New ALICE IN CHAINS Frontman Says Comeback Album Celebrates Band's Legacy

Christina Fuoco-Karasinski of recently conducted an interview with vocalist and guitarist William DuVall of reunited grunge legends ALICE IN CHAINS. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below. You're playing clubs on your forthcoming tour. Why did you decide to play small clubs, when you could play larger venues?

William DuVall: I think there's several reasons for that. It's kind of a standard plan of attack when you have a new album coming out. You kind of want to work the kinks out in smaller venues, and also it gives the fans a little something exclusive and a little more intimate while you're working your kinks out. We're still figuring out how to play some of these new songs live. It provides both a little less of a pressurized environment for us and something more intimate for the fans. It's a little bit of an appetizer before the full meal deal comes rolling down. You must be pretty excited about the album coming out. What can we expect from it?

DuVall: Well, I think you can expect a really dense, really heavy, but really ethereal and cathartic, sonic experience. We took our time with this record. There was certainly no shortage of thoughts and feelings to address with everything that's gone down. It's a snapshot of our journey from early 2006 to this point right now. It's the story of our coming together. It's also the story of a band that is both celebrating its legacy but also opening the door to the future, and mourning the loss of a friend — one of the great singers of all time, Layne Staley. But it really is a testament to [the fact that], for every door that closes, there's another one that opens, if you chose to open it. They lost somebody but they also gained somebody. We came together on the road as brothers. I've known [Jerry] Cantrell [guitar, vocals] for 10 years now. There's a long, long backstory that got us to that point. None of us saw this stuff coming. This is where it naturally evolved to, from even when I met him back in 2000. In the beginning of 2006, the four of us — Mike [Inez, bass], Sean [Kinney, drums], Cantrell and myself — we all came together and bonded on the road, in a way any real band should. This is the result. This is an honest look at our lives, unflinching look at a journey of personal growth and collective growth that it took for us to get here. Like I said before, I think it provides a lesson for people who want to see that lesson: You might get knocked down and from there you have a choice — you can lay there and die or you can get up and start walking. If you get up and start walking, life has a way of rewarding you. Even if you're walking through the desert, you're blind and you don't know where the hell you're going, you'll eventually come to an oasis if you keep putting one foot in front of the other. This is all that record has to say and more. Hopefully, it resonates with people the way it resonates with us. Just the fact that we're putting it out at all, seeing the light of day is the testament to how we feel about it. This was a totally self-funded, self-directed endeavor. At any point, we could have pulled the plug. We weren't contractually obligated to anyone. There was no agenda being pushed from anyone on the outside. This was all us doing this thing for all the right reasons. Just the fact that it's coming out at all was a big thing. It sounds like there wasn't a lot of pressure in recording it because there certainly could have been. For example, it's the first ALICE IN CHAINS album in 14 years.

DuVall: Well, there is [pressure] internally. We are our own worst critics. We are gonna be harder on ourselves than anyone can possibly be on us. In that respect, certainly there was a lot of pressure. We want to do the best work we can. We only wanted to put something out that was going to add to the incredible legacy this group already has. In that respect, there was pressure — but that's good pressure. That's the kind that makes you strive, and dig deeper and work harder. And we did. We put in the hours and we did the digging. It was painful sometimes. But I think the results are well worth it — and I just mean that in terms of outside pressure. Had there been some label commissioning or demanding something from us, that would have tipped it over into something else that we wouldn't really want to be a part of. Luckily, we are able to do this thing the way we wanted. It was that much more liberating and rewarding.

Read the entire interview from


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