This week, Mark Lanegan and Greg Dulli released The Gutter Twins’ debut album, Saturnalia (Sub Pop). Here’s an MP3 of their single, Idle Hands.
In a post a couple weeks back, I promised a good Mark Lanegan story. Well, here goes:
Being a music child of the ’90s, I always respected Mark Lanegan’s work. Whenever I think of the word “grunge,” I don’t automatically envision Eddie Vedder doing a back-fall into a sea of people or Kurt Cobain smashing up his guitar in a pseudo-high school gym. The image that comes to mind is Lanegan (with his flowing red mane), singing “I Nearly Lost You,” in what appears to be an empty rodeo stadium. To me, it’s this Screaming Trees video, that defines the look and sound of “grunge.” I know most bands from the Pacific Northwest despised the term, but hopefully you get what I’m saying.
After getting to meet and interview Lanegan a couple times–I got to say–I grew to like him even more. I always felt like he was either one step away from hugging me or punching me in the face. I guess it’s the same kind of admiration a high school geek feels for the jean-jacket-wearing tough guy who sits by himself at lunch. For anyone interviewing Lanegan for the first time, know this–he never reveals more than you need to know. However, if you pay close attention to his facial expressions, they’ll tell you everything.
The first time I met Lanegan was out in Albuquerque, NM in the middle of a Queens of the Stone Age tour. Lanegan actually gave a great interview and cracked me up a few times. When I returned to New York City, someone asked, “How was Lanegan?”
“He was great.”
“He’s the reason Lewis Largent quit hosting 120 Minutes.”
Being a former host of that very show, I know it’s not always easy interviewing some of the artists. I had musicians who gave one-grunt answers and others who were picking paint chips off the set trying to eat them. Apparently, when Lanegan appeared on the program, he gave Largent a difficult time during the interview segments. Rumor had it, that following the episode, Largent decided he didn’t want to host the show anymore and continued to work solely behind-the-scenes at MTV.
When I saw Lanegan a couple years later I asked him about the incident. A smile slowly crept across his face, as he let out a low, raspy, Marlboro-Man-like giggle. He didn’t need to say another word.