JERRY CANTRELL DISCUSSES MARK LANEGAN & METALLICA’S JAMES HETFIELD

From Grammy.com‘s new interview with Alice In Chains frontman Jerry Cantrell.

I saw you play with Metallica at the MusiCares MAP Fund benefit in 2006. That was obviously a special performance, but I know you’ve been to a number of these shows. Are there any favorite memories for you?
Yeah, that one is obviously a classic. I’ve been a fan of Metallica and friends with those guys for a long time and that was just great — half Alice In Chains and half Metallica playing together. Obviously, on a more serious note, it’s inspiring to see James [Hetfield] take control of his issues, some of the same things I have issues with. And it’s just inspiring to see somebody make the effort and make a turn for the better.

Tell me about the other artists playing at this year’s benefit concert.
Ann and Nancy [Wilson of Heart] are the top of the heap. They’ve been there for us and we’ve been there for them too. Any time we got a chance to remind people how important their role has been to music and the world and what that means to us, we’re always there for them. I look at them as my older sisters, they’ve given a lot of great advice and they fought through a lot of adversity and I’m very much looking forward to having them play.

When they told me I was gonna receive the Stevie Ray Vaughan Award, they asked me if I would make a little list of the people I would like to see play. I had just seen [Mark] Lanegan out in Silver Lake and he killed it. God, it was amazing. I hadn’t seen him in some years and it was a really magical experience, so I gave him a call and asked him. Duff [McKagan]’s been a friend for years and been very involved with our band as well in various ways. And I don’t know Billy [Idol] personally, but I do know Billy Morrison and Steve Stevens, the guitar player. I jammed with Steve a couple of times as well.

  • Dennis

    Gawd that picture is terrible.

    I think it’s time for Metallica to play the “Friends don’t let friends get friends haircuts” card back at AIC.

  • bon3zz

    god(though i know u don’t exist) please make them do a couple of songs on the new aic album with a real singer, Lanegan :)

  • cosmicatomic

    I’d love to hear some Lanegan fronted AiC songs. Lanegan is good at dark and creepy songs and that’s obviously AiC. Wonder how he’d sound with Jerry.

  • dakotablue

    Well, Jer showed some class by discussing Hetfield’s issues in a mature way (although since he has some of the same issues, that’s prolly why)

    you know, instead of making fun of Hetfield in front of a huge concert crowd, which would be payback for what that bastard Hetfield did to Layne
    that’s right, I don’t forgive or forget!

  • Kris

    I was gonna say something about that dakotablue and you beat me to it. I remember that shit Hetfield did!

  • rusty cage

    What did Hetfield do??? Fill us all in.

  • GenXLady

    Rusty Cage- google it and you can watch. He made fun of Layn’s heroin issues back in he mid 90’s. It was a crappy thing to do. Hetfield was a drunk in denial back then, so it’s been awhile and life has changed for him a lot though. I am sure he likely did other ass like things in the past too, and hopefully has made amends since. Maybe he even apologized to Layne afterwards…who knows. I doubt Hetfield would make fun of someone in the throes of addiction now. When is it time to let bygones be bygones? I get that some haven’t forgotten that incident, but what is the point of continuing to hate on it now? The work Hetfield has done with MAP Musicares on behalf of musicians with addiction issues should be at least a little redeeming.

  • Nanette

    GenXLady,

    I would like to compliment you on your posts. Anymore it seems like every AIC story turns into a “I hate Jerry and William because Layne is not here anymore” story.

    Your post are factual and classy, with out jumping on the “lets bash Jerry and William” bandwagon. (it’s getting old)

    I enjoy reading what you have to say.

  • GenXLady

    Nanette-that is the nicest thing anyone has said to me all day. Thank you! I enjoy reading your posts as well. :-) I have also enjoyed this site since I found it. There is always something interesting to find here.

  • Poe

    “take control of his issues, some of the same things I have issues with.”

    What were/is James’ “issues”? And how are they similar to Jerry’s?
    Can anyone answer that one?

  • Dennis

    @GenXLady and Hetfield haters

    Come on. Like James knew at that point Layne’s story would unfold like it did. All my friends and I do is make fun of each other/flip each other sh*t. It’s what guys do. That is all James was doing back then, so people need to let that stupid video clip go. You don’t think Layne (being the joker everyone says he was) didn’t flip James a few lines about “Alcoholicca”? If James went John Bonham one night and Layne were still around, would you demonize Layne? It was done as a jest…so people need to get over it!

  • dakotablue

    hey Dennis, not to prolong this agony, but…
    I don’t think it was a jest
    Hetfield made “shooting up” motions and belittled Layne
    who was gonna die from his addiction a few years later
    and in fact the Metallica crowd didn’t like it either
    started booing and throwing stuff

    I actually could not give a shit about Hetfield to tell the truth

  • GenXLady

    Dennis-if you read my post completely, I think you will see I am not a Hetfield hater. As a chick, I honestly do think it was a lame thing he did, even if that is what guys do. I would have thought the same of anyone doing that. I get that it is what a lot of guys do, but I am not a guy and don’t necessarily think like one. Do I hold it against him, and think it is some sort of black mark on his character? Of course not. I only went into the fact that his sobriety and support of others facing addiction (MAP), should show that he is not a callous asshole who meant any real harm towards Layne, or whoever else.

  • dakotablue

    Just one more comment–the “like James knew how Layne’s story would unfold”–why would he think Layne would make it? The ratio of heroin-addicted musicians who die vs. those who make it is very unbalanced. So much good talent has succumbed to the needle and the damage done.
    Therefore we should encourage and cherish those who are fighting back against addiction, like Weiland, Duff, Courtney Love (I guess) and others, though not too many others compared to those who are gone.
    And Hetfield = callous asshole, btw, imo!

  • Jenna

    F*** James Hetfield, He’s showed his ass more than once during his career. Anything this guy does for MAP is purely for show. He puts the N in narcissism. Sorry but addict or not some things are just unforgivable. Anytime I have ever doughted Jerry Cantrell, it’s been because he was friends with these guys. I have to say that Lars is growing on me since he’s gotten older.