Alice in Chains’ EP ‘SAP’: “There was never a plan to release the songs” – 2023

Alice in Chains:

I never would have thought that all these years later I’d still be asked to comment on some ‘Sappy’ songs that we had recorded. There was never a plan to release the songs until I had a dream. One of those fully realized, seems like it had already happened, kind of dreams. I know this all sounds like some made up bullshit but it’s true. I told the guys about it and we made the decision to make the dream a reality. There was only one request from us when we brought the EP to our record label. The request was that there would be no promotion for the EP. Just put it in record stores and let people discover it on their own. Well, it appears that some of you have found this little thing we call #SAP. On behalf of the guys and myself, we are forever grateful.

Revisit EP

📷: Ultimaterockpix, 1992


Following the tour for Facelift, Alice in Chains entered the studio to record a song for the Cameron Crowe movie Singles, but decided to turn the engagement to their advantage. As the guitarist Jerry Cantrell recalled: “So in the session that was meant for recording that one song [‘Would?’], we ended up demoing about 10 songs, which included all the stuff that ended up on the [1992] Sap EP, ‘Rooster’ and a couple of others from Dirt.”

While in the studio, drummer Sean Kinney had a dream about “making an EP called Sap.” The band decided “not to mess with fate,” and Sap was recorded and mixed in 1991 with producer Rick Parashar at London Bridge Studio.

The EP was recorded in four or five days in November 1991.

Regarding the lyrical content, Cantrell said he wrote “Brother” about his relationship with his younger brother. The song specifically refers to the period after Cantrell’s parents divorced, when his younger brother went off to live with his father while he stayed with his mother, and Cantrell said that the song “was a way of trying to build a bridge.” Commenting on “Got Me Wrong”, Cantrell said he wrote the song about a relationship where one person thinks he or she can change the other person and added that the song speaks of “the different ways that men and women see each other.”

A version of the song “Rooster” was recorded during the sessions for Sap and was to be included on the EP, but the band then decided to use the song on their second full-length album instead. This version is featured on the band’s 1999 box set Music Bank.

Alice in Chains released ‘SAP’ on February 4, 1992, via Columbia Records. The EP was produced by Alice in Chains and Rick Parashar and features guest vocals by Ann Wilson of the band Heart, Chris Cornell of Soundgarden and Mark Arm of Mudhoney. The track “Got Me Wrong” became a hit two years later after being featured on the soundtrack to the 1994 film Clerks. On January 14, 1994, Sap was certified gold by the RIAA for the sale of more than 500,000 copies.