Alice in Chains are taking promo to a whole new level. The American heavy-metal band have produced a polished mockumentary, titled AIC 23, to promote their new album, The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here, which is out next month. In the 11-minute film, the four band members talk about the band disguised as spoof musicians, with the help of prosthetics by the Oscar-winning make-up artist Matthew Mungle, who worked on Edward Scissorhands, Bram Stoker's Dracula and Schindler's List.
The guitarist and co-founder of the band, Jerry Cantrell, plays country star Donnie “Skeeter” Dollarhide Jr of the Singing Dollarhides (pictured).
“It's a little bit my dad,” says Cantrell of his character, who – accompanied by mini horse – claims that his music is responsible for inspiring the grunge band's material.
Lead singer William DuVall plays dope-smoking Rastafarian “legend” Nesta Cleveland, who has never heard of Alice in Chains. Giving the film an authentic feel are cameos from members of Metallica, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden. Ex-Guns N' Roses bassist Duff McKagan pops up to praise Alice Cooper until he is made aware that has the wrong Alice.
“We'd rather do anything than a run-of-the-mill promo video,” says DuVall of the band's decision to send up their own music. They have gone down the Spinal Tap route once before, producing a mockumentary, The Nona Tapes, in 1995 to promote their self-titled album. Now a collector's item, in it Cantrell plays a female journalist searching for some Seattle rock stars for her big breakthrough story.
AIC 23 – which premiered last week on Will Ferrell's Funny Or Die comedy website and is now available online – follows a documentary film-maker, played by W Earl Brown (best known as Dan Dority in HBO's Deadwood). Unable to get the band to co-operate on his film, he resorts to interviewing a cast of oddball characters instead.
Sean Kinney, Alice in Chains' drummer, plays a hip LA blogger, who doesn't like the Alice in Chains song “Hollow”. And Mike Inez, the band's bassist, plays Unta Gleeben Glabben Globben from a fictional death-metal band, Necrobotica, who speaks like a Dalek, to say the bass is “shit” on the new single, “Stone”.
“We're not afraid to laugh at ourselves and we invite everyone to laugh along with us,” says Cantrell.
'The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here' is out on 27 May on Emm/Virgin