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The dark knight rises

Despite possessing an awe-inspiring back catalogue, Seattle survivor Mark Lanegan remains an enigma. Following the release of With Animals, his second full-length album with British multi-instrumentalist Duke Garwood, the singer tells Dan Biggane how music was his saviour…

With his brooding, bluesy baritone and delicious dark tales of romance, regret and redemption, Mark Lanegan has cultivated the most impressive collection of soulful bourbon-soaked songs and beautifully bruised ballads. His instantly recognisable velvety vocals have drawn the attention of a wide range of artists across the musical landscape and it would appear that this particular lone wolf is more than content to surround himself with a tight-knit pack of like-minded collaborators, the latest being British mood-maker Duke Garwood.

“I first met Duke at the Bush Hall in London when he was performing in Steve Gullick’s band and I was with Soulsavers”, opens Lanegan, his deep voice contemplative and focused. “I already had a copy of his record, Emerald Palace, and was a fan. That was some 10 years ago now, but we agreed that night to work together and the result was Black Pudding [2013]. That album developed over a number of years, with Duke sending me music to write words for. Eventually he came over to California and we went into the studio.

“For With Animals, Duke was watching my house and taking care of my animals while I was away for a couple of weeks. He borrowed an eight-track cassette recorder and when I returned he had all this beautiful music. I found it really inspiring and wrote the words in two or three days. We hadn’t even talked about making another record and it is probably the most spontaneous album I’ve ever been a part of.”

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