Roadrunner & Artist News

RIP Layne Staley

Posted on February 12, 2008

Seeing that Jerry Cantrell is now a member of the Roadrunner family, his past bonds too are family now. Accordingly, it is only fitting we make mention of the loss music suffered this past week - Layne Staley, vocalist and co-conspirator with Jerry Cantrell in Alice In Chains, has passed away. On the evening of Friday, April 19th, Layne was found dead in his Seattle home. Layne and Jerry were the writing core behind the machine that was Alice In Chains, the two who made fourth interval harmonies a sound that defined the band and a piece of music history. Layne was truly innovative with his unique vocal styling - a genuine talent, one of a kind. Now often imitated, but never duplicated, Layne's baritone voice owed nothing to previous singers, but was rather a new type of singing none ever heard before. As one half of the writing machine behind Alice In Chains (Jerry being the other), Layne's talents went well beyond his voice: Being a self-taught guitarist, he wrote some of the most haunting melodies found on the Dirt release (hear "Angry Chair", "Hate To Feel"), and living through his own life experiences, he wrote some of the most soulful and brutally honest lyrics one could ever know. Aptly told, Layne once said, "We're not preaching, it's our own shit." Layne's gift will never be forgotten. His work, in and out of Alice In Chains, will be remembered forever. That being told, this past Sunday (04/21), the remaining members of Alice in Chains offered a statement to express their loss. It is as follows: "It's good to be with friends and family as we struggle to deal with this immense loss ... and try to celebrate this immense life. We are looking for all the usual things: comfort, purpose, answers, something to hold on to, a way to let him go in peace. "Mostly, we are feeling heartbroken over the death of our beautiful friend. He was a sweet man with a keen sense of humor and a deep sense of humanity. He was an amazing musician, an inspiration, and a comfort to so many. He made great music and gifted it to the world. We are proud to have known him, to be his friend, and to create music with him. "For the past decade, Layne struggled greatly — we can only hope that he has at last found some peace. "We love you, Layne. Dearly. And we will miss you ... endlessly."
 

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