Alice in Chains Talks Devil Put Dinosaurs Here, a "Jab at Ultra-Right Religious Conservatives"
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the Earth.
But did you know it was Satan who buried "67-million-year-old giant fossilized lizard bones" all over this spinning rock, just to trick gullible humans into believing that our planet isn't 6,000 years old and Our Father is a sham?
Yes, certain Christians (and elected public servants) actually believe that insanity. And they want to teach it to kids in American schools. You know, as an alternative to science. That's partly why, in protest of irrational beliefs and intolerant attitudes, Alice in Chains decided to record an album titled The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here.
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Only the band's second release since the 2002 death of original lead singer Layne Staley, this 12-track slab's core message is "read a fucking paper," according to longtime bandleader and guitarist Jerry Cantrell. And if you ask current singer William DuVall, he'll reassert that same point, just a little more academically with fewer F-bombs.
Crossfade: "This is what's going to survive in 100 years." In the movie This Is 40, that's what Paul Rudd's character says about Alice in Chains. Entirely accurate? Too much hype?
William DuVall: Well, that's a very kind assessment.[Laughs] And I'm sure we'll take it.
How do you think the latest Alice in Chains single, "Hollow," matches up against classic stuff like "Rooster"? Obviously, the fans are feeling it.
I think it's largely a futile exercise, trying to compare this too much with that, matching the past with the present. The ultimate barometer is just what you mentioned -- the fans are feeling it. And if we weren't feeling it, we wouldn't put it out. That's all that matters. We like it. Then the music comes out. And hopefully, it resonates with people, just like "Rooster" did.
When you joined the band, nobody -- including you, Jerry Cantrell, Sean Kinney -- seemed too certain it would become a long-term project. But now you're all two albums deep. How did everyone come to the conclusion that this version of Alice in Chains is for real?
As a rule, we don't plan too far ahead. Everyone in this band has learned that making plans is usually pointless. Life teaches us that lesson. [Laughs] There are your plans. And then there's life. And very often, those two things do not coincide harmoniously.
So there wasn't some meeting where we sat down at a table and said, "OK, now." Obviously, though, when we started touring heavily in 2006, there were a lot of indicators. We weren't going to talk too much in public about it. But after we'd done 30-some countries in a year, it was clear.
But even when we made Black Gives Way to Blue, everyone started asking, "So when's the next one?" And we said what we always say, "We'll just have to see." Because we take things on a record-by-record basis and a tour-by-tour basis. It just seems to be what works best.