“We approach every new record the same way—by just fucking totally forgetting about the last one,” Jerry Cantrell says about the creative process within Alice in Chains. “You have to start from a zero every time.” For Alice in Chains, of course, starting from zero hasn’t always been so easy. For a long time, the band’s past—both the highs and lows—has loomed rather largely in their present.
Fretboard tapping has earned a bad name in certain sectors of the guitar community. Some players dismiss it as a technique suitable only for perpetrating the worst possible kind of overblown, unmusical histrionics, preferably played through a wall of amps that “go to 11.”