Jerry Cantrell

Jerry Cantrell


3/18/1966, Tacoma, Washington

Birth Name

Jerry Fulton Cantrell Jr.


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Jerry Cantrell is the lead guitarist and back up vocalist for the alternative metal band Alice In Chains. He has also released two solo albums during the time Alice In Chains were on hiatus.

Jerry grew up in Seattle, and started his music career playing in local…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • Jerry co-wrote, with members of heavy metal band Damageplan, the song "Ashes To Ashes" for the movie The Punisher.

    • Jerry appears with the rest of Alice In Chains in the 1992 movie Singles, performing their songs "It Ain't Like That" and "Would?"

    • Jerry's biggest musical influences include Black Sabbath, Jimi Hendrix, Heart and Queensryche.

    • Many Alice In Chains' fans believe that Jerry's first solo album, Boggy Depot, was actually intended to be an Alice In Chains album that was never made due to Layne Staley's heroin addiction rendering him unable to perform. Jerry and the other members of the band have never confirmed or denied this.

    • Jerry's first solo album, Boggy Depot, features all the members of Alice In Chains other than lead singer Layne Staley, who was sick due to his heroin addiction at the time.

    • The Alice In Chains songs "Put You Down", "Rain When I Die" and "Grind" have all been written about an unnamed ex-girlfriend of Jerry's.

    • Jerry Cantrell: (on Alice In Chains' second album, Dirt) We did a lot of soul searching on this album. There's a lot of intense feelings. We deal with our daily demons through music. All of the poison that builds up during the day we cleanse when we play.

    • Even though Layne Staley was Alice In Chains' lead singer, Jerry was often considered the real frontman of the band.

    • Jerry recorded all the demo tracks for his solo album Degradation Trip at his Seattle home using only a four-track recorder and his white Gibson Les Paul guitar.

    • Jerry dedicated Alice In Chains' debut album Facelift to his mother, who died in 1990.

    • Jerry was awarded the prestigious title of Riff Lord by British metal magazine Metal Hammer in 2006.

    • Jerry wrote the song Rooster as a tribute to his Vietnam-veteran father.

    • Jerry wrote the song Would? as a tribute to his friend Andrew Wood, the former Mother Love Bone singer who died of a heroin overdose in 1990.

  • Quotes

    • Jerry Cantrell: (on Alice In Chains' exact sound) We're a lot of different things. I don't quite know what the mixture is, but there's definitely metal, blues, rock and roll, maybe a touch of punk. The metal part will never leave, and I never want it to.

    • Jerry Cantrell: (describing the song Would?) I was thinking a lot about Andrew Wood at the time. We always had a great time when we did hang out, much like Chris Cornell and I do. There was never really a serious moment or conversation, it was all fun. Andy was a hilarious guy, full of life and it was really sad to lose him. But I always hate people who judge the decisions others make. So it was also directed towards people who pass judgments.

    • Jerry Cantrell: (describing the feel of Alice In Chains' debut album, Facelift) It has sort of a moody feel that kind of represents the dark and brooding atmosphere of Seattle.

    • Jerry: (on writing his solo album Degradation Trip) In '98, I locked myself in my house, went out of my mind and wrote 25 songs. I rarely bathed during that period of writing, I sent out for food, I didn't really venture out of my house in three or four months. It was a hell of an experience. The album is an overview of birth to now.

    • Jerry: (on Alice In Chains' first single, We Die Young) I'd just temporarily moved in with Susan Silver because Sean and I had just had a fight. So I was riding the bus to rehearsal and I saw all these 9, 10, 11 year old kids with beepers dealing drugs. The sight of a 10 year old kid with a beeper and a cell phone dealing drugs equaled "We Die Young" to me.