Former ALICE IN CHAINS guitarist Jerry Cantrell and ex-THE CULT axeman Billy Duffy have spoken to the Hollywood Reporter about their involvement in Sweet Relief, a nonprofit organization that helps needy musicians cover medical expenses.
Sweet Relief is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year with a concert series of "Badass Benefits" produced by Music for Charity. On April 12, CARDBOARD VAMPIRES, a new band featuring Cantrell, Duffy and MÖTLEY CRÜE singer John Corabi, will perform at the Troubadour in Hollywood on a bill including BETH HART and WHITESTARR.
Duffy, who hails from the United Kingdom, commented: "As a visitor from another country, when I examine your healthcare system, it seems awfully corrupt and just an opportunity for everybody to get wealthy. It's totally and utterly rotten from the inside out with the insurance claims and overcharges. Healthcare insurance is a big business, and everybody wants a slice."
"I think musicians are terribly ill-educated as to the realities of life," Duffy added. "The music business wants you to remain young-minded, so, therefore, issues like that are not put on the front burner."
According to Cantrell, supporting Sweet Relief is a way for a successful musician like himself to give back to his musical community.
"ALICE IN CHAINS and myself have always been pretty active in helping out wherever we can," he told the Hollywood Reporter. "This is a great cause."
CARDBOARD VAMPIRES (named after Cantrell's cats) will perform ALICE IN CHAINS songs and a number of Duffy-penned CULT songs as well as covers.
Cantrell said, "It's straight up old hard-rock stuff. We're having a lot of fun with it."