MALIBU, California — “I think this is like the 20th video I’ve made with this band,” [artist id=”966″]Alice in Chains[/artist] drummer Sean Kinney deadpans. “And on every single one of them, I’ve asked myself: ’Why am I doing this?’ I still don’t know the answer!”
He’s kidding (we think), because AIC certainly did film a video for “Your Decision” — which premiered Tuesday (December 1) on the iTunes Music Store — in late October with director Steven Schuster (who had previously directed their “A Looking in View” clip), at an ornate Malibu mansion, with the band decked out in suits, playing a cotillion waltz for a ballroom full of well-heeled extras.
It’s a dark, Kubrick-ian video, full of twists and turns — according to Kinney, there were “at least three different endings, though none of them can probably be shown on MTV” — and buttoned-up tension, the kind of high-concept, high-gloss thing that’s befitting the band’s resurgence. Black Gives Way to Blue, their first studio album in nearly 14 years, debuted at #5 on the Billboard Top 200 when it was released earlier this year, and has already produced two Modern Rock Radio hits.
So despite Kinney’s comments, there are a lot of reasons for the band to be making this video.
“Deciding to continue, and make music together without our friend Layne [Staley, AIC’s iconic frontman who died in 2002 ], was a huge hurdle, and then the time involved [is an issue] as well,” guitarist/singer Jerry Cantrell said. “But the cool thing is, even though we’ve gone through a lot of changes, and we’ve grown a lot together as people, I think we’re a better band for it. We worked really hard on this record, I think we went further that we have with any other, and … we knew it had to be good. It had to be good for us. It would’ve been fine for us to have just gone through the process, and if it didn’t work out or live up to expectations, we could’ve walked away knowing we gave it our best shot. Fortunately, it bloomed and grew into something else. We’re really proud of it.”
“It was important we did a couple years of touring before we even thought about going back into the studio, and it’s still a process, and it’s still going,” new frontman William DuVall, who shares vocals with Cantrell, added. “We’re still figuring it out, but it’s been really rewarding too. Even the hard stuff’s been rewarding.”
So, in a lot of ways, the “Decision” video is sort of a victory lap for the band … which is something Kinney expanded upon, presumably in the same spirit of his earlier comment.
“We’re making a video and I let the band use one of my houses … it’s mine! I invested well. I bought Google,” he laughed. “All the cars out front? They’re mine too. Well, if they’re really cool cars with really great rims, they’re probably mine. I have too many cool things to even know what I have. I’m that rich!”
“Wow,” Cantrell added. “I thought this was Britney Spears’ house. I’m impressed!”