Alice In Chains lead guitarist Jerry Cantrell spoke to Revolver’s new Winter 2021 issue and reflected on his music career and the emergence of grunge as an alternative rock genre during the 1980s.
Besides being the lead guitarist, Jerry Cantrell is also one of the two co-founders of Alice In Chains alongside drummer Sean Kinney. Around the mid-1980s, Seattle was like the capital city of grunge music, which was inspired by hardcore punk and heavy metal. Alice In Chains was also formed during this time,, and it has become one of the most influential bands in grunge music, together with Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, and Stone Temple Pilots.
Grunge’s popularity gradually increased and became mainstream in the early ’90s. Soundgarden was also one of the Seattle-based bands, led by their powerful lead vocalist Chris Cornell, who passed away on May 18, 2017, after committing suicide. Although this may surprise you, there weren’t any great feuds between the grunge bands, and they rarely had minor arguments.
During the interview, Cantrell also stated that the Alice In Chains gang and the Soundgarden gang got along without any big problems. He noted that they, as the pioneers of grunge music, didn’t appear suddenly, but they were a part of a bigger movement in the late ’80s with other well-known bands such as Metallica, Depeche Mode, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Jane’s Addiction. Jerry Cantrell said that he is very proud of being a part of such an influential movement.
Here are Cantrell’s thoughts on grunge music:
“It was some sort of movement, but it wasn’t really planned. It just fucking happened, and you knew it was real. You knew you were a part of it. We all had our little gangs: the Soundgarden gang, the Mother Love Bone gang, the Alice gang. And we all got along. There’s a little extra bit of pride that it happened in your hometown. I grew up 30 miles south of where that happened. It’s where I was born.”
Feuds are quite common in the music industry but it is pleasing to know that the Soundgarden and the Alice In Chains gangs got along well and supported each other.