In a brand new interview with SPIN.com, ALICE IN CHAINS guitarist Jerry Cantrell spoke about the band’s reluctance to perform new songs live before they are officially released to the public.
“In the old days — if you start out with ‘in the old days,’ you’re totally an old fuck — you were able to play a lot more stuff live,” he said. “But with the advent of the Internet and sharing and shit going everywhere, you can’t do that anymore. We really haven’t been playing anything off the new record [“The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here”] that’s not out yet. We’ve been playing ‘Hollow’ and ‘Stone’, and now that it’s going to be released, we’re thinking about whipping out ‘Phantom Limb’ and maybe a few more. We used to play new stuff all of the time. When we were touring ‘Facelift’, we probably played half of ‘Dirt’ on the end of that tour. It’s a cool thing to be able to do, but you hardly have any control over your own music. We’d rather wait until you get the best quality version of what we created before you start getting shitty iPhone versions from crappy gigs.”
He continued: “You always have to protect your stuff, but it’s something you now have to be way more careful about. Early on, with the demos for ‘Facelift’, before it even came out, we were hanging out with the PANTERA guys, and Phil Anselmo talked me into giving him a copy back in ’89. He started passing copies around to bands and shit, and then [then-Columbia president] Don Ienner got in my ass for that. It didn’t go that far, though, just to a few bands. If that happens today, it goes everywhere. If somebody turned you on to something back when I was coming up, it was that much more special: “Nobody’s heard this yet. Check this out.” I’m from a different era, and I just haven’t gotten used to it. I don’t necessarily think it’s a healthier situation for music or for people who enjoy music.”
He added: “What bums me out is that some of the creative control in the way that you would like to do things has been taken away. You don’t have a say when your record gets leaked. You don’t have a say in what day everyone can get it. You don’t have a say when somebody gets a demo or records something, what they’re going to do with it. Having a choice taken away from you in the name of convenience or even greater good still doesn’t feel that great. The thing that I dig the most about the making of this music is that we’ve lived the lives that we’ve lived, gone through what we have, and continue to be a vital band that’s pointing forward and not looking back. That’s what I like.”
“The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here” is due out May 28 and features the singles “Stone” and the chart-topping “Hollow”. The group’s fifth studio effort is its second with William DuVall on vocals and follows up 2009’s “Black Gives Way To Blue”, ALICE IN CHAINS‘ first all-new collection of material in 14 years and first since the 2002 death of original singer Layne Staley.
ALICE IN CHAINS began working on new material in 2011, but the sessions for the album were delayed when Cantrell had to undergo shoulder surgery.
ALICE IN CHAINS kicked off a tour to promote the new disc on April 25 in Miami Beach. The band will also headline the Rockstar Energy Uproar Festival later this summer.