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Alice in Chains, one of the most admired bands from the Seattle grunge scene, plans to release a new album soon. After some rumors about a new record, the guitarist and vocalist of the band, Jerry Cantrell, ended Alice in Chains’ set at their only gig last year by saying, “Time to head back to the studio and finish that record.”
Furthermore, he recently told ‘Rolling Stone’ magazine that the band started writing last year and that the break they took after the release of their latest album in 2009 was not intended to be so long.
One of the reasons for the long break was that Cantrell had to recover from shoulder surgery, which took some time. When interviewed by ‘Rolling Stone’, he added that they kept on writing and working on new material even during his rehabilitation. However, no time indication has been given so far about the release, though it is known that the band is planning to record in the early part of the year, giving hope to those who expect the album to be released in 2012.
The band does not seem to be pressured for a deadline. At the beginning of December 2011, when asked about a time frame for the record via ‘Grunge Report’, Jerry Cantrell replied, “Whenever we’re done. Schedules in music, I know people have done it and say you need an album out by this date, and you’re talking about album tour, it can burn you out quickly.
It did with our band. We’ve been fortunate to be partnered up with companies that respect the process. We’re never really forced to make music. If it doesn’t happen, then it doesn’t. We’ve been writing a lot. I also had shoulder surgery earlier this year. I’m at the tail end of rehabbing that. That put us back a little bit. But we have some stuff. We’ll do some writing. Hopefully we’ll have it out next year. We’ll put it out when we feel that it’s worth putting out.”
Another question regarding the new album is the role of William DuVall. The new singer, who is also the frontman of the rock band, Comes with the Fall, will probably cover a more prominent role than in ‘Black Gives Way to Blue’ of 2009, maybe having a wider influence on Alice in Chains’ sound.
‘Black Gives Way to Blue’ was the first album released by Alice in Chains after the passing of their late former singer, Layne Staley, who was then replaced by DuVall. The record has been addressed by band members to be celebrative of the legacy of the late band member and the band’s goodbye to him.
Staley died in 2002 from a lethal drug mix after struggling with severe drug addiction for years. He is one of those figures in music, and unfortunately particularly in grunge, who left the scene too early. He remains profoundly loved by fans and respected by the music scene.
‘Black Gives Way to Blue’ was a record which stuck to the typical Alice in Chains sonorities, fully respecting the band’s usual musical approach. It will be interesting to see if they will keep the new album on the same level or if DuVall’s presence will bring a slightly different set of sonorities to the group this time.
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