Mark Pickerel

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Mark Pickerel
Origin Ellensburg, Washington, U.S.
Genres Grunge, alternative rock
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter
Instruments Vocals, guitar, drums
Years active 1985–present
Labels SST, K, Homestead, Sub Pop, Epic, Thick, Up, Bloodshot
Associated acts Screaming Trees, Truly, The Dark Fantastic, Nirvana

Mark Pickerel is an American musician best known as the original drummer for the Screaming Trees, a rock group from Ellensburg, Washington, that formed in 1985. Other members of the band included the versatile singer Mark Lanegan and the Conner brothers. Pickerel played on the band's extended play and first five albums and left the group in 1992 and was replaced by Barrett Martin.


Pickerel continued to record tracks in the late 1980s with Nirvana members Krist Novoselic, Kurt Cobain and Lanegan. The group with the working title "The Jury" aka "Lithium" recorded a cover of Lead Belly's "Where Did You Sleep Last Night" which ended up on Lanegan's first solo album, The Winding Sheet (1990). Two other tracks from the session, "Grey Goose" and "Ain't It a Shame" are on the Nirvana box set "With the Lights Out."

In 1989, Pickerel met Robert Roth and the two decided to record some songs together. Mark recruited Hiro Yamamoto, former Soundgarden bassist to join the group they called Truly. The group recorded their first EP in 1990. Records released by Truly include Heart and Lungs (1991), Leslie's Coughing Up Blood (1993), Fast Stories... from Kid Coma (1995), Feeling You Up (1997), and Twilight Curtains (2000), which features rare and unreleased tracks.

Pickerel also played drums, guitar, and sang lead vocals in The Dark Fantastic, a project that he formed after Truly's hiatus. The group, which also featured Jesse Roberts on guitar and Mike Elkins on bass, released two albums on the independent Up Records label: 1999's The Dark Fantastic and 2001's Goodbye Crooked Scar before disbanding.

Between September 2004 and November 2005, Pickerel collaborated on a new project, Mark Pickerel and His Praying Hands. The lineup's debut release Snake in the Radio, which has a rock-country feel was released on Bloodshot Records May, 2006.

He has worked with various groups and musicians including Brandi Carlile, The Dusty 45s, Jana McCall, and Neko Case.

Pickerel owned and operated a vintage memorabilia and record shop, Damaged Goods, in Seattle. The store is now closed.


Screaming Trees
The Dark Fantastic
  • The Dark Fantastic (1999)
  • Goodbye Crooked Scar (2001)
Mark Lanegan
Carrie Akre


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