Even after recording and releasing five solo albums, former Screaming Trees frontman Mark Lanegan still felt like people have the wrong idea about what he does. “I got tired of reading stuff about my records like ‘folky and alt-country,'” says Lanegan, who recently joined the Queens of the Stone Age as a full-time member. “I thought of this as a rock record.”
Lanegan’s sixth album, due in January, is called Bubblegum and features guest spots from Greg Dulli, QOTSA bandmates Josh Homme and Nick Olivieri as well as P.J. Harvey.
“She sings a saucy duet with me on ‘Come to Me,'” says Lanegan of Harvey. “And on a more straight ahead song called ‘Hit the City.’ I like it when she does the scary quiet stuff and the balls-out stuff too. It was really nerve-wracking for me. I’m really a big fan of hers — she’s a great singer and I’m a bricklayer.”
A pair of former Guns n’ Roses members, Izzy Stradlin and Duff McKagan, turn up on Bubblegum as well. “Having them singing on the record is like having Keith Richards and Ron Wood singing with you,” says Lanegan. “I’ve known Duff and Izzy for quite a while. I was sort of a houseboy for Duff and his wife for a long time.”
Lanegan is also planning to release an eight-song EP on November 4th. Titled Here Comes the Weird Chill (Methamphetamine Blues, Extracts & Oddities), the set includes “Methamphetamine Blues,” a song Lanegan kicked around for the better part of a decade before laying down.
“I’ve been messing around with it as far back as my first solo record,” he says. “My guitar player Mike Johnson made fun of it. I tried a couple more times over the years to finish it and I actually put it over some beats and that made it a little easier. It needed some kind of rhythm, which is what he was trying to tell me. Either that or he was just saying I sucked.”