Jerry Cantrell Says He Got Turned Onto Songwriting Thanks To Elton John


Alice In Chains co-founder Jerry Cantrell expressed his feelings and ideas about being a songwriter alongside pursuing a successful career as a guitarist during his recent interview with Guitar World. He stated that Elton John made significant contributions to his decision to become a songwriter.

Jerry Cantrell and Elton John have been friends for a long time, and also they decided to collaborate on an Alice In Chains album. The band released their fourth studio album entitled named ‘Black Gives Way to Blue,’ which featured the legendary musicians Elton John, on September 29, 2009. John played the piano for the album’s self-titled track, which was written and sung by Jerry Cantrell, and their harmony was appreciated a lot.

Their collaboration can be considered a chance for Cantrell, who wanted to credit his greatest inspiration, Elton John. Cantrell revealed that he got turned onto the idea of becoming a songwriter while he was listening to the musician’s works. Also, he named Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Black Sabbath, Fleetwood Mac, and The Eagles as his muses during that process.

According to the guitarist, a musician needs well-crafted riffs, melodies, and stories to write commercially successful hit songs that people will never forget. He defined himself as a fortunate person who was able to record and release his songs with his incredible band. As a result, it seems like Alice In Chains fans got to listen to the iconic songs written by Cantrell, thanks to Elton John and his unique works.

Cantrell shared his ideas, saying:

“It’s hard to narrow down because I’m just a fan of songwriting in general. I probably got turned onto the idea of it by listening to Elton John. That stuff felt really cool and I knew deep down I’d like to do something like that. I was also raised on country music, which is simplistic songwriting 101. They know how to get something across in a succinct manner.

Pink Floyd was a big influence on me, the same goes for Led Zeppelin, Sabbath, The Beatles, Fleetwood Mac, the Eagles, and many more. I think the greatest acoustic writer of all time has got to be Bob Dylan or Willie Nelson. Those two guys have been pretty epic and prolific.

There are different components to it all, but I’m a guitar player who loves kickass riffs. I grew up on them, so I knew to write something you’d need the riff, the melody, and then something to say. Those are the main things. Then you need a great band to execute it, which is something I’ve been really fortunate with over the years…”

You can listen to the song below.