Jerry Cantrell is the guest on Lars Ulrich’s “It’s Electric!” Apple Music Beats 1 show this weekend, and, in a preview of the interview, the guitarist talks to the Metallica drummer about the decision to revive Alice in Chains following the death of Layne Staley.
At one point in the show, Ulrich asks Cantrell, “Did you feel you were ready to get Alice back together because [singer] William [DuVall] was the right guy? Or did you feel it was time to get Alice back together and then you found William as the right guy?”
Cantrell answers, “I think it was kind of more the second. Because we, didn’t know what we were doing and we actually asked a bunch of our friends to gig with us and they did, like Phil Anselmo and Ann Wilson and William. We, we did gigs with, like our buddies and stuff, like singing a few songs and stuff like that. Before [drummer] Sean [Kinney] called, it was an idea that I remember talking to him about a few times and he was like, ‘No, like, I’ll think about it.'”
The guitarist goes on to recall how it started to come together with a show to benefit victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. “Before William came into the picture, we had to think about this,” Cantrell continues. “This is our life. You know we created this and just because our friend is not here, it doesn’t mean that this stuff isn’t still alive and that still speaks to people and it’s still our work and we have nothing to be embarrassed about it. We have full ownership. This is us. This is what we do. And it it took a while. You know, we just had a few conversations like that we’re like, yeah, yeah, whatever.
He adds, “And then, out of the blue, this horrible tragedy happens, you know, that kind of you saw this compassion and people kicking in to help people, the tsunami and all of these relief concerts and donations and stuff. And then Sean calls and he’s like, ‘Why don’t we do a thing and we’ll raise some money and we’ll do it for that. We’ll just do like a one time show and like we’ll get together and we play the songs will invite some friends.'”
Cantrell concludes, “So it was no grand plan. It was just something that kind of like we did a thing and then we thought, well, let’s take another step. And then we did another thing and then, all right, we’ll take another one. And it was just that sort of incremental things strictly going by feel, which is how this band has always operated.”
The full interview with Cantrell on Ulrich’s “It’s Electric” show airs this Sunday at 6 p.m. ET / 3 p.m. PT on Apple Music’s Beats 1 radio, while the portion in which he discusses Alice in Chains reunion can be seen in the video clip below:
As for Alice in Chains in 2019, the band recently announced a North American spring tour comprised mostly of dates in Canada. See the itinerary here, and pick up their latest album, Rainier Fog, at Reverb LP.