Music Lives!

Question: Alice In Chains, Grunge or Metal?

Our first bit of news is that I’ve created a YouTube channel.  That means you don’t have to fiddle around with playing different videos, they play in the order I’ve chosen. You can just push play once and just keep listening to music while you do other things like ‘Like’ our Facebook page or play Angry Birds, whatever it is that you do.

So our first Facebook question of the week was based off of an episode of Metal Evolution. In episode 7 they discuss the place of Grunge in Heavy Metal‘s history. I’ve always had my opinions on certain bands rolls in the genre. The Melvins, Mother Love Bone, Screaming Trees, and of course Nirvana, all sounded different to me but a few bands really stood out. I’ve always wondered if Alice In Chains (and Soundgarden for that matter) are Grunge or Metal? Well the Facebook has spoken and by a landslide vote Grunge takes it with 18 votes to Metal’s 8.

So Why Are Alice In Chains Grunge?
AIC, as I will now refer to them, were from Seattle. +1 for the Grunge voters. I’m not sure if  it was the climate, the public school system or just coincidence that so many new bands, all came from the same city, but it happened. How does a genre of music get attached to just one particular city?

Yep! That’s Grunge!

Another +1 for the Grunge voters and a common thread with most these bands is that they all play rock music. Angsty rock music at that. Something you have to keep in mind is that 1991 was saturated with ballads and dance music until September, and we’d grown bored of Hair Metal. These bands gave us a whole new list of things to be pissed off about. Mostly how bored we were in suburbia and how dark your mind can get when you’re apathetic about everything.

So Why Are They Metal?
By now you should almost be up to the AIC song on the playlist above. If that song had come out 2 years on either side of 1991 are you going to tell me it wouldn’t be classed as metal? Jerry Cantrell, the hair, the power-stance, the guitar solo that lasts over 20% of the song, all Metal.

If this logo were any more Metal it would be a pile of sticks!

The second reason I’m more inclined to put them in with the Metal bands is their first single. We Die Young went to number 5 on the metal charts off of AIC‘s first EP. Also their first major touring break came from opening on the Clash Of The Titans tour in 1991, opening for SlayerMegadeth and Anthrax. It doesn’t get more Metal than that.

Conclusion
Now to pull the National Geographic documentary kind of ending. If I was asked this question I would be more inclined to stick to the Metal side of the fence. However, I stopped using the term Grunge shortly after it’s birth for two reasons. The first being that I didn’t understand how so many bands that sounded so different could all be labelled under one genre. The other reason being that it didn’t incorporate the other bands I liked at the time like Stone Temple Pilots and Nine Inch Nails. I just called everything Alternative.

Does anybody else remember those days? Being asked, “What are you?” Which I always replied, “Alternative.”

Now, if asked I’d just reply with a Nirvana lyric, “Teenage angst has paid off well, now I’m bored and old.”

Leave a Comment