February 10, 1998
Cantrell Un-Chained from Alice
By Adrian Bromley
With numerous Seattle bands having dissolved or become inactive (i.e. Nirvana, Soundgarden and The Screaming Trees), the only real survivors still standing from the Seattle grunge scene are Pearl Jam and Alice In Chains. But plagued by reports of band turmoil and singer Layne Staley's battle with drugs, it's easy to wonder if there will ever be another Alice In Chains record.
Recordings and live appearances by AIC have been rare since their self-titled, third full-length album in 1995, other than the MTV Unplugged performance from New York last year.
"I'm taking this whole thing with AIC one day at a time," says guitarist Jerry Cantrell, in Toronto last week to talk about his debut solo effort, "Boggy Depot", due out in April. "We as a band don't really have anything planned, and I don't think you will see anything from us for quite a while.
"There has been a lot of speculation and stuff written and even some mudslinging about the whole thing, and I think that not only pisses the band off, but the fans as well. I think you gotta be bigger than that, rather than lower yourselves to that level. We are what we are and we are the same as we have always been. We are totally cool with the state of AIC currently. We appreciate the support and I know it has been a drag that we haven't been out to play, but shit happens. We keep trying to do as much as we can and at this point in time we have decided to let it lie for a while. But who knows? It may all change."
About his relationship with Staley, he says, "There is no bitterness or problems with the band members in AIC. I can even recall several times during the recording of this record ("Boggy Depot") that I was pulling my hair out, and after I talked to Layne I felt a whole hell of a lot better."
Asked why he decided to do a solo record, Cantrell responds, "This is just the timely thing to do now. I never really had an intention to do this while we were going with AIC. Right now the time is right and it seems like the right thing to do."
"Boggy Depot", featuring the first single "Cut You In", will be in stores in Canada on April 7. Just prior to that date, Jam! Music will run a full feature interview with Cantrell.