“When I was asked to do that [performing at the Mad Season reunion], what came next was listening to the original recordings, which was listening to Layne sing in headphones over and over to learn it, and feel like I really knew it. That was kind of unexpected, I don’t want to say dark, but it was tough, because I hadn’t really done that. Listening to his voice intimately, and sing those words and sing those songs, it definitely sort of forced me to reckon with what happened in his life, and the fact that he’s not around anymore. I think that’s tough for everybody that knew him, as it is for anyone that loses someone who is a friend that is young, or that affects your life, just fans of his even.
I think that sometimes almost the bigger tragedy in a weird way is all of the future imagined creative projects that could have happened that didn’t. I feel the same way about lots of brilliant people who die young, kind of senselessly especially. If it’s an accident you feel like it’s an act of God, but if you feel like they did it somehow, it’s sort of harder to reconcile. It’s hard to find a silver lining, but it doesn’t change what he did at all.”
From Alternative Nation
Today marks the 20th anniversary of Shannon Hoon’s death but I think it is better to remember him simply as a talented and charismatic frontman.
Rock on wherever you are!
You can light the candle here
There is also a memorial article in Alternative Nation
REVOLVER What are your fondest memories of Layne?
MIKE INEZ Layne was just such a real human being, and such a good human too. He never had an ulterior motives. He’d never do any racist jokes, I never heard him talk shit about anybody. He was always very supportive of other bands, like on Lollapalooza, we had Tool, Rage Against the Machine, Fishbone, Dinosaur Jr., Primus, and Arrested Development. And by the end of that six-week tour in the states, we were all jamming with each other. Dudes would come down with us, and we’d go jam with them. But there was this crazy industrial Belgian band called Front 242 that was on that. And they didn’t speak good English, and they were kind of like doing their own thing. Turns out, they were great guys. It was just hard to relate to them because they were so foreign and everything was just a traveling circus. For some reason, Layne just loved that band. He would go up and jam with them; it was really cool. Out of the all the rocks stars—you know, Rage Against the Machine and Tool and all the rock star bands—he wanted to jam with the opener and play some crazy industrial music.
“Layne was such an icon – such an American original with such a distinctive voice,” Inez says. “The courage of William coming in like this is amazing. Layne was one of my favorite vocalists I’ve ever played with over the years. It was tough for William to try to step in at the beginning. I told him early on that the only way to win people over was one gig at a time, face-to-face. He puts his chin out to the audience and gives it his all every night. He’s well prepared and works hard. We all just blast it out every night now, and it’s great.”
Update from July 13th
Alice In Chains bassist Mike Inez discussed missing Layne Staley in a new Facebook posts. Inez noted that it has been 20 years since Alice In Chains performed at Tiger Stadium in Detroit, which was a part of Alice In Chains’ final series of shows in 1996 with Layne Staley.
“Damn 20 (FUCK 20??) years ago, our band played this KISS reunion show at the old Tiger Stadium in Detroit..and almost to the day, 20 years later, we went back and played the Football Stadium opening for Guns & Roses reunion in the same city..
Mixed emotions… I miss Layne but am proud to still be standing next to my brothers making a bunch of noise and laughing on the tour bus.
Posted in Alice in Chains
Tagged alice in chains, arrested development, dinosaur jr, fishbone, front 242, layne staley, mike inez, primus, rage against the machine, tool, william duvall
Ever wonder how the setlists get written? Stone Gossard cleared that up in this interview with The AV Club in 2013.
–AVC: So how do you guys go about making a set list? Are you all involved? Is it hashed out right before you go on?
–SG: It’s Ed’s process. We sort of leave it to him to begin to piece it together, and there will be days where he’s like, “I can’t do a set list. You do it, Jeff or Stone.” And it definitely used to be a more democratic process. But the longer we’ve been a band, the more important it’s been for him to find the emotional path in a set, and that’s really important. It’s a major benefit to all of us if he’s connecting with what’s going on and people are connecting with him. So he’s really good at continuing to work songs in and asking what you want to play. If you ask him to do a certain song or pull a certain song, he certainly will in general. But he’ll come up with the main set list before we go out and we’ll make adjustments if somebody says, “Oh, this one doesn’t work” or “I don’t know how to play this anymore” or “This tuning and that tuning are so similar that we don’t want to do those together.” There’s a lot of logistical reasons why you don’t want to play two songs back-to-back if everyone’s got to change guitars three times in a row. In general, he’ll spend a few hours figuring it out.