1990s’ Seattle rock act Truly will come out of hiding next year, nearly a decade after its last release. Comprised of ex-Screaming Trees drummer Mark Pickerel, ex-Soundgarden bassist Hiro Yamamoto and singer/guitarist Robert Roth, the band issued several psychedelic-tinged, hard rocking releases for Sub Pop, Capitol and Thick before calling it a day after 1997’s “Feeling You Up.”
“In the last year or so, I’ve been getting fan mail because of those records, and people showing a real interest in those records again,” Pickerel tells Billboard.com. “So [Robert], I and Hiro are going to record a new record together, sometime in the next year or so.”
Pickerel describes the material as currently being “A lot of 20-minute jams that will eventually be edited down to six- or eight-minute songs. Really good riff-oriented stuff. Robert has a really unique songwriting style. I hear a lot of new stuff that is very reminiscent of the kinds of things he was writing six, eight or 12 years ago. But at the same time, there’s something groundbreaking about it as well.”
Although there’s no label deal in place, there’s a chance the group will return to an old home. “Jonathan [Poneman] from Sub Pop has expressed interest — he definitely wants to hear the stuff,” Pickerel says. “Apparently, he’s been listening to the old records again recently, and was really excited to hear that we were playing, and wants to be the first person to have a chance to issue the stuff. But who knows.”
Pickerel has been keeping busy as a session musician on such projects as Brandi Carlile’s Red Ink/Columbia debut, and recently inked a solo deal with Bloodshot for the release of an album from his band Mark Pickerel and His Praying Hands. “It’s been a great experience to finally present to the world the different side of me,” he says.
And while he hasn’t played on stage with Screaming Trees since the early ’90s, Pickerel says he’d love to revisit the band. “I would be so thrilled with that,” he says. “Like, to rehearse our existing catalog and do a tour — possibly record another record together, tour, and go back to our lives after a year or something like that, would be amazing.”
Pickerel says there is abundance of unreleased Screaming Trees material, but is unsure if it will ever see the light of day. “We were recording one record a year, sometimes more,” he says. “And I would say that most of that was due to [guitarist] Lee Conner being a hermit, locking himself in his room and writing a song every day. I must have another 30 to 50 really great, classic Screaming Trees songs on cassette, that Lee recorded at home, that really should have come out.”