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Alice in Chains’ Jerry Cantrell Talks Sobriety in MusiCares Video Footage

Frazer Harrison, Getty Images

Alice in Chains co-founder Jerry Cantrell was honored with the Stevie Ray Vaughan award for his contributions to the MusiCares MAP fund at an event on May 31. In a new video, you can hear Cantrell, former Guns N’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan and more talk about their struggles with sobriety.

Alice in Chains has had many substance abuse problems over the course of their 20+ year history, ultimately losing two of their original members — singer Layne Staley in 2002 and bassist Mike Starr in 2011 — to addiction. They weren’t the only band members with problems though, “I’m as imperfect as they come,” said Jerry Cantrell at the podium for the MusiCares MAP benefit. “I just try to do what I can to not get high today, you know. And that’s pretty much gotten me to where I am today.”

Rocking a sweet ‘stache, Cantrell even gave the details of his, literally, rocky road to sobriety. “Shawn [Kinney, Alice in Chains’ drummer] was at the door with my brother. So my choices were open the door and go to rehab or jump out the back window, down down a cliff, into some blackberry bushes. That’s the choice I took.” said Cantrell. “And I ended up here. So, I didn’t intend to get here but I’m very grateful that I am here and it took a lot of people to help me get here.”

There were lots of kind words to be said about Cantrell that night, Billy Idol guitarist Billy Morrison even said “He’s probably one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met.” The event celebrated Cantrell’s contributions to the MAP fund, which helps musicians in the fight against substance abuse. “It’s a resource we have. We’re sort of taking care of our own community,” explained Duff McKagan of the organization.

The night featured performances from McKagan, Mark Lanegan, Billy Idol, as well as the only Alice in Chains performance of the year thus far. The band is in the studio working on their next album, which will be the follow-up to 2009′s ‘Black Gives Way to Blue’ and second disc with vocalist William DuVall.

See Coverage of the MusiCares MAP Fund Benefit

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