Metal Icon Criticizes Alice In Chains Producer For ‘Waste of Time’


Anthrax’s Scott Ian discussed a production technique used by producer Dave Jerden on Alice In Chains’ Dirt and Anthrax’s The Sound of White Noise in a new Mixdown Mag article. The technique is to fatten up the guitar sound. Jerden had Cantrell use a multi-amp rig, selecting each guitar and amp combination for the particular frequencies it emphasised.

“Each amp was EQ’d differently: one for mids, one was for highs, and one was for lows,” he said. “So I would do three tracks on the left with three different amps, then three tracks on the right with the same amps. So it was six tracks of rhythms.”

“The hardest was the low end because he had this Matchless amp that we used,” Ian said, “and we had this Russian Sovtek fuzz box in front of it so it was like this blown-out, super-bassy, stoner-rock low end tone that on its own would have been completely unusable. All together with the mids and the highs, it sounded good. It’s just that a lot of the frequencies started to cancel each other out.”

Ian wasn’t a huge fan of the results, though. “[It] was completely superfluous, to be honest with you,” he said. “It was a giant waste of time. It was his idea to try it and I went for it. I spent all of that time playing six tracks of rhythm on every song, but two well-EQ’d tracks would have worked just as well in the end. That’s something I’ve learned: don’t use six tracks of rhythm. I think it was a good idea on paper, but functionally, it was kind of a waste of time.”