How Jerry Cantrell Entered Uncharted Territory With ‘Cut You In’

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Regardless of by no means formally disbanding, Alice in Chains had grow to be basically inactive by the tip of the ’90s, due largely to Layne Staley’s debilitating heroin dependancy. Nonetheless, the grunge titans’ specter loomed over guitarist Jerry Cantrell when he launched “Lower You In,” the lead single from his debut solo album, Boggy Depot, in January 1998.

After filming an MTV Unplugged particular and opening a handful of dates on Kiss’ reunion tour in 1996, Alice in Chains went on an indefinite hiatus as Staley disappeared from the general public eye, struggling a sluggish, agonizing demise that culminated in his dying in April 2002. Together with his band caught in limbo, Cantrell started engaged on materials for his first album in 1996. He made his debut solo tour that very same 12 months with the only “Depart Me Alone,” which appeared on the soundtrack to the Ben Stiller-directed black comedy The Cable Man, starring Jim Carrey and Matthew Broderick.

Whereas “Depart Me Alone” featured the identical grinding guitars and sinister vocal melodies that made Alice in Chains grunge kingpins, Boggy Depot included piano-driven dirges and country-tinged laments into Cantrell’s alt-metal arsenal. “Lower You In” deviated from the AIC template with its lurching, samba-like groove and outstanding horn association, courtesy of Fishbone saxophonist Angelo Moore. “I used to be fairly hammered after I wrote that tune,” Cantrell instructed Guitar World in 1998.

“I simply began buzzing this factor I had in my head, and I grabbed this guitar I made in highschool — it is a white Strat that I name EMBO, which stands for ‘Eat My Butt Out.’ Anyway, I grabbed the guitar and wrote it in about 20 to half-hour.”

Watch the Video for Jerry Cantrell’s ‘Lower You In’

With lyrics like “I lose myself, cover from the solar / I make a visit after I’m out of enjoyable” and “I name you up every time I am stoned / We chew the pores and skin, choke on the bones,” “Lower You In” seems like a hedonistic drug-buddy anthem on the floor. However as Cantrell defined to Billboard a number of months after the tune’s launch, it is a rebuke of these fickle relationships, “directed at the kind of people who journey with you when shit is nice. However when your scenario turns south, they’re the primary to bail — in contrast to true buddies.”

Cantrell recorded the observe with assist from a pair of true buddies: Alice in Chains bassist Mike Inez and drummer Sean Kinney. (The latter additionally seems within the tune’s music video as a automobile thief who jacks Cantrell’s journey, which Cantrell first stole from a middle-aged man.) On the time, the singer and guitarist wasn’t positive if the band associations would assist or hinder his solo enterprise. “It might be that programmers know my work and will likely be extra prone to decide up the advance and throw the lower on. Or they could hate it on sight,” he mused. “Both method, Alice is a giant legacy to reside as much as. Hopefully, the followers prefer it. They’re the true bosses.”

The actual bosses expressed their approval by sending “Lower You In” to No. 5 on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Airplay chart and No. 15 on the Different Airplay (previously Trendy Rock Tracks) chart, the best placements of Cantrell’s solo profession. It validated the guitarist’s extracurricular endeavor, which he nonetheless discovered unfamiliar and slightly nerve-racking.

“Everybody is aware of I had loads of time to waste for some time. The query was, do I wish to sit on my sofa, or do I wish to make music?” Cantrell requested Billboard. “I made a decision to discover my solo facet. It is bizarre to put on all of the hats. In a band, you might have extra shoulders to hold the load and extra brains to bounce concepts round. I am nonetheless adjusting to going it alone.”

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