Mark Pickerel

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Mark Pickerel
Pickerel (center) performing with Mark Pickerel and His Praying Hands in Seattle, 2008.
Pickerel (center) performing with Mark Pickerel and His Praying Hands in Seattle, 2008.
Background information
OriginEllensburg, Washington, U.S.
GenresGrunge, alternative rock
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter
InstrumentsVocals, guitar, drums
Years active1985–present
LabelsSST, K, Homestead, Sub Pop, Epic, Thick, Up, Bloodshot
Associated actsScreaming Trees, Truly, The Dark Fantastic

Mark Pickerel is an American musician best known as the original drummer for the alternative rock band Screaming Trees.[1][2] He is also an active session musician and has released several solo albums as a singer/guitarist.[3]


Originally from Ellensburg, Washington, Pickerel was a high school acquaintance of Van Conner and Gary Lee Conner, and the three formed the band Explosive Generation with Pickerel on drums and vocals. Several years after graduation, the trio formed Screaming Trees with singer Mark Lanegan in 1985 (by this time Pickerel no longer performed lead vocals).[4] The band soon moved to Seattle to join that city's burgeoning grunge scene.[5] During this period, Pickerel participated in recording sessions with several bands in the Seattle scene; some of these later appeared on Lanegan's solo album The Winding Sheet[6] and on the Nirvana rarities compilation With the Lights Out.[7]

Pickerel played on five studio albums with Screaming Trees, but quit the band in 1991 just before they began recording their breakthrough album Sweet Oblivion. He was replaced by Barrett Martin.[4] Pickerel then formed the band Truly with former Soundgarden bassist Hiro Yamamoto and singer/guitarist Robert Roth.[8] Truly released two studio albums before splitting in 1997.[9]

Pickerel next switched to guitar and vocals and formed the band The Dark Fantastic in 1997; this band released two albums before splitting in 2001.[10] During this period he was also an active session musician, appearing on records by Lanegan, Neko Case, Steve Fisk, Jim Carroll, and Pigeonhed.[3] In 2004 Pickerel formed a singer/songwriter project called Mark Pickerel and His Praying Hands.[3] The 2006 album Snake in the Radio under this name received positive reviews for its eclectic mix of indie rock and Americana elements.[11][12] The latest album by Mark Pickerel and His Praying Hands, Rebel in the Rearview, was released in 2021.[13]

Pickerel has also owned and operated various record shops, and currently runs RoadTrip Records in Ellensburg.[14]


Brandi Carlile
Screaming Trees
The Tripwires
  • Makes You Look Around (2008)
  • House to House (2009)
The Dark Fantastic
  • The Dark Fantastic (1999)
  • Goodbye Crooked Scar (2001)
Mark Lanegan
Carrie Akre


  1. ^ "Mark Pickerel: He's got the goods | What's Up! Magazine". Retrieved 2020-07-04.
  2. ^ "The Rise And Fall Of Screaming Trees, Through The Eyes Of Gary Lee Conner". Kerrang!. Retrieved 2020-07-04.
  3. ^ a b c "Mark Pickerel Biography, Songs, & Albums". AllMusic. Retrieved 2021-11-24.
  4. ^ a b "Screaming Trees Biography, Songs, & Albums". AllMusic. Retrieved 2021-11-24.
  5. ^ Wilding, Philip (2016-06-20). "Screaming Trees: Grunge's Nearly Men". loudersound. Retrieved 2021-11-24.
  6. ^ The Winding Sheet - Mark Lanegan | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic, retrieved 2021-11-24
  7. ^ "The Jury: the story of the Cobain/Lanegan collaboration that could have been | Northwest Passage". Retrieved 2021-11-24.
  8. ^ Everley, Dave (2021-09-06). "10 obscure but brilliant grunge bands who should've been huge". loudersound. Retrieved 2021-11-24.
  9. ^ "Truly Biography, Songs, & Albums". AllMusic. Retrieved 2021-11-24.
  10. ^ "The Dark Fantastic Biography, Songs, & Albums". AllMusic. Retrieved 2021-11-24.
  11. ^ Keresman, Mark. "Mark Pickerel & His Praying Hands". Riverfront Times.
  12. ^ "Mark Pickerel and His Praying Hands: Snake in the Radio". PopMatters. May 11, 2006.
  13. ^ "Rebel in the Rearview, by Mark Pickerel and His Praying Hands". Mark Pickerel and His Praying Hands. Retrieved 2021-11-24.
  14. ^ Muir, Pat. "Owner of Doug's Records on a musical mission". Yakima Herald-Republic. Retrieved 2021-11-24.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)

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