Alice in Chains guitarist/vocalist Jerry Cantrell wants fans to know that the band is ready to work on a new album. The record would be the follow-up to 2009′s ‘Black Gives Way to Blue,’ 14 years after their previous release.

Alice In Chains would have worked on new material sooner, but suffered a setback when Cantrell had to undergo shoulder surgery. With the medical issues fully behind him, the band can finally enter the studio to start recording.

“It‘s time to get to work and the material is really interesting, the body of work that we’ve done,” Cantrell tells Rolling Stone. “It’ll be as different as any one of our records is to any other, and it’ll also be just as recognizable. It’s an Alice record, for sure.”

Cantrell won’t give an exact release date because he doesn’t want to rush the album. It could come out later this year, or it could see a release in 2013. ”We’ve been very lucky to be able to kind of do things at our own pace for our entire career,” he says. “And this is no exception.”

‘Black Gives Way to Blue’ was the first Alice in Chains album to feature new vocalist William Duvall, who replaced original frontman Layne Staley after his tragic death in 2002. That album was a tribute to Staley, which has now allowed the band to fully heal from their loss. Their next release will be the evolution of the group.

“Albums, to me, are like snapshots of periods of time, and it’s kind of a mosaic of all the people involved,” Cantrell says. “It’s a process that you go through to make it happen lyrically and musically,” he says. “It’s always been our style to tell our story.”

Jerry Cantrell will be given the Stevie Ray Vaughan Award by MAP/MusiCares on May 31 in Los Angeles, Calif. The two are programs that help musicians in time of crisis, including drug rehabilitation.