Dark Mark vs. Skeleton Joe — the duo of Mark Lanegan and the Icarus Line’s Joe Cardamone — have treated fans this Halloween with their spooky visual for “Living Dead,” the first video off their recently released self-titled debut album.
The video — mostly filmed “an undisclosed location somewhere in Killarney, Ireland” — also features an appearance by Guns N’ Roses’ Duff McKagan, who also supplies his bass talents on the track.
“Duff is an old friend of Mark’s and when the cut started coming together it just seemed primed for his bass attack,” Cardamone told Rolling Stone. “Mark made the intro and Duff kindly added the bass hook which became one of the signatures of the track. What more could you want for a song like this?”
The zombie-inspired “Living Dead” itself is “a metaphor for living past your perceived expiration date. I know that I have felt that way after a few near misses and I don’t wanna speak for Mark but I know he can relate,” Cardamone said; in addition to Lanegan’s battles with drug addiction — gut-wrenchingly documented in his memoir Sing Backwards and Weep — the singer revealed this week that he also had a life-threatening bout with Covid-19, which he writes about in his upcoming book, Devil in a Coma.
“After living three lifetimes you can start to feel like you are the living dead. If Mark wants to do a breakdown of the lyrics I’ll leave that to him but usually he likes to leave that up to the listener,” Cardamone added.
The video features closeups of both Lanegan and Cardamone’s gnarled teeth. “I hope that they can admire our dental hygiene practices and really we are looking for a sponsorship from the American Dental Association,” Cardamone quipped. “I think together we can get America brushing their teeth again.”
Dark Mark vs. Skeleton Joe arrived earlier this month on streaming services – and available to preorder now on vinyl – just a year after the duo first announced their sinister dance project in October 2020. “The fact that it’s not like anything either one of us have done before is what makes this so interesting for me,” Lanegan told Rolling Stone at the time. “When you have done as much stuff as Joe and I you have to constantly search for the different and challenging to keep yourself engaged.”