Dead Meadow is an American stoner rock band, formed in Washington, D.C. in 1998 and currently composed of vocalist and guitarist Jason Simon, bassist Steve Kille, and drummer Mark Laughlin.
The band members met in the DC punk/indie scene, though their music draws from more faraway sources. The band formed in the fall of 1998 from the ashes of local bands The Impossible Five and Colour, when singer-guitarist Jason Simon, bassist Steve Kille, and drummer Mark Laughlin set out to fuse their love of early 70s hard rock and 60s psychedelia with their love of writers J.R.R. Tolkien and H.P. Lovecraft.
Dead Meadow released their six-song debut in 2000 on Fugazi bassist Joe Lally's Tolotta Records, and a joint vinyl release on Washington D.C. indie label Planaria Records. In 2001 the band released its second album, Howls From The Hills, on Tolotta. Whereas the first self-titled album was recorded in their practice space for a couple hundred dollars and plenty of learning curves, Howls From The Hills was born in a barn in Liberty, Indiana. Their sound fuller without losing its live essence, the band grew to encompass everything from ambient guitar drones to surging psych-funk sludge, blues-folk tunes to barbiturate space-rock, and some southern slow boogie thrown in for good measure.
In spring 2002, original drummer Mark Laughlin reluctantly quit the group, replaced by old friend and previous collaborator Stephen McCarty (whose grandfather's farmhouse is where the band recorded Howls From the Hills). Also in mid-2002 the band found an unlikely patron in Brian Jonestown Massacre's Anton Newcombe, who recorded, produced and printed Dead Meadow's live disc 'Got Live if You Want' it on his "Committee to Keep Music Evil" imprint of the legendary Bomp label. Soon after, they recorded a Peel Session at the Fugazi practice space - the first time the BBC recorded a Peel Session outside their own studios.
Shortly after signing with Matador in 2003, Dead Meadow self-produced 'Shivering King And Others' in the basement studio of the DC Pirate House over five months and during a busy schedule of touring. Along with the heavy rockers and bluesy numbers as on the previous two records, the band went deeper into the psychedelic realm, with chiming acoustic touches and lovely, disorienting ballads.
With the addition of 2nd guitarist Cory Shane and beautifully spacious production, their 2005 album 'Feathers' features songs like "At Her Open Door" and "Stacy's Song" influenced by the droning modal character of Eastern music as by classic rock riffs.
In early 2008, the band released Old Growth on Matador Records. A collection of songs that brought the band back initially to the same farm where their second release Howls from the Hills was created and eventually finished up at the Sunset Sound studio in Los Angeles.
In March 2010 the band released a live film and soundtrack, Three Kings, which was recorded at the final show of the band's five-month "Old Growth" tour.
In August 2010, it was announced that original drummer Mark Laughlin had re-joined the band.
Their album "The Nothing They Need" was released in 2018.