ALICE IN CHAINS Frontman WILLIAM DUVALL: How Losses Of PRINCE And CHRIS CORNELL Influenced 'One Alone' Album
May 26, 2020
ALICE IN CHAINS vocalist/guitarist William DuVall spoke to Ghost Cult magazine about how the suicides of SOUNDGARDEN singer Chris Cornell and LINKIN PARK frontman Chester Bennington, as well as the shocking loss of Prince, inspired the making of his debut solo album, "One Alone", which came out last October via DVL Recordings.
"I was actually at Prince's last show ever, and to think that he would be gone a week later was unimaginable — it still is," DuVall said (see video below). "And then we lost Cornell after that. It's just been a brutal few years here.
"I think any and all of us who are out here trying to do this, it forces you to reconcile with the fact that tomorrow is not guaranteed to any one of us, and whatever it is you were doing in your life, those kinds of shocks can be a real wake-up call to step up your game or to maintain your game, if you're already operating at a high level, not to drop, and to just always be more conscious of how you're moving through the world and what you stand to leave here when you go, whenever that is.
"I have to say that those kinds of things also were part of the engine driving the decision-making process around whether to release an album like 'One Alone'," he continued. "Certainly losing friends and losing Cornell, and both of these guys who I admired tremendously and both guys who could perform in a variety of settings, including just doing a one-man show, as much as it was a shock and as much as it caused a lot of grief, it was also a little bit of a push to, like, 'Maybe you could just go ahead and put those songs out just as they are. Don't do anything to 'em. Maybe you could go out and play some shows like that — prove it to yourself; prove it to anyone else who cares, and see what happens. And whatever happens, at least you did it — at least you tried.
"That was part of the decision-making process and part of the motivation, for sure — some of the losses that we've suffered in the last few years," he added.
"One Alone" features DuVall's powerful voice with nothing but an acoustic guitar to back it. In contrast to the multi-layered sonic assault, comprising most of his discography, "One Alone" is as sparse and intimate as it gets — part late-night confessional, part living room concert.
Prior to joining ALICE IN CHAINS in 2006, DuVall was a member of punk rock bands AWARENESS VOID OF CHAOS, NEON CHRIST, BL'AST! and FINAL OFFERING. DuVall's long musical history also includes COMES WITH THE FALL and ALICE IN CHAINS guitarist Jerry Cantrell's solo work.
Cantrell befriended the members of COMES WITH THE FALL in the early 2000s, playing shows with the band on the West Coast, then enlisting the musicians to tour with him as both opening act and backing group in support of his album "Degradation Trip".
DuVall appears on the last three ALICE IN CHAINS albums: 2009's "Black Gives Way To Blue", 2013's "The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here" and 2018's "Rainier Fog".