Alice in Chains  hasn't started writing or set firm recording plans for a followup to 2009's "Black Gives Way to Blue," the group's first new release in 14 years. But as the group prepares to embark on its fall BlackDiamondSkye tour, singer and guitarist William DuVall tells Billboard.com he can't imagine that there won't be another album.
"It would be fairly safe to say that you don't come this far and do all this work just to stop for another 15 years," says DuVall, who joined the band for its 2006 resurrection. "We are on a path, and just as it was at the beginning, we still don't know where it's going to lead. We're digging what we're doing and we're very happy with the reception we've gotten, and we respect the fact that this was a tall order to write in the first place, and to fill it is an even bigger deal. So I have a hard time imagining we would go through the ride we've been on the last four, five years just to stop.
"We're excited about the future," DuVall adds. "Let's just say that."
While the formal songwriting hasn't begun, DuVall says that "there's plenty of riffs flying around," usually from impromptu sessions on the tour bus or in dressing rooms and sound checks before concerts. "That was the case when we first started back up," DuVall explains. "We would just stockpile these fragments, and then some time later we would sift through the mountain of stuff, and that's what became 'Black Gives Way to Blue.' The same thing has been happening since we've been touring 'Black Gives Way to Blue,' so it would be only natural to at some point say, 'Hey, we've got a lot of stuff. Let's sift through and see what we've got this time.' "
There are also, DuVall says, songs that were worked up for "Black Gives Way to Blue" but not recorded, which could possibly be resurrected for another album.
Meanwhile, Alice in Chains is in prep mode for BlackDiamondSkye with Deftones , who are promoting "Diamond Eyes," and Mastodon , still touring in support of "Crack the Skye." The four-week package kicks off Sept. 16 in Chicago, and DuVall says he anticipates a big night for all concerned.
"One of the things that's great about this tour is every band has their own style, their own flavor, but the bill somehow meshes very well," he notes. "Really, we can't think of a better way to cap this round of touring. I think this is what all the work we've done up to now had led to."
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