“It’s pure rock and roll,” Alice In Chains’ Jerry Cantrell said about his new “Brighten” title track. “Vince Jones, on keys, added a really great track and brought it to a new level. I can picture myself playing it on a stage for people, and it feels good. It’s a big rock song.”
Asked in a recent Instagram Live question-and-answer session with AIC fans how he chose “Atone” to be the first single and opening track from his new album, Cantrell said: “When you make a record, you have a body of work, and generally it’s pretty easy, out of everything that you have, to figure out where you wanna start and where you wanna end. So ‘Atone’ was always a strong contender. My partner on the record, [film composer] Tyler Bates, and [longtime engineer] Paul Figueroa both felt pretty strongly about that song as an opener as well. So when it came to track listing, I was kind of bouncing back and forth, and it just felt right.
It’s got an attitude that kind of sets the tone for the whole body of work. It’s an interesting song. I think it was one of the first tunes that I showed Tyler when we were kind of gathering material. And when I played that riff, he was, like, ‘Man, that’s cool.’ And I’m, like, ‘Man, I’ve been carrying this riff around for years, and I haven’t figured out a way to make it into a complete song that’s as good as the riff and the chorus idea that I had.’ The other thing that he thought was really interesting was the fact that it’s in an open tuning, which is normally a major tuning and used for kind of blues slide-type stuff, but it’s pretty minor sounding.”