In a brand new interview with the Bismarck, North Dakota radio station 96.5 The Fox, ALICE IN CHAINS drummer Sean Kinney was asked if he thinks that any new bands can become as successful as ALICE IN CHAINS, despite the fact that all the streaming-music services and illegal music downloading have dramatically affected record sales.
"I'd hope so, but I think it's gonna be really hard, because everybody wants it now and they don't have to do anything to get music," he said (hear audio below). "So it's kind of devalued music. You don't go and get it, then wait for it to bring it home. And you don't listen to albums. As many people don't listen to albums in their entirety; they cherry-pick stuff.
"You know, when you don't put anything into getting something, then it doesn't have much of a value… On a bigger scale, it is what it is, but it's just sad, because music is so important to so many people and such a huge part of the world and how we connect and what brings together. And when you put a value of zero on that, I'm more afraid of what the future will be of that. Now you've devalued such an important art form and part of everybody's life.
"So I would hope that people would stick with bands, but when you put nothing into going to support a band, they can't financially continue to be supported, because they're not being supported financially; it costs money to go places and make music."
He continued: "So, yeah, it'll be interesting. My fear is, like, when big rock bands that can still go to an arena and play that show — METALLICA and stuff like that — decide to not do it anymore, who will take their place? Is there anybody that can? Right now I'm not feeling super positive that anybody can. And that could go missing for generations of people. That whole experience can be lost. It's like the experience of listening to an entire album. It's an experience. And now how you experience music is being reshaped and hopefully something will shake up."
Asked how he feels about the fact that music fans are seemingly more interested in streaming individual songs from artists than listening to entire albums, Kinney said: "You have these Spotifys and Pandoras where you get access to almost every piece of recorded music on the planet. And then that's great for the consumer. But for every person who's ever recorded music, it's a fucking ripoff. Because, I think, I hear people are starting to post their [royalty] checks [online for having their music streamed]. You get 10 million plays of your song, and you get a check for 111 dollars."
He added: "It's a weird time we live in; it's a real balancing act. And so basically, you'd hope to get an audience and you can tour. Try to break even, or maybe make a little bit to make a living on tour. But it costs a lot. Gas prices aren't lower, and instrument [prices] aren't lower. Last I checked, I think CDs and stuff like that cost the same, or less than they used to, so I don't know. I really don't know how to deal with that. It is what it is. We just go about it by doing what we want, and play music and stuff. If it comes to a time when we can't afford to get to places, and we do, we invest to go to a lot of places. We're not leaving there with a briefcase of dough. If it comes to a time where we can't do that, we just won't be able to do it."
ALICE IN CHAINS guitarist Jerry Cantrell recently told Anne Erickson of Gannett that he knew the band had something special "right off the bat."
"The cool thing about our band is knowing that you are a band, not just in a musical sense, but you're a band of people," Cantrell said. "We all lived for each other and helped each other out. Our primary purpose was always to make music and take care of each other. We banded together. So, I knew early on. Things happened quickly for us, and I'm really proud of what we've done. I'm extremely proud of all my friends who made music around the same time we did — NIRVANA, PEARL JAM, SOUNDGARDEN. We've made great music and touched a lot of people."
When asked if ALICE IN CHAINS will follow in the footsteps of "Pearl Jam Twenty" and "Foo Fighters: Back and Forth" and possibly have a documentary come out about the band's legacy, Cantrell was open to the idea. "Yeah, I could see that happening somewhere along the way," Cantrell said.
ALICE IN CHAINS is currently touring North America with MONSTER TRUCK, and Cantrell says his must-have on the road is "lately, my golf clubs, although my game doesn't show it. They've been out with me last couple of tours, and I definitely miss them when I don't have them with me."
ALICE IN CHAINS will hit the festival circuit in June and July, mostly appearing at the big shows in Europe.
Cantrell told The Pulse Of Radio not long ago that putting together a setlist these days is a quality problem for ALICE IN CHAINS. "There's always somebody that's bummed out," he said. "We've got 90 minutes to play. We could play every one of our top radio songs and there would still be songs that we can't play because we're gonna run out of tunes. [laughs] There's a lot of songs that people like to hear that are deeper cuts, and that we like to play, so you know, you end up playing a lot of your bigger tunes and that's what people want to hear."
ALICE IN CHAINS is touring in support of its fifth studio effort, "The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here", which features the rock hits "Hollow", "Stone" and "Voices".
According to The Pulse Of Radio, this Saturday (April 5) marks the 20th anniversary of the death of NIRVANA founder and frontman Kurt Cobain at the age of 27. Cobain, who killed himself with a shotgun in a room above the garage of his Seattle home, instantly joined the pantheon of rock legends who died too early, including Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Bon Scott, and more. Yet while many of those artists lived the rock star lifestyle to the fullest, Cobain was branded as something that he, by all accounts, never wanted to be — the spokesman for an entire generation. It's widely felt that Cobain's inability to reconcile his inner demons and fear of "compromise" with NIRVANA's massive success drove him to depression, drugs, and ultimately, suicide.
KORN guitarist Brian "Head" Welch recalled hearing NIRVANA's music and sensing that Kurt Cobain was already in a lot of pain. "I just remember tripping and going, 'Wow, that guy must have been like really in a dark place,' you know," he said. "It just shows you, you know, like that life isn't all about fame and being a rock star and making it and money and all that stuff, you know. It's about finding like who you are and being happy inside and finding that place, because you can have the whole world and still want to kill yourself. You know, even 20 years later, it's like a reality check, you know. We should use this, his anniversary of his death, as a reality check."
Former PANTERA and current HELLYEAH drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott said that while NIRVANA's success did a lot of damage to the metal scene at the time, he still liked the band and was shocked by Cobain's death. "NIRVANA was a huge band and I, like everybody else, I think — I don't know anybody who ever said they weren't a fan of them — thought they were great," he said. "And I was terribly shocked and kind of mortified as to what happened, you know. I never knew Kurt was that depressed and that kind of stuff, you know. Just didn't seem that way to me, you know. He was just big and larger than life."
ALICE IN CHAINS guitarist Jerry Cantrell was coming up on the Seattle music scene at the same time as NIRVANA and ran into Cobain occasionally. "I didn't really know Kurt that well, but there was a guy I always admired," he said. "We didn't spent much time together, but the few times we did spend together, you know, were times I'll always remember. You know, he was a really sweet guy, and a really genuine soul, you know, and an incredibly talented artist."
JUDAS PRIEST singer Rob Halford sums up what Kurt Cobain meant to rock music. "He was an absolute genius," he said. "In the legacy of rock and roll music, he'll be there with, like, Hendrix and Lennon and Joplin and Morrison. Incredibly evocative, inspiring, controversial, human musician. For me, there's been nothing great since NIRVANA, in the way it shook up the world. There's been nothing great since that band."
KLAQ's Lisa Sanchez conducted an interview with ALICE IN CHAINS members Sean Kinney (drums) and William DuVall (vocals) on August 31 at Revolt On The Rio Grande in Albuquerque, New Mexico. You can now listen to the chat in the YouTube clip below.
On the state of the music industry, how the Internet affects musicians, and where they think the record business is going:
Kinney: "Any music that can generate money will be the dumbest, shittiest lip-syncing crap that's made for the lowest common denominator, made for the masses, just kind of like reality TV — cheaper, shittier, dumber, dumb it down.
"The next LED ZEPPELINs and everybody they're playing right now, they'll never get a chance because if you don't support these things, there's no infrastructure to let a band turn into a band and mature and grow. It's financially impossible. I mean, we're out here doing this. We get paid for what we do, but we'll spend almost every penny we make to do this. We spend almost all our money to do this, and we're fortunate. To move six semis and twenty buses. Each bus costs 30,000 dollars a month. That's not counting gas. It costs millions of dollars to do this stuff at a certain level. And it's what we love to do. And we're fortunate that we kind of make it work."
"The record companies fucked every human that ever recorded music in the history of music. Every single person — [from] the first recordings — has been permanently fucked because the record companies didn't get their shit together and nobody regulated anything and found a way to distribute [digital music] right."
ALICE IN CHAINS' videos for the songs "Voices" and "The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here" can be seen below. Both tracks appear on the band's fifth studio album, "The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here", which sold 62,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 2 on The Billboard 200 chart. The disc follows up 2009's "Black Gives Way To Blue", which was the group's first all-new collection of material in 14 years. That CD opened with 126,000 units back in October 2009 to debut at No. 5.
ALICE IN CHAINS was last in the Top Two with its self-titled 1995 set, which debuted at No. 1 on that year's November 25 chart, according to Billboard.com. It would be their final studio release with singer Layne Staley, who died in 2002.
"The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here" is ALICE IN CHAINS' second album with William DuVall on vocals.
DuVall began touring with the group in 2006, four years after the death of Layne Stale
ALICE IN CHAINS has released "Voices", the third single from new album"The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here".
USA Today is premiering the song’s radio edit, which can be heard below.
"Voices" follows the album's first two singles, "Hollow" and "Stone", both of which rocketed to No. 1 on both the Active and Mainstream Rock Charts and whose companion videos have amassed over 3 million YouTubeviews combined.
ALICE IN CHAINS' fifth studio album, "The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here", sold 62,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release to land at position No. 2 on The Billboard 200 chart. The disc follows up 2009's"Black Gives Way To Blue", which was the group's first all-new collection of material in 14 years. That CD opened with 126,000 units back in October 2009 to debut at No. 5.
ALICE IN CHAINS was last in the Top Two with its self-titled 1995 set, which debuted at No. 1 on that year's November 25 chart, according toBillboard.com. It would be their final studio release with singer Layne Staley, who died in 2002.