JERRY CANTRELL: How Former QUEENSRŸCHE Guitarist CHRIS DEGARMO Ended Up Playing On New ALICE IN CHAINS Album

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Jerry Cantrell spoke to Guitar World magazine about former QUEENSRŸCHE guitarist Chris DeGarmo‘s guest appearance on ALICE IN CHAINS‘ new album, “Rainier Fog”. “He played on ‘Drone’ — he did the acoustic part that comes before the solo,” Cantrell said. “That picking guitar in the middle, that’s Chris. And then I’m doing the electric on top of him.

“He lives in Seattle and he came down to the studio a couple of times,” jerry continued. “I was talking to him one day and I was, like, ‘I’d love to have you on this record somewhere.’ And he said, ‘That’s fine, but I don’t really need to do that. You guys do your thing.’ But I was, like, ‘No, I’d really like to have you on it!’ So, he agreed, and he came down one day and I just happened to be working on ‘Drone’. I hadn’t really planned on a part in the song for him, but that was the day he showed up. And the part I was playing has this sort of fucked-up spider chord in it — where your pinkie is kind of dominant in the middle of the fretboard… it’s difficult, especially on an acoustic — and if you wanna take that a step further, it’s even more difficult on a 12-string. It’s nearly impossible to do without fretting out, or buzzing or whatever… He was totally the guy to do that. So when it was time to record that part, I was kind of fumbling around with it, and I was, like, ‘Why don’t you try it?’ [Laughs] And he said okay.”

Cantrell added: “The way we did it — and we did this on a few songs — was that instead of doing one 12-string pass, we did two six-string passes. One take with a guitar with super-thin strings, and then one take with a regular acoustic. Then you get the 12-string effect by running them together. Chris did two passes, and he did a great job. And more importantly, he’s one of my friends and one of my heroes from my hometown. I fucking love QUEENSRŸCHE. So it was great to have him on the record.”

After leaving QUEENSRŸCHE in 1997, Chris embarked on a new career as a private jet pilot. He remained out of the limelight until working with his daughter on an EP in 2015.


Released last month, “Rainier Fog” marks a few firsts for ALICE IN CHAINS: in addition to being their first album in five years, it’s their first album for BMG and their first time recording in their hometown of Seattle in more than 20 years (worth noting that the album title is a tribute to Seattle). The “Rainier Fog” recording process also saw the band spend time at Henson Recording Studios in Los Angeles and at the Nashville studio of producer Nick Raskulinecz. “Rainier Fog” is the third straight ALICE IN CHAINS album recorded with Raskulinecz and engineer Paul Figueroa. The album was mixed by Joe Barresi (QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE, TOOL).