The eighth annual MusiCares MAP Fund benefit concert will honor Alice In Chains co-founder Jerry Cantrell and certified interventionist and Sony/ATV Music Publishing Senior Consultant Neil Lasher at Club Nokia in Los Angeles on May 31. Grammy.org recently interviewed honoree Jerry Cantrell, where he touched on playing the event back in 2006 with James Hetfield of Metallica, the other artists playing the event, grammy nominations and wins, new music from Alice In Chains, what it means to recieve the honor, addiction in general and more.
Cantrell will be honored with the Stevie Ray Vaughan Award for his dedication and support of the MusiCares MAP Fund, and for his commitment to helping other addicts with the addiction and recovery process. Lasher will be the recipient of MusiCares' From the Heart Award for his unconditional friendship and dedication to the mission and goals of the organization. All proceeds will benefit the MusiCares MAP Fund, which provides members of the music community access to addiction recovery treatment regardless of their financial situation.
Hosted by television personality Steve-O, the evening will feature a special performance by eight-time GRAMMY nominees Alice In Chains featuring guitarist/vocalist Cantrell, guitarist/vocalist William DuVall, bassist Mike Inez, and drummer Sean Kinney. GRAMMY-nominated musician Moby will DJ live during dinner, and other musicians performing include Ann & Nancy Wilson of Heart, Duff McKagan, Mark Lanegan and Billy Idol. Read more about the event here: www.grammy.org/musicares-jerry-cantrell
Here's an excerpt from the interview conducted by Steve Baltin:
Q: I saw you play with Metallica at the MusiCares MAP Fund benefit in 2006. That was obviously a special performance, but I know you've been to a number of these shows. Are there any favorite memories for you?
JC: Yeah, that one is obviously a classic. I've been a fan of Metallica and friends with those guys for a long time and that was just great — half Alice In Chains and half Metallica playing together. Obviously, on a more serious note, it's inspiring to see James [Hetfield] take control of his issues, some of the same things I have issues with. And it's just inspiring to see somebody make the effort and make a turn for the better.
Q: By accepting this award do you feel like a role model or a positive example?
JC: A better way to look at it is I admire those guys for the effort they make. It's cool to get here, it's cool to know that you can get here and it's nice to be [proof] that no matter where you find yourself in life you've always got a chance to turn it around.
Q: When you look at not only your bandmates, but even recent examples like Amy Winehouse and Whitney Houston, do you feel very fortunate?
JC: A common part of the human experience is if you f*** around with it long enough, it's gonna get a hold of you. That's been the case for me and for a lot of people too. It's not just explicitly musicians, but being a musician and [having] so many friends that are, it's really nice to have an organization like MusiCares to take care of each other. I remember when I first came here in 2003, Buddy Arnold helped me out.
Q: Tell me about the other artists playing at this year's benefit concert.
JC: Ann and Nancy [Wilson of Heart] are the top of the heap. They've been there for us and we've been there for them too. Any time we got a chance to remind people how important their role has been to music and the world and what that means to us, we're always there for them. I look at them as my older sisters, they've given a lot of great advice and they fought through a lot of adversity and I'm very much looking forward to having them play.
When they told me I was gonna receive the Stevie Ray Vaughan Award, they asked me if I would make a little list of the people I would like to see play. I had just seen [Mark] Lanegan out in Silver Lake and he killed it. God, it was amazing. I hadn't seen him in some years and it was a really magical experience, so I gave him a call and asked him. Duff [McKagan]'s been a friend for years and been very involved with our band as well in various ways. And I don't know Billy [Idol] personally, but I do know Billy Morrison and Steve Stevens, the guitar player. I jammed with Steve a couple of times as well.
What does it mean to you to be honored with the Stevie Ray Vaughan Award?
That the award is honoring Stevie, who's an incredible musician and then also a person that made changes and turned his s*** around — it's a hell of an effort. It's nothing easy. It's doable, but it's not an easy thing and I can tell you that from experience. It takes some balls for sure, and it takes some serious effort at times. To receive this, what it means, is I'm very honored. And obviously that it started with Stevie, that's a pretty great thing. As a guitar player you don't get much better than that. Read the rest of the interview here: www.grammy.com/lessons-learned-with-jerry-cantrell