Niclas Müller-Hansen of Sweden's RockSverige recently conducted an interview with ALICE IN CHAINS vocalist William DuVall and bassist Mike Inez. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
RockSverige: How do you feel the band has evolved since "Black Gives Way To Blue" (2009), which is almost ten years old now? How do you feel about the journey so far?
William: "I just think it's been a natural progression and it's been quite a ride. With time, one just settles into a reality, you settle into a situation and I think now we are seeing the fruits of that longevity, with this album [the recently released 'Rainier Fog'] in particular."
Mike: "There's no way to go about, like naturally progressing, like William said. It's been hundreds and hundreds of gigs now, and we've been all over the world in every country. You name it, we've played it. Every size venue from headlining stadiums and festivals to the smallest clubs to now, the fun park [Stockholm's Gröna Lund]. 30 years to get here. [Laughs] It's gigs and gigs and gigs and we have an old-school kind of mentality, there's no way around it, especially in this age of Pro Tools and people piecing stuff together and it's some kind of world now…"
William: "Using tracks on stage. We don't do that. Every sound you hear from us is being made by one of the four of us. That's it."
Mike: "We try to keep it as organic as possible. For guys like us, there's no other way to do that. Especially going back to when you [William] first joined us for those first tours before 'Black Gives Way To Blue', we were hitting it hard, man. We were playing five times a week and it was almost two years. I'm glad we did that before we did 'Black Gives Way To Blue', because when we got into the studio, we just took that energy into the studio."
RockSverige: How do you guys usually work when putting together an album? Do you work in teams or by yourselves?
William: "There are things that happen individually and then it's sort of brought together and then hashed out from there; usually that's how it works. There might be some teaming up if maybe there are some ideas [Jerry] Cantrell [guitar, vocals] hasn't finished up or if you get to the group and people have ideas about this or that. It starts individual and then it ends up collective."
Mike: "It's a filtered process. By the time it gets to… I think any band is like this — 80 percent of your initial riffs are just shit and 20 [percent] are good. [Laughs] From those, then 10 [percent] coalesces into, let's say, the 'Rainier Fog' record. We all say at this point, we've mixed it and it's no longer our record, to be honest, it's your record. We're handing it off to you, 'Here's the record!' and now it's not ours anymore. We hope people like it. I was talking to Jerry about this when we were doing an interview yesterday. It's kind of like almost not our business what you think about it and vice versa. It's not your business what we think about it. We're more than happy to share what we think about it, but on that level it's like a thing and we're in it together and we're enjoying it together now. To birth this thing was such an undertaking."
Read the entire interview at RockSverige.