In 1986, Screaming Trees released their first album Clairvoyance. Singer Mark Lanegan was joined by brothers Van and Gary Lee Conner and drummer Mark Pickerell. Together this lineup released Even if And Especially When (1987), Invisible Lantern (1988), and Buzz Factory (1989). With Uncle Anesthesia (1991), the band moved from independent labels to Sony/Columbia. Barrett Martin replaced Pickerell on drums prior to the release of Sweet Oblivion in 1992. Sweet Oblivion became part of the larger "grunge" movement in the early 1990s when other Seattle-area bands like Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Alice in Chains, and Soundgarden became worldwide music stars. The band took time away from each other after the Dust tour and briefly re-formed with Josh Homme joining the band on rhythm guitar. They played their final show at the Experience Music Project. Oceans of Confusion, a compilation of their time with Sony, was released afterward.
Lanegan began a solo career while still in Screaming Trees, releasing The Winding Sheet in 1990, Whiskey For the Holy Ghost (1994), Scraps at Midnight (1998), I'll Take Care of You (1999), Field Songs (2001) and Bubblegum (2004). In addition to his solo albums, Lanegan recorded with supergroup Mad Season, Queens of the Stone Age, and also recorded two duet albums with Isobel Campbell, The Ballad Of The Broken Seas and Sunday At Devil Dirt. In 2008, he recorded Saturnalia with Greg Dulli under the moniker The Gutter Twins.