Alice in Chains guitar mastermind Jerry Cantrell recently discussed his reasons for choosing not to perform most of the new songs live, naming the lack of control the band has over their own music as one of the top reasons.
However, since the group's upcoming record "The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here" will officially drop as early as tomorrow (May 28), Cantrell admitted that the band is considering to add another new track to the concert setlist.
"Well, in the old days - if you start out with 'in the old days,' you're totally an old f--k - you were able to play a lot more stuff live," Cantrell tells Spin magazine. "But with the advent of the Internet and sharing and shit going everywhere, you can't do that anymore. We really haven't been playing anything off the new record that's not out yet. We've been playing 'Hollow' and 'Stone,' and now that it's going to be released, we're thinking about whipping out 'Phantom Limb' and maybe a few more."
Apart from reminiscing the old days, guitarist also pointed out sound quality as one of the reasons behind such an approach, saying, "We used to play new stuff all of the time. When we were touring 'Facelift,' we probably played half of 'Dirt' on the end of that tour. It's a cool thing to be able to do, but you hardly have any control over your own music. We'd rather wait until you get the best quality version of what we created before you start getting shitty iPhone versions from crappy gigs."
In Cantrells own words, "you always have to protect your stuff," seeing that if the new material leeks, it spreads around the world in a matter of days, if not hours.
"Early on, with the demos for 'Facelift,' before it even came out, we were hanging out with the Pantera guys, and Phil Anselmo talked me into giving him a copy back in '89," said the guitarist. "He started passing copies around to bands and sh-t, and then [then-Columbia president] Don Ienner got in my ass for that. It didn't go that far, though, just to a few bands.
"If that happens today, it goes everywhere. If somebody turned you on to something back when I was coming up, it was that much more special: 'Nobody's heard this yet. Check this out.' I'm from a different era, and I just haven't gotten used to it. I don't necessarily think it's a healthier situation for music or for people who enjoy music."
In a separate interview with Clash Music, Cantrell pointed out that just the fact that Alice in Chains is still one of the biggest rock bands is what means to him the most, commenting, "I can play in front of people, thousands of people, every night, and right now that is all I give a f--k about."
"Even at the beginning, people would tell me that I couldn't do something. But I'm the kind of guy who said back to them, 'F--k you, I can.'"
As previously mentioned, the upcoming Alice in Chains record, "The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here," is set for tomorrow's (May 28) release via Virgin/EMI Records. As the group's fifth studio album, it will be the second one to feature singer William DuVall.