Tag Archives: mike inez

Alice In Chains: The Gospel According To Jerry Cantrell

An article from Metal Hammer

Alice In Chains: The Gospel According To Jerry Cantrell

The Alice In Chains guitarist and sometime singer on staying alive, Seattle, Elton John as an inspiration and wanting to be Ace Freshley

This article originally appeared in Metal Hammer #250.

IT WAS ELTON JOHN THAT GOT ME INTO MUSIC. I wish I could remember which song it was. He was the first artist I started listening to and he’s one of the greatest of all time. Great song writing, a lot of feeling, amazing lyrics… even before I understood what it was about.

RED CARPETS ARE ALWAYS WEIRD, IT’S ALWAYS UNCOMFORTABLE. It’s cool that your peers or your fans or the industry recognise you. As far as numbers and winning awards, that’s nice, but it ain’t why I do this. We’ve had a lot of success and I guess those achievements speak better than a hunk of plastic or metal that sits on your mantel.

IF YOU’VE FOLLOWED US OVER THE YEARS YOU’LL GET OUR SENSE OF HUMOUR. You’ve probably seen us making asses out of ourselves on Headbanger’s Ball, and I think any band can relate to that. We’re not the cornerstone on having a good time or being smart asses! I guess everybody took the music very seriously, even though we didn’t take ourselves as seriously as we took the music! That certainly came across with all of the bands of our era and it wasn’t just in Seattle, it was all over the world.

I DON’T EVEN REMEMBER THE FIRST GUITAR I BOUGHT. It was maybe a Korean-made Strat from a swap meet. I bought my first real guitar on payments when I was working in a music store in Texas – I was about 18. I still have it. It’s the one most people recognise me playing – a 1984 G&L Rampage.

WE STARTED DOING ACOUSTIC STUFF EARLY IN OUR CAREER WITH SAP AND JAR OF FLIES. That was a side of music we explored early on, and people accepted that. If you take away the amplification and the distortion, there’s some really strong, simple songs. Any band should ask if you take everything away, does it still work? And that tells you whether it’s a good song or not. Take away all the tricks and special effects, is it still a good song with just a voice and a guitar?

I USED TO JAM WITH GUYS WHO WERE FAR BETTER THAN ME. Probably because I was always interested in learning and getting better, so I’d try to learn from them, and it seemed to work out pretty good! They were a couple of years older than me, maybe had a band and had done gigs, and I’d hang out with them until I was on their level or surpassed them, just absorbing as much as I could. Then when I felt it was time to move on, I’d do that, until I met the guys in Alice.

GRUNGE WAS NEVER A POPULAR WORD FOR ANY OF US FROM SEATTLE. Before that word, it was referred to as the ‘Seattle Sound’, and I liked that because, although we were all unique, there was definitely a kind of ethos, a bunch of kids making noise and playing bars and parties. All the Seattle bands shared that, because it was such a small town and we all went to each other’s gigs and hung out with each other.

WHEN I WAS A KID I WANTED TO BE ANGUS YOUNG OR ACE FREHLEY. Kiss get a lot of flak, it’s very fashionable to slag them off, but I think they were a very important band in rock history. They certainly were for me, when I was younger. They had good, basic rock songs, and nobody had that larger than life persona. For a young kid that was an important period. Those old records have some amazing songs.

EVERYBODY’S GOT A LITTLE BIT OF A DRIVE TO BEAT MORTALITY. Whether it’s having kids to live on after you or whatever. I don’t know if our music’ll be around forever, but it’ll probably be around for longer than me! A lot of achievements are based on that primal urge I guess. I’m glad people still dig it, and I’m aware of how rare that is, especially to get second chances. It’s funny to think the thing that you did to avoid having a job became your life’s work… the thing you created with your friends all those years ago took on a life of its own. You continue to give it life by recording and touring, but it’s kind of its own thing. A good example of that is when our band was very inactive when Layne passed. We weren’t around, but the music was still out there.

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Mike Inez About Drugs, Ozzy Osbourne and Grunge Explosion

About drugs

Drug addiction is beyond music business. Whether you’re a washer-dryer repairman or a mechanic… alcoholism and drug addiction seems to go through all walks of life. It’s a pretty crazy business we’re in already. It’s such a shame when your friends pass away so young. I mean, we’re supposed to all grow old together. It’s just sad.

About current AiC plans

We just did, I think, about a 28-, 29-country tour, and we just ended in Canada now, so we’re off until the springtime. So we’re taking a break now. I get to come and hang out with my beautiful wife and just stay home in L.A., visit my grandmother. It’s nice to be home. It’s kind of weird, though. You’re living in hotels and touring all over the world, and you come home, and then it’s funny. I don’t have a lobby call the next day. It takes a while to get used to this again. But it’s nice to be home, that’s for sure.

About Ozzy

If Ozzy needed anything, not just musically, but if he ever needed me for anything, I would be the the first one there. Ozzy is like one of my fathers; he gave me my start in this business. Before I joined the Ozzy band, I played at this club here with my old band, and there was 12 people there on a Wednesday night. So I had to leave; that was my last show with that band. That Sunday after that last gig, I was living in a castle in Ireland with Ozzy; we were rehearsing to play Wembley. So Ozzy took me out of that into this amazing lifestyle and taught me so much. I always say I went to the school of Ozzy Osbourme, I went to the Ozzy university. He taught me a lot about this business and about how to play big stages and how to get a good bass tone. I mean, Ozzy is so smart. He’s smarter than people think; he’s a very wise man… We have such a good relationship. It goes beyond just the business and making music. We’re like family. I would do anything for Ozzy. He knows that too. I’m so in debt to him; I just love the man… He made me laugh, I think, more than any one person. Between him and Zakk Wylde, all I did was laugh the whole tour.

About grunge explosion

I don’t really look at it that way. The difference between the L.A. scene —I was born and raised here, you know — and the Seattle scene is, those bands up in Seattle…. Like, SOUNDGARDEN was a band for ten years before they got signed to a major label. So they had a lot of time to get together and gel as a band. Even all the bands like NIRVANA and ALICE IN CHAINS in their early days and PEARL JAM, MOTHER LOVE BONE, they had a lot of time to jam together before they released their music to the world. So I think that was very important. Where here in Los Angeles, they were just trying to mix and match bands by… ‘Oh, we need a bass player with long, blonde hair,’ or ‘We need a singer with curly hair.’ They were just trying to do that. So the music started lacking, I think, because of it. But I’ll tell you one thing about the L.A. scene: there was more girls in the ’80s here than I’ve ever seen anywhere in my life. [laughs] It was a really fun time to see that. I was very young at the time, but it was nice to see that. Just in high school, to see bands like VAN HALEN play a backyard party, or MÖTLEY CRÜE play the Whisky or… It was really cool to see these bands. Me and Slash are the two only rock stars, we’re the only two guys born and raised here. It’s funny. Everybody else comes here, but we’ve been here the whole time. We’ve seen it come and go.

source: Blabbermouth

mike inez alice-in-chains-with-mike-inez

Mike Inez About Layne Staley

againvideopic1

REVOLVER What are your fondest memories of Layne?
MIKE INEZ Layne was just such a real human being, and such a good human too. He never had an ulterior motives. He’d never do any racist jokes, I never heard him talk shit about anybody. He was always very supportive of other bands, like on Lollapalooza, we had Tool, Rage Against the Machine, Fishbone, Dinosaur Jr., Primus, and Arrested Development. And by the end of that six-week tour in the states, we were all jamming with each other. Dudes would come down with us, and we’d go jam with them. But there was this crazy industrial Belgian band called Front 242 that was on that. And they didn’t speak good English, and they were kind of like doing their own thing. Turns out, they were great guys. It was just hard to relate to them because they were so foreign and everything was just a traveling circus. For some reason, Layne just loved that band. He would go up and jam with them; it was really cool. Out of the all the rocks stars—you know, Rage Against the Machine and Tool and all the rock star bands—he wanted to jam with the opener and play some crazy industrial music.

From http://www.revolvermag.com/news/layne-staley-remembered-outtakes-from-revolver%E2%80%99s-mike-inez-interview.html

againvideopic2

“Layne was such an icon – such an American original with such a distinctive voice,” Inez says. “The courage of William coming in like this is amazing. Layne was one of my favorite vocalists I’ve ever played with over the years. It was tough for William to try to step in at the beginning. I told him early on that the only way to win people over was one gig at a time, face-to-face. He puts his chin out to the audience and gives it his all every night. He’s well prepared and works hard. We all just blast it out every night now, and it’s great.”

From http://www.alternativenation.net/alice-in-chains-mike-inez-remembers-layne-staley-as-an-icon/

Update from July 13th

Alice In Chains bassist Mike Inez discussed missing Layne Staley in a new Facebook posts. Inez noted that it has been 20 years since Alice In Chains performed at Tiger Stadium in Detroit, which was a part of Alice In Chains’ final series of shows in 1996 with Layne Staley.

“Damn 20 (FUCK 20??) years ago, our band played this KISS reunion show at the old Tiger Stadium in Detroit..and almost to the day, 20 years later, we went back and played the Football Stadium opening for Guns & Roses reunion in the same city..

Mixed emotions… I miss Layne but am proud to still be standing next to my brothers making a bunch of noise and laughing on the tour bus.
‪#‎blessed‬”

source

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