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Mad Season

Quite a few side projects containing members of renowned Seattle-based rock bands appeared through the '90s. Most failed toexpand past asmall cult following comprised mainly of fans of their main bands (Brad, the Rockfords, Three Fish, Tuatara,etc.), but there were a fewexceptions to rule, especially Temple of the Dog and Mad Season. The latter outfit includedmembers of Alice in Chains (vocalist LayneStaley), Pearl Jam (guitarist Mike McCready), and the Screaming Trees (drummerBarrett Martin), as well as the only non-Seattle basedmusician, bassist John Baker Saunders (who previously played ...read more

Quite a few side projects containing members of renowned Seattle-based rock bands appeared through the '90s. Most failed toexpand past asmall cult following comprised mainly of fans of their main bands (Brad, the Rockfords, Three Fish, Tuatara,etc.), but there were a fewexceptions to rule, especially Temple of the Dog and Mad Season. The latter outfit includedmembers of Alice in Chains (vocalist LayneStaley), Pearl Jam (guitarist Mike McCready), and the Screaming Trees (drummerBarrett Martin), as well as the only non-Seattle basedmusician, bassist John Baker Saunders (who previously played withsuch blues artists as Hubert Sumlin and the Lamont Cranston Band, amongothers).

The band's roots go back to the summer of 1994, when McCready checked himself into a Minneapolis, MN, rehab center tobattle adrinking/substance problem. It was there that McCready met local musician Saunders, and when he returned back toSeattle, called up Staley,who was also at the time attempting to battle problems with substances. With Martin rounding outthe lineup, an undeniable chemistrybetween all four musicians was discovered at their very first jam session, resulting in bitsof music that would eventually become fullyrealized songs ("Wake Up" and "River of Deceit"). Going by the name of the GacyBunch (which paid homage to both brutal serial killer JohnWayne Gacy and the corny TV show The Brady Bunch), the quartetmade its live debut on Sunday, October 16, 1994, at Seattle's CrocodileCafe. Amazingly, the group had few songs written atthe time of the show (Martin later admitted that the group really had "only jams andbeginnings of songs" prepared at thetime), but the performance convinced the participants that a subsequent studio recording would be incards.

Changing their name to Mad Season (an English expression for the time of year when hallucinogenic "psilocybin" mushroomsare in fullbloom), the quartet set up shop at Seattle's Bad Animals recording studio, co-producing the subsequent sessionsthemselves along with PearlJam's sound engineer, Brett Eliason. Mad Season gave fans a taste of their upcoming album byperforming a pair of songs on Pearl Jam's Self. Pollution Radio program on January 8, 1995, before the resulting ten-trackalbum, Above, was officially issued in March. A mix of melancholyballads and hard rock, the album (which also featured a fewvocal contributions from Screaming Trees singer Mark Lanegan) proved to be agold-certified hit, just missing the U.S. Top 20while its leadoff single, "River of Deceit," became a major rock radio hit.

Despite a smattering of supporting live dates and talk of further writing/recording, Mad Season would ultimately prove to be aone-off project.Later in 1995, a live home video of a Seattle performance Live at the Moore, was issued, as was a cover ofJohn Lennon's "I Don't Wanna Be aSoldier" for the Working Class Hero: A Tribute to John Lennon album. Reportedly, songswere penned for another Mad Season album, whichultimately went unrecorded. Mad Season then supposedly thought aboutreplacing Staley with Lanegan (and changing their name toDisinformation), but no songs were recorded -- resulting in themusicians going their separate ways for good. Sadly, this proved to be the finalword on Mad Season as both Saunders andStaley would eventually die from drug overdoses. « hide

Similar Bands: Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, Screaming Trees, The Walkabouts, Temple of the Dog

LPs
Above
1995

4.1
424 Votes
Live Albums
Live at The Moore
1995

4.4
23 Votes
Compilations
Above (Deluxe Edition)
01/01/2013

4.9
10 Votes

Contributors: Ziguvan, jakeboehmer, rockandmetaljunkie, Draven65, Maniac!, Nagrarok, Mikesn, doqtor, Bassplayer101, danielcardoso,

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