He will be this year’s recipient of the Stevie Ray Vaughan Award at the end of May, presented by the MusiCares charity in recognition of his “commitment to helping other addicts with the addiction and recovery process.”
But looking back on AIC’s history, including the tragic drugs death of frontman Lane Stayley in 2002 and the similar demise of sacked bassist Mike Starr in 2011, Cantrell says no one should follow his example.
He tells Rolling Stone: “I am nobody’s fucking role model. Everybody’s human. Everybody has flaws. Everybody falls down. It’s just a fucking fact of life.
“A lot of people stand and get the fuck back up after falling – some people don’t get that chance. My band’s been a harsh example of that: what happens when you don’t deal with it.”
Meanwhile, AIC are gearing up to start recording the follow-up to 2009 comeback album Black Gives Way to Blue, a tribute to Staley which introduced new singer William DuVall to fans.
Plans were put on hold while Cantrell recovered from shoulder surgery – but now he says the band is raring to go.
“It’s time to get to work – and the material is really interesting,” he reports. “It’ll be as different as any one of our records is to any other, and it’ll also be just as recognisable. It’s an Alice record for sure.”
But they won’t be rushed into completing the work. “We’ve been very lucky to be able to kind of do things at our own pace for our entire career,” he says. “This is no exception.”
And while Black Gives Way to Blue was a musical farewell to Staley, Cantrell says their fifth studio album will be a record of moving forward. “Albums, to me, are like snapshots of periods of time. It’s always been our style to tell our story.”