Alice In Chains To Release New Album In September
Latimes.com is reporting:
The daily ritual is always the same: nine guys kneeling around a pile of money in Studio B at Henson Recording Studios in Hollywood, shouting, cheering and moaning as a pair of dice rolls across the carpet, delivering moments of euphoria and defeat. The members of ALICE IN CHAINS are among the group, briefly distracted from their final week of sessions for the band's first album of new material in nearly 14 years. Against the wall is an impressive row of vintage electric and acoustic guitars. Incense is burning and a U.S. flag hangs over a sound partition. But for the moment, the rock will have to wait.
Guitarist Jerry Cantrell looks up from his pile of cash and smiles. "Compared to how we used to have fun," he says, "this is pretty tame." The low-stakes game is Left, Center, Right, and many $5 bills change hands before it's over. The day's winner is producer Nick Raskulinecz, laughing now as drummer Sean Kinney grumbles something about the man's take of "two hundred bucks in the last two games."
The real challenge is still ahead, as the three surviving members of Alice in Chains - Cantrell, Kinney and bassist Mike Inez - work to complete new songs as a band for the first time since the death of singer Layne Staley from a heroin and cocaine overdose in 2002 at the age of 34. Their album, still untitled and set for release mid-September on Virgin/EMI, will be another case study of a major group continuing after the loss of a key member. AC/DC managed the transition successfully back in 1980, while others have failed to match their earlier triumphs, including INXS (whose search for a new singer was turned into a 2005 reality TV show) and classic rock acts QUEEN and THE DOORS.
"I don't think we ever intended to do anything," says Cantrell, 43, his thick, blond beard marking the months of preparation and recording that has gone into the new album. "With the passing of Layne, all possibility of that went out the window, probably in my mind and everyone else's too."
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