Even heroin can’t completely kill grunge-era bands: Seattle supergroup Mad Season will sort-of reunite for a performance with the Seattle Symphony next year, with ex-Guns N’ Roses member Duff McKagan taking over on bass fro, the late John Baker Saunders, and Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell filling in for the late Layne Staley on lead vocals.
Mad Season—originally consisting of Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready, Screaming Trees drummer Barrett Martin, and Saunders and Staley from the Walkabouts and Alice in Chains, respectively—released only one album, 1994’s Above, before going on indefinite hiatus in 1996. Saunders died of a heroin overdose in 1999, with Staley doing the same three years later.
Since then, Martin and McCready have reconvened in several formations over the years, including hiring Screaming Trees’ Mark Lanegan to front Mad Season—which changed its name to Disinformation—and working on an aborted second album. More recently, the two performed at a 2012 benefit with Loaded’s Jeff Rouse on vocals, and earlier this year announced a new group with McKagan plus a rotating cast of vocalists.
The January 30 show will take place as part of The Seattle Symphony’s “Sonic Evolutions” series paying tribute to Seattle’s musical heritage, and will feature the symphony performing several grunge-inspired orchestral pieces—including a McCready composition—before Mad Season 2.0 takes the stage. At that point, blue-haired audience members will be faced with the possibly stroke-inducing juxtaposition of a symphony orchestra, Seattle’s Vocalpoint! boys choir, and Cornell’s growling vocals on renditions of “River Of Deceit,” “I Don’t Know Anything,” and “Long Gone Day.”