Jerry Cantrell Says Elton John And Fleetwood Mac Were ‘Big Awakenings’ For His Career

Alice In Chains’ Jerry Cantrell recently joined an interview with Metal Hammer and revealed that Elton John and Fleetwood Mac hugely inspired him as a child, especially in songwriting.

Besides his long-term career with Alice In Chains, Jerry Cantrell has been doing quite well as a solo artist. The guitarist released his third solo studio album, ‘Brighten,’ on October 29, 2021. The album was preceded by three singles named ‘Atone,’ ‘Brighten,’ and ‘Siren Song.’ The album featured a handful of special guests like Duff McKagan, Gil Sharone, Abe Laboriel Jr., and Greg Pusciato.

The last track on the album is a cover of Elton John’s ‘Goodbye‘ along with eight other original songs. When Cantrell sent John a demo tape with the song, he thought his cover version was tremendous and gave permission to him to use it in his solo album. It was not Cantrell’s first interaction with Elton John, though. Previously, Elton John also contributed to the title track of Alice In Chains’ 2009 album, ‘Black Gives Way to Blue’ on piano parts.

Thus, it shouldn’t be surprising to hear that Jerry Cantrell first recalled Elton John when asked about his childhood inspirations, as he has always been a massive fan of him. Then, the guitarist also listed Fleetwood Mac among the artists who inspired him as a child. He revealed that these two names taught him a lot about songwriting. Cantrell highlighted that working with Elton John on his song was a fantastic moment for him. He then praised John’s musical talent and talked about how much he admires him.

Jerry Cantrell speaking on his childhood inspirations:

Elton John and Fleetwood Mac were big awakenings for me, as far as songwriting and what that meant and getting the magic of what that was. This was when I discovered the guitar as well, so there was AC/DC, Iron Maiden, Kiss, and Priest… it was a huge time to be a music fan.

Cantrell on his admiration for Elton John:

“Yeah, that’s true. My dad gave me that album. It’s one of those surreal, full-circle moments where this guy that was so influential to you ends up playing your song on his piano with you. He’s a fantastic man, a good hang and a fan of music – he’s a lifer. It’s all I ever wanted to be, to be someone who wrote music that people wanted to listen to, and he’s definitely that guy. An amazing talent and a beautiful human being.

You can listen to Jerry Cantrell’s latest solo album featuring an Elton John cover below.