Jerry Cantrell of Alice In Chains explains how Van Halen influenced grunge

Written by Bianca Davino on 4th June, 2018
Jerry Cantrell of Alice In Chains explains how Van Halen influenced grunge

Hair metal and grunge pretty much fell on opposite ends of the musical spectrum. Revelling in excess, product placement and debauchery, hair metal created the perfectly fertile ground for grunge’s anti-establishment message to spread. It’s hard to think that the guitar-shreddery and leather of hair metal could have any influence over the bleak grunge movement.

In a recent Sweetwater Guitar Rig Tour, Jerry Cantrell of grunge legends Alice In Chains has explained how pioneering hair metal act Van Halen inspired the grunge movement. The guitarist/vocalist noted that it was the ‘Drop D’ tunings the band used that helped shape the genre, noting that it was riffs in that tuning that also used the “flanger” tone.

“Yeah, I think ‘Unchained’ or like a Sabbath riff or something, Van Halen or Sabbath is probably where I picked up on the drop D thing. But ‘Unchained’ has got that sick riff with the flanger on that.” said Cantrell in the interview.

He also said, “I just prefer the sound. I’m a fan of, I think Sabbath kind of used a lot of D tuned stuff, drop D, being a half step down on some stuff, they were kind of all over the place. I always liked that darker kind of sound.”

Check out the interview below:

Cantrell recently noted in an interview that Alice In Chains never completely “replaced” Layne after his passing, saying that they “followed their own thing” and did things that suited them.

“The way we have always gone about things before Will got here and since he’s been here has been really organic, we’ve just kind of followed our own thing, and done things that felt right for our own reasons,” explained Jerry Cantrell. “We’ve been really lucky to have a really long career doing that. There is no replacing Layne so we weren’t asking Will to come in and try to be Layne, we wanted him to be himself.”

The 90s legends have apparently finished recording their new album and released their new single ‘The One You Know’, their first new track in five years last month. 

The article was originally published on Tone Deaf