ALICE IN CHAINS Guitarist: 'We've Never Done This To Please Anybody Except For Ourselves'

Sarah Rodman of The Boston Globe recently conducted an interview with ALICE IN CHAINS guitarist Jerry Cantrell. The brief question-and-answer session follows below.

The Boston Globe: Was the title track [of the new ALICE IN CHAINS album, "Black Gives Way To Blue"] difficult to record?

Cantrell: That song in particular was actually a pretty easy song to write but it was a very difficult process to let that out and it really affected us to actually put that into words. But I think it was necessary.

The Boston Globe: On that song and several others there's a sense of optimism bubbling under the sort of hazy melancholy surface the band has been known for. It feels like you're counseling listeners to embrace pain as a means of healing, not just reside in the darkness of loss. Good advice.

Cantrell: Thank you. Even though we delved into some darker subject matter, I think that element was always in there. It wasn't always about doom, gloom, and drugs. But by talking about that stuff it's kind of a freeing thing because it's stuff everybody feels. Years have passed and we've gone through a change and maybe the balance of some of the elements has shifted a little bit.

The Boston Globe: Now that it's clear that you're relaunching do you worry that some fans might object to your continuing as ALICE IN CHAINS without [late singer] Layne [Staley]?

Cantrell: We've never really done this to please everybody. As a matter of fact, we've never really done this to please anybody except for ourselves. It ended up being something that spoke to people as well and over the years we've collected a group of people that support the music and we're very grateful for that. But I think it really has got to be something that you do for yourself and then hopefully that gets taken to the next step of being for somebody else.

The Boston Globe: What do you think Layne would say?

Cantrell: He's probably thinking, "What the [expletive] took you guys so long?"

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