Alice in Chains

"We had no plan to do this, and a couple of years ago, I'd have said no," Alice in Chains drummer Sean Kinney told Noisecreep about the band's reformation after Layne Staley's death. "Just by taking little steps and little opportunities and the chance -- doing it with my buddies -- we ended up in a good place. This wasn't an easy task. I am proud of all of us, how we've gone about it. We lost such a dear friend and since we had no plan for it to do this, it's shocking to me. It's easy to have an opinion about it when you don't have to do it. But there has not a lot of resistance from fans. They've been great worldwide and have been supportive. That's cool. That makes you move and take another step forward."

Now that Alice in Chains are back in the game, the landscape has changed and the playing field is not only not level; it's completely different," he said. When they last released music, platinum records were much more common and iPods weren't yet invented and downloading was in its infancy. This cold, hard fact of the business forced the band to rethink strategies. "It's like telling people to vote with your dollar."

Kinney continued, "People don't buy music anymore. It costs so much to tour and make shirts, so you lose money. If you want to support a band, vote with your dollar, for your entertainment, and that will make better product for you to enjoy. Fans don't realize that so many bands have to go home and get a day job after touring and making records!"

Alice in Chains adapted to their new economic and industry realities. Kinney admitted, "We're seeing how it changed, and that was the challenge of this. We asked ourselves, 'How can this work in this economic environment?' So we are learning and dealing with that. Metallica has been through this, too, and they are like, 'Just wait.'

"At one of the shows that happened before album came out, we were in Detroit and one of the record company guys came by and had the finished packaging. He handed to me before we played, and I remember thinking, 'Do they try to figure out how to make it harder to steal this?' I never downloaded anything, but I got on the bus and checked torrent sites and it was on six sites," he added. "350,000 people already took it within three hours."

While one can argue that at least they cared enough to steal it, that doesn't make it right for bands trying to make a living in this business. So as Kinney suggested, go out there and vote with your dollar.