Alice In Chains Asked If Eerie Song Is About Layne Staley & Mike Starr

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Alice In Chains singer/guitarist Jerry Cantrell was asked if the new Alice In Chains song “The One You Know” is about the band changing with the losses of Layne Staley and Mike Starr in a new Revolver interview.

The cryptic lyrics include the opening lines: “I’m a little alike/You before things have changed/In a compass I ride/All this feels rearranged/Tell me, does it matter/If I’m still here, or I’m gone?/Shifting to the after/An imposter, I’m not the one you know.” Cantrell keeps his cards close to his chest when asked about the song’s meaning.

“People have such different interpretations of things,” he says. “That’s the way that we’ve always written in this band, some things are kind of direct, but more often than not it’s a little more obscure and multilayered. Kind of like a collage rather than a straight storyline. What did you get out of it?”

The Revolver reporter offered his interpretation of the song: that on the surface it’s seemingly about the band’s evolution, a statement that Alice in Chains is no longer the band they once were, yet something recognizable remains.

“I think that’s a great explanation,” Cantrell responds. “It may or may not be what I wrote the song about. It’s interesting, the bare-bone nugget of it is hard to say sometimes because I’m not in that space where I wrote that tune anymore.”

“A piece can evolve and so can your own perception. It’s cooler when people have their own ideas about what stuff is about, that way it’s more personal. I’ve always enjoyed material like that. Where there’s no clear answer.”