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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 to expand past a small cult following comprised mainly of fans of their main bands (Brad, the Rockfords, Three Fish, Tuatara, etc.), but there were a few exceptions to rule, especially Temple of the Dog and Mad Season. The latter outfit included members of Alice in Chains (vocalist Layne Staley), Pearl Jam (guitarist Mike McCready), and the Screaming Trees (drummer Barrett Martin), as well as the only non-Seattle based musician, bassist John Baker Saunders (who previously played with such blues artists as Hubert Sumlin and the Lamont Cranston Band, among others).

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

Changing their name to Mad Season (an English expression for the time of year when hallucinogenic "psilocybin" mushrooms are in full bloom), the quartet set up shop at Seattle's Bad Animals recording studio, co-producing the subsequent sessions themselves along with Pearl Jam's sound engineer, Brett Eliason. Mad Season gave fans a taste of their upcoming album by performing a pair of songs on Pearl Jam's Self-Pollution Radio program on January 8, 1995, before the resulting ten-track album, Above, was officially issued in March. A mix of melancholy ballads and hard rock, the album (which also featured a few vocal contributions from Screaming Trees singer Mark Lanegan) proved to be a gold-certified hit, just missing the U.S. Top 20 while 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 a one-off project. Later in 1995, a live home video of a Seattle performance Live at the Moore, was issued, as was a cover of John Lennon's "I Don't Wanna Be a Soldier" for the Working Class Hero: A Tribute to John Lennon album. Reportedly, songs were penned for another Mad Season album, which ultimately went unrecorded. Mad Season then supposedly thought about replacing Staley with Lanegan (and changing their name to Disinformation), but no songs were recorded -- resulting in the musicians going their separate ways for good. Sadly, this proved to be the final word on Mad Season as both Saunders and Staley would eventually die from drug overdoses. ~ Greg Prato
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Above

1. Wake Up

2. X-Ray Mind

3. River Of Deceit

4. I'm Above

5. Artificial Red

6. Lifeless Dead

7. I Don't Know Anything

8. Long Gone Day

9. November Hotel

10. All Alone

Comments

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I have loved this BAND THE 1ST TIME!!! & of course ALICE... JERRY'S AWESOME TOO, TALENTED!!
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YES! THEIR SOULFUL OF THE MUSIC& LAYNE'S VOICE!! EMOTION. WOOHOO
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The. best. we have here! Thank you for the talent you shared.
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jank431
Feel like i lost a family member

Couldn't have said it better myself
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The most underrated album with so much emotion you can take with you
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~~~So SAD IT ENDED SO FAST!!!! RIP GUYS...U R MISSED~~~

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I dont know anything!!! i do know this kicks a**��
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didn't even have to read the Bio to identify this voice. Love the 90's!
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awesome talent .came together and made beautiful music !
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Yep I lived Thru this TIME Too & U LEARN TO APPRECIATE HOW AWESOME OF A BAND THEY WERE
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ARTIFICIAL RED!!! GET OUT UR PIPES N KICKBACK ON THE COUCH N LET THE MUSIC TAKE UA AWAY!!!! HOO OOO SO AWESOME!!!! ;)
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Truly nothing compares to 90's bands in their heyday. Im proud to say i lived through this all and remember it like it was yesterday.
Think about it...when grunge had just started to capture mainstream. You had Nirvana, Pearl Jam, AIC, Soundgarden, Mothelovebon e , Screaming Trees, MadSeason, Temple of The Dog, amd more from the Seattle area
Then you had other major bands that were just coming up as well, like Tool, Rage, Chilli Peppers, Korn, 311 and the list goes on.
Truly nothing compares to i
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Im In the middle of the river... No sides!
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Feel like i lost a family member
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brianirishbr i a n
Lane Staley will always be missed
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Some of Layne's best vocals are on this album. Wake Up and River of Deceit are brilliant and heartbreakin g . Happy Birthday Layne.
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I Didn't Know & HOW F**KED UP IS IT THAT BOTH OF THE MAD SEASON LEAD SINGERS R DEAD FROM O.Ding!!???? ? That's SO SAD!!!! Wasted& Very TALENTED JUST GONE!!!! F**KED UP
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At Least We GET MORE OF HIS WICKEDLY AWESOME VOICE!!! JUST NEED JERRY!
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I FEEL LIKE I HAVE FOUND MORE LAYNE
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K I read THEIR BIO!!!! THAT IS ALMOST ALL OF A I C!!!! LOL
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They Do Know How TO ROCK!!! KINDA SOUND LIKE ALICE IN CHAINS!!!
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At least so the perfect say...
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What a good one..
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Mad Season rules. Get born again mother f**kers.
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My pain is self chosen...
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Im just chillin out outside jammin to the great song feelin' very nostalgic. My generation which was early 90's was...no words can describe it you just had to be there.Great times and friends.
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slovakbink
Happy Sad Angry Mad!!! Always puts me in a great place! What a f'n beautiful song! R.I.P. BROTHER!!!
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Floating down that River of Deceit in 2016'....
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Layne had a helluva voice !
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This song always calms me down
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velvetdroidg i r l
Artificial Red .... the perfect stripper pole song. Love it. I miss Layne Staley's brilliance. What a shame he's gone. Today's music just doesn't cut it.
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"The more I think, I'm afraid to blink..."
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robinlynnoak s
My Pain is Self-Chosen
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I'm always floating down a River of Deceit...my pain is always self chosen,too.
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He lives in Scarborough.
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mjmathison
Peace, love, and Layne Staley forever!
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franklindent o n
Staley was a phenomenal singer songwriter. RIP
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One of best
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Complete and utter K@0$. F**kin a dude
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Chosen one river
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Such a under rated band and the name is beyond psychedelic Shrooms miss u layne
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I can can you.
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MLB disbanded when Andrew Wood (vocalist) od'd in '90. Gossard and Ament looked for new singer and found Eddie Vedder, hence Pearl Jam was born. MLB was a great band that lost out before they hit it big due to singers death who was amazing in his own right. This song condsidered on of the best, but listen to album/CD called Apple. Great, awesome CD!!! ❤️❤️
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Never heard of them wtf And yes Layne had alot going on
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Never heard of this group before. 2 thumbs up!!
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❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤
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I was reading the comments about Layne and he died of a lethal dose of herion and cocaine. Who is the dumbass that thinks he died of herpes.lmfao Layne also suffered from depression which is no joke
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I'm just a flowing down this River of Deceit,cause my pain is self chosen.Layne never sounded better,gotta love the Man in the Box.
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Heavy riffs, amazing vocals, dynamic drums, thumping bass line! *LIFELESS DEAD(REPEAT) *
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deborah.furn i s h
We need another collaboratio n
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