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Jerry Cantrell on the Making of Brighten, Recording with Friends, and Touring in 2022

The Alice in Chains singer-guitarist is back with his first solo album in nearly 20 years

Jerry Cantrell
Jerry Cantrell (photo by Jonathan Weiner)
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    Jerry Cantrell is set to release his third solo album, Brighten, on Friday (October 29th). It comes after a nearly 20-year gap since 2002’s Degradation Trip, and finds the Alice in Chains singer-guitarist taking a turn toward the light — as the new LP’s title indicates.

    Cantrell’s latest effort is warm and lovingly crafted piece of countrified alternative rock. Made with a host of close compatriots and friends before and during the pandemic, there’s a tangible positivity to the album. As Cantrell himself told Heavy Consequence in our extensive interview, Brighten is “a journey up through darkness to light.”

    Rising to prominence in a band known for dark songs, Cantrell’s previous solo outings have also been steeped in melancholy. You’ll hear a few of those timeless, brooding Alice in Chains chords on the new album, but there’s an autumnal bliss to the recordings here that make them simply feel good to hear.

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    Cantrell is set to support Brighten with a North American tour in 2022, with tickets available here. Ahead of the LP’s release, he spoke with Heavy Consequence about the making of the album, nerded out with us about guitars, and pondered the nature of touring during the pandemic.

    On how Cantrell’s guest-heavy 2019 solo concerts led to his third solo album

    It’s about a three year process when we take on the endeavor of making a record and going out and touring it. So we’ve gotten into the habit of taking a little time off to decompress before we jump into the next thing. So I figured I had some time, and I was thinking it’s been a long time since I did a record. And before I even started thinking about that, I was like, well, maybe I could do a show and play some of those tunes that I haven’t played in a long time off of Boggy Depot and Degradation Trip.

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