Tag Archives: Screaming Trees


These 15 Alternative Rock Artists Deserve Your Attention Right Now!

On New Year’s Day Alternative Nation posted an article Make Listening to These Ten Up and Coming Bands Your New Year’s Resolution, and now that we have given you some time to fall in love with those ten bands, here are fifteen more. So before you start raving out (do the kids still do that?) to that new Skrillex record, try listening to these ten bands that may just save rock and roll and make people realize that EDM is pretty much just disco.

Dear Stalker
Lisa Murphwell – Vocals/Guitar
Adam Learner – Bass/Backing Vocals
Alan Murphwell – Drums
A three piece band from Melbourne, Australia which features a talented front woman with a stellar and bold voice accompanied by one of the best rhythm sections in modern rock, Dear Stalker have the pieces in place to break at any moment.


Echo Collider
Members:  Bryan, Matt, Derek, RJ and Matt
Echo Collider is a five piece progressive hard rock band hailing from Kansas City, MO. Dynamically mixing heavy guitars along with moments where the listener can get whisked up in the exploratory song progression, Echo Collider have the music to take you on a trip.


Dear Adamus
Raytheon Dunn: Vocals/Guitar
Chris Wilkins: Bass/ Vocals
Severin Di Croce: Drums
With multiple vocalists that are as smooth and flawless as they come and a sound that rivals some of the best singer/songwriter acts of today, Dear Adamas is just getting started with their latest single “Somber Face”.

Reverb Nation

Helms Alee
Ben Verellen:  Guitar/Vocals
Dana James:  Bass/Vocals
Hozoji Margullis:  Drums/Vocals

A three piece band out of Seattle, WA, Helms Alee are masters of progressive melodies and vocal harmonies; its modern rock that builds and explodes. If you like Tool they are a must listen, though Helms Alee are by no means imitators and often branch out finding unexplored musical territory. And on a side note, their album artwork is breathtaking.


Home Address
Frankie Mattero:  Vocals
Brandon DeAtley:  Drums
Albert Deel:  Bass/Vocals
Christian Deel:  Guitar
Brandon Deel:  Guitar
Home Address is a five piece band from Fredericksburg, Virginia that radiates nothing but feel good alternative rock. It’s one of those rare perfect musical marriages where all the components mesh together to form a unique and refreshing sound all its own, as evident in the track “Supposedly“.


Inner Temple
Dustin Schumacher: Guitar/Vocals
Keeyan Zimmerman: Drums
Dan Dent: Bass
A three piece band from Bloomsburg, PA, Inner Temple quench the thirst for fans of early 90s alternative rock that crave that type of new music from a modern band.  Inner Temple are carrying the torch passed on by Nirvana and The Screaming Trees but with a modern twist.

Messenger Birds
Parker: Vocals/Guitar
Chris: Drums
A two piece band from Detriot, MI, Messenger Birds are a bit grungy and a bit solo Jack White, but their use of space allows them to stand apart from their peers.

Outta The Furnace
Minnesota John: Guitar/vocals
Stevie Steve: Bass Guitar
Matt Albright: Drums
Outta The Furnace are a three piece bluesy modern rock band from Virginia Beach, VA. White Stripes meets Buddy Guy; Outta The Furnace has formed a sound all their own.

Reverb Nation

Sabrosa Purr
Will Love: Vocals/Guitar
Sabrosa Purr is an experimental alternative rock band from Los Angeles, CA. They have taken a wide range of influences while superbly taking advantage of time in their songwriting and created something truly extraordinary.


Tim Branom
Alternative Nation’s very own multi-talented reporter Tim Branom is a rock music veteran from Los Angeles, California. Branom has worked with the likes of Layne Staley and Days of the New. A guru in the studio and a great songwriter, Branom’s music is tailored to perfection. Throw in some great hooks, perfect transitions, and voice that can rattle the soul, Branom’s music is a must listen.  Branom just released a raucous new single entitled “Blind” last month, download it on iTunes.

Reverb Nation

Ultra Major (Formally Concreatures)
Ty Jontz
Nick Tardif
Eric Pearson
From Brooklyn, NY, Ultra Major create nothing but great and heavy melodic tracks. Their sound is a throw back to the 90’s with smooth vocals and loud guitars.; a hint of Screaming Trees mixed with their own brand of alternative rock.


The Vidos
Brett Hornall: Lead Vocals/Bass
Kirk Musfelt: Guitar / Backup Vocals
Nolan Nielsen: Drums / Backup Vocals
The Vidos are a three piece punk band from Vancouver, BC, Canada and fun is the only way to describe them. Their music isn’t overplayed pop/punk nonsense, but is actually reminiscent of the early punk days by perfecting the habitual short punk track with excellent musicianship.


Keith Freund: Vocals/Guitar/Bass
Chris Oquist: Drums
Ribs are a duo from Boston, MA. With heavy guitars layered with a vocalist that has the aura of The Cure’s Robert Smith, Ribs have conjured up a sound like no other. They have opened for the likes of bands like Queens of the Stone Age and in 2016 a much anticipated new album is set to be released.


If you have completely given up on rock or just came back from that much anticipated trip to mars, or any other random place completely void of all things regarding rock music in pop culture, and haven’t heard these two bands that have recently garnered significant fan bases, you should check them out!


Dead Sara

What are some of your favorite up and coming artists?  Feel free to share in the comments section below.

Hear all the best from all these great up and coming bands and many more at www.rockshowradio.net and www.alternativenation.net/radio

10 Bands That Need To Reunite In 2016

With Guns N’ Roses reuniting to kick off 2016, here is a list of 10 more bands that should reun


Motley Crue

‘The Final Tour Part 2.’ KISS had their ‘farewell tour’ conclude in 2001 only to announce a comeback in late 2002, so why not the Crue?


Screaming Trees

The Screaming Trees have been the one holdout when it comes to notable Seattle Grunge bands reuniting. With Barrett Martin revisiting his past with Mad Season in the last couple of years, why not call up with Conner brothers and Mark Lanegan to reunite The Screaming Trees?



While R.E.M. ended their careers gracefully, it has been a shame to no longer have Michael Stipe regularly releasing new music, so even if R.E.M. returned as a studio based band, like they were for their final album, it would be a real treat for fans.



Jet became overnight stars in 2003 with Get Back, an album that was a throwback to raw rock and roll bands like AC/DC and The Rolling Stones. Jet also wrote great Beatlesque ballads like “Shine On,” the title track for their second album. The band released their third and final album Shaka Rock in 2009, and breaking up in 2009. The band definitely seemed to go away too soon, as they once seemed primed to be one of rock’s next great arena bands. Why not come back now, at a time when rock is desperate for great bands who aren’t over 40?


Rage Against The Machine

Rage Against The Machine’s 2007-2011 reunion ultimately did not ever result in a full tour, let alone a new album. The band largely paid high paying festival gigs, so it would be great to see the band do a real reunion with a new album and tour, especially in today’s changing political landscape.



Audioslave’s Chris Cornell, Tom Morello, and Tim Commerford reunited at Chris Cornell’s birthday party in 2014, and Cornell and Morello also performed together a year ago, with Cornell openly stating in interviews that he would be open to a reunion.


The Smiths

The offers have always been there for The Smiths to reunite for huge money. Maybe Morrissey could finally get festivals to stop selling meat if he was headlining them with The Smiths?


Smashing Pumpkins’ original lineup

With Jimmy Chamberlin rejoining The Smashing Pumpkins last year, we’re halfway there!



This reunion seems inevitable. While the Gallagher brothers have not yet taken the big money offers, they are too ambitious to continue to turn down the chance to have one of the biggest U.K. tours in recent memory.


Led Zeppelin

Jimmy Page returned to the stage just a few months ago, and is eager to tour in 2016.

Soundgarden, Pearl Jam & Screaming Trees Members To Debut New Single

On Friday October 9th, Monkeywrench Records will release Ten Commandos’ debut single “Staring Down The Dust.” Ten Commandos is Matt Cameron (Soundgarden/Pearl Jam), Ben Shepherd (Soundgarden), Alain Johannes (Queens of the Stone Age/Eleven), and Dimitri Coats (Off!). Mark Lanegan (Screaming Trees/Queens of the Stone Age) will be featured on “Staring Down The Dust.” The full album will be released in November.


The project has been in the works since at least early 2014, as Ten Commandos members shared several photos at the time of the musicians working together on writing new music.






Mark Lanegan discussed writing with Josh Homme and Alain Johannes in an October 2014 interview with Alternative Nation.

“Well when I’m writing by myself, I’m writing usually on guitar. Sometimes on the old Casio Keyboard, sometimes I start with a drum machine beat, and add a synthesizer or something to it, but usually it’s with a guitar. When I write with Josh for instance, he’s writing the music, we’re writing lyrics together. When I’m writing with Alain, he’s generally writing the music, and I’m writing the singing part, and the words. It’s always different.”

Alain Johannes discussed working with Mark Lanegan in a July 2013 interview with Alternative Nation.

“Well with Mark it’s quite easy. First of all I don’t think we’ve spent more than 4 to 5 hours from beginning to end on any song except for waiting for some guests to come and add like Aldo, Goss, Catching, and Dave Rosser you know. Basically Mark arrives, he’s got the song he plays it for me, we-acoustically and voice, we lay down a quick sketch of it. We discuss what the possible tonalities would be, some things are open some things he requests and then we just go and start layering stuff and adding stuff. He would sing it a couple of times and comp the vocal and it’s done [chuckles]. Then it’s really even close to the mix in the end, it was really crazy.

He’d come down, and then we’d get 1 done or post it done, and then 2 days later another one and maybe the week after he’d go away for a week, it was like that. After like, I think a couple of months or whatever it was it was done. There’s just something, he has a presence that makes you kind of into it, what he’s hearing in his head. I’m just there to facilitate and be a vehicle for that. He definitely knows exactly what he wants to hear, if you play something kind of not right he’ll be kind of ‘nah nah nah no’ [laughs] I’ll be like okay how about this? He’s like ‘yeah yeah that’s good.’”

The Making Of Screaming Trees’ Sweet Oblivion: By Barrett Martin

Barrett Martin has provided Alternative Nation with the liner notes from The Screaming Trees’ reissue of Sweet Oblivion.  You can buy a colored vinyl pressing from Newbury Comics.


It’s hard to forget the first time you ever saw the Screaming Trees. Or the last time. They always left a lasting impression that a person doesn’t soon forget. I first saw them in about 1989, when they played a show at my college, Western Washington University, in Bellingham, WA. The Trees were already a well-known Northwest band by then, having formed in 1985 and releasing a handful of critically acclaimed indie rock albums on the legendary SST label. My very first rock band, Thin Men, was picked to be the opener for the show, and we did our punk rock best against the rising tide of what was fast becoming known around the world as grunge. When the Trees finally took the stage that night, I remember being awed at the sight of the Conner brothers, Van and Gary Lee, as they book-ended the tall stoic figure of Mark Lanegan, all of which was propelled by the bombastic drumming of Mark Pickerel as the Trees threw down lightning bolts of sonic fury.

The following year I was playing drums for proto-grunge veterans Skin Yard, with producer Jack Endino on guitar. Jack had produced Nirvana’s Bleach album, as well as the Screaming Trees’ superb album Buzz Factory. But by the autumn of 1991, Skin Yard was returning from our first (and last) European tour and we essentially called it quits on the flight home from London. About two weeks later, I got a call from Van Conner asking me to audition for the Trees.

It was December of 1991 and my audition was at a place called the Olympic Foundry in south Seattle. It was literally a place where they forged iron, and still do to this day, but the owner of the foundry also loved rock & roll, so he made some rooms available for local bands to rehearse in. My audition was essentially a jam session with Van on bass and Gary Lee on guitar and the three of us had a wonderful, creative time working on new songs that were still in their infancy. We played early versions of “Shadow Of The Season,” “Dollar Bill,” “Julie Paradise,” and “Nearly Lost You,” as well as several other skeletal ideas that later evolved into songs. Our musical chemistry was immediate and the next day Van called to offer me the gig, which I immediately accepted.

We began to rehearse regularly at the foundry, getting the new songs arranged and tightened up, until one day when the brothers visited me at my warehouse loft on Jackson Street, in the international district. They decided on the spot that they wanted to move the band’s backline into my loft and start rehearsing there instead of the foundry, largely because I had a kitchen, a bathroom, and a refrigerator for cold drinks. I have said more than a few times over the years that a drummer can usually get a gig if he has a great rehearsal space, because the bands will flock to him. In my case, that loft on Jackson Street had been the perfect rehearsal space for Thin Men, Skin Yard, and now the Screaming Trees as we honed our musical skills.

The rehearsals at the loft had a fiery, energetic quality to them, which I think was partly due to my influence as a new drummer, but also because we had exceptionally good songs that were really taking shape. We continued to rehearse diligently for another month, as Mark Lanegan added his evolving lyrics to the mix. We would methodically go through the songs, arranging and perfecting them as we

went, and also talking about our influences and the musical direction we wanted to take when it came time to finally record the album.

Sometime after the new year of 1992, we had a meeting with Bob Pfeifer, our A&R from Epic Records. He flew to Seattle to observe us as we recorded demos of all the new songs in a whirlwind one-day session at Seattle’s Avast Studios. The next day Bob sat us down and told us that because the Trees’ previous album Uncle Anesthesia hadn’t sold well (even though it is a brilliant album), and because bands like Nirvana and Pearl Jam were now selling albums by the millions, we were really in a make or break situation. In other words, if we didn’t make one hell of a great album that got some serious attention, we would likely be dropped from the label and that would be the end of the band.

This was to be the first major label album I had ever played on, but it was also looking like it could be my last. Thus, I joined the Screaming Trees with the odds of an underdog, a metaphor that I have always kept close to my heart and which very aptly applies to the Trees. And that’s because when the underdog has the odds stacked against him, he has to work twice as hard to overcome. Everyone is betting against him, yet they are also secretly hoping he will win, and that’s the great paradox of the underdog.

About a month later we got the official green light from Epic Records that our demos and recording budget had been approved, so we packed up our gear and had everything shipped to New York in giant wooden crates. I put my personal belongings in storage, I gave up my lease on the Jackson Street loft, and I said goodbye to the space where so many great songs and albums had been written, and so many friendships forged. It was now February of 1992, and I was only 24 years old, half the age I am now as I write this. It was the end of the early grunge era, however it was also the beginning of an entirely new era in Seattle rock history.

We flew to New York and the next day we met up with our producer Don Fleming and our engineer John Agnello. We converged at the studio Don had picked out for us called Baby Monsters, located on 14th street in the Chelsea district of Manhattan. The studio was small and rustic, as warehouse studios tend to be, but it also had many vintage guitars and amps, and enough space to get a good, cracking drum sound. We set up our gear on the first day, and by the second day we were tracking the first basic tracks. The sessions were “hot” as they say, very focused and inspired with an intense energy that surrounded us. We’d work for many hours throughout the day and late into the night, and around midnight we’d start breaking off into groups to catch a taxi back to our hotel, the Gramercy Park Hotel.

Now, back in 1992, the Gramercy Park Hotel was not the glamorous hotel it is today. It had been glamorous in the 1920s, but by the 1990s, it was a rather grimy and rundown affair. Van Conner and I roomed together and we joked that we might catch Legionnaires disease as we languished in our dank, sweltering room. Thus, we rarely spent any time there except to sleep, choosing instead to walk the late night streets of Manhattan every chance we got.

Conveniently, the Gramercy’s best feature was its downstairs bar, which was a watering hole for every rock musician who was passing through New York on tour. Everyone made a stop at the Gramercy Hotel Bar, it was a destination, and every night Van Conner and I would return from our walk to have a nightcap before

retiring to our room of gloom. And almost every night we’d run into someone or some other band that we had known from our previous time on the road and this would lead to a long night of highly animated and exaggerated storytelling.

I remember a lot of laughing in that bar, the clinking of glasses, and a room so thick with cigarette smoke that it seemed more like a cowboy saloon from the Wild West than a hipster bar in Manhattan. And when I look back at the month we spent recording in New York, I mostly remember the inside of Baby Monsters Studio, the Gramercy Hotel bar, and the pizza joint across the street, on whose slices we survived.

But back to the recording process…

Perhaps the most important thing in the making of this album was the philosophy we took as we approached each song. We believed that it was our highest goal to serve the song first, whatever that meant, and whatever the song needed. Usually that meant simplifying our parts and playing with more feel and emotion, rather than a technically perfect performance. I remember that Don Fleming didn’t want me to use a click track for any of the songs, and instead the band would follow my natural tempos as they ebbed and flowed. This made the music come alive, and you can hear that feeling in the songs – breathing, waiting, and then accelerating with power like a sprinter at the starting gun.

We recorded the rhythm tracks live as a band, with Mark singing only a scratch vocal, which he would later re-record after we had picked the final takes. We usually got the basic track within the first 3-4 takes because we were so well rehearsed. Sometimes it was even the 2nd take that had the magic that we wanted. We’d often keep a take even if there was a slight mistake in it, and that’s because we were recording onto 2” magnetic tape. With tape, you have to make a decision after each performance and decide if that was “the one”, and if not, you took a chance that you might lose that take when you tried again. A great basic track, even with a slight mistake or flaw, always has more life and character than a technically perfect performance with no soul. And that’s because a great song represents life itself, full of mistakes and flaws and soul. And as every Screaming Trees fan knows, the Trees were all about the soul. That became our benchmark – does the song have soul?

After the basic tracks were finalized, Lee would do a few guitar overdubs, but not too many, and usually not more than a second rhythm guitar with a lead or solo. I would record some simple hand percussion like tambourine or shaker, and then Mark would sing his final vocal performance after drinking a small amount of whiskey that Don Fleming would measure out in small doses. Don’s theory was that whiskey warmed the vocal chords and put a little hair in the voice. Mark’s vocal performances on Sweet Oblivion are arguably some of the best in his long and storied career, and that, combined with the band’s ferocious musical delivery, is what gives this album its classic, timeless quality.

As we were finishing the last few overdubs on the album, the final mixes started coming back from Andy Wallace’s studio across town. Andy had mixed Nirvana’s Nevermind, Jeff Buckley’s Grace, and a slew of other brilliant albums that had been hugely influential in the previous year. Andy definitely had the golden ear, and when we heard his first mix for the song “No One Knows” we knew right away that we had a very special album on our hands. Andy mixed about one song per day

over the next two weeks, including all the B-Sides, and they were immediately sent over to Epic’s office for final approval. Word came back that the label was very excited, the band was very relieved, and it seemed like the hangman of doubt would not be getting his silver coin after all.

A few weeks later, Van Conner and I returned to New York to master the album with Howie Weinberg, who liked to master rock albums at full volume. Needless to say, that methodology suited our music very well, and I’ll never forget how good our album sounded that fine day in Howie Weinberg’s mastering suite.

We gave our album the title of Sweet Oblivion because of a line in the opening track “Shadow Of The Season” in which Mark sings, “Ah Sweet Oblivion feels alright!” I think it was also because we had been living that lifestyle for the last few months between Seattle and New York and it was deeply embedded in the themes of the album.

It was now the spring of 1992 and Epic Records decided upon a September release date, which gave them the opportunity to release our first single, “Nearly Lost You” on the Singles soundtrack. This turned out to be our first and biggest hit, cracking the top 10 in the rock charts, and even President Bill Clinton used the bridge of “Nearly Lost You” as the soundtrack for his inaugural entrance onto the global stage. It was a surreal time to say the least, and we hit the road for two straight years of touring around the world, a story that would require many more words than this essay can accommodate.

When I listen to Sweet Oblivion today, I hear the rise and fall of the tempos, the ferociousness of the musical delivery, and the emotional tension and release of the songs. Mark’s vocals howl and roar with the wisdom of a man much older than the 20-something years he had racked up by that time. He tells stories that are both majestic and spiritual, as well as haunting and ephemeral. Gary Lee’s guitar work is highly original and inspired, even brilliant in places. And the rhythm section work of Van Conner’s bass and my drumming makes the band swing like a battleship on the high seas.

Now in the 21st century, most albums are recorded to click tracks or they are programmed with drum machines, so the rhythmic feel is linear, extremely sterile, and utterly lacks swing. I tend to think that a great album, like a human being, should be a fluid, living, breathing thing. The body inhales and expands, and then it exhales and contracts. So too should the feel of a song move like the human body. It is life, after all. This is also why when we hear a real band we all feel it in a much different way. It reminds us of our early origins, when organic music kept us warm and secure around the embers of a collective fire.

And that was the power of the Screaming Trees when we made Sweet Oblivion in the deep New York winter of 1992. We brought the fire and we captured it on magnetic tape, in real time, with swing and soul. It’s an album about love, hope, the possibility of the future, with a fearless abandon that says, I will go for it all, right here and right now, because I have nothing to lose and everything to gain. We are the underdogs, we are the champions of the people, and that is why we are forever in their hearts.
Barrett Martin
Seattle, Spring 2015



Mark Lanegan recently gave an interview to the Jerusalem Post. Lanegan discussed the NBA, his aversion to interviews, and more. Here’s Mark commenting on  the possibility of a Screaming Trees reunion:

“There have been offers, but it’s not something I’m interested in at all,” he said. “I’m not against the idea of reunions in general, I’m really glad the [Afghan Whigs] did it – I saw a show and it was one of the best I’ve ever seen, by anybody.

I think it’s great if people want to do it, and it’s their right, but I won’t do it. I will play with some of those guys – and I have – but getting together as Screaming Trees is something I’m not interested in… and I don’t think the others are either.”

Read the rest of the interview here.