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“Jerry Cantrell is a brilliant songwriter and singer, but as a guitarist he sort of defines taste. When he’s soloing, you can tell he’s always doing what’s best for the song; nothing he does is self-indulgent. He might not be seen as a shred hero, but I think what he does is far more important than that.
“There’s that whole saying – ‘He can do more with one note than other guys do with 30’ – and it’s true about Jerry. You hear people talk about a player like that – Eddie Van Halen used to say the same thing about Eric Clapton – but it doesn’t make sense until you hear somebody actually do it. Jerry is all about economy of notes and hitting that perfect passage every time.
“He has a very moody, vibe sound that really fits the music. I like his use of the wah pedal, too, and I probably took a little bit from him in that respect, having my pedal sort of half-cocked for some filtering. It adds a tone that isn’t over-exaggerated, a sense of surrealism.”