Alice In Chains Member Reveals When He Was Told He Was No Longer A ‘Fill In’

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Alice In Chains bassist Mike Inez discussed his journey to joining Alice In Chains in a new Metal Hammer interview.

“I played rhythm guitar for years before my uncle gave me a 1955 Fender P-Bass that I wish I still had. I traded it for something else and went from there. I was in a couple of bands in LA, and then I was at a rehearsal studio one day in 1989 with my band, when a guy came in and told me that Ozzy Osbourne was auditioning bass players just around the corner.

“I was about 22 at the time and I knew it would be my one shot, so I phoned in sick for work on the day of the audition and went over there. Every bass player in the world was there, and I thought there was no way I was going to get the gig, but I played a bunch of songs with Ozzy and Zakk Wylde and had a blast. I was playing a Fender PJ at the time, the one that Duff McKagan plays. I heard they had over 200 guys try out, but I got down to the final three, and then Sharon told me I got the gig and I was off to Dublin, Ireland.

“We did a three-year tour for the No More Tears album and Alice In Chains, who supported us, asked me if I would fill in for their bass player Mike Starr. I did 27 gigs in 32 days in 16 countries while I was filling in. After that they asked me to join full-time, and here we are all these years later!”