William Duvall: How Heart’s Ann Wilson and Alice in Chains are Connected

Alice in Chains lead singer William Duvall stopped by the studio to talk with Kim Monroe when Alice in Chains passed through Seattle on their current tour. Check out the video above or read the interview below*.

Layne Staley sadly passes away and then this idea of doing some tribute shows I think it was. How were you approached about doing that?

It started with the VH1 Decades Rock Live Show. VH1 was honoring Heart and then Heart invited Alice in Chains to be part of their show, that’s how it started. I was asked to be part of that along with Phil Anselmo and you know… Ann Wilson was supposed to sing Rooster in the Alice and Chains segment of that show.

The way it ended up unfolding though was that for the camera blocking rehearsals, Ann hadn’t made it downstairs yet to try to do Rooster. They said well you just do it until she gets here and so I did it. Ann and Nancy came down in the middle of that and at the end, Ann said you have to sing that song. It was really great because that’s what guaranteed me a spot in the television program. Because otherwise I’m might not… I might have been on the cutting room floor. It was a great event. It was in this arena in Atlantic City and then it ended up on television and then by then we were off and running on the road. So it really legitimized what was already in progress.

At that time was there talk of actually Alice in Chains getting back together as Alice in Chains with you as the singer or just another band, maybe calling it something else?

We were debating all of those options. At the same time, just kind of playing shows as sort of a victory lap for what had happened in the past you know. Then it just, as you play shows and you’re hitting all these different stages in all these different countries. I think we did 34 countries or something in 2006. You know we went all over the place. As you do that night after night you develop this organic chemistry of your own and it kind of becomes its own thing and then. Anyway, we just decided to proceed with what was happening. It gave a lot of momentum to get into the studio and do what ended up becoming Black Gives Way to Blue.

* This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity

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