Defying BDS Activists, Screaming Trees Founder Fully Intends to Perform in Israel

'I don’t sing for or endorse governments, fucked up as they are. The darkest places need it most,' he said

Mark Lanegan performing at the Barby in Tel Aviv March, 2015.
David Bachar

Alternative rock musician Mark Lanegan is scheduled to show at the Barby in Tel Aviv on July 28, and he fully intends to follow through on that plan. BDS activists urged him through Twitter on Tuesday to cancel, accusing him of collaborating with the Israeli occupation. Lanegan, who founded the alternative rock group Screaming Trees in 1985, did not succumb to their pressure.

“I sing where people want to hear me,” he tweeted. “I don’t sing for or endorse governments, fucked up as they are. The darkest places need it most.”

Lanegan went on to tweet, “I have sought out shows in the occupied territories, I have sought out shows in Lebanon , I have, In fact sought out many shows to no avail.

"As I’ve said many times, the truth is that many countries aren’t interested in having the old itinerant singer play. So I go where wanted.”

The Barby show will be his seventh in Israel.

By virtue of founding the Screaming Trees, Lanegan is considered one of the fathers of grunge music. The group disbanded in 2000, after which he embarked on a solo career. He also performed as a vocalist with Queens of the Stone Age, and has collaborated with Twilight Singers and Gutter Twins, among others, and has toured with Nick Cage.