In a new interview with the "Everblack", ALICE IN CHAINS guitarist/vocalist Jerry Cantrell was asked if he still likes cranking it up and churning out some heavy riffs in between delivering a softer side of the rock spectrum. He responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Absolutely. It depends on the mood. We had a metal night at my poker game last week. We haven't been able to have too many of 'em over the last 18 years when we started having the fellows over for some home poker games. Usually somebody will DJ and we'll take different turns. Well, last week was all metal. It's great. It's a big piece of the pie for me."
Back in 1996, Cantrell told Guitar World magazine that ALICE IN CHAINS was "part of the metal thing. We're a lot of different things, too. I don't quite know what the mixture is, but there's definitely metal, blues, rock and roll, maybe a touch of punk... The metal part will never leave us. And I never want it to."
Asked about the fact that many metal bands at the time were obsessed with making things heavy, at the expense of creativity or originality, Jerry said: "I've always been interested in bands that make heavy shit without sounding so obvious. There's something about having strength and not flaunting it. It's not about coming out and mauling your ass, but easing in. Before you know it, you're in a death lock, which you didn't see coming because it was so smooth and seductive you didn't know it until it had your face down on the canvas. To me, being heavy has nothing to do with how many speakers you blow or how many decibels you play at."
Cantrell's new solo album, "Brighten", will be made available on October 29. The LP was co-produced by Jerry over the past year with film composer Tyler Bates and Cantrell's longtime engineer Paul Figueroa. They welcomed a dynamic cast of supporting players, including drummers Gil Sharone and Abe Laboriel, Jr. (Paul McCartney), pedal steel master Michael Rozon, Vincent Jones on piano, Wurlitzer, and organ. Other rock legends added to the fun of this LP, including Duff McKagan (GUNS N' ROSES) on select bass tracks, Greg Puciato (THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN) handling all of the background vocals and Joe Barresi (TOOL, QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE) overseeing the mixing of "Brighten". Together, they recorded eight originals and the LP closes with an approved-by-Elton John cover of his classic "Goodbye" as the finale.