Alice In Chains’ guitarist Jerry Cantrell has spoken about how the group’s decision to carry on following the death of vocalist Layne Staley, noting that they’ve never viewed new singer William DuVall as a ‘replacement’.
In April of 2002, Alice In Chains vocalist Layne Staley was found dead of an overdose at the age of 34, ultimately putting an end to the band, though the group had not released a new record in close to seven years by that point, and Staley hadn’t performed in public since 1998.
Following a few years of soul-searching, Alice In Chains reformed in 2005 with a number of guest vocalists fronting the band, before they found themselves a permanent vocalist in the way of William DuVall in 2006, releasing new albums in 2009 and 2013.
Now, as Alice In Chains guitarist Jerry Cantrell has spoken to SoundLounge (via Alternative Nation), noting that he never viewed DuVall as a replacement for Staley because of what he brings into the mix.
“The way we have always gone about things before Will got here and since he’s been here has been really organic, we’ve just kind of followed our own thing, and done things that felt right for our own reasons,” explained Jerry Cantrell. “We’ve been really lucky to have a really long career doing that. There is no replacing Layne so we weren’t asking Will to come in and try to be Layne, we wanted him to be himself.”
“Will and I had already spent time together and we’d played the stuff and as Alice In Chains has always been a two pilot aircraft to fly vocally, so that’s just the way it had to work,” he continued. “We always had a real chemistry that way, every record that we’ve done, we’ve tried to be really interchangeable, because it takes two pilots to fly the plane.”
“It takes two baby,” confirmed William DuVall.
Alice In Chains have released two albums with William DuVall on lead vocals, 2009’s Black Gives Way To Blue, and 2013’s The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here. The group have reportedly finished recording their new album, to be released soon, with their first new tune in five years, ‘The One You Know’, being released earlier this month.