Duff McKagan: Alice in Chains Reuniting Was Like Watching ‘Rocky’
Record labels provide the media with new "bios" of bands to accompany their new releases. These promotional materials tend to be filled with hyperbole, hyping the band's narrative to help sell the new album. At Loudwire, we get lots of bios. But it's not every day that we get one that was written by Duff McKagan. The Guns N' Roses bassist did the honors for his longtime friends in Alice in Chains as they start support of their upcoming Rainier Fog album.
McKagan adequately addresses the band's history, running down some key chart numbers and crediting the group for staying true to themselves while never taking the bait to start trend-hopping. He also reflects on the heartbreak of members no longer living and likens the band's 21st-century comeback to a real-life Rocky story.
"To watch Jerry Cantrell, Sean Kinney and Mike Inez gather themselves along with the brilliant William Duvall, was to me, like watching Rocky in 1976 as a 12-year-old," says McKagan. "The underdog who put in all the hard work and experienced all the hard knocks and hidden trap doors life could throw at you, yet rose to fight back with elegance and power. Only they knew what they had at first, but with the release of 2009’s comeback record, Black Gives Way to Blue, debuting at No. 5 on the Billboard 200 and spawning two No. 1 singles and two Grammy nominations, the band remained at the very top of their game. The whole rock n’ roll world seemed to rejoice at once. This was our Rocky story."
McKagan also offers his own observations, writing, "On a personal note, I’m convinced the band doesn’t give a damn about Grammys or any sort of award-driven accolade. They make music for and about their ardent fans. Attending an AIC show is akin to going to church and coming out cleansed and feeling generally better about the chaos that is this life. Their pure artistry and songwriting takes us all to another place."
The bassist talks up the Rainier Fog album, not only hitting on the current songs "The One You Know" and "So Far Under," but mentioning the reflective tracks "All I Am" and "Fly," the searingly apropos "Red Giant" and the album's title track.
Concluding the bio, McKagan offers, "This is a band to cherish and be thankful to have as our own -- our living and breathing gauge of what is right with rock and fucking roll."
The Rainier Fog album is due Aug. 24.
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