Kyle Meredith recently conducted an interview with ALICE IN CHAINS frontman William DuVall. You can listen to the entire chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On always being a "band guy" and now releasing his first solo album, "One Alone":
William: "I've always been a band guy since I was a teenager. It took quite a bit of soul-searching to get myself to a place where I could put out, just come to grips with putting out music under my name. I felt like if there ever was going to be a time to do it and an album of which to do it, this would be it. I went full-bore with it. Like, 'Okay, one guitar, one voice, all the way through. And we're just going to call what it is, we're going to call it 'One Alone'. I've got to make this my first album under my name. This is what it is.' Anything else wouldn't have felt honest. This is a great breakthrough in a way."
On the recording process for "One Alone":
William: "Most of the breakthrough that I was referring to before mostly had to do with how I perceived things. There's been a lot of mixing and co-mingling of genres throughout my whole career as a musician. That will continue. That's kind of a mainstay, but, with regard to this record specifically, I didn't go in thinking that I was going to record a solo album. I didn't even go in thinking that I was recording anything that would necessarily be released to the public. Initially I went in to do what I thought was going to be a demo for one song, ''Til The Light Guides Me Home'. Once I was there in the studio and that song went down so quickly, it was a few a minutes and we're done. I was, like, 'Well, I'm here. I might as well lay down a few other things.' There are these songs that I had with [William's pre-ALICE IN CHAINS band] COMES WITH THE FALL on our record as a full band, but they were songs that I always thought could potentially present well on the solo acoustic setting. I decided, 'While I'm here, let me thrown down a few of those.' In an afternoon, basically, I walked out with eight songs. As I was listening to them and driving around, or listening to them casually, I thought, 'This sits well together. If I ever wanted to do an acoustic album, this could be the genesis of it.' Initially, again, through all of the soul-searching about how I might release music in the future, it just sort of all came together, like, 'Yeah, okay. This is a solo album. It's as solo as you can get. It's time to put it out under your own name and make this what it's going to be. Eight songs is not enough so go back in and record a few more.' So I did that in an evening and now we have the 'One Alone' album. It took a while for everything to line up to get to this point, but now that we're here, I'm really glad that we're here."
On the tenth anniversary of the release of ALICE IN CHAINS' comeback album, "Black Gives Way To Blue", which marked his recording debut with the group:
William: "It's all a blur, man. [Laughs] It's been ten years and in some ways, it feels like a century because all of the things that we've been through just, oh my god, I mean, all the shows, all of the traveling, obviously, the two albums that have followed it, and all of the things that have gone on in our own lives outside of the music. It's been a very, very, very busy ten years. But, yeah, what do I remember? It's interesting, our office just sent this little piece of film on one of the songs, and one of our guys, we used to do those studio documentary pieces while we were making that record and we used to put them out on the Internet and give people a glimpse inside of the process or whatever. So, the guy that shot all of those was our longtime friend and assistant Todd, he shot this thing for one of the tunes on the album that never was really released as a single, and the office just sent it yesterday. We hadn't seen it in ten years or whatever, and it was a collection of some of these little scenes, these little tidbits that we used to put in those little studio document sessions, so it was all of that set to one song — snippets of things that weren't in any of the other things that we put out. It was wild. It was wild because it transformed, or brought me back. It was kind of like looking at a bunch of other dudes in a way. [Laughs] [Jerry] Cantrell [guitar] and I had the beards. We had resolved very early on in that process of making that record that we were not going to shave until it was done. By the end, we just had these gigantic Grizzly Adams, Rip Van Winkle situations happening. We were ZZ TOP. It's funny. You see all of that in that clip. It's going to maybe bring other people back to that time. But it definitely brought me back. It was, like, 'Wow, this is crazy.' There's so much about it that I would remember for it not for the fact that we were documenting so much of it. That's just because of the speed and intensity with which everything was happening. A lot of it you just block out because you have to get through the day because you have to keep surviving and you have to keep working. You have to remember too there was so much noise around what we were doing at that time. There was so much debate and all this external kind of stuff happening outside of the bubble that we created for ourselves. A lot of our time and a lot of our energy was spent on blocking that stuff out. When I think about that time, what I remember mostly is that feeling of how intense it was. It was intense emotionally, just purely on an internal level, what was going on almost the four of us, but it was doubly intense because of all the external noise and the eternal pressure which we were trying to block out the entire time. That's kind of what characterizes that whole period for me."
"One Alone" was released on October 4 via DVL Recordings.
DuVall appears on the last three ALICE IN CHAINS albums: "Black Gives Way To Blue", 2013's "The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here" and 2018's "Rainier Fog".