Mark Lanegan is one of the most outstanding figures of grunge and also the first singer of the golden era of this genre to have performed in Slovakia. In 2012, he played a memorable concert at the Zrkadlový háj hall. He has been part of the bands Screaming Trees and Mad Season (with the Alice in Chains singer Layne Staley), the Queens of the Stone Age, and has worked with Nirvana, PJ Harvey, Moby, and Isobell Campbell (Belle and Sebastian). It is for his raspy, deep voice and mesmerizing dark atmosphere of his songs that he is likened to Waits, Cohen, and Cave. Any comparisons are useless. Lanegan is unique, just as each of his performances. Visitors to Pohoda 2017 will see one of them.
In 1985 he and Conner brothers founded band Screaming Trees, which is, along with Alice in Chains, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Temple of the Dog, and Soundgarden, considered one of the pioneers of the Seattle group and grunge. They released the successful albums Uncle Anesthesia and Sweet Oblivion with hits “Nearly Lost You” and “Shadow of the Season” in the early nineties. Critics highly rated also next 1996 album Dust, however, this was also the last album that they recorded.
Lanegan released his first solo album The Winding Sheet already in 1990. He collaborated on it with members of Nirvana - Christ Novoselic and Kurt Cobain. It contains also the song “Where Did You Sleep Last Night?” (a cover-version of the traditional folk song of In The Pines), which was later made famous by Nirvana over the legendary acoustic concert as part of MTV Unplugged. The following album, Whiskey for the Holy Ghost, almost did not make it to see this world (Lanegan wanted to throw the master recording in a pond but his producer stopped him from doing it). In 1995 he joined the Mad Season project, which involved other members of the bands Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, and Screaming Trees. Between 2000 and 2014 he would play with Queens of the Stone Age, where he was introduced by Josh Home. Since 2004, he has been collaborating with singer Isobel Campbell of Belle & Sebastian. His album Bubblegum saw the cooperation of some of Laneganʼs friends (PJ Harvey, Josh Homme, Greg Dulli, and others). He and Dulli (ex-Afghan Whigs, currently Twilight Singers) formed band The Gutter Twins.
In 2012 he presented his album Blues Funeral in Slovakia. Since then, this extraordinarily productive artist has recorded three more solo albums: Imitations (2013), Phantom Radio (2014), and Houston Publishing Demos 2002 (2015), and along them he was involved in various collaborations. In course of his over thirty-year career he has created, sung, and played with artists such as Cobain, Staley, Homme, Moby, PJ Harvey, Slash, Greg Dulli, and Isobell Campbell and bands Unkle, Massive Attack, Queens of the Stone Age, and perhaps all the legendary musicians of the “Seattle grunge”. It is virtually almost impossible to choose the best of his work, but for example the Esquire magazine has attempted to do in this TOP10 playlist: www.esquire.com/entertainment/music/a26968/mark-lanegan-best-songs-0114/. Lanegan is a requested artist especially for his charismatic appearance and voice. Matthew Murphy of Pitchfork wrote about him: “As scratchy as a three-day beard yet as supple and pliable as moccasin leather, Laneganʼs voice has evolved into a remarkable instrument, one that couldn't have been earned by easy living”. You will hear this voice also at Trenčínʼs airport in early July.