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Alice In Chains’ William DuVall: The 10 Albums That Changed My Life

The records that made Alice In Chains frontman William Duvall the man he is today

When William DuVall joined Alice In Chains in 2006, he took on one of the most thankless tasks imaginable: filling the shoes of the late, great Layne Staley. But DuVall – previously of cult US rock band Comes With The Fall – has settled seamlessly into the job, bringing his own character and personality to the band. These are the records that made his the man he is today…


The first album I bought was…

Jimi Hendrix – Band Of Gypsys (1971)

My cousin Donald, who’s 10 years older than I, moved in with my mother and me when I was eight, and he brought a handful of records with him. One of the records he brought was Band Of Gypsys and that got me into Hendrix.

The Album With The Best Artwork Is…

Funkadelic – Hardcore Jollies (1976)

That’s hard! I love more simplistic designs like the banana cover for The Velvet Underground & Nico, but I also love all the Funkadelic albums that Pedro Bell did. All the collages were pretty outrageous. I’m gonna go with the Funkadelic album Hardcore Jollies – a hell of a cover.

The album I wish I’d made is…

The Beatles – Revolver (1966)

Led Zeppelin IV would have to be in there, or Electric Ladyland. I’m gonna go with Zeppelin IV – no, wait, Revolver by The Beatles. The reason for that is there’s so many different kinds of music on it, from rock’n’roll to orchestral music to beautiful ballads. It has an incredible use of studio as an instrument, too. You’ve got it all on a record like that.

The first album I had sex to is…

Prince – 1999 (1982)

I’m sure it was something by Prince, probably 1999. The album, I mean! The problem with that is that you were dealing with vinyl so you were either playing the same side for a while or you had to get up and turn it over.

The album I break the speed limit to is…

The Stooges – Raw Power (1973)

I love that album; I’ve definitely broken the speed limit to it before.

A kid asks me what metal is, I hand them a copy of…

Metallica – Ride The Lightning (1984)

I’m gonna have to go with Ride The Lightning. I remember the day that came out and I really felt like it pushed the whole genre forward.

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No one will believe I own a copy of…

Tears For Fears – Songs From The Big Chair (1985)

I don’t know if it’s really embarrassing but I know I have Tears For Fears’ Songs From The Big Chair. I thought that was an amazing record when it came out, I just loved the sound of it, and I bought it on vinyl, too.

The album I want to be remembered for is…

Come With The Fall – Beyond The Last Light (2007)

So far I would say the album I want to be remembered for is Beyond The Last Light because it was doing a whole lot with very little; very little money, very little time. That album has it all, a big sound and lots of different detailing. It just has a lot going on, and it was made very quickly.

The album that should not be is…

Aqua – Aquarium (1997)

Oh my God, that’s hard. I don’t like slagging people off, but I’m not into a lot of the red state rock that some of these American bands [Nickelback, Creed, 3 Doors Down etc] are coming out with. I don’t know the album but I’d have to say that song Barbie Girl, too: ’I’m a Barbie girl, in a Barbie world!’ I always had a problem with that.

The album I want played at my funeral is…

Thelonious Monk – Thelonious Monk Trio (1954)

That’s really tough. I’m gonna say something by Thelonious Monk, one of his solo piano albums, maybe Thelonious Monk Trio. My father loved Thelonious Monk and he was played at my father’s funeral, and I had to overrule people on that one. They wanted to play Michael Bolton and he did like some corny stuff like that, but I wanted to represent the other side of him. I had to insist and I was thinking to myself that it wouldn’t be bad to make it a tradition.


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