Alice in Chains frontman Jerry Cantrell introduced a heavier sound than most other bands belonging to the grunge scene. While on the other, it went against nearly all of the period’s dominant heavy metal traditions.
Alice in Chains were touring their 1990 debut studio album “Facelift” as the opening act for artists as different as Poison, Van Halen, Extreme, and Iggy Pop, before landing the opening slot for the iconic 1991 ‘Clash of the Titans’ tour leg featuring Anthrax, Megadeth, and Slayer.
Jerry Cantrell recalls the ‘brutal’ fans during the tour
Speaking to POP! Talk in a new interview, Jerry Cantrell notes how even heavy metal fans took some getting used to what Alice in Chains had to offer, recalling how audiences at ‘Clash of the Titans’ would “throw sh*t” at and boo him and his bandmates for the first half of the tour.
Asked to name one moment when he felt AiC had “made it”, Cantrell began:
“It was probably ‘Clash of the Titans.’ We’ve been touring ‘Facelift’ for about eight months, and we’ve been playing little clubs and opening up for, like, Iggy Pop… I think the first band we opened up for on [‘Facelift’] tour was Extreme, and we were kind of slugging it out in clubs and stuff.
“And we got asked to be a part of the ‘Clash of the Titans’ with Anthrax, Megadeth, and Slayer. The first half of that was pretty brutal. And we kind of really enjoyed that part of it, because people were throwing shit all the time and booing us and stuff. And we’d, like, throw sh*t back…”
Cantrell noted that things started chaining as the second part of the tour began, which coincided with the “Facelift” second single “Man in the Box” taking off on radio and MTV:
“And in the middle of that tour, that’s when radio and MTV – it all kind of clicked; ‘Man in the Box’ kind of hit in the middle of that tour. I remember what it was before. And then I remember it changed, and you know that song took off, and then people stopped throwing shit [laughs].”