Hard rockers Alice In Chains, deftones and Mastodon are teaming up for BlackDiamondSkye, an arena and amphitheater tour that kicks off Sept. 16 in Chicago.
Thursday’s formal announcement of the trek — 13 dates with more expected to be announced soon — comes after a weeklong online campaign that included teaser videos on YouTube and a countdown on the official www.blackdiamondskye.com web site.
“Rather than launch with a traditional tour announcement, we wanted to engage the fans first,” David “Beno” Benveniste of Velvet Hammer Music and Management Group, which represents Alice In Chains and deftones, said in a statement. “We gave them a cryptic clip featuring video snippets of each band and they lit up the Internet. Now there’s an entire online community talking about the tour and speculating about the bands involved. It’s thrilling to see them communicate and respond so positively to this exciting tour…This is the poster kids will want to have on their walls, and 10 years from now people will look back at this as a timeless and important tour.”
Tickets for the tour go on sale in some markets starting May 15, with a fan club pre-sale beginning May 10. The tour takes its name from the three bands’ latest albums: Alice In Chains’ “Black Gives Way to Blue,” the group’s first new album in 14 years, came out in September and includes the Grammy Award-nominated track “Check My Brain;” deftones’ “Diamond Eyes” drops May 4; and Mastodon’s “Crack the Skye” has been out since March of 2009 and is the band’s top-seller to date.
For Alice In Chains, the tour will be the latest move in a carefully constructed comeback that began with the group’s reunion in 2005, eight years after going on hiatus and three years after original frontman Layne Staley’s death. Jerry Cantrell tells Billboard.com that, “The cool thing is this band is alive, and we’re alive…We’ve never done things just to do them, and we’ve never done things just to capitalize on an opportunity. We’ve done things because they felt right to do. We always did what’s right for us personally rather than maybe what was good business. And this situation is no different than the way we’ve ever operated.”
Alice In Chains is curently playing U.S. dates through May before heading to Europe for festivals in early June and July; it will also join Limp Bizkit at Rock Fest on July 18 in Cadott, Wisc. deftones are just kicking off short U.S. run, which includes Rock on the Range on May 22 in Columbus, Ohio, before heading overseas as well in early June, and Mastodon is on a headlining North American tour that includes Rock on the Range on May 22 and then European festivals in June.