Alice in Chains' Jerry Cantrell Talks Religious Themes of New Album

"The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here" talks about humanity's attitude towards faith.

Ultimate Guitar

Speaking in an interview with Revolver Magazine, Alice In Chains guitarist Jerry Cantrell has talked about how the lyrics from the band's new album, "The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here", deal with humanity's attitude towards religion. Specifically, Cantrell thinks that there is a contradiction in the basic messages of faiths and how they are applied.

"What's the old joke?" Cantrell said. "There are two things you never want to get into a conversation or argument about: politics and religion. But f--k, I guess we're going to be talking about this for awhile. [laughs]"

"Read a f--king paper. What I've seen is the most basic message to most faith systems is in contradiction with how it gets applied. The human element seems to f--k it up. It seems to f--k up the basic truths of acceptance, loving your brother, helping each other out, not trying to kill each other or steal each other's s--t. Those are all pretty good ideas. And most of your major religions have those things as basic tenets of the belief system. It always amazes me that some of the most hateful and hurtful things are done in the name of some sort of belief system."

The album will be released on May 14th.

35 comments sorted by best / new / date

    We're all free to believe whatever we want. That's the beauty of it all.
    The some of the best songs are about religion and politics,especially satirical ones.
    Actually he needs to PUT DOWN that paper. All the TV news and newspapers sell is doom and gloom. They profit from misery and death. Reality is much different. Sure there are bad people doing bad things but if you turn that crap off and go outside you'll see a different view of humanity. Heck just look at this stupid guitar news site. Half of the stories are controversial and inconsequential nonsense that have no value to humanity.
    I think a guy whose been touring all over the world for the past 20 years has seen a fair bit of the world. not to say you're wrong about the media though, because you're right on in that respect
    Not entirely true, neither entirely false - It ridicoulusly nuanced - if you have to look at the world as a whole, then it's pretty depressing, and horrifying. However, what the american media does, is that they create an illusion of local danger. They make it sound like that when you step out on to the street, there are three things that are gonna get you - Murderers, muggers, and random gang shootings. Does that hold up in reality? Barely - most of it, while possibly true, is ridicoulusly overblown, and bloated up to an unrealistic proportion. IMO the real "Doom and gloom" is politics, the envoiroment, religious fundementalism, and the media it self. My opinion only, probably see it entirely differently. My point is that the real doom and gloom is not obvious problems (murder, rape, theft, etc.), but is a consistance of much more wider and complex matters, that affects, and causes great harm to many people. Oh, and btw, in case you're wondering why I wrote american media" specifically, then it is because I have lived in both the Great Britain, USA, and currently Denmark. And when I resided in the USA, I keept thinking to myself "Is this real news, or very bad satire?" - Then again, I was watching Fox news (ba-dum, tish!)... But seriously though, there is a great difference between the quality of american media and european, as far as I have experienced it...
    Do people even know the cool secret behind the artwork of this album? nex to the triceratops head there's a darker shade of the triceratops facing the opposite way. If you add another triceratops head it creates the devil's head. Here's the album with the secret revealed
    See, it's the people that misrepresent their religion that get all the attention. Like Christianity for example. Westboro Baptist Church and all the extremists/radicals get all the attention. So everyone just assumes most of us are like that when in fact that kind of thinking is frowned upon in most churches.
    Darth Wader
    So true. 99% of the Christians I know are wonderful God-fearing and God-loving people. They are the people who help out their fellow brother and sister. They are the people who step up to meet the needs of those who fall on hard times. And they are the people who did it with a humble heart without trying to get the spotlight of a Westboro Baptist Church whose sole agenda seems to be the opposite of loving people (as opposed to love the sinner but don't condone the sin). I wish people like Cantrell would see more of the Christians like that I know. Sad.
    Fuck religion, I ****in hate it, downvote me all you like it won't change my opinion, I think religion is retarded.
    The comment was unnecessary, man.
    Yeah it was worded too aggressively alright, I shouldn't write comments straight out of bed. It doesn't change my mind about hating it though. Retarded is the wrong thing to say too because I know alot of peeps believe in it.
    Just because they believe in it doesn't mean they're not retarded... Just sayin'
    He didn't say people who believe that religion were retarded. He said that religion was retarded.
    @EyesWideOpen, "Fuck religion, I ****in hate it". Ill leave it up to you to decide whats wrong with that statement.
    There's nothing wrong with that statement, it's the dude's opinion. People who take offence to stuff like that really need to drop the sense of entitlement. Maybe he is a douchebag, I don't know the guy. Just don't get your knickers in a twist because he hates religion. Religion is a total joke, and I can understand how easy it is to make a remark like that when you're dealing with people who refuse to listen to common sense and logic. Crucify me.
    Jerry Cantrell disses the application of religion - gets major likes (almost 85% like this) Dave Mustaine says he is a Creationist - gets a 66% dislike ratio and gets hammered in the comments. Nice to see how the world is respecting the freedom of religion. Why don't all of you grow up and let Dave do what he wants? He never said "put this on the front page of Ultimate Guitar" all did was state his beliefs in an interview. If you click on the Dave Mustaine article everyone is telling him to stop talking about religion. Why the **** should he? Fame just happened to be an extra for getting a large amount of album sales, he didn't ask any of you to watch him like a hawk.
    My feelings towards the song title apply the same to when somebody tells me a joke, only after filling me in on the punchline.
    Cantrell is completely right. It is the human element that screws religion over. Whenever someone is lacking in self confidence, they find a way to twist words to justify hating other people to make themselves feel better. Unfortunately, the individuals who abuse religion for personal gain are the ones who get the most attention, and everyone who identifies with a religion has to pay for it.
    so lord I see you grinning. Must be grand always winning. How proud are you being able to gather faith from fable? -Layne Staley
    I really think that this man needs to brush up on his religious studies. It often isn't just that people misinterpret religious teachings and then abuse them. The fact is that religion often has immoral and discriminatory messages as well as the nice ones that people cherry pick. Take Islam for example. The fundamentalists tend to be the ones who are actually following their religion the way it was intended.
    To add a bit of info to my comment. Often the gut reaction to a point against religion is outrage or thoughts of bigotry because in this society, the word religion seems to be synonymous with "good". What people do with religion texts though is cherry pick. The good things get highlighted and praised about and the bad and dark things, e.g. slavery and children getting mauled to death by bears in the bible, get ignored until someone brings them up and then is shouted out and told to be more tolerant.
    There certainly are some good parts in the Bible, however, I agree with you in a lot of ways. I'm really jaded to the idea that the Bible is the standard for morality, where in reality, like you said, there's some f***ed up stuff in there that people aren't aware of.
    Bad people do bad things. Good people do good things. Religion is just an unneccessary complication.
    I'm constantly reminded of how distracting religion is to western society, and how it dumbs peoples minds. Yet i don't outwardly show disrespect for people of any faith. Messages like being good to one another need to be written in a modern, rational proverb, as for the moment sadly religion is all some people have to go to in their community to find hope.
    This once great nation was a God fearing nation... Atheism dragged America to the ground.
    I call myself a Christian, but I COMPLETELY disagree with that. What you just said IS the problem. When it comes to religion (or lack thereof), too many people play the blame game. It is individuals making bad choices, not a certain belief or group that is the problem. We're more worried about shoving the blame on someone else than improving our own judgment. The Pharisees and the Romans did the same thing to Jesus in the Bible.
    "-insert any group/community/religion- dragged America to the ground..." Of all ignorant, unreasonable, and spitefull comments I've ever read, yours is by far the dumbest. I could insert any group or religion into the "Atheism" slot, and it would make equal sense - which is none.
    The reason Communist governments, for example, dislike religion is because the sheeple are more readily mislead when they have only one main source such as the state to which to look. Religion interferes with the state's control over the people.