Former Queens of the Stone Age bassist Nick Oliveri revealed what Josh Homme said at Mark Lanegan’s funeral in a new Songfacts interview.
Songfacts: What made Mark Lanegan so unique as a singer and as an artist?
Oliveri: The vibrato in his voice. The vibrato he had at the tails of words and phrases, the way he held himself…
I know in the early Screaming Trees, he would bang his head and jump around all crazy, but there was something cool and eerie, mysterious, about the way he would stand there and sing, dark. Because he was a quite funny person off stage. He’d make fun of you and make you laugh, and he’d make fun of himself.
He was a good guy, too, he was a trip. Josh was saying at his funeral, “With songwriting, Mark would do this thing where he would hum you something” – because he didn’t really play guitar, he sang – “he’d hum you a part, you’d play it on the guitar, and it would be a little bit different, and he’d say, ‘That’s what I meant!'”
Mark had some great melodies and words. He was a great songwriter.”
Alain Johannes, who worked with Lanegan on his solo albums and played in QOTSA, also said earlier this year, “21 years ago right after Mark and I met during Desert Sessions 7/8 we recorded this cover of the Kinks song in about 2 hours at 11AD. We immediately knew we could flow and connect and explore together. It’s hard to explain the joy in this level of trust and mutual inspiration. Love you brother forever thankful 🙏❤️”
Mike Johnson said, “Meeting Mark was a seismic event in my life, though I didn’t know it at the time from then on everything would be different. When he asked me to collaborate on his first solo record I said I’d be honored but asked why me? He said nobody else he knew was into this kind of music meaning Tim Hardin, Tim Buckley etc. hard to believe now in the era of everybody being into everything. And poetry, he saw I had poetry books when the Trees had stayed at my house in Eugene.
That’s how it started and for thirteen years or so with a couple of interruptions we worked together on his solo albums. We were extremely tight through most of that time but when we fell out it wasn’t lightly, plenty of bruised feelings but we always managed to put it back together. Over the last few years we were intermittently in contact and I had reached out to him when I heard of his covid ordeal just to tell him I was glad he made it through and was still around. Unbearably sad to think I’ll never see him again.
I miss you my friend.”