Those who have worked together with Kurt Cobain, members of Pearl Jam and Marianne Faithfull or contributed to the milestone "Songs For The Deaf" of the Queens Of The Stone Age, almost inevitably have legendary status themselves - an expression which, however, always has something of the past. MARK LANEGAN, however, is still a highly productive artist who loves to do his own thing and also likes to collaborate across genres.
In November Lanegan will turn 55 and next spring he will publish an autobiography of his ten years in Seattle under the title "Sing Backwards And Weep". Now with "Somebody's Knocking" there is an album inspired by memories. In an interview the musician explains why he doesn't want to send messages to the listeners with his songs.
eclipsed: Which story is connected with "Somebody's Knocking"?
Mark Lanegan: I had been pregnant with some ideas for quite some time. One of them was that of a double album, oldschool on two vinyl records; another to make a record that was clearly influenced by the music of my youth. In addition, each song should become a potential single in a listener's personal universe. With this album I've done all this - at least I'm happy with it.
eclipsed: The press release quotes you with the sentence "Music saved my life" ....
Lanegan: I think music has saved many lives, not just mine. I grew up in a small town in the country east of Washington, where there were mainly farms. When I discovered punk rock, it changed my life and showed me in which direction it should go. Whenever I wasn't feeling so well, when I was alone or aimless, music helped me. Among my first musical heroes were the Stooges, the recently deceased Roky Erickson, John Cale - one I even had the honour to play with. Joy Division is a band that saved my life and I was lucky enough to play with Peter Hook a few times. I've been a Nick Cave fan since Birthday Party times, touring and studioing with him - I'm really blessed in many ways.
eclipsed: You are also quoted with the statement that you tried not to be too worried about the state of the world. What do you mean and how do you succeed?
Lanegan: You heard the record, didn't you? I'll answer the question anyway. (laughs rough) I try to live in the here and now and not let myself be stressed by crap that I cannot influence. Whatever happens in the world is definitely beyond my control, so there's no point in getting angry about it.