The Conners and Mark Pickerel all grew up in Ellensburg, Washington. They became friends in highschool. They played in various bands together including The Explosive Generation. Then Mark L. got a hold of Van a few years after highschool when Van was in a band with Mark P. on vocals, and Lee on drums. But Lee had recently been kicked out of the band so Van invited Mark L. to play drums. Then Lee rejoined the group and the line up changed with Mark L on vocals, Mark P on drums, Van on bass and Lee on guitar.
They recorded their first demo tape in 1985. Steve Frisk (producer) convinced Velvetone Records to put out their first EP.
IIt was called Clairvoyance and was released in 1986.
Because Clairvoyance was a success for the level of the band Frisk convinced SST records (owned by Black Flag guitarist Greg Ginn) to put the Trees on their label. Their first record on SST was Even If and Expecially When and the band went on tour to support it in '87.
Next year they released their demo tape under the name of "Other Worlds" and their thrid album, "Invisible Latern". In '89 they released their last album on SST, Buzz Factory. Then they moved to Sub-Pop to put out "Changes Come".
In the group they were having personal problems and spent '90 working on side projects. Mark Lanegan recorded a solo album, "The Winding Sheet", which gained support from Nirvana's Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselic and Joe from Gas Huffer; the album appeared on Sub Pop. Both of the Conners formed new bands and released albums on New Alliance. Van's band was called Solomon Grundy; Lee's was Purple Outside. But they got together by the end of 1990, the band had signed a major-label contract with Epic Records.
In '91 they released "Uncle Anesthesia" with Chris Cornell of Soundgarden and Terry Date as producers. It was not a major success but the Trees still had their cult following. That year Van Conner put the band on hiatus so he could play bass for Dinosaur Jr.
Before the band got together to work on "Sweet Oblivion", Pickerel left the band and was replaced by Barrett Martin (of Skin Yard, others). Pickerel then joined Truly. Now he is in Valis with Dan Peters' of Mudhoney and Van Conner.
The band recored "Sweet Oblivion" with Barrett and recorded their track for the singles soundtrack, "Nearly Lost You". The single was an alternitive radio hit and the band supported their new album with a year long tour. On the tour tempers flaired and after the tour the group went on an extended haitus.
During that time, Lanegan recorded his second solo album, "Whiskey for the Holy Ghost", which was released in 1994. That same year, Martin drummed in the Layne Staley (Alice in Chains) and Mike McCready (Pearl Jam) side-project Mad Season, which released its only album in the spring of 1995.
In early the Trees got together to work on their next album, "Dust". It inclued guest musicians, Benmont Tench (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers) on Mellotron, organ, piano and electric piano; classical cellist Milori; guitarists Mike McCready (Pearl Jam) and Jeff Nolan; and Chris Goss (Masters of Reality) on background vocals.
It got great reviews and the first single, "All I Know" became a radio hit. The Trees supported this album with a tour on Lollapalooza.
Barrett recorded with Pearl Jam's Mike McCready and Mark Lanegan in a new side-project called Disinformation.
The Trees just finnished recording a new demo and are looking for a label, this is thier first work together in about 3 years. At the EMP show Mark Langen announced that the trees were breaking up. Although there is good news, they have a song that available for free download at Music Blitz. The song is titled One Way Conversation. More info in this article (email me if the link doesnt work). I have heard some news passed on to me about a Mark Langen show, heres what I know: Friday June 30 The Showbox presents: MARK LANEGAN with guests. $13.00
tickets available at Ticketmaster. Doors open at 8 pm.
Not enough Tree's info for you? Check out my LINKS section.
I now also have Screaming Trees LYRICS.
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