In a recent interview with Jason MacNeil of ShawConnect, ALICE IN CHAINS guitarist Jerry Cantrell spoke about the pressure of following up 2009's "Black Gives Way To Blue", which was the group's first all-new collection of material in 14 years.
"I think we probably felt better, more at ease in some ways," the guitarist said. "You have the opportunity every time you make one to completely fucking destroy your reputation and fucking lay a turd. But it couldn't have gone any better. We had a successful tour, people dug it, it performed well in a dwindling economy and also a dwindling music business. So we kind of reestablished the band, brought in a new member, did a lot of stuff and it worked out. Now we don't have to worry about that so now where do we go?"
Cantrell also talked about the songwriting process for "The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here", which is ALICE IN CHAINS' second album with William DuVall on vocals.
"[The songs] get torn apart, they get performed, maybe it doesn't come across because the guitar doesn't sound right or the drums don't sound right," he said. "And you got to get in there and fight through all of that shit. What you come up with in the end is what you have in your hand right now and that's because everybody went through the process and we worked as a team. That means it made it through all the filters where it could have got cut off.
"There's a period spent however long collecting ideas, right?" Cantrell said. "Then at some point you start to tinker around with ideas and you get motivated to create new stuff. Whenever that happens I just try to keep myself open to the fact and not to push it until it does. So once that process begins you're in it until the end no matter what it takes to get that done and make the best record that you can."
Nick Raskulinecz, who helmed "Black Gives Way To Blue", assumed production duties once again for "Dinosaurs", a move which Cantrell says was vital in ensuring the band's satisfaction with the final product.
"Obviously he did a good job and we felt really comfortable having him in the mix," Cantrell said. "You know he's great, he's a fan of music, he cares, he gets it. He's willing to put his ego aside to make the best record for the band. I think that's a really strong and positive attribute to a producer who's not bigger than the project. He's someone you can trust too and we had to trust to be able to take our hands off the wheel occasionally and let him drive it."