"Dead Meadow 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 70’s hard rock and 60’s 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 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)." - Last FM