Who Plays Bass Guitar For Jerry Cantrell: Unveiling the Mystery

Are you curious about the musical genius behind the bass guitar for Jerry Cantrell, the renowned guitarist, singer, and songwriter known for his innovative riffs and versatile sound? We’ve got you covered! This blog post will take a deep dive into Jerry Cantrell’s musical background and collaborations with some of rock music’s most exceptional talents.

We’ll focus particularly on the talented bass guitarists who have contributed to his powerful sound throughout his illustrious career.

Who Is Jerry Cantrell And What Is His Musical Background?

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Jerry Cantrell is a renowned American musician, guitarist, singer, and songwriter who rose to fame in the early 1990s as the lead guitarist and co-lead vocalist of the iconic rock band Alice in Chains.

Born on March 18, 1966, in Tacoma, Washington, Cantrell developed an interest in music from a very young age. Inspired by guitar legends like Jimi Hendrix and Eddie Van Halen, he started playing various musical instruments at the age of twelve.

Often referred to as one of the greatest guitarists ever lived due to his innovative playing style and distinct riffs that helped shape Seattle’s grunge sound during its heyday.

The characteristic blend of heavy metal with moody acoustic compositions earned him respect among fans and musicians alike across different genres of rock music. By focusing on melody rather than virtuosity – which was quite uncommon for hard-rock bands back then – Jerry Cantrell played an integral role in defining alternative rock alongside other influential figures such as Kurt Cobain (Nirvana) or Chris Cornell (Soundgarden).

Jerry Cantrell’s Bass Guitarists

Jerry Cantrell has worked with several talented bass guitarists throughout his musical career, including Mike Inez and Tyler Bates.

Mike Inez

Mike Inez is the longest-serving bassist for Jerry Cantrell’s band, joining Alice in Chains in 1993 after the departure of their original bassist. Inez had previously played with other notable bands such as Ozzy Osbourne and Heart before finding a home with Alice in Chains.

In addition to his skills on the bass guitar, Inez also provided backing vocals for many of the band’s songs. He remains an active member of Alice in Chains today and has contributed to all their studio albums since joining.

Tyler Bates

Tyler Bates is an American musician, producer, and composer who has played bass guitar for Jerry Cantrell. He is best known for his work on film soundtracks such as 300, Watchmen, and John Wick.

Bates first joined Jerry Cantrell’s band in 2010 as a guitarist but later switched to playing bass guitar during live performances.

Bates also contributed to Jerry Cantrell’s latest album “Brighten,” which was released in 2021. His unique style of playing resonated perfectly with Cantrell’s riffs and allowed him to explore new sonic territories with ease.

Current Band

Currently, Jerry Cantrell plays with a talented group of musicians who contributes to his music’s fantastic sound. The current band includes William DuVall on vocals and rhythm guitars, Greg Puciato on backing vocals and lead guitars, Jeff Friedl on drums/percussion, and Ryan Martinie on bass guitar.

Together they have released albums like “Degradation Trip” and “The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here.” This line-up has toured extensively in the US and internationally, showcasing their incredible talent in live concerts.

Mike Inez: The Longest-Serving Bassist For Jerry Cantrell

Mike Inez has been the longest-serving bassist for Jerry Cantrell, and his collaboration with Cantrell has helped Alice in Chains achieve great success.

Early Career

Mike Inez, Jerry Cantrell’s longest-serving bassist, began his musical career playing in various local bands in Southern California. He was influenced by artists such as Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin, which inspired him to pick up the bass guitar.

After working together on several projects and demos, Sean introduced Mike to Alice in Chains’ lead singer Layne Staley and guitarist Jerry Cantrell. They soon realized that Mike’s style of playing would be perfect for their band, leading to his official joining in 1993 after AIC’s original bassist left the group.

Mike’s time with Alice in Chains has been marked by a unique sound characterized by heavy riffs combined with melodic vocals and harmonies.

Joining Alice In Chains

Mike Inez joined Alice in Chains as their bassist in 1993, replacing original member Mike Starr. At the time, Jerry Cantrell and Layne Staley were already established members of the Seattle music scene with their unique style of grunge and alternative rock.

Inez quickly became an integral part of Alice in Chains, contributing not only his bass playing but also backing vocals to many songs. He worked closely with Jerry Cantrell on songwriting, helping to craft some of the most iconic riffs and melodies that define the band’s sound.

Collaboration With Jerry Cantrell

Jerry Cantrell has worked with several musicians throughout his career, but one of the most notable collaborations is with fellow Seattle native and Guns N’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan.

The two iconic rockers formed a friendship when they both lived in Los Angeles in the early 90s, and have since worked together on various projects.

Aside from McKagan, Cantrell has also collaborated with other Seattle musicians such as Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell and Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder.

Signature Sound And Style

Mike Inez is known for his signature sound and style in playing bass guitar for Jerry Cantrell. He blends the classic rock feel with a heavy metal edge while keeping every note groovy and melodic.

Inez’s unique approach to bass guitar has earned him praise from music critics who describe his playing as powerful, cutting-edge, and nothing short of breathtaking. Alongside Cantrell’s guitar work, Inez’s backing vocals carry the band’s harmony effortlessly while also maintaining an unprecedented pocket groove with drummer Sean Kinney.

Other Interesting Facts About Jerry Cantrell’s Musical Career

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– Jerry Cantrell has collaborated with various other musicians, including Duff McKagan from Guns N’ Roses and Slash’s Snakepit.

– Known for his unique sound, Cantrell often used Kahler bridges on his guitars to achieve a distinctive tone and sustain.

– Along with being a talented guitarist, Cantrell is also known for his impactful contributions as a songwriter and vocalist in Alice in Chains.

– Cantrell’s impact on the grunge and alternative rock music scene cannot be overstated – he helped shape the sound of that era.

– In addition to creating great music, Jerry Cantrell continues to inspire fans around the world with his legendary live performances that showcase both his vocal prowess and guitar skills.

Collaborations With Other Musicians, Including Duff McKagan

Jerry Cantrell has had a successful and diverse musical career that includes collaborations with many other musicians. One such collaboration was with Duff McKagan, best known as the bassist for Guns N’ Roses.

The two worked together on Cantrell’s solo album “Boggy Depot” in 1998, where McKagan played bass guitar on several tracks.

In addition to Duff McKagan, Jerry Cantrell has also collaborated with other notable musicians such as Ozzy Osbourne and Metallica’s Robert Trujillo.

His Use Of Kahler Bridges On His Guitars

Jerry Cantrell is known for his unique guitar sound, which can be attributed in part to his use of Kahler bridges on his guitars. These bridges feature a locking tremolo system and are known for their ability to keep the guitar in tune even during the most aggressive playing.

Cantrell’s use of Kahler bridges was instrumental in creating some of the iconic riffs heard on Alice in Chains’ albums. His famous opening riff on “Man in the Box” showcases how he uses these bridges to create a distinct sound that sets him apart from other guitarists.

His Impact On The Grunge And Alternative Rock Music Scene

Jerry Cantrell’s musical career has had a significant impact on the grunge and alternative rock music scene. As one of the founding members of Alice in Chains, Cantrell helped define the sound of Seattle’s grunge scene in the early 1990s.

His innovative use of elements such as heavy riffs, unconventional chord progressions, and layered backing vocals was integral to shaping the band’s signature sound.

In addition to his work with Alice in Chains, Cantrell has collaborated with numerous other musicians over the years and is widely regarded as one of modern rock music’s most influential guitarists.


In conclusion, Jerry Cantrell has worked with some incredible bass guitarists over the years – Tyler Bates and his current band included – but none have stood the test of time quite like Mike Inez.

From his early days with Ozzy Osbourne to joining Alice in Chains, Inez’s collaboration with Cantrell has produced some of the most iconic and signature sounds in rock music history.

With influences ranging from grunge to alternative rock, Cantrell’s musical career continues to inspire musicians worldwide through collaborations with other talented artists like Duff McKagan.


1. Who is the current bassist for Jerry Cantrell?

The current bassist for Jerry Cantrell varies depending on his live performances and recordings, but notable past collaborators have included Mike Inez of Alice in Chains and Duff McKagan of Guns N’ Roses.

2. Has Jerry Cantrell ever played bass guitar himself?

Although primarily known as a guitarist, Jerry Cantrell has been known to play bass on occasion, particularly in the studio when recording demos or experimenting with new musical ideas.

3. How does the bass guitar factor into Jerry Cantrell’s music?

Bass guitar plays an important role in Jerry Cantrell’s music, providing a thick and heavy foundation to his signature grunge sound. The instrument often acts as a counterpoint to his distorted guitar riffs, creating a dynamic interplay between rhythm and melody within each song.

4. What are some noteworthy basslines on Jerry Cantrell’s albums?

Fans of classic grunge will enjoy iconic tracks like “Would?” and “Man in the Box,” both featuring standout bass work by Mike Inez that remains popular to this day. Additionally, songs such as “Anger Rising” from Cantrell’s solo career showcase his affinity for crafting intricate yet driving basslines that add depth to his compositions.

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