Alice in Chains break free with new album

The grunge goliaths have recorded the follow-up to their 1995 album, their first without singer Layne Staley who died from a drug overdose in 2002

Start tearing the knees out of your jeans – Alice In Chains have finished recording their new album, the first the grunge band have made with singer William DuVall.

"We've been working toward this for over a year now," guitarist Jerry Cantrell told the Los Angeles Times. "It's a long haul." Rather than just getting together, plugging their instruments in and making a record, Alice In Chains had much to do before they could start work. They changed labels, from Columbia to Virgin/EMI, because they wanted to be seen as a fresh, hungry new act. And they met with the mother of Layne Staley, the band's original frontman who died of a drug overdose in 2002, to seek her blessing for the project.

"It was really important that it was OK with [Staley's mother]," manager Susan Silver said. "There were a lot of baby steps. The first year especially was such a profound healing for everybody."

Even with a new face at the front of the stage, Cantrell is confident that the audience is still there for Alice In Chains' angst, feedback and Dr Martens. "The most important thing to me was that we position this as a new band moving forward," he said. "The band is not a heritage act. This band is a new act and we're going to market it as such. It's a double-headed monster."

Cantrell's double-headed grunge-rock snake is to release its album in September.


Sean Michaels

The GuardianTramp

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