Mad Season's Barrett Martin on "Deep Friendships" Behind Classic Album 'Above'

FUSE TV - Mad Season's Barrett Martin on "Deep Friendships" Behind Classic Album 'Above'

Nirvana's Nevermind. Pearl Jam's Ten. Hole's Live Through This. Smashing Pumpkins' Siamese Dream. Soundgarden's Superunknown. The list goes on and on and on. The '90s flannel scene was rife in classic albums. But none quite as unexpected as Above, the alternative moody blues set and only release from Seattle supergroup Mad Season.

Pearl Jam's Mike McCready, a founding member of the short-lived quartet, recently told Fuse about the "tear-jerking" process of prepping the extras-packed Above reissue. He also told us the story behind the band and album, the good times and the bad. Fuse also called up Screaming Trees drummer and Mad Season founding member Barrett Martin, who filled in the blanks and revealed a few interesting tidbits, including that R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck had joined Mad Season to help write and record their ultimately-unreleased second album. Buck's contributions were never heard outside the studio, until now: One of his Mad Season songs was remastered and included on the Above reissue.

Fuse chats with Martin from his Seattle home...

Hey Barrett. What does Above mean to you 20 years later?

They say that you don’t really know what art is until a considerable amount of time has passed and you can look back on it. For some people, 20 years is a long time. For me, the time flew by because I worked on a lot of other projects during those 20 years. I’m proud of all the albums I’ve played on, but this one really stands out. I don’t listen to it often, but every now and then a song will come on my iTunes and it really makes me listen.

What about its sound is so magnetic?

What’s special about this record is that it has a deep atmosphere that few other records do. That has to do with the fact that we recorded it live as a band, in the same room together, with minimal overdubbing. So this is what Mad Season sounded like live. This is the band. 

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