Alice In Chains' Mike Inez recalls the Seattle grunge scene of the 1990s as a “magical” place.
The bassist says the city’s musical movement differed from others because bands took the time to find their sound – and they weren’t thrown together in an effort to land a big hit.
Inez tells Atlantic City Insiders: “The grunge thing is kind of weird. It wasn’t a tag the bands put on themselves. The thing about Seattle that was really magical is that, in the Pacific North West, we’re tucked up in a corner of the country. These bands were bands for a long time before they actually hit. Soundgarden, for instance, were a band for 10 years before they got a major label deal.
“So it wasn’t like this cookie-cutter LA kind of mentality where you just put bands together and marketed it, or put it out there before the bands defined their sound. These bands had time to marinate and had this slow percolation up there.
“When everything took off we were all shot out of rockets – it was crazy. That’s why we have such a good relationship with those bands still. All of us going through it at the same time; it was a mind blower for sure.
“All of a sudden we’re on the cover of these magazines and they’re selling flannels for $500 in New York. It was like, ‘Whoa, what the hell is going on in the world?‘”
Inez believes the secret to Alice In Chains’ longevity is that they’ve ensured they have strong relationships. He says: “It used to be we would make money off records – now it’s flipped around where it’s the touring that’s more central. So it’s even more important now that we can travel around the world as a family and still get along with each other. That’s key to being a rock band nowadays.”
In the rest of the interview, Inez discusses his musical influences and his work with other musical projects, including Ozzy Osbourne.