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Alice In Chains hatching future plans -- lightly

of the Oakland Press

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William DuVall had the hardest job of all in 2005, when Alice In Chains resurrected itself after a nine-year hiatus.

The singer and guitarist, who had worked with AiC guitarist Jerry Cantrell on his solo projects, was the Seattle modern rock band’s new member, the sort-of replacement for the late singer Layne Staley. He calls it “a real adventure and a real challenge,” but with gold sales for last year’s “Black Gives Way to Blue,” the group’s first new album in 14 years, DuVall feels he and his three bandmates have firmly established a new era in AiC’s history.

“From the very first shows that we did, it was sort of this idea that we were on this journey and we didn’t know where we were going to end up,” DuVall, 43, explains. “It’s been a challenge to all of us as individuals and as a group to come together and rise to this occasion.

“This whole thing is still a work in progress, and in a lot of ways I think we feel like we’re at the beginning of it. It’s just been a hell of a ride, a real interesting roller coaster, and I think we’re all the better for it.”

Fans, meanwhile, are curious about what comes next — and so, DuVall says, are the group members. They haven’t started writing or set firm recording plans for a next album yet, though DuVall says “there’s plenty of riffs flying around.” And he adds that he can’t imagine the current incarnation of AiC will not be a going concern.

“It would be fairly safe to say that you don’t come this far and do all this work just to stop for another 15 years or stop forever or whatever,” DuVall explains. “We’re digging what we’re doing and we’re very happy with the reception we’ve gotten and we respect the fact that this was a tall order to write in the first place, and to fill it is an even bigger deal.

“So I have a hard time imagining we would go through the ride we’ve been on the last four, five years just to stop. I don’t know when we’re gonna get around to writing a next record let alone recording it, but we’re excited about the future — let’s just say that.”

TheBlackDiamondSkye tour featuring Alice in Chains, deftones and Mastodon, plays at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 17, at the DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road east of I-75, Independence Township. Tickets are $39.50-79.50 pavilion and $25 lawn with an $80 lawn four-pack. Call 248-377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.

Web Site: www.palacenet.com

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