Not everything that happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, and for Jerry Cantrell of Alice in Chains, that’s a good thing these days. Earlier this year Cantrell had what he calls “a thunderbolt moment” in a Vegas recording studio, and one that he now looks on as perhaps the high-water mark of his long career. It was the kind of moment Cantrell can’t stop talking about, and in the course of several interviews, over progressive days, the guitarist goes back again and again to an image of…well, a piano.
In 2013 Alice in Chains will release their as-yet-untitled fifth studio album. Although the band has been around for some 25 years, this marks only their second album without longtime vocalist Layne Staley, lending a still-new feel to the follow-up to Black Gives Way to Blue.
While Seattle has certainly enjoyed its 15 minutes of fame as “the capital of grunge,” the city has also paid a heavy price for its rock and roll notoriety. A recent newspaper headline proclaimed it “Drug Town, U.S.A,” while a noted music critic estimated that “one in four Seattle musicians is involved with heroin.” Rolling Stone even went so far as to wryly note that heroin was “back on the charts,” and that Seattle, along with New York and Hollywood, was a hot spot for the drug.