Alice In Chains Reveal Which Layne Staley Album Is Painful: ‘That’s The Honest Truth’

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Alice In Chains singer/guitarist Jerry Cantrell discussed the band’s self-titled album in a new Vice interview.

Noisey: In the beginning of “God Am” you can hear Layne Staley taking a bong rip and uttering the words, “Sure, God is all powerful, but does he have lips?” Do you remember what that was about?
Jerry Cantrell: I think it was Layne just being a goof. It does catch people off guard sometimes how big of a sense of humor we all have, not only about everything else, but especially ourselves.

This record feels different than anything else the band has done—it’s just a little weirder, and a little murkier. 
There’s a sadness to that record—it’s the sound of a band falling apart. It was our last studio record [to that point]. It’s a beautiful record, but it’s sad, too. It’s a little more exploratory, a little bit more meandering. It’s not as crafted as the rest of our records were.

It’s definitely my favorite Alice In Chains record for those exact reasons. Did you know it was going to be the final record with that lineup?
I didn’t know that it would be the last one, but you could feel that if something didn’t change we wouldn’t be lasting too much longer. That’s just the honest truth of it. And it turned out to be right, unfortunately.

  • Chris Edwards

    That album grows on me more and more with each listen. There is a certain beauty in the disintegrating atmosphere, like it’s nearly audible on the record. It’s definitely different than anything else they’d done. In spots it sounds like the band has transcended the flesh and other places it sounds like four guys jamming on some tunes. When it first came out, “Heaven Beside You” caught my ear but it didn’t have that AiC sound I’d known. Also, all the press around it was all about how AiC were back and had risen above all the issues that had hemmed ’em in. It’s a shame all the PR fluff wasn’t true. When there were rumors of another AiC album in the metal mags a couple of years later, but still no word on any live shows, I thought “there’s no way AiC will ever be a metal Steely Dan. This shit ain’t gonna work.”

  • Eddie Yarler

    It sucks this album was so neglected. Its actually my favorite album from AiC. I think the themes of death and suffering are present, like they were in Dirt, but with much more peace. Songs like Over Now, Shame in You and Frogs have that hurt soul vibe we’ve come to know from Alice in Chains yet are much more optimistic than tracks like Nutshell, Down in a Hole or Hate to Feel. I think thats why this album is so special to me. Its sadness but an accepting sadness.
    Regardless, picking a favorite Alice record is like picking a favorite child. They’re all great and cannot wait for No. 6.