Mark Lanegan – Sing Backwards and Weep – Book Review
by Killian Laher
There was great excitement for fans of Mark Lanegan with the recent release of his autobiography. First things first, the book covers the period up to the end of the nineties, when he cleaned up his act. It will be an uncomfortable read for fans of the Screaming Trees as he spends a lot of time shitting on their legacy, with withering descriptions of most of the band’s music, and a harsh depiction of guitarist Gary Lee Conner.
Drugs are the main character in Lanegan’s story. His descent into drug use is anything but glamorous as he documents it in disturbing, scummy detail. His story is extraordinary, the lengths he goes to and the depths he plumbs to feed his drug habit make for harrowing yet compulsive reading. If you’re looking for nuggets of how some of his albums/songs came together, this isn’t really the book for you. However, we do get his realisation of what musical direction really works best for him, as well as comic laughs at the expense of Al Jourgensen (Ministry), Liam Gallagher, Jerry Cantrell and many others.
As with most autobiographies, it’s not high art. But in common with the best autobiographies, there’s a skip load of dirt dished, and the author is, by and large, brutally honest, saving his most biting passages to describe himself. An essential read for anyone interested in Mark Lanegan.
Also available on Audiobook, read by Mark Lanegan.