Alice In Chains: Jerry Cantrell recalls “incredible and terrifying” rise of grunge

Alice In Chains
(Image credit: Pamela Littky)

Alice In Chains co-founder Jerry Cantrell has reflected on the rise of grunge in Seattle and called it both “incredible and terrifying.”

The guitarist features in the new issue of Metal Hammer magazine, where he takes a look back at not only a special time for him and the band, but also a key moment in the history of music.

Cantrell says: “Before anybody knew about it, it was cool already, and we all knew it. Drinking beers with Soundgarden guitarist Kim Thayil, going to a Black Flag show, seeing Mudhoney at a fucking garage somewhere, us opening for Mother Love Bone at a fucking skating rink…”

He adds: “That was incredible and terrifying at the same time, because you’re going from a local band with kickass status to being the thing of the world – you’re part of a movement.

“It’s still a fairy tale thing. I get emotional about it because of how much time has passed, how many of us are not here any more, but also how potent that music was and it still lives – that was the whole goal.”

Alice In Chains will release their sixth studio album Rainier Fog on August 24 via BMG, which was recorded at Studio X (formerly Bad Animals Studio) where the band recorded their 1995 self-titled record – the last to feature vocalist Layne Staley who died in 2002.

Cantrell says: “We were wondering if those ghosts would be there when we rolled in, but a lot of years have passed, we’re a totally different unit in a different space, and it never came up.

“Leave it at the door and go to work. It was much more of a good feeling being home, recording in our hometown and reconnecting with where we came from.”

For more, the full interview can be found in the new edition of Metal Hammer magazine, which is on sale now.

Iron Maiden are the cover stars, while other artists featured include Nightwish, Ozzy Osbourne, Parkway Drive, Bury Tomorrow and there’s also a special tribute to the late Vinnie Paul.

Iron Maiden Metal Hammer cover

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent 35 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott keeps Louder’s buyer’s guides up to date, writes about the best deals for music fans, keeps on top of the latest tech releases and reviews headphones, speakers, earplugs and more. Over the last 10 years, Scott has written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog. He's previously written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald newspapers, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to tech reviews, video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.