Every now and then, a band comes along and stops us cold in our tracks. It’s always a singular moment, defined either by a recent live performance, where we were enchanted from their vantage point on stage or after their record starts spinning. Either way, there are moments when we fall in love with artists, and it’s exactly this type of admiration that’s inspired us to start our “190 Proof” Artist of the Month feature.
This showcases musical acts that have truly done something special and are picked by several members of the PureGrainAudio staff. You can’t go wrong with anything by a band that has made it onto this esteemed list. For those musicians and artists out there that are looking to get some hard-earned recognition or those who merely deserve more of it, we are always on the lookout for anything that melts our face off or tears out our hearts.
Band: Alice In Chains
Month: August, 2018
Genres: Alternative Metal, Grunge, Sludge Metal, Hard Rock
Location: Seattle, Washington, USA
Yet to hear this song? Soon it’ll be another you’ll be confirming is “The One You Know”.
If you are serious about heavy music, then you ought to be very familiar with the Seattle-based quartet known as Alice In Chains. With over 20 million sold, Alice In Chains first made a major impact with their 1990 album Facelift, which included the still-influential hit “Man In The Box.” The hits would keep coming for the group, as would the Grammy nominations and other industry accolades, making Alice In Chains the rare rock/metal act that is both commercially successful and critically-acclaimed.
Fast-forwarding to 2018, Alice In Chains — as made up of guitarist/vocalist Jerry Cantrell, drummer Sean Kinney, bassist Mike Inez and vocalist/guitar William DuVall — is about to release its 6th studio album (its 3rd with DuVall). Rainier Fog will hit stores on August 24th via BMG and the lead single “The One You Know” first hit digital outlets in May, as followed by second single “So Far Under” and track three “Never Fade.” The 10-song collection was produced by Nick Raskulinecz, who has helmed notable releases by Foo Fighters, Mastodon, Korn, Superdrag, Rush and the Deftones, beyond producing AIC’s last two studio efforts.
The future Rock & Roll Hall of Famers continue to explore new boundaries and deliver the goods. Rainier Fog is no exception and will find its way into most fans’ libraries and hearts. Be sure to check out our review of the album, plus our brief Q&A with William DuVall below.
The album Rainier Fog drops on August 24, 2018, BMG.
Five Quick Questions with Alice In Chains:
Some bands write dozens of songs when they plan on making an album, while others write in the studio and don’t have a lot of leftovers. Where does Alice In Chains stand on this matter? Has it always been this way?
William DuVall: For the most part, we start writing every new album from scratch. There will usually be a good handful of songs or basic ideas written just prior to our entering the studio — some more completed than others. Those ideas have usually been demoed at the writer’s home studio. Then we get together as a band and flesh those ideas out further in pre-production. So, by the time we enter the studio, we’re at a good starting point to begin tracking for real. But writing can also take place in the studio as well. I wrote most of the lyrics to “Never Fade” at Studio X in Seattle.
What was the first song written for Rainier Fog?
DuVall: It’s difficult to be certain about that because, as I said, these songs usually start out as home demos by the individual writers prior to us getting together as a band. But I do know that Cantrell had “Red Giant” and I had “So Far Under” pretty early in the process.
When I saw Alice In Chains live at New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom a few months ago, I believe you performed two songs from Rainier Fog. Was it ever the plan to have Rainier Fog released before the tour started?
DuVall: We only played “The One You Know” in New York because that was the only song released at that point. Due to the proliferation of smartphones, YouTube, and file-sharing, we don’t play songs live until the recorded version is out. Generally, when we’re beginning a new album cycle, we start touring a few months before the full album’s release, dropping singles every few weeks along the way to set things up.
This is “Never Fade” from Rainier Fog
Do you have a favorite song on Rainier Fog?
DuVall: I like “Never Fade,” “So Far Under,” “Fly,” and “Deaf Ears Blind Eyes.”
Finally, Rainier Fog aside, what do the next few years look like for you musically? Any projects outside of Alice In Chains? Writing for other artists?
DuVall: I definitely have plans to release more of my own music next year. Among other things, I have a solo acoustic album completed and ready to go. People can stay informed about that and many other things via my own verified William DuVall social media pages. Lots of cool things coming up.
I’d also love to continue writing and producing for other artists. Just the other day, someone mentioned to me the album I produced a few years ago for the band MonstrO. I’m still really proud of that record and look forward to doing more things like that. Beyond that, I hope people will continue discovering the Giraffe Tongue Orchestra album I did in 2016 with Brent Hinds (Mastodon) and Ben Weinman (The Dillinger Escape Plan) and, of course, all the albums I did with Comes With The Fall. There’s a lot to dive into for anyone who’s interested.
Thus far, we’re “So Far Under” the new album’s spell.