Alice In Chains Member Calls Out Layne Staley Falsehoods


Alice In Chains bassist Mike Inez called out the characterization of Layne Staley as just a ‘dark’ and ‘depressed’ guy as a falsehood in a new Chicago Sun-Times interview.

The article states that Alice in Chains has its own beleaguered past, of course, having dealt with the incredible loss of former frontman Staley in in 2002 and original bassist Mike Starr (who played with the band from the early days until Inez took over in 1993) in 2011, both from drug overdoses.

When Alice in Chains kicked off its latest tour in Boston April 30th, Cantrell admitted to the crowd, “We like to take a minute most every night to think about Layne and Mike as well,” before playing one of the band’s most gut-wrenching tracks, “Nutshell,” made famous in a 1996 MTV Unplugged performance.

“Layne put everything he had into that song and the lyrics,” says Inez, who remembers first meeting Staley when Alice in Chains opened for Ozzy Osbourne on the initial No More Tours tour in 1992. Inez was Osbourne’s bassist at the time.

“People always talk about Layne as this dark, brooding, mysterious, depressed dude, and there’s so much more to him than that. He was always such a happy guy and his laugh was one of my favorite things I ever heard in my life.”

  • disqus_U5eUFbCmER

    Rest in peace to them both

  • Olga Stewart

    I am glad that Mike is setting the record straight about this.

  • Raj

    Ditto for Kurt to suggest he and Layne were always these moody guys who moped around all the time is simply not true. Guys like Kurt and Layne had a sense of humor and were nice guys by all accounts.

  • Cristiann

    I hate how people tend to think that everyone who has depression is always “dark” and “broody”. When the truth is that many of us with depression can actually be very funny, sweet and laugh a lot. They often times don’t even seem sad to most people … I think that’s one of the reasons why lots of us still don’t understand mental illness. We don’t look beyond the surface.

    • Dawn Meek

      Thats very true

    • Olga Stewart

      You are spot on with this.

      I tend to both laugh a fair bit and to try find the humour in things.

      But sometimes, trying to find the bright side doesn’t always happen. And that’s when I feel probably my most depressed.

      However, I know that it doesn’t last long. And that I am able to push through to get back to both the humour and the light.

      Still, it is a daily struggle. And some days are worse than others.

      • Craig Williams

        Chester Benningtons of Lincoln Park wife shared a video that she took a mere hour or so before his death and the headline read “this is what depression in our house looked like” and showed Bennington laughing and joking and not a care in the world.

      • Cristiann

        “Still, it is a daily struggle. And some days are worse than others.” — so true. Sometimes it’s just really hard to function like a “normal” person, but still … here we are. We gotta keep trying and keep hoping for better days.

        Hang in there, Olga. <3

        • Olga Stewart

          Thank you.

          And I wish you well. :).

        • Trovoid

          Hi Cristiann. I really hope you’re able to sort things out and book some kind of appointment. I took the leap and have gone to a few myself. It hasn’t been as scary as I thought it’d be. I’ve gotten to a point of such apathy that I’m afraid I will waste the rest of my life away.

          I also sincerely hope we all see better days. Talking to all of you great people from all around the world- it’s difficult to see how many of us are struggling. What’s reassuring is seeing how kind, open, and thoughtful you all are. We all deserve better than this.

          • Cristiann

            That’s awesome 🙂 I’m so happy for you. It’s a pretty big step that you took there and I’m glad it wasn’t as scary as you feared it would be. I still haven’t been brave enough to make that leap yet (I’m still struggling to work certain things out), but I’m hoping to get over my fears/nerves and make an appointment some time this summer.

            “I’ve been so apathetic, I think it’s likely that I’ll waste the rest of my life away if my mental health issues keep getting worse.” — honestly, same here. This is also one of my biggest fears (that things will never get better and that I’ll always be a mess), but at least you’ve already taken the biggest (and scariest) step in order to get better and move forward.

            This is going to sound really cheesy, but I’m proud of you. You’ve already done what so many of us are still too afraid to do. You’re a great person as well and I really hope things continue to improve in your life. Hang in there. <3

          • Trovoid

            The doctor I’ve seen is very open-minded. It doesn’t seem like your run-of-the-mill psych office and there is no hidden agenda or anything. Do your research when the time comes and I’m sure you’ll find help you can trust.

            Thanks Cristiann, you are so sweet ♥♥♥

            Life has been too difficult for too long. There is so much for you and I to experience still. It’s not too late even if it feels like it is. I see a bright future for a woman as well-spoken, kind, and empathic as yourself. We just need to find meaning in our lives and good daily habits. Take care of yourself. Like I’ve said before; if you ever need any reassurance, someone to vent to, anything at all- I’m your guy. I seriously mean that. I enjoy talking to you!

          • Cristiann

            That’s really great to hear — it’s nice to know that not all experiences with doctors are bad (especially when it comes to mental health). I will take your advice and do some good research first before making an appointment somewhere. My biggest worry is that I won’t be able to find a good doctor that accepts my insurance … but I will keep trying and when the time comes, I hope I’ll get help in the right place.

            You’re welcome. <3

            I truly hope you’re right — sometimes I feel like I’ve already missed out on all my “second chances”, but your reassuring words give me hope. We’re both too young to feel like it’s too late for things to get better for us. I want to believe that it’s never too late.

            Aww, thank you. <3 I really enjoy talking to you as well. It’s always a comfort to be able to talk about these things with someone who’s kind, patient and understanding (I don’t have much of this in my real life tbh), so thanks again for that. You’ve always been so nice to me. Please feel free to message me whenever you need to talk/rant about anything. ♥️

    • Craig Williams

      Chester Benningtons of Lincoln Park wife shared a video that she took a mere hour or so before his death and the headline read “this is what depression in our house looked like” and showed Bennington laughing and joking and not a care in the world

    • JK

      Yes! Everyone is shocked when I tell them I suffer from severe depression. When you look at the symptoms of depression less than half of them have to do with mood. I describe it as my brain is depressed, it works slower than a non-depressed brain, so I’m exhausted all the time, have very little motivation to do anything, can’t enjoy things I used to, and have trouble processing speech and forming responses to questions. With all that going on it’s no wonder I’m also bummed out a lot, but that’s not at the root of what depression really is. Plus I’m an extrovert, as probably many other depressed people are, so we have more energy when we are around people. For me it all comes down to energy level. When depression is at its’ worst I have so much trouble doing anything.

      • Olga Stewart

        I’m the opposite of you in that I’m an introvert.

        So when I feel depressed, it just feels easier for me to deal with it because I tend to both keep to myself and deal with things on my own.

      • Cristiann

        “When depression is at its’ worst I have so much trouble doing anything.” — same here. Honestly, you described it all perfectly. Feeling tired all the time, loosing motivation to do anything, having trouble communicating with others, etcs. Depression (especially when severe or long term) is hard to live with and most people will really misunderstand you.

  • Bob Reynolds

    Hello darkness my old friend…
    Sorrow found me when I was young
    Sorrow waited, sorrow won.


    Layne deserves to be remembered for the amazing man Layne was – not for the negative things surrounding Layne’s life. I’m glad Mike set the record straight. Layne was so much more than AiC front man: he was a son, brother and friend as well and people loved him. As a mother of a son with depression, the world isn’t always a kind place and depression is a tough illness to get under control – Rx antidepressants aren’t always very effective. I can easily see how Layne may have self medicated to beat back depression. Let’s make sure those whom aren’t as aware remember Layne in a positive way. He will always be loved and sorely missed.