Lanegan died yesterday (February 22) at the age of 57. He started his music career with the Seattle band The Screaming Trees, before releasing a run of solo albums, starting with 1990’s The Winding Sheet. Lanegan also played with Queens of the Stone Age and released a number of acclaimed collaborations with Scottish singer Isobel Campbell.
Speaking to The Independent, Grohl – who is also an occasional member of Queens of the Stone Age – praised the talents of the late musician. “It was so pure and so real,” said Grohl. “If he sang about pain, you believed it and if he sang about love, you believed it.”
“If you know anything about his story, or have read any of his books, you’ll understand why he sang what he did and why he sang it the way that he did. There was nobody like him. In Seattle he was much loved,” said Grohl, who was also a member of Nirvana.
Lanegan’s 2020 memoir, Sing Backwards and Weep, documented his long battle with addiction as well as his music career. Lanegan released another memoir in 2021, titled Devil in a Coma and inspired by his near-death experience from Covid-19.
Grohl went on to tell The Independent how he first met Lanegan over 30 years ago. “When I first joined Nirvana I was living with Kurt [Cobain] in our tiny apartment – one weekend he said, ‘Hey, I’m gonna go up to Seattle for the weekend and hang out with a friend, do you want to come?’
“We went up to stay with his friend Dylan and we went to a show. I passed out on the couch and woke up in the morning and opened my eyes and Mark Lanegan was sitting in a chair right across from me. His first words to me were, ‘Who the f*** are you?’”
He continued: “I had just discovered his first solo album, which is a f***ing masterpiece. It’s one of my most influential records. I didn’t necessarily know him as the Screaming Trees singer, I just knew him as himself. It’s heartbreaking.”
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