Avril Cadden of the Sunday Mail recently conducted an interview with ALICE IN CHAINS guitarist Jerry Cantrell. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Q: A lot of your fans probably didn't think they would see the band again after the death of your front man Layne Staley in 2002. What sort of reactions have you had this year?
Cantrell: We've had a really good year. We have always had fans from all over the world but we've always had a lot of supporters in the U.K. and Europe. With this particular run, and all we've been through, the crowds have been very supportive. I think they appreciate the effort of what it takes to go to the places we do, to be able to still enjoy playing music and to be able to make the music we make.
Q: Performing on stage, do you still feel the presence of singer Layne?
Cantrell: He is always a part of the band; that is an undeniable fact. We were not trying to change that by inviting William (Duvall) to become part of the team. We had no intention to replace Layne. There's no replacing him. The way William and I work together is similar but it is a different relationship. He brings a different element to the band, and Mike [Inez, bass], myself and Sean [Kinney, drums] have stepped up from where we were before. I was always involved but to take on the challenge that we did, it took everybody's effort.
Q: What keeps the band moving forward?
Cantrell: We've worked hard over the last few years to come to the place where it felt right to make a record and continue moving ahead. Things have worked out well for us this year and that feels good. The band have been together for five years now and we have been working towards this for a long time. We just do what we've always done, which is what feels right for us, and try to make the best music we can.
Q: There's a film being made about Kurt Cobain and NIRVANA. How about an ALICE IN CHAINS film?
Cantrell: I am not really a big fan of books and films about rock bands, especially about friends of mine, because, generally speaking, they are not made by the people involved. They never turn out to be that good. It is usually about second-hand stuff and people claiming to be friends. I did some interviews for a book on the Seattle scene a few years ago and it turned out really bad. I don't have any interest in any of that stuff. Someone was trying to make a movie about Layne, too, and none of his family or us were involved, so you can tell how good it's going to be. I have seen films about Kurt that weren't made with anyone's permission. It always tends to dwell on the bad stuff and that is not always the whole story. We have lived all that stuff and I know what it is like. To me, it is kind of special that way, sometimes breaking it down can work out but I think it makes it a little less special. I know how it went, I was there.
Read the entire interview at this location.
Professionally filmed video footage of ALICE IN CHAINS's performance at the Optimus Alive! 10 festival — which took place July 8-9, 2010 at Passeio Marítimo de Algés in Oeiras, Portugal — can be viewed at this location (the footage originally aired on the Portuguese cable television channel SIC Radical). One of the clips is available below.