s something I sort of left in its place. … I appreciate the people out there who love the music, and I’m glad it exists. But I’m glad I don’t have to sing it anymore.”

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    In the same interview, he said he was always game to rejoin Queens of the Stone Age. “I’m just there when [Josh Homme] calls,” he said. “I love the Queens.”

    Update: Many of Lanegan’s musical peers, including Peter Hook (New Order), John Cale (The Velvet Underground), Iggy Pop, Slash, Badly Drawn Boy, Garbage, and others, have honored the singer upon hearing the news of his passing. See their tributes here.

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