Alice in Chains: 'Teaching People That Being Gay is a Mortal Sin is a Huge Problem'

Jerry Cantrell and Sean Kinney talk about religious themes behind the new album title "The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here."

Ultimate Guitar

When grunge icons Alice in Chains first unveiled "The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here" as the title of their new album, there was a certain amount of fans, including a part of the UG community, that found the name a little odd. But as it turns out, there is actually a pretty interesting story hiding behind it.

In a recent Noisecreep exclusive, guitar mastermind Jerry Cantrell and drummer Sean Kinney explained that the new album title is referring to a religious fundamentalists' belief saying that Satan planted dinosaur bones into the Earth to confuse the believers and deter them from their faith.

"They're not wrong for believing that dinosaur stuff, but we aren't wrong for asking them to explain it either," the drummer said. "Are we supposed to believe that some little mythical dude with cloven hooves cruised around the planet hiding bones that were millions of years old to fool us for some f--king reason? It's ridiculous."

Cantrell then went on to discuss his views on religion itself, saying that he is tired of hypocrisy of the organized religion and that the time has come for the humanity to grow up a bit.

"We definitely didn't write the song to stir up a f--ing hornet's nest. No one in the band claims to be an expert on religion, but the title of the song comes from something that a lot of people actually believe in," started off the guitarist. "I think there's overwhelming evidence that things aren't working right now. We need to start growing up as a people. When you're teaching people that being gay is a mortal sin, yet a good portion of the people teaching this are f--ing kids, there's a huge problem."

"It's insane when a religion tells you it's OK to strap a bomb on yourself to blow someone else up because they believe in something different. If a religion is teaching you that it's OK to hurt somebody, exclude somebody, dominate somebody I have a problem with it. 'The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here' just speaks to the lamer parts of how those things are taught and the sh-tty things we do to each other because of our different beliefs."

It is controversial, but this story has definitely spiced things up and added a dose of extra charm to the new record. In a time when a deeper perspective is often lacking in rock music, "The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here" just might prove as the breath of fresh air we need.

As the fifth release in the group's catalogue, the new album is set for a May 14 release via Virgin/EMI Records. According to a previous statement from Cantrell, the record "has some real filth" and will be completely different from the previous Alice in Chains releases.

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    I think any one can and should believe what they want but it's when they're proven wrong and they come up with some bull shit like this that a 4 year old would probably think twice about saying, and these are grown men. Makes me wonder where world would be if religion had never existed.
    A huge less amount of wars maybe?
    The wars would have still happened, they would have used a different excuse/premise.
    That's such a cop out. You can't just say that the wars would still have happened. It's too dismissive.
    It's all about power, as long as you have a central power that people unquestioningly trust that power will use their trust to it's advantage, war for the most part has the same desirable effects (as long as you don't lose and you don't have to personally fight it's usually a net positive) regardless of whether religions there or not, the real problem people are talkink about when they're saying whats wrong with religion is the clashing of stubborn beliefs and people will come up with those as long as we continue to come up with beliefs and have any semblance of self assurance.
    I honestly think that, while the wars might have been less numerous, conflicts in general would be more common. Believe it or not, a large number of people would actually be much more malicious, much more likely to rape and murder whoever they feel like, if not for the threat of eternal damnation. It's actually pretty scary just how evil some people could be and just how silly what it is they believe keeps them from it.
    Possibly but most leaders have used religion to galvanise support. If George Bush said lets start a war with Iraq because I want it even republicans would be put off even if its just to keep face.
    I think the promise of life after death would have played a big contribution in most wars, maybe, ya know a sense of 'Gods gunna be well pleased with this when I see him later, boy I can't wait'
    When it comes to our governments wars, religion wouldn't make a damn bit of difference. Power, money, and control is all our government cares about.
    Wars are fought for resources; land, fuel, water and occasionally egoes. Religion is just the excuse, but rarely the true motive.
    Other than the Crusades and ancient wars in the Middle East...most wars are over greed and resources. Dumb Christians now days think that protecting "Israel" is biblical, and that we should attack anybody that's brown. But, if you think the "powers that be" are Christians, you're nuts. They're just playing them for fools.
    Are you saying that the struggle to control the most valued piece of land on this planet was motivated by anything other than greed?
    Relgion was quite useful to humanity for many years, much before the monotheistic relgions of course. It gave many of us a sense of hope or purpose/drive when we were still unable to fathom much of the world we know today. I do agree, its a waste of time and mind in modern society, especially now since we can understand much more of ourselves. But it had its place like any other mindset to bring us out of the mud. Only problem is, much like anything else - is humans learn how to exploit it.
    Your last sentence made me think of a scene in Family Guy where Brian and Stewie travel to a universe where religion never existed. If things would be as they were in there, or even slightly similar..
    I agree. It's ok that these ridiculous religious ideas existed thousands of years ago(before we had things like science) but it's time for the human race to move forward.
    Oh, so we didn't have science thousands of years ago? Are you saying that science and religion cannot coexist? Did you know that some of the greatest minds in history have been deeply religious as well? You need to know atleast a little bit about history before you make comments like this.
    Ugh. No I didn't realize that. "Thank You" for pointing out those super mysterious facts. BTW I didn't say religion in general I was talking about the crazy religious ideas that were mentioned in the article... The Devil hiding dinosaur bones, being gay is a mortal sin, etc.
    While science and religion can of course co-exist, they are opposites. Religion deals with faith and wishful thinking and putting aside rational thinking, logic and evidence where science only deals with demonstrable facts and evidence. Many great scientists have been deeply religious but most of that was in a time when it was almost unheard of to not believe in god.
    A lot of religious ideas are very similar to scientific thought. In brief: Consider karma, actions have consequences now consider Netwon: for every action there is an opposite and equal reaction. Thats essentially karma
    I think Science is starting to get more like religion, think about it, we've discovered most everything in our lives that we can observe directly, the scientific theory's we create from now on may correlate perfectly with the reality we observe but on the most basic level we never directly observe anything much smaller than an atom, our pictures of the "fundamental" particles where now detecting just consists of specific patterns in flashes the of radiation they degrade into pretty much the moment we make them. Then once you get into the human brain and quantum mechanics the idea of ever being able to even define what objective reality is go's straight out of the windows. We could create a model that perfectly represents are universe to last detail(thats all scientific and religious beliefs are, mental models that guide us through reality whatever the **** that is) and it could still be completely wrong because even though we can prove that it perfectly correlates with reality we can never prove at a fundamental level that it's the same. Any belief can be challenged and the only real test of a belief is what results it brings as Truthiness (Tm. Stephen Colbert) has proven to be an elusive quality. My biggest pet peeve is arbitrary dividing lines although it's readily observable that for the most part our religious beliefs are more outdated than our scientific ones when it comes down to it a belief's just a belief.
    Bach would have likely never wrote the hundreds of organ pieces, it would likely have a great effect on music considering how many of the great composers of the 1800s wrote for churches and were funded by them. I'd say that we have been given a rich art culture from religions. Much of the world's history has been preserved thanks to monks. There'd still be wars because people would still have ideas and discrimination. I believe organized religion has cons but it was still vital.
    Without religion or any kind of belief, what's the point of even living???
    The joy of friends, the happyness of a sunny day, the beauty of a newborn child, the hope in a lovers eye?
    Because most of us atheists believe this is the only life we're ever going to experience. We don't believe in some sort of heaven or reincarnation (at least most of us don't, I can't speak for all) so I might as well enjoy this life don't you think?
    I like having hope for something better than this crappy world we're living in.
    A lot of Atheists also use that excuse to live their lives in the most selfish, destructive way possible. People throw any morals right out the window because they don't think it matters in the long run. Who cares about the consequences of your actions, because hey, you only live once right?.....
    That's really quaint, and by quaint, I mean stupid. Do unto others is the simplest moral code to live by, and it predates religion. You're right though, I am selfish and ultimately looking out for myself, because treating people kindly, especially those I love, is rewarding and beneficial. There are lots of religious people that completely and totally abandon the moral code that is supposedly a driving force for them. It's so easy to turn your 'logic' around and say that religious people only have a moral code to get them into heaven.
    I agree with you with religious people doing the same thing. My experience has been with both, but the majority of people I have encountered who don't believe in anything at all act the way I described in my first post. All you have to do is just look at what's happening to our country. A bunch of Jersey Shore wannabe trash is what people are striving to be now. No morals, no ethics, no belief in anything. You don't have to be religious to believe in something.
    I'm not a teenager and I try not to associate with *****s, so I don't know what to tell you. Maybe hang out with different people and don't form strong opinions based on such little anecdotal evidence. Selfish people are selfish people, and there are plenty of religious folk who are carbon copies of what you described. I'm not even sure what point you're really trying to make anymore, it all sounds like a wash. The cast of Jersey Shore probably consider them all devout Catholics anyways, so you're all over the place with your point. You're just another person complaining about degrading morals with nothing to really back it up. "Jersey Shore" is a piss poor argument against atheism.
    Edit: I posted essentially the same thing Iommianity did before I realized he posted it. UG, this edit button is really nice, but I think deleting a comment completely would be a decent option at times. Not asking for anything. You know, just saying.
    That's not the case with most atheists I know, and I know quite a few. Morality is relevant anyway, totally subjective depending on how each person thinks. This word is one of the most overused and out of context even words in modern times, usually by puritans who almost never practice what they preach.
    But, seriously, it all comes down to personal preference. And Athiests, while I will not even think about disrespecting your belief (or lack thereof), please, please, would you guys stop trying to convert people to your absence of religion? I mean, in this country (The US, and probably others), we have literal groups of people that come together due to their shared 'religion' (or lack thereof). Is that not like church, in some ways? American Athiest Association? Atheist Alliance of America? Srsly? You are free to your right of believing in whatever you want, but please, don't shove it down our throats. (And I'm not saying any of you guys do. This comment section is mild compared to many I've seen that are geared toward religious discussion)
    Considering a pedophile would be elected president before an avowed atheist, why is there anything wrong with groups that advocate their interests? It's not even the same thing as religious advocacy, there's no real agenda here except creating a climate where atheists aren't disavowed as being godless heathens. Also, as an atheist who hates religion being shoved down his throat, I don't consider a private gathering of religious people to be infringing on me or shoving their views down my throat, so I have no idea why it's a problem to you. A religion with a specific belief system as decreed by a deity is not the same thing.
    That would be a good argument if organised religion didn't employ extravagant conversion methods over the years. Most atheists just go for arguments. Also, atheists never used religious beliefs to enforce law based on their beliefs. If you say that atheism is shoved down your throat what can a teenage girl getting attacked on her way to Planned Parenthood say?
    To p_a_morgan I think it's important for atheists to share their views as well. I've never in my life had atheism shoved down my throat. Unless you by "shoved down my throat" you mean a bunch of comments on the internet. I've never heard of anyone starting a war because of a non belief in god. I've never heard of someone blowing themselves and innocent people up because of a lack of believe in a deity. You're comment seems reasonable and I'm not trying to sound abrasive however it does irritate me that whenever a hint of atheism comes up you'll always get someone claiming that we're trying to convert people to atheism or that "the atheist nutjobs are even worse than the religious ones". We're aren't. We're just sharing facts and points of vies, the same as everyone else.
    you deserve the medal, militant atheists and bible thumpers are one in the same both some of the most annoying people around.
    @p_a_morgan "You are free to your right of believing in whatever you want, but please, don't shove it down our throats." You mean, like religious people never shoved it down our throats for hundreds upon hundreds of years? Like that?
    It IS possible to not have any beliefs in a religion. But still believe in being a good person... Not everyone is "selfish and destructive"
    The beauty of being alive. The world becomes a wonderful place once you know where to take yourself to. There's a whole world of joy you can experience... it's certainly better than the boring "nothing". Actually, I always thought the idea of totally needing a God to feel good (or hoping there's an afterlife so your existence can make any sense) way more desperate than the idea that we're all gonna die one day, but that's just my 2 cents, mate.
    I don't believe in anything, I would much rather know I'm in control of my own life than think there's some guy planning everything out for me.
    With no fear of possible repercussions in the afterlife? With no moral code (ie Thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, etc)? No believe in a reason for being here? We are evil enough to eachother WITH religion. I cringe to think how it would be if we had no spiritual compass of some sorts.
    If someone needs religion to tell them right from wrong they have a serious problem. You shouldn't hurt other people because you'd be hurting another person, not because an imaginary man in the sky tells you not to.
    The vague ethical sense is more likely to be abondonded than an ethical code hammered out through years of arguement and debate. -this looking at the value of Religion from a purely secular view. Not to mention the fact that obedience to religion is based on the belief that God knows more than us.
    I am an atheist, but looking at civilizations throughout history religion was always used as a medium for common belief and interest. It was a quick easy way to create a feeling of connection within a community and i personally believe it helped formulate societies. Although now lots of negative things are being "glorified" doesn't mean these things we hate made the world the way it is today. So yeah, I don't believe in god but i don't think the world without religion would be very imaginable. The impact it had was too large.