United Rock Nations conducted an interview with ALICE IN CHAINS bassist Mike Inez and drummer Sean Kinney at last month's Hellfest in Clisson, France. You can now watch the chat below.
Speaking about ALICE IN CHAINS' upcoming album, "Rainier Fog", Mike said: "It's a cool record. Records are like signposts in your career, and this is where we're at in 2018. We don't think about it too much — we don't go, 'Oh, we've gotta do a record like this,' or, 'We've gotta do a record like that.' There's a filtering process — everybody throws their riffs and stuff in the meat grinder, or coffee machine, and 10 songs drip out of that over the course of a year.
"I really like this record," he continued. "We had a different mixer, and we recorded in a different city. We went back to Seattle to do the basic tracks, where Sean lives, so Sean got to go home every night.
"We approach it the same — we just plug our guitars in the fucking amplifiers, and everything kind of turns out all right for us, so we've learned to trust that, and it's cool. I love this record; it's one of my favorites, actually."
Kinney also talked about ALICE IN CHAINS' longevity, saying: "I feel like we already won, that we're still moving forward. We made another record that we dug, we're still making music we like, we still live our lives in a pretty straightforward, true way that we haven't been affected and chased trends. We just kind of forged our own little way of going through life and going through all the same things that everybody has to go through — all the loss and ups and downs and the high points and low points. The only difference is sometimes you have to do it in the public a little bit. And that you're still doing it, you're doing it with your friends and doing it for the same reason when we started the band when I was 20 to now, it's a pretty cool thing."
He added: "I never really could even wrap [my] head around that all which has happened would happen and how it has. And that's the cool thing with life — you get knocked down and you keep going. Try to do what you like. If you can make a living supporting yourself and not being a financial or emotional burden on anybody else, and you just like making coffee cups, but you're good at it and you can make a living to support yourself, then that's as good as life gets. And so we're fortunate to be able to do what we like for a living… We don't live by anybody else's rules, so we can forge our own, which I think is kind of the victory to it all."
"Rainier Fog" will be released on August 24. The disc marks a few firsts for ALICE IN CHAINS: in addition to being their first album in five years, it's their first album for BMG and their first time recording in their hometown of Seattle in more than 20 years (worth noting that the album title is a tribute to Seattle). They recorded at Studio X, the same facility where they tracked 1995's self-titled "Alice In Chains" album (back when the studio was known as Bad Animals). The "Rainier Fog" recording process also saw the band spend time at Henson Recording Studios in Los Angeles and at the Nashville studio of producer Nick Raskulinecz. "Rainier Fog" is the third straight ALICE IN CHAINS album recorded with Raskulinecz and engineer Paul Figueroa. The album was mixed by Joe Barresi (QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE, TOOL).
2013's "The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here" was ALICE IN CHAINS' second disc with vocalist/guitarist William DuVall, who joined in 2006 following the death of Layne Staley.
"The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here" sold 62,000 copies in its first week of release. It followed up 2009's "Black Gives Way To Blue".
The first two singles from "The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here", "Hollow" and "Stone", both hit No. 1 on the rock radio airplay charts, while the album itself debuted on the Billboard album chart at No. 2.
Photo credit: Pamela Littky