Alice in Chains reunion "Gives Way" to album, tour

Fri Jul 3, 2009 12:09am EDT
 
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By John Benson

CLEVELAND (Billboard) - Alice in Chains singer-guitarist Jerry Cantrell and drummer Sean Kinney say the band's new album, their first in nearly 14 years, doesn't stray too far from the Seattle band's influential catalog.

"Black Gives Way to Blue," due out September 29 on Virgin/EMI,is also the group's first effort with new singer-guitarist William DuVall.

"It's nice to sound like yourself," Kinney says with a laugh. "It's not really that hard, actually. I know people are blown away that we really sound like ourselves, and I understand the apprehension, but it's not really that big a stretch to sound the way that you sound."

Adds Cantrell, "We were just hoping to make the best record we possibly could, and we did that. Sean and I talk a lot about (how) when you do a record, you've been working on it a long time and you're pretty sick of it by the time somebody else hears it. You're already thinking of the next thing. And we're still listening to this. It's still like really exciting to listen to, and that's really good."

The group has booked a brief European run in August with a monthlong Stateside tour in September. Cantrell hints that more legs are due to follow.

"We're not going to stop touring when the record comes out," Cantrell tells Billboard.com. "That would be like an old pattern we're trying not to do again."

The album's lead single hasn't been announced, but new track "A Looking in View" is streaming on aliceinchains.com. Other new songs include "Your Decision" and "Check My Brain." Kinney says the 11-track album continues in the Alice in Chains tradition of tackling different styles and sounds, from the hard rock nature of "Dirt" to the acoustic-minded "Jar of Flies."

As for the recording of a new album, the band's first since its 1995 self-titled effort and the 2002 death of original singer Layne Staley from a heroin/cocaine overdose, nothing was certain when the band members reunited in 2006.   Continued...

 
<p>Guitarist Jerry Cantrell, formerly of the rock band "Alice in Chains" is shown in this undated publicity photograph. REUTERS/Handout</p>