Alice in Chains have had a few setbacks while recording the follow-up to 2009′s ‘Black Gives Way to Blue.’ In a new interview, singer-guitarist Jerry Cantrell reveals that the process is full speed ahead and talks about the MusiCares MAP award ceremony taking place tonight (May 31) and what it means to him.

News broke that Alice in Chains were working on their next album almost a year ago, yet here we are still waiting on it’s release. One major delay that impeded the process was bone spurs and cartilage problems with Cantrell’s shoulder that required surgery. “I had the same issue in the other shoulder about six years ago so I’ve had them both done now,” Cantrell tells “It’s a repetitive motion injury from playing. But the repair takes a year. So that kind of set us back a little bit, but it takes time anyway — my body started a vacation.”

With Cantrell’s recovery in the bag — as well as the writing of the new material — Cantrell says that laying the album down is their current priority. “Now it’s time to cut [the album],” says Cantrell. “So we’re gonna try to, but if not, it’ll probably be out early next year. It’ll be out about three or four minutes after we’re finished [laughs]. Give the record company time to set it up and plan the attack and tour for hopefully a year, year and a half.”

Alice in Chains will perform for the first time this year at the MusiCares MAP awards tonight, where Cantrell will also be honored with the Stevie Ray Vaughan award for his contributions to the fund that aids artists with substance abuse issues. “A common part of the human experience is if you f— around with it long enough, it’s gonna get a hold of you,” cautions the AIC singer-guitarist. “A better way to look at it is I admire those guys for the effort they make. It’s cool to get here, it’s cool to know that you can get here and it’s nice to be [proof] that no matter where you find yourself in life you’ve always got a chance to turn it around.”

The event is set to take place at Club Nokia in Los Angeles and in addition to Alice in Chains, the night will feature performances from a lineup hand-picked by Cantrell — Duff McKagan, Mark Lanegan (Screaming Trees), Nancy Wilson of Heart, Billy Idol and Moby.