ALICE IN CHAINS frontman William DuVall has praised Axl Rose for "shutting people up" with his performances as the guest singer for AC/DC, explaining that the combination "just works."
Prior to the GUNS N' ROSES vocalist's first show with AC/DC, fan reaction to him replacing Brian Johnson — even temporarily — was largely negative. The fan site AC/DC Italia announced it was shutting down in protest, while AC/DC biographer Jesse Fink called it "the worst decision AC/DC has ever made. Fans are pretty disgusted... AC/DC is all about the money now."
Speaking to Loudwire, DuVall, who replaced the late Layne Staley as lead singer of ALICE IN CHAINS, admonished the fans for seemingly making up their minds without even giving Axl a chance to prove himself with AC/DC.
"Before anybody had even heard anything, the court of public opinion was very loud and resounding in their judgments… pre-judgments," he said. "And then [Axl] actually did his first shows [with AC/DC] and people started seeing things on YouTube or whatever, on videos, and most of them had to eat their words. And I was happy to see that a lot of the people were willing to say so in public, like, 'I was wrong.' You know what I mean? And [Axl] and I were joking about it. I was, like, 'Yeah, man, it was really cool to see you shut all these people up. It was really nice.' And I know a tiny bit about that."
He continued: "But it's cool, man. I mean, look… At the end of the day, bands are just these fragile organisms, and I can understand… to some degree, I understand both sides of a position [on it]. But when you get something that just works, it works. And you look at somebody like Axl, it works; I mean, it just does, to me. I get it — it's not Brian Johnson, and neither one of them are Bon Scott, but in terms of vocal range and stuff and in terms of attitude, there are not many more people who can conjure the pissed-off quality that Axl Rose can, man. You know what I mean? He's working some stuff out in those songs that we all know in GN'R, and so it's only natural that when he's gonna get to be in his favorite band, AC/DC, he's not gonna mess around. He knows what the chatter's gonna be, and he's gonna do everything in his power to shut everybody the fuck up. So I just dug it from that perspective.
"Again, from my own personal experience, it's very much a similar thing. It's, like, well, you can say what you want, man, but I'm coming at you — period, end of story. And I'll do it every night. And there's gonna be no stopping me. Period. So it's, like, I get it. And I liked seeing him walk that gauntlet and do it so well; it was awesome."
AC/DC's European tour ended in Germany on June 15 and despite initial fan trepidation, Axl has gotten generally good reviews for his performances so far. AC/DC guitarist Angus Young said: "I mean, under the situation that we had, it was very good that he volunteered and said, 'Hey, if I can help, let me try.' So he's been very good. And he had to learn a lot of songs very quickly, and he's done a great job."
ALICE IN CHAINS opened for GUNS N' ROSES several times on the latter band's current reunion tour.