The grunge supergroup Mad Season, which put out their sole album Above in 1995, will reunite next year for a performance with the Seattle Symphony. Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell will fill in for the group’s singer – Alice in Chains frontman Layne Staley, who died in 2002 following battles with addiction – while former Guns N’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan will sit in for the band’s bassist – Walkabouts member John Baker Saunders, who died of a heroin overdose in 1999. The rest of the original lineup – Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready and Screaming Trees drummer Barrett Martin – is confirmed to play the event.
The performance is part of the Seattle Symphony’s “Sonic Evolution” series, which pays tribute to the city’s musical past. The first half of the program will feature French composer Yann Robin’s Nirvana-inspired “Ashes,” Angelique Poteat’s Pearl Jam–inspired “Beyond Much Difference” and McCready’s own “Walking the Horizon,” which was arranged by Scott Teske. The guitarist will perform with the symphony during the latter piece.
Mad Season will then perform after an intermission. The Symphony’s conductor, Ludovic Morlot, will lead the band, the symphony and members of Seattle’s Vocalpoint! ensemble in special arrangements of the Mad Season songs “River of Deceit,” “I Don’t Know Anything” and “Long Gone Day.”
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The “Sonic Evolution” Program will take place on January 30th. Tickets are available on the symphony’s website.
Last year, Mad Season reissued Above as a deluxe reissue with DVD concert film, unreleased tracks and the band’s unfinished second LP. Among those songs was the previously unreleased song “Locomotive.”
McCready previously made an appearance on the 2012 self-titled debut of Walking Papers, a group that features both McKagan and Martin.
In March 2013, McCready told Billboard that he’d formed an unnamed, new group with McKagan and Martin and that the trio wrote music together while finishing up demos for Mad Season’s unfinished sophomore release. “We are trying to find something to do with those,” the guitarist said at the time. “We’re talking to Jaz [Coleman] from Killing Joke and I’ve been trying to find some singers to work on some of that stuff.”