Alice in Chains singer and guitarist William DuVall said the band had faced “benevolent” ghosts as they worked on its new album Rainier Fog, which is out now.

The follow-up to 2013’s The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here is their third to feature DuVall, matching the number of LPs they made with original singer Layne Staley before his death in 2002. The new album also marked a homecoming for the band, which recorded in Seattle for the first time since 1995.

“I think there was some residue from the past lingering, but the ghosts were benevolent, they were there to help, not hinder,” DuVall told Kerrang in a new interview. “I wrote the lyrics to the song ‘Never Fade’ right there in Studio X. I thought, ‘I’m not leaving this room until I chase this song down.’ I sang about the history, all the songs that had been written, all the arguments among bands and discussions about the future. I was thinking about my grandmother, who’d just died a few months earlier; thinking about Layne Staley, thinking about Chris Cornell, who’d just passed a month before – just letting it wash over, and at the end, I walked out into the dawn and felt I’d had a significant spiritual experience. It couldn’t have happened anywhere else.”

Bandmate Jerry Cantrell described the new work as “fucking impactful” but said he was bewildered as to why some people were focusing on the fact it had taken five years to arrive.

“I don’t know why everyone’s got hung up on it,” he said. “Two of those years were spent touring the last record, right? Then it takes about a year, year and a half, to write it, get together, record it, get a deal, get the artwork. So that’s three and a half years, plus we’ve got to have a little time off somewhere!”

“If we just got off the road and went straight into the studio, you’d hear songs about catering and missed flights,” bassist Mike Inez added.

Alice in Chains are on tour until Nov. 11.

 

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