Alice in Chains Worried About Future of Rock: 'Who's Gonna Fill the Void?'

"People don't care about the new bands," says drummer Sean Kinney.

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Grunge icons Alice in Chains shared a pessimistic stance about the future of rock music, stressing that without proper infrastructure and support for young artists, we're bound to get "sh-ttier and sh-ttier crops each year." Chatting with Wikimetal, drummer Sean Kinney said it's "scary" that people don't support music and artists the way they used to. "Who's gonna fill the void?" he asked about the future time when acts like Black Sabbath, Metallica and AC/DC are no longer active. "People don't give these new bands any care 'cause they don't put any energy into really getting their music or anything, they just take it." Guitarist Jerry Cantrell joined the discussion, adding that "there's not an infrastructure to support them long-term for them to develop, to go through changes and be a long-term band. There's just not enough money to do it anymore. "Music is not worth anything anymore, financially it's not. And it takes money to do it, it really does," Jerry noted, just to further elaborate. "If there's not any care or support being put into every crop, there's less and less every year, you're gonna get a sh-ttier, smaller crop every time. You got the crappier seed with a sh-t farmer - you're gonna get a smaller yield every season and that seems to be, to me, what's going on, and it's unfortunate man." After pointing out that the band dedicated their lives to music, Cantrell noted he respects anyone who gives the music business a go. "It doesn't matter if I don't like what you do or whatever - I respect anybody that can make a run at it," he explained. "It's all taste and there's nothing wrong with any sort of music, it's very hard to do and it takes dedication and if you can make a run at it, be successfull and have people listen to you or give a f--k about what you do, then I respect that because I know how hard that is." Alice in Chains released their latest studio effort, "The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here," on May 28 via Virgin Records.

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25 comments sorted by best / new / date

    i keep seeing the rockers of generations past saying things to this effect and all i can think is they are very lazy at seeking out new bands. i would argue that rock and metal is far healthier now than it has been since the early to mid 90s. What about Ghost, Baroness, The Sword, Russian Circles or the heavy hitters like Mastodon and Opeth. Obviously im only listing some of my favourite bands that are of this current wave of rock and metal and there are countless others that im sure anyone who truly likes rock and metal could also throw into the pot. Its sad that so many of the rockers of yesteryear have turned into that grumpy old man, harping on about how things just aint what they used to be.
    I don't think he's saying there's no great new bands per se... He's talking more about the fact that record companies no longer work with and nurture new talent and help them develop. They lived in the golden age. Now it's all about instant success. Sadly instant success usually means selling out and changing to a more mainstream sound.
    Absolutely right on the instant success thing. Record companies are looking for the next flavor of the month in order to make a quick profit. Bands are disposable now more than ever.
    Dr Funkenstein
    Your right man and Sean is dead wrong. The reason why there isn't as many "big" bands anymore is because there is so much great music out there. Sure, there's not as much money in it these days but it's spead more evenly within the genre. No longer will you see bands making loads of cash like Metallica and ACDC do. The game has changed. But there will always be bands putting great music out.
    theres not really any notable "rock stars" any more- i mean there arent any kurt cobains, or axl roses coming out anymore, no in your face rockers
    hate to say it but a7x, slipknot/corey taylor, amd a few others do a pretty good job at causing drama and being pretentious in true rockstar fashion.
    The 90's Grunge/Rock music is my favourite theme in the rock music timeline (I'm not saying it's the best). And the reason I think so, is that it was all about the music, the energy and the simplicity at the same time. There's none of that now. Most new 'rock bands' want to conquer a place with tattoos, piercings and hairstyles and "screw if I can feel what I'm playing, what matters is that I can shred two scales and get people's attention". But I think people who listen to those bands have a blame too, because they don't go through the barrier and see what's inside, they just stare at that barrier, which is, in these cases, completly hollow. Like hollow rock bands. Now, of course this has some political stuff attached, cause capitalism supports this ideal.
    PEOPLE care plenty about new bands. Music business big shots don't. They're all just con artists.
    Pop-rock will be the future. I don't like it, but c'mon shit sells but who's buying?
    You...know...people bash the eighties hair metal a lot...but it seems we could really use a spark like that again...
    Of course the focus on image got way out of control--just like our Coke habits--but those were some great times! I still love a bunch of that music.
    Fan as I am, hugely disagree... every 20 years or so we have a recession, and every 20 years or so a new musical wave hits. Look at Buddy Holly, Elvis etc in the 50s with Rock and Roll, The Beatles, then Zep etc from the 60s to the 70s, then punk, Grunge... people are getting sick of all this X-Factor crap, TV ratings are going down, not as many people are talking about it... we are on the cusp of guitar music coming roaring back. Even crap bands like Kings of Leon, Coldplay and all the Indie losers who can't actually play are keeping guitar music in peoples minds, and when the brilliant bands come storming in, once again rock will rule. You don't need loads of money, you need an unwavering belief that you are making music that will change lives, and to see it through. Rock is coming back!!
    Id really like to agree with you, but the thing about the music industry these days is it doesnt care about the music. No-ones gunna listen to wrecking ball in 40years because its a crappy mass produced pop song, only made to entertain musically illiterate teens for 3 weeks to be old and boring, and thrown to the side like countless other pop songs released since 2012. Playing an intrument takes talent. And heaven forbid a legitimate band be in the top 40 ratings. They totally lack autotuning and synthesization.
    its the quality of the music and the environment in which the quality of the musician can develop,getting back to what is real and true about the music.The biggest problem I see is the lack of focus in many of the new bands in the last 5 yrs or so especially,the music tends to sound mimic'd and forced along when it was written,instead of the organic natural feel of progression in the direction of the material.
    I think people on this site need to spend less time hating on bands (or "slamming" as UG likes to call it haha)and support the newer bands. I'm hard pressed to find an article on this site that isn't filled with hate towards these different bands. I know this is slightly unrelated to the article but I felt it needs to be said by somebody. I mean, does anyone else think that it's become mainstream to HATE mainstream??
    Artists these days on the billboard charts don't car for the music, they want recognition, fame, money, free drinks, get laid, etc. I am probably one of the only people out there who still cares for music and play music for music. I play for the fans, not the critics. What happened to all of that, man. Where's the love.
    Of course not. New musicians are popping up left and right like always. Maybe they don't sound the same as old bands, but you can't say there's nothing to new.