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Jerry Cantrell Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Trade Mark (2)  | Trivia (27)  | Personal Quotes (7)

Overview (3)

Born in Tacoma, Washington, USA
Birth NameJerry Fulton Cantrell Jr.
Height 6' 1½" (1.87 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Jerry Cantrell is an American musician best known as the founder, lead guitarist, co-lead vocalist and main songwriter for the Seattle Rock band Alice in Chains since 1987. The band was part of the Grunge movement and is known for the unique vocal harmonies between Cantrell and Layne Staley, and later between Cantrell and William DuVall. Cantrell also has a solo career and released the albums "Boggy Depot" in 1998, and "Degradation Trip Volumes 1 & 2" in 2002. He was named "Riff Lord" by British hard rock/metal magazine Metal Hammer in 2006.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Polly_Kat

Trade Mark (2)

Hard, distorted guitar riffs
Long hair

Trivia (27)

Lead guitarist/co-lead vocalist/main songwriter for Seattle metal band Alice in Chains.
Lives in Los Angeles since 2003. Also owns a house in Seattle and a ranch in Oklahoma.
Writing and jamming for Alice in Chains' first post-reunion album. [2008]
Released solo debut, Boggy Depot. [1998]
Working on follow-up to Degradation Trip Volumes 1 and 2. Working with Richard Patrick on new Filter cd due out 2004. Plays on a new track with Damageplan on the upcoming 'PUNISHER' soundtrack. [2001]
Reunited with Alice in Chains for the first time since 1996 (and after the death of lead singer Layne Staley in 2002), for a benefit concert in Seattle for victims of the tsunami disaster that struck South Asia in 2004. The band performed with a number of guest vocalists. They toured in 2006, with William DuVall taking over as lead vocalist full-time. [2005]
Working on his third solo album, which is the follow-up to 2002's "Degradation Trip". [2005]
Released 2nd solo album, "Degradation Trip". Cantrell dedicated the album to friend and former Alice in Chains' bandmate, Layne Staley. [2002]
Released a new album with Alice in Chains, "Black Gives Way to Blue", on September 29, 2009. It was the band's first album in 14 years and also the first without Layne Staley. The title song is a tribute to Staley written and sung by Cantrell accompanied by Elton John on piano. Cantrell is a fan of Elton John and told that his first album was Elton John's Greatest Hits. The first concert that Staley attended was Elton's when he was a kid.
When Layne Staley passed away, Cantrell adopted Staley's cat, a female Siamese named Sadie. The cat appeared on Cantrell's episode of MTV Cribs, which was shot at Cantrell's ranch in Oklahoma in September 2002. Sadie died on the same night of Alice in Chains' concert in Seattle on October 8, 2010, aged 18. She lived with Cantrell's family in Oklahoma until her death.
Released a fifth studio album with Alice in Chains on May 28, 2013. During the writing and recording sessions, Cantrell underwent shoulder surgery, which resulted in the delay of the album. He couldn't play guitar for 8 months, so he spent his time playing video games like GTA and Call of Duty. Alice in Chains bassist, Mike Inez, took care of him in the first days after the surgery while he was wearing a sling and helped Cantrell with his meds and food. During that period, Cantrell wrote the riff of "Stone" humming the melody into the phone. He showed the voice message during an interview with Team Rock Radio in 2013.
Cantrell's long blonde hair is one of his trademarks. He cut his hair for the first time in 2011, and got an even shorter haircut in 2013, which shocked some fans. In 2017, Cantrell grew his hair back out.
Cantrell and Layne Staley were best friends and got matching tattoos. In 1988, they decided to get the "brothers tattoo", so Cantrell got a screaming skull on his right shoulder, and Staley got a smiling skull with an Elvis hairdo and sunglasses on his left shoulder. Cantrell told Inked Magazine in 2009: "The cool thing about doing it was doing it with Layne; he had one on one shoulder and I had one on the other. They were kind of connected and obviously we were too." The skull tattoo is mentioned on the song "Sea of Sorrow", in the lines "Aim my smilin' skull at you" - the lyrics were written by Cantrell.
Wrote several songs about his ex-girlfriend Courtney Clarke, with whom he was in an on and off relationship between 1989-1995. They met at a Guns N' Roses' concert in Seattle. Most of Alice in Chains' records and his two solo albums, "Boggy Depot" and "Degradation Trip", have songs about her, such as "Down in a Hole", "Don't Follow", "Heaven Beside You", "Over Now", "My Song", "Settling Down", "She Was My Girl", "Breaks My Back", "Angel Eyes" and "Private Hell". Cantrell described Clarke as "the most beautiful girl I've ever seen in my life" in a 1996 Rolling Stone interview, and on the liner notes of Alice in Chains' 1999 box set, "Music Bank", Cantrell referred to her as his true love. Clarke can be seen in the Alice in Chains mockumentary "The Nona Tapes" - she is sitting in a chair in the hotel room at minute 22:35, before Sean Kinney comes in dressed up as a clown.
Is the oldest of three children. Has a brother named David and a sister named Cheri.
When asked about his heroes in a 2002 interview, he cited his dad, his siblings David and Cheri, Alice in Chains' bandmates Layne Staley and Sean Kinney, and the band's manager Susan Silver.
His mom used to call him "JerBear" when he was a child. His dad used to call him "Ralph". Layne Staley used to call him "Satan Hoof", and this nickname is mentioned on Cantrell's song "Pig Charmer" from his 2002 solo album "Degradation Trip".
Is a fan of the Seattle Seahawks and the Pittsburgh Steelers Football teams.
Shortly after he learned how to write, he documented his goal in a Dr. Seuss book called 'My Book About Me', filling in the sentence 'When I grow up, I want to be a _______________' with the words "Rock Star" in sprawling cursive letters.
In the Layne Staley-era of Alice in Chains, Cantrell sang lead vocals in the songs "Brother", "Right Turn", "Don't Follow", "No Excuses", "Grind", "Heaven Beside You", "Over Now" and "Killer Is Me", besides singing the verses on "Would?" and "Got Me Wrong". William DuVall joined the band in 2006 to sing Staley's parts at concerts, while Cantrell assumed full-time lead vocals in the first album without Staley, Black Gives Way to Blue (2009), and continued this role in the follow up, The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here (2013), with DuVall doing backing vocals and harmonizing with him. The only song that Cantrell sings Staley's parts at concerts is "Got Me Wrong". Many fans have expressed their desire to see Cantrell singing the song "Nutshell", which he always dedicates to Staley and Mike Starr.
Broke his left hand while playing football in May 2001, in the middle of a tour for his solo album Degradation Trip. He went to the E.R but they couldn't do anything for him cause the bone had slipped back in his hand and he'd need a reconstructive surgery. Cantrell had a titanium plate and four screws to put the bones back together. The first concert after the surgery was in Atlanta and according to him, he was in a lot of pain but continued the tour anyway. Cantrell stated that breaking his hand was the worst physical pain he ever had in a 2002 interview. T-shirts and VIP passes were made with the X-ray of his broken hand, and Cantrell even wore one of the shirts.
Cantrell went through surgery on both shoulders. First on his left shoulder in 2005, removing bone fragments and repairing cartilage, then the right shoulder in 2011, for a repetitive motion injury from playing. The last surgery delayed the writing and recording of Alice in Chains' 2013 album The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here.
Was a big fan of Deadwood (2004) and even appeared in the background of one scene from the show's season one next to Pantera's bassist Rex Brown. Cantrell is also good friends with the show's actor W. Earl Brown, who made an appearance on the Alice in Chains mockumentary Alice in Chains Twenty-Three (2013).
Cantrell was director Cameron Crowe's first choice for the role of Stillwater bass player Larry Fellows in Almost Famous (2000). He turned the role down because he was busy writing the songs for his 2002 solo album "Degradation Trip". Mark Kozelek was cast instead. Cantrell told in a 2002 interview that he was sorry for turning the role down, but he hoped Crowe would consider him for another movie. Cantrell had previously appeared in two films directed by Crowe, Singles (1992) and Jerry Maguire (1996).
After watching a Guns N' Roses concert in Seattle in 1988, he gave Axl Rose an Alice in Chains' demo tape, but as Cantrell walked away he saw Axl throwing the demo away. Alice in Chains ended up opening for Guns N' Roses on their "Not in This Lifetime" tour in 2016. Cantrell is friends with the band's guitarist Slash and a close friend of bassist Duff McKagan.
Contrary to rumor, the dog on the cover of Alice in Chains' 1995 self-titled album (also known as "Tripod" or "The Dog Album") and on the music video for the single "Grind", did not belong to Jerry Cantrell. The dog on the cover was inspired by a three-legged dog named Tripod that used to terrorize drummer Sean Kinney and chase him around during his paper-work duty when he was a kid. Kinney also designed the artwork for the album. Photographer Rocky Schenck did a casting for three-legged dogs for the shoot, but the band ended up choosing a fax of a three-legged dog as the cover shot. Schenck photographed the three-legged dog for the album cover at a playground near downtown Los Angeles on August 23, 1995. A different three-legged dog named Sunshine was used for the "Grind" music video. She was 11 years old at the time. The photo of the dog shot by Schenck at the playground was finally used years later on the 1999 box set Music Bank.
His cover band Cardboard Vampyres was named after Cantrell's cats.

Personal Quotes (7)

We're in an interesting place right now. You don't expect to get to old age when you're a young musician, especially with the whole music and reality of live fast, die young, sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll. I mean, I'm in it until I blow up, don't get me wrong. It's pretty cool to stick around. I'm grateful to have made it through, and not ashamed of owning everything I did, good and bad.
There's this dark, sarcastic humor that's there if you know the band ['Alice in Chains']. A lot of people don't of course, and that's completely fine. It's kind of comforting to have this separate public persona from the harsh lyrical content we're known for. Definitely there's not a lot of fluff in what we do.
[on Alice in Chains' first album since the death of Layne Staley - Billboad, October 21, 2009] We had our hearts broken by losing Layne and losing ourselves. It took a lot to get through this process and to even take the chance, and stand-up and risk.
[The Quietus - June 28, 2013] Both my parents were country music fans. That's what my house was filled with, not rock & roll, and I'm a big fan of country as well. I guess the first kind of rock & roll-type artist that I got into was Elton John. That kinda made me have an epiphany, like 'I wanna do that, I wanna be a musician, I wanna be in a band'. And when [I decided] I really wanted to be a guitarist was probably after listening to AC/DC...
[on the collaboration with Elton John in the song "Black Gives Way to Blue" - Entertainment Weekly, October 1, 2009] Elton is a very important musical influence to all of us [Alice in Chains] in varying degrees, and especially to me. My first album was Elton John's Greatest Hits. And actually, we were reminded by Layne's stepfather that Elton was his first concert, so it was all really appropriate. So I wrote [Elton] an e-mail and explained what his music meant to us, and that this song was for Layne. We sent him a demo, and he said it was beautiful and he'd love to play on it. In the studio he was really relaxed and gracious, and he's got a great sense of humor. We were just trying to be cool: 'Oh, yeah, no big deal.' But we were excited. [Drummer Sean Kinney] and I had to walk out a couple of times to smoke cigarettes, like, 'Holy s-, this is killer.' It's one of those highlights you can't expect in life, and you're lucky to get them once in a while. And that is one.
[Inked Magazine, October 2009] I think of anything off this record, obviously "Black Gives Way to Blue" is the most difficult song, without a doubt. Even cutting that song, you can hear it in my voice. You can't really hide that. I don't even know how I got through the recording of that, but I just kept fucking slugging away. It was producer Nick Raskulinecz, our drummer Sean [Kinney], and me in a room, and all of us are crying our fucking eyes out. Sean's having fucking anxiety attacks and I'm fucking just holding onto the mic stands, [trying to] get through the fucking thing. And it was very difficult, even on the writing of that song. There was a huge chunk of grief there I'd been holding on to for a long time-I think we all have. And by writing that song, it kind of puked it out. So that probably triggered a big part of a mourning process that probably didn't happen right at the time Layne passed away. And I think a big part of that, for me, was that I dropped a record right when he died and I had to go on the road, so I probably was carrying a shitload of stuff around. And probably still will. Like I said, it's never gonna be right.
["Taking a Solo Trip" by Metal-is.com - May 14, 2001] My career goal, at the end of the day, has always been to be an old motherfucker, sitting on a fuckin' porch with my kids, and my wife bitching at me and whatever - and being able to put on any one of the records I've done and saying "That did not fuckin' suck - that kicked ass!" So far, I could say that about everything I've put out. Once I've done that, I've got nothing else to prove, other than to just go out there and play it live as best I can. I ain't done bad so far.

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