Alice In Chains Reveal Why Layne Staley Death Didn’t Change ‘Our Sound’


Alice In Chains drummer Sean Kinney discussed the band not losing their sound after Layne Staley’s death in a new Drum Magazine interview, and how the band have kept their sound intact with William DuVall.

“We found our identity early on, and it’s ours alone,” Kinney says. “Things changed because we lost one of our best friends and bandmates, but new people came into the fold. The framework of the band never went away, and I guess that’s why our sound is intact.”

Kinney has been playing with guitarist and singer Jerry Cantrell for 31 years now, and in his view, not much has changed about how they work together. “We sit down to make music to please ourselves, and we do it on a per song basis,” he says. “Jerry will whip out a riff, or I’ll hear him warming up, and I’ll be like, That’s cool. So then I’ll start jamming with him, and before you know it, we’ve got something. We have two singers and a lot of melodies, so the trick for me is to play something interesting that suits the song.”

Jerry Cantrell wrote the majority of Alice In Chains’ 90’s material, writing most of the music for songs and half of the lyrics, including hits like “Rooster”, “No Excuses”, “Them Bones”, “Heaven Beside You”, “Grind”, “Down in a Hole” and “Would”. Layne Staley wrote the other half of Alice In Chains’ lyrics, including hits like “Man in the Box”, “Angry Chair”, “I Stay Away”, “Again”, and “Get Born Again”.

  • Dave Id

    They may still go about working a new song using the same process, but their sound is entirely different now.