Sunday, May 26, 2013

Alice In Chains won’t play unreleased songs live anymore

As Alice In Chains prepare to release their new album, “The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here,” on Tuesday, guitarist Jerry Cantrell is explaining the band's reluctance to perform new songs live before they are officially released to the public.

"In the old days — if you start out with 'in the old days,' you're totally old — you were able to play a lot more stuff live," Cantrell tells Spin. "But with the advent of the Internet and sharing and shit going everywhere, you can't do that anymore. We really haven't been playing anything off the new record that's not out yet. We've been playing 'Hollow' and 'Stone', and now that it's going to be released, we're thinking about whipping out 'Phantom Limb' and maybe a few more. We used to play new stuff all of the time. When we were touring 'Facelift', we probably played half of 'Dirt' on the end of that tour. It's a cool thing to be able to do, but you hardly have any control over your own music. We'd rather wait until you get the best quality version of what we created before you start getting shitty iPhone versions from crappy gigs."

"You always have to protect your stuff, but it's something you now have to be way more careful about,” Cantrell continued. “Early on, with the demos for 'Facelift', before it even came out, we were hanging out with the Pantera guys, and Phil Anselmo talked me into giving him a copy back in '89. He started passing copies around to bands and shit, and then [then-Columbia president] Don Ienner got in my ass for that. It didn't go that far, though, just to a few bands. If that happens today, it goes everywhere. If somebody turned you on to something back when I was coming up, it was that much more special: 'Nobody's heard this yet. Check this out.' I'm from a different era, and I just haven't gotten used to it. I don't necessarily think it's a healthier situation for music or for people who enjoy music."

Asked if the band should be flattered that fans want to experience and share new music before it’s available, Cantrell says it can be frustrating for the artist.

“It's flattering that people dig it, but it doesn't make that situation any better,” he explained. “What bums me out is that some of the creative control in the way that you would like to do things has been taken away. You don't have a say when your record gets leaked. You don't have a say in what day everyone can get it. You don't have a say when somebody gets a demo or records something, what they're going to do with it. Having a choice taken away from you in the name of convenience or even greater good still doesn't feel that great. The thing that I dig the most about the making of this music is that we've lived the lives that we've lived, gone through what we have, and continue to be a vital band that's pointing forward and not looking back. That's what I like."

Alice In Chains wrapped up the first leg of a US tour on Sunday in San Antonio, TX; they’ll now head to Europe for a pair of festival dates in mid-June before launching a Canadian tour on July 1.

Alice In Chains Alice In Chains

See also:

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Alice In Chains to perform on Jimmy Kimmel Live!
AUDIO: Alice In Chains release Stone as new single
Alice In Chains reveal tracklisting for new album
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Alice In Chains: Mike Starr memorial show set for Seattle
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Alice In Chains – The making of the Hollow video
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Alice In Chains announce U.S. tour
Alice In Chains release video for Hollow
Alice In Chains debut new single – Hollow
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