He explains the band didn’t want people’s first experiences of tracks from The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here to be “crappy little cellphone versions.”
And that’s not the only thing that annoys AIC about the modern music business.
Cantrell tells Loudwire: “Hollow and Stone we’ve been running out there, and Phantom Limb leaked, so we’ve been playing that too. Back in the old days you could work new material live. It would stay special – maybe someone would record it and it would get passed around in some basements.
“But it goes worldwide and it’s usually a shitty version of it, so unfortunately our hands are kind of tied. You have so little control over your shit. People rip it off and you lose all your impact. It’s hard, it’s really hard. It changes how you operate and it kind of sucks.”
Drummer Sean Kinney believes it’s a symptom of music itself being devalued. He says: “There’s a million excuses why, but it’s kind of lost that lustre and mystique. It’s tougher and tougher as a new band.
“The next Led Zeppelin is playing somewhere – and they’ll likely never make it because there’s no infrastructure. People will probably never support them long enough to let them grow into the band they could be.
We’re all going to pay the price for that and it’ll probably be too late before people realise it. I love music; we all do, but we all take it for granted. It’s in the elevator. It’s everywhere. And when we do that we’re all just shooting ourselves in the head by not supporting the thing that we love. That really kind of saddens me. I want to hear that new band.”
Another example of industry issues is the attitude the band faced when they delivered acclaimed comedy promo video AIC23, below.
Cantrell says: “I remember the record company saying, ‘It’s an electronic press kit. Go talk about yourself.’ And we’re like, ‘I’m not gonna do that.’ So we got the money and made that ridiculous thing and gave it to them.
“They were fucking pissed – they were livid, telling us we wasted money and what the hell did we do. It turned into a little cult thing, then they rallied around it and were like, ‘We should sell this.’ We were totally against it.”
As an aside the guitarist adds: “We always get the, ‘You’re music’s so dark and you’re so depressed.’ But we’re just not; in general we’re pretty light guys for the most part.”
The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here is on sale now. AIC play at this year’s Download festival at Donington next month.