Jerry Cantrell, the founder and co-lead vocalist of Alice in Chains, unveiled the meaning of the band’s song ‘Rooster‘ while sharing the memories from the time when his mother passed away.
During an interview he gave lately, Cantrell has recalled the hard times back then with the loss of his mother. He talked about the song ‘Rooster’ which was written for his dad Jerry Cantrell Sr, based on his nickname that gave the name of the song.
Cantrell revealed that his parents got divorced in his youth and after that, he didn’t see his father a lot and didn’t spend much time with him. However, with the death of his mother, Cantrell said that he was only left with his father who was an army sergeant and tried to sympathize with him more than ever.
Here is what Jerry Cantrell said about the song ‘Rooster’ and his father:
“I remember writing ‘Rooster,’ I was staying over at [Chris] Cornell‘s place, had a little guest room at the place out in West Seattle – a tiny little room, it just had room for like a little bed, it was kind of like a converted closet, I think.
And I remember I stayed up all night – I may even have taken acid or whatever, I’m not sure – I remember staying up all night and writing that song, and I knew I was on to something really cool.
I wanted something kind of washy and watery sounding, kind of Hendrixey almost.”
“I was thinking about my dad; my folks got divorced when I was pretty young, so my dad wasn’t a big part of my teen years, but he was a badass and a hardass; he was an army sergeant, but I didn’t see a whole lot of him.
So when my mother had passed, he was my only parent left, and as I became a man, I started realizing I can’t be mad at him for, like, kid shit. Every kid’s mad at their dad for something.
I started to think about putting myself in his shoes and what he’d been through in his life, multiple tours in ‘Nam – just where he came from, things he had to deal with, and I started asking myself, ‘Would I have done any better? Could I have done any better?’…”
Cantrell explained how he got close to his father and said:
“And I couldn’t say yes, so that was kind of the first thing in me, kind of putting myself in his shoes, trying to take the blame off of him, and trying to make peace, and have a relationship with my dad again.
That was kind of a cool song for a lot of reasons. Personally, it was – I just described it, and then it actually happened, we started to become more pals and buddies and shit, and over the years we’ve grown closer and closer.”
He talked about the impact of song on the service members and their families and said:
“We built a ranch together about 20 years ago, and he’s still living on it and running it, in Oklahoma, and that song, in particular, means a lot to service members and their families.
Because I’m a family member of a service member, so it’s kind of taken on a life of its own. I’m glad that that song had the impact that it has. I didn’t have an intent for it to other than it being kind-of a pathway for my dad and I to have a better relationship, which worked.”
You can watch the full interview below.