The upcoming Alice In Chains record "The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here" might come with a bit of an odd title, but it actually conceals a rather interesting story. As you may have read before, the album refers to a religious fundamentalists' belief saying that Satan planted dinosaur bones into the Earth to confuse the believers and deter them from their faith.
After the group's mainman Jerry Cantrell initially revealed the record's background story, singer William DuVall has now given somewhat of a more in-depth analysis of the new album and what it stands for.
"It's actually a comment on intolerance," DuVall tells the Miami New Times. "A gentle or maybe not-so-gentle jab at a certain sector of society that's decided their particular brand of religious conviction should legislate all of our behavior and even our rights as citizens.
"I think, in the last few years, we have seen an aggressive push from the ultra-right wing religious conservative minority in this country, certainly since the election of President Obama. Some of the things we've seen politicians say on national television and in the press ... You can try to have a sense of humor. But at a certain point, it just gets to be like, 'Wow.'"
Although Alice in Chains were never especially known for social commentary, the vocalist thinks that the current situation within the modern society has made the group opt for such a step. And despite "The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here" being merely a single song, the decision to turn it into an album title has "put a different kind of emphasis on that message," which DuVall considers as a "good move" and "a step forward for the band."
"There was a great deal of discussion among the four of us about the potential blowback. But we have people being elected to our government who are trying to bar science from being taught to kids in school," said the vocalist. "So not only do we have to deal with the assault on women's reproductive rights and this battle over whether homosexuals even have the right to equal protection under the law, but they actually want to roll back evolution? Didn't we solve this issue about 100 years ago? It's ridiculous."
But the social commentary is not something the band is planning to turn into a regular theme. In singers own words, "Alice in Chains is not about to become some protest band. [laughs] It's not like we're not trying to pick up where Rage Against the Machine left off."
"With this album, it's more of a subtle, tongue-in-cheek, somewhat serious thing. The actual lyric in the song is 'No problem with faith, just fear.' So again, it's about intolerance. We're not going after anybody for having religious faith, whether they be Christian, Muslim, Hindu. It's all fine - until it starts infringing on our rights and trying to control the legislative branch. That is a problem."
"The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here" is ready to drop on May 28 via Virgin/EMI records. As the groups fifth record and a follow-up to 2009's "Black Gives Way to Blue," it is their second album to feature DuVall handling the vocal duties.