One thing Alice In Chains has rarely inserted into their music, live shows or videos is a sense of humor.
Guitarist Jerry Cantrell says that's why fans have for so many years been perplexed by Layne Staley's words at the beginning of the band's track "God Am," from the band's 1995 self-titled album.
At the beginning of the track, you can hear Staley take a deep bong rip and mutter while holding his breath, "Sure, God is all-powerful, but does he have lips?" Cantrell says that little bit of studio magic was one of the band's few attempts at showing its sense of humor on record.
"I think it was Layne just being a goof," Cantrell told Noisey in a new interview. "It does catch people off guard sometimes how big of a sense of humor we all have, not only about everything else, but especially ourselves."
Cantrell elaborated that the self-titled album overall has "a sadness" to it, which is saying something given the signature melancholic sound for which the band became known.
"It’s a beautiful record, but it’s sad, too," he said. "It’s a little more exploratory, a little bit more meandering. It’s not as crafted as the rest of our records were."
Indeed, given all the tragedy in AIC's past, one wouldn't be surprised at a lack of laughs in the band. But Cantrell indicates that's one of the secrets to the stability of the group since reforming in 2005 with singer William DuVall.
Alice In Chains recently released a new song, "The One You Know," from its forthcoming, still-unnamed new album.
Cantrell surprised fans when talking about the inspiration for the song.
"I was thinking almost, kind of, of Bowie while writing it a little bit," Cantrell said. "It's got kind of a metal, like, 'Fame' shuffle to it. It's a good aggro riff and it's got the classic Alice In Chains chorus with a weird, kind of, trippy middle part."
Photo: Getty Images