“No, I’m not a poetry fan. I tried a couple of times when I was young and I just found it really difficult to do. I actually got in trouble when I was really young, in grade school, maybe eight years old, the teacher was sick and the substitute teacher asked us to write a get well card or a poem, and so I wrote a poem. Next thing I knew, I was in the principal’s office and my dad was there and they were wondering if there was something wrong with me. I’d written a kind of black little poem that was really inappropriate. [laughs] ‘Roses are red, violets are black, you’d look a lot better with a knife in your back’. I think I thought the teacher would think it was funny, but they were going to send me to a psychiatrist or something.”
Interviewer:What are your memories of writing and recording “Long Gone Day” for Mad Season’s “Above” with Layne Staley?
Mark Lanegan:Well, it took us about 20 minutes to write it, and it took us another 20 minutes to record it, which we did all by ourselves in the studio. I ran the tape machine when he was singing, and he ran it when I was singing. I wrote a line, handed him the paper, he wrote a line, handed it back to me. It was probably the easiest song I’ve ever written, and also one of my fondest memories, because of course Layne was my best friend, so I have a great fond memory of that, but also sadness when I think of him, because I miss him.