Chat with Jerry Cantrell
Welcome to SportsNation! On Wednesday, fantasy football stud and Alice in Chains co-founder, Jerry Cantrell, will stop by to take your questions about his recent participation in the The Life's "Alice in Chains & Friends Fantasy Football Charity League," which featured some of rock music's biggest stars, his music career and just about anything else you may want to ask!
Cantrell might have been raised on country music, but it was the likes of Jimi Hendrix and Black Sabbath that helped shape his musical future that led to co-founding, writing, playing and singing with one of the seminal rock bands of the 1990s. After selling millions of albums, Alice in Chains went on hiatus for several years in the late '90s, during which time Cantrell released a pair of critically acclaimed solo albums, but reformed in 2005. This past year, they released "Black Gives Way To Blue" and hit the road to perform to sold-out crowds across the United States.
When he is not on stage or in the recording studio, Cantrell is often found glued to his Slingbox-enabled laptop, watching football and overseeing a top-notch fantasy team, thanks to his years of football knowledge that he acquired from watching countless games. He failed to make the championship of the Alice in Chains Fantasy Charity League, losing a late season matchup to Scott Ian of Anthrax, something we are sure will sting Jerry for the entire offseason.
Send your questions now and join Jerry Cantrell for a live chat on Wednesday at 5 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (4:58 PM)
Hellooooo! We should be joined by Jerry soon. Keep your questions coming!
Buzzmaster (5:02 PM)
While you are waiting be sure to check out AliceinChains.com! Really cool site!
Buzzmaster (5:03 PM)
Jerry is here!
Jerry Cantrell (5:03 PM)
Who did you hate to lose to the most in teh fantasy league? You lost to Scott Ian? Brutal.
Jerry Cantrell (5:05 PM)
Yeah, those last two losses were tough. I didn't play Santonio Holmes pre playoffs and he was my Steeler! I'm a Steeler and Seahawks fan and I didn't play him! I think I lost to Matt Berry twice! That burned the most! I wanted to beat the pro!
I've argued for years that Alice in Chains might be the best band name of all time. Is there a band name out there you went "damn, wish we would have thought of that!"
Jerry Cantrell (5:05 PM)
Good question! I've always thought Nine Inch Nails was one of the coolest ever. That's a strong name and a great band.
Vibha (Washington DC)
Hi Jerry, How has the band felt about the fans response to the new album? Were you expecting it to be so well received? PS Will be meeting you all in NYC! Cannot wait.
Jerry Cantrell (5:07 PM)
We hoped it would be well received. You just never know. You do what you feel is right and at that time in our lives it just felt right. We never intended to do another record, we just wanted to get out and play music for our fans and for ourselves. We just wanted a nice experience and we did that but having creative folks together like that, the album just came out of that. That is really cool that the fans have come along with us on the ride. You can't control a lot of things in life and just because you lose you can't give up the game. It has been really satisfying and we have seen a lot of new fans showing up. It's been a really cool thing to see.
Do you as a rock star have a better life than Tom Brady?
Jerry Cantrell (5:09 PM)
(Laughing) I've learned that the grass is always greener rule is not necessarily true. Everything has a price. I enjoy what I do and have been able to create things with my friends but it has drawbacks as well. Any job or occupation has things that go along with it. You have to pay that price to get the benefit. I feel pretty grateful to do what I do. I'm not sure if Tom has a better life but I really dig that dude. I always wanted to be a WR or QB in the NFL and then I wanted to be a musician. Brady is a class act and a great competitor. I really like him.
Linda (Olathe, KS)
Who are your favorite sports teams?
Jerry Cantrell (5:10 PM)
I used to follow baseball and basketball but losing the Sonics but the dagger in that one. My other side of the family is from OK so we lost them in Seattle but gained them in Oklahoma. I haven't gotten used to that yet. But I've always been a football guy. I'm most passionate about that. I follow it religiously.
JJ Cory (Barneveld, Wisconsin)
Who do you like in Sunday's championship games, and eventually the Super Bowl
Jerry Cantrell (5:12 PM)
My pick already lost! My prognositcation skills are not sharp. I picked Dallas and San Diego to get to the Super Bowl. I thought Dallas really had their stuff together. And San Diego looked really good as well. As it sits now, I'd like to see the old man win one. I think he might get there but I think Indy-New Orleans getting there. WHoever turns it over the least would win.
is it hard to keep up with your teams when you are on tour?
Jerry Cantrell (5:13 PM)
It is kind of tough. But the cool thing is for a good portion of the season we were in Europe. The time difference made it really tough. But I have Slingbox on my computer and NFL Sunday Ticket so I was able to rock that pretty often. We would watch games at like 3AM! Or we would have computers in the dressing room with the crew giving up updates. We were in Eastern Europe during a Steelers-Raiders game and I got the word on stage that Oakland won. Mike was grinning and laughing his ass off.
What would happen if your favorite team was playing in the Super Bowl and you had a gig that night at the same time?
Jerry Cantrell (5:15 PM)
Boy, I would not schedule a gig on that night. I would be at the game. I've been to four Super Bowls. I saw Seattle play Pittsburgh which was the best and worst experience of my life. I was 10 when the Seahawks came into existence and watching Steelers games before that. I always wanted to root for the teams my dad didn't like! I was a Steelers fan first but then we got a team in Seattle so I'm a fan of both.
Of what direction do you think the hiring of Pete Carroll will have on the Seahawks and with their two first round picks would you take a quarterback to replace the broken and busted Matt Hasselback?
Jerry Cantrell (5:17 PM)
I want to be hopeful! But I really question the organization and their moves. I thought Mora was a big mistake and they figured that out but too late. Holmgren made that team a competitor every year and when he left I knew it was a big mistake. I was talking with Duff McKagan and he was really stoked about Mora at the time but I never was. I thought getting rid of Mora was the right move and then I heard we hired Carroll. He is not proven in the NFL and it remains to be seen if that is the right thing. I'm hopeful but I'm not convinced it's the right move. Go for the guys with rings. At least try for them!
What was it about Seattle that sparked so much great music in the 90s? Was there anything about that part of the country that was especially inspiring to you?
Jerry Cantrell (5:19 PM)
The geography has a lot to do with it. We were isolated and outside of the main music hubs like L.A. and NY. We couldn't be further away really. We were isolated and able to develop in a nice way. There weren't a ton of venues to play so we were left to our own devices. Individuality was a big part of what was going on. And we all had mutual admiration for each other. I was a big fan of all the bands that came out of that time. I would go to all their shows and they would come to ours. It was a really cool thing that was allowed to develop and grow. Then things just started to take off with bands getting signed. Also, the music was just quality rock and roll that has stood the test of time.
Sheila (Sherman, Texas)
What do you think of the other '90s Seattle rock guys in Soundgarden announcement that they'll reunite???
Jerry Cantrell (5:21 PM)
I'm not sure if that will happen. If it does I will be there. I love those guys. I was at a Pearl Jam show in L.A. recently adn all four of those guys were there hanging out. It was great to see. They are good friends and they remain really good friends to this day. I'm not sure what happened. I would buy a ticket for that show for sure.
If you could ask Jimi Hendrix a question what would it be?
Jerry Cantrell (5:21 PM)
Man. I have no idea. How about wanna jam?
Dom (Toronto Ontario Canada)
How hard was it for you at the time to continue on wanting to still be in a successful rock band when guys around you, Layne and Kurt plus many more were being taken away from us? Love the new album, by far one of the best of '09, see you on March 17/10!!!
Jerry Cantrell (5:22 PM)
We didn't make music for awhile as a band. So yeah, it was tough. We pretty much didn't do anything for quite some time. I'm sure it is as you would imagine - seeing a friend die. It hurts.
Brian Ager (Minnesota)
In baseball there is a perfect game. Is there such a thing as a perfect gig and have you ever experienced one?
Jerry Cantrell (5:24 PM)
Sure. Once in awhile. I can't really say which ones but I have had them. Just when everything goes right. There are so many moving parts to a live show. In today's world, you are listening to the band playing along to CDs. The days of an actual live show with nothing but what is coming from the stage is kind of rare. Back in our day playing to tracks was considered a crutch. But so many moving parts these days with the equipment and guys feeling sick or the crowd not being great. When it all clicks, it's a great feeling.
Mike (Madison, WI)
You had over 10 songs left out of BGWTB, can we expect an EP coming up soon?
Jerry Cantrell (5:25 PM)
Probably not. The material we didn't put on the record didn't belong there. It wasn't Alice. Maybe it was two-thirds Alice but it wasn't all the way there.
Sheila (Sherman, Texas)
What are some of the biggest differences you've noticed between US fans and the crowds / fans in other countries?
Jerry Cantrell (5:31 PM)
I do see differences. There are cultural differences for sure. In the States it's a pretty comfortable place to be. We can speak to everyone in the same language. You can hit a semi decent restaurant at 2am. Those things are nice. But there are some really cool things about the fans in the UK and other places. Japanese fans are really unique in how thoughtful they are. They give us gifts. Each country is unique and that is really cool.Thanks for the questions! I really appreciate your interest and hopefully we'll be heading your way in the future. And I hope we can come back next year for another installment of the fantasy football league. I have some surprise guests ready to take part next year! Take care and hopefully we can do this again sometime!