Alice In Chains singer/guitarist William DuVall discussed how he primarily saw himself as a guitarist coming up in music, and how that has changed AIC as a live act in a new Eddie Trunk interview when asked how much guitar he plays during their sets. Layne Staley was only an occasional guitarist, so DuVall’s guitar playing abilities add something to AIC’s show that never could have been done when Staley fronted the band. Alternative Nation transcribed his response.
“It’s about half and half, it depends on what songs we choose for a particular night’s set. But I think the main thing is I came into this as a fully realized musician. I’m a guitar player first, that’s all I ever wanted to be, singing came much later for me, more as a young adult. It was only because I started writing tunes in my late teens early 20’s that I couldn’t trust anybody else to sing them. It was almost like, this is too personal, so I became a singer. In this band I had to develop a whole thing of playing without a guitar for certain songs, so how to freehand a mic.
If you look at the early footage of us, the very first shows we were doing and tours, it was sort of like I had to figure out immediately how to freehand a mic in front of people and kind of transform myself. But the guitar always came first, so that is the major difference, coming in it adds a whole other dimension to this group, and it allows us to do things with new music that couldn’t have been done before, and it allows us to interpret older material in a way that it never could have been done before.”
Jerry Cantrell then praised Layne Staley for the songs he did write on guitar like “Angry Chair” and mentioned how he was a singer first and foremost. Staley would occasionally play guitar on certain songs live, but not nearly as frequently as William DuVall.