Update – March 11th: Jerry Cantrell has entered the studio to record his new solo album, sharing a photo on Instagram of his wide array of guitars with the caption, “It’s time to make the Raawwwkkk!!!” See the image at the bottom of this post.
“There’s gonna be some cool things happening this year,” Cantrell said in a video interview with Gibson Guitars. “I’ve already done a couple of shows in L.A. in December with a great group of friends. My friend helped me put together a really cool group of people, and we did a couple of solo shows.”
The “unplugged”-style shows featured Cantrell alongside some notable musicians, including The Dillinger Escape Plan’s Greg Puciato on vocals. The setlists were heavy on Cantrell’s solo material and his compositions for Alice in Chains.
Now, following those shows, Cantrell is finally ready to the record the follow-up to his 2002 dark opus Degradation Trip.
“I’ve been in this band, in Alice in Chains since 1987, so 33 years,” Cantrell continued. “And that’s always been my first love and my commitment, but I did have the opportunity to make a couple of solo records, and since we started the band back up, I really didn’t have the opportunity to revisit that.”
Cantrell added, “[Alice in Chains] just finished touring in September off of Rainier Fog, and we generally take about a year off when we’re done touring anyway — just give it a rest for a second and then get it reinvigorated and focus on what’s new. So we’re gonna take a year off, so I thought I’d maybe do some shows and I’m working on some music as well. And there’s gonna be some exciting things. I don’t wanna say just yet what’s happening, but I can tell you that there’s gonna be some cool shit happening this year.”
In a separate interview with People TV on the red carpet of the recent MusiCares event honoring Aerosmith, Cantrell said, “I’m working on a new record myself,” and reiterated his intent to focus on his own material.
“When I’m with Alice, I’m with Alice, and that takes the majority of my time,” he said. “This year, we’re taking a little time off, so… If you liked any of the solo work that I did or the work with Alice, I’m sure you might like some of this stuff, too.”
See both video interviews with Jerry Cantrell below.