It's been one week since the death of pop icon Michael Jackson, and Jerry Cantrell, guitarist of Alice in Chains, still can't believe he's gone. Or that Farrah Fawcett's gone, too. But one thing's for sure. Both Cantrell and drummer Sean Kinney respect the King of Pop for a myriad of reasons.

"Being a musician, you appreciate what it takes to operate at this level and for you to create things that can strike people in such a huge way," Cantrell tells Noisecreep. "You have to respect the magnitude of that guy's career and his creative output, and to maintain that since you're five-years-old? That's ridiculous. Nobody does that."

Both Cantrell and Kinney spoke last Friday, soon after Jackson passed, "and we were talking about how Farrah and Michael Jackson, two of the hugest icons of our childhood, dead in the same day," Cantrell recalls. "Who didn't bow to Farrah and didn't live in an era where Michael Jackson wasn't everywhere? And look at the guy's musical legacy, which permeated through all cultures."

But did Jackson's music influence Alice? "He had an influence on everybody," Kinney says. "How could you be alive for the last 30 years and not know about Michael Jackson, or heard some of his songs? Even if you're some death metaller guy, don't feel like you can't tell your friends you liked [Jackson's 1979 LP] 'Off The Wall.'"

"(Slipknot vocalist) Corey Taylor has a tattoo of 'Off the Wall' on his back," points out Cantrell, laughing. "So, even Slipknot were fans, I guess."

Kinney says that while Jackson's death is sad, he hopes the situation won't "bring out the worst in people, and I hope they just try to rationalize they're thinking before going negative with it. The guy had a f---ed up life. If I was five-years-old and famous, that would do some damage. Very few people get to his level and remain there. He's one of those guys and it's a shocking thing when someone like that goes. I've got all of his records. I have 'em."

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