I have genuine empathy and concern for the members of Alice In Chains, because I know that the nature of their job can sometimes be stressful.

One of those stresses is that during times like right now (touring cycle, new album on the way), they’re being hammered with questions from management, record label, and touring personnel.

All of the time, and every day.

Questions about artwork for the new album.

Questions about videos.

Questions about upcoming tours.

Big important questions.

Small stupid questions.

Every day, all day. Questions questions questions.

Unfortunately my job entails that I ask the band questions too, and oftentimes they’re not even ones that I have; they’re questions or requests I’ve been asked to ask the band by other people.

If you’ve read the blog at all over the years, then you know that the band picks on me.

Verbal assault slides right off me like I’m made of Teflon though.

But there’s a relatively new thing going on here in Aliceville.

They’re ignoring me.

And it’s more maddening than the teasing.

The other night on the bus we sat and talked for nearly 10 minutes about something that their management wanted me to ask them.

And after those 10 minutes I realized that exactly none of them had answered the question.

But at least they talked about it.

I sent an email to all four members last night seeking approval for some upcoming press requests.

Only one of them replied (Thank you William).

Then I followed up today by asking again in person.

I got one undecipherable mumble, one “whatever”,and one member refused to even acknowledge me.

This is getting ridiculous, and I made the classic mistake of letting them know I was getting frustrated, so they’ve doubled down on the ignoring and the non-answering.

Here’s the most annoying part of this whole thing; some of these questions are just part of the everyday schedule on tour.

All four band members partake in an after show meal, but there’s one band member in particular who bitches about having to look at a menu to pick what he wants.

But that’s just how the schedule works.

I have to jam a menu in their face shortly after they finish dinner in order to get the after show food ordered in time.

And another important one.

Why are we here?

To play a show.

Do you know what’s important for everyone (particularly techs) to know before a show?

THE FREAKING SET LIST.

Guess what the band hates doing two hours before a show?

That’s right, set list.

You’d think I was asking them to choose between a firing squad and the electric chair, when all I’m asking is for them to pick 19 or 20 songs to put on a piece of paper.

But it’s a question, and therefore it’s treated with disdain and contempt.

And mumbling non-answers.

Being on the front lines of this battle can be nearly as exhausting as being a band member getting peppered with a barrage of inquiries all day long.

So I get it, and I wish I didn’t have to annoy them with more demands and requests every day.

I just wish they wouldn’t ignore me.

I’d like to ask them to stop, but I realize that that’s a question too.

I can’t win.

Rainier Fog

Available August 24