Final Footage of Mark Lanegan Emerges in Music Video for Side Project Dark Mark Vs. Skeleton Joe

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

The last footage of Screaming Trees frontman Mark Lanegan has emerged as a video for the song “Hiraeth,” released on the debut of his recent side project, Dark Mark Vs. Skeleton Joe, with Icarus Line frontman Joe Cardamone.

Filmed in October of 2021, and several months before Lanegan’s death, the video features previously unreleased images of the singer, who died on Feb. 22, 2022, at the age of 57. Shot near Lanegan’s home in Killarney, Ireland, the singer appears following his recovery from COVID-19, which left him in a temporary coma.

The first half of the video features a montage of Lanegan’s musical career and his multiple bands and side projects, including Screaming Trees, Queens of the Stone Age, Twilight Singers, and Gutter Twins—the latter two founded with The Afghan Whigs’ Greg Dulli—and more.

Dark Mark Vs. Skeleton Joe Debut

“The rest of the video is pretty self-explanatory,” said Cardamone. “They say when you go, your life flashes before your eyes.”

Centered around the impermanence of existence—an angelic vision / But still just flesh and blood—the song a final elegy for Lanegan, leaving behind a visually and musically bittersweet close.

“His lyrics and melody on this cut in particular really moved me and in a way became the centerpiece to the album,” said Cardamone. “It’s a song that is just filled with unfiltered love, nothing guarded.  No damage involved.  Truly one of the most moving pieces of music I have ever been a part of.”

Joe Cardamone (l) and Mark Lanegan (Photo: Sean Cardamone)

Dark Mark Vs. Skeleton Joe released their self-titled debut in October of 2021, a narrative around Lanegan’s transition, moving from Los Angeles to begin a new life in Ireland, documenting various vignettes of chaos, paranoia, and unavoidable reflections with Cardamone.

“This was a chance to spend time together and for Mark to show me his new hometown,” said Cardamone. “He looked so genuinely happy there—more so than maybe I ever saw in Los Angeles—surrounded by nature and peace. It’s a breathtaking corner of the world. On the last day, we all decided to visit a side of the lake that Mark had yet to explore.”

Cardamone added, “We walked and talked through the wood for several hours and broke out the camera at the very end. I had always hoped to do some kind of visual for ‘Hiraeth’, but we were almost out of time at this point, and just hanging out took priority. The footage we ended up shooting is the last footage of Mark as far as I know.”

Photo: Olivia Jaffe

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