Alice In Chains’ Jerry Cantrell Details Quitting Drugs After Layne Staley Death


Alice In Chains singer/guitarist Jerry Cantrell discussed recording Degradation Trip ‘fucked up’ and quitting drugs and drinking after Layne Staley died in a new Billboard interview.

“Lastly, though we’re talking about Alice in Chains, there are a lot of people out there who are big fans of your solo work. Especially 2002’s Degradation Trip, your super session with Mike Bordin on drums and Robert Trujillo on bass. What are your thoughts on that album now, over 15 years later?

I was just really fucked up back then to be honest with you, and you can totally hear it on that record. It was done right before I got sober, and it was also done right when I was dealing with the death of my band, and then the unhappy coincidence of Layne passing away right after I released that record. So it was not a good time in my life, and it totally comes across on that record. It does strike a chord with a lot of people. It’s a record I don’t listen to a lot anymore because of all those things I mentioned. And I sobered up a year after Layne passed. But it’s a record that’s important to me, and I’ll see Robert and Mike every once in a while and they’re like, “We should do some fucking shows, man. Some Degradation Trip shows.” (laughs) I tell him we’ll do it someday.”

Jerry Cantrell discussed getting clean and sober in 2012 during his speech accepting the Stevie Ray Vaughn Award at the MAP Awards at the 2012 MusiCares benefit show in Los Angeles. Jerry joked that the award was the ‘junkie of the year’ award.

“And of course I’d really like to thank Sean [Kinney], that is my best friend in the world and I love him dearly. I can’t imagine going through life without him, and I’m glad we’re both here together.”

“I crash landed here almost 9 years ago, in Los Angeles. Sean was at the door with my brother, so my choices were open the door and go to rehab or jump out the back window down a cliff into some black berry bushes. That’s the choice I took. Luckily they caught me because I couldn’t go anywhere, I was kind of stuck in a bush at the bottom of a cliff bleeding, and I ended up here. I didn’t intend to get here but I’m very grateful I am here, and it took a lot of people to help me get here.”

“I’m as imperfect as they come, and I just try to do what I can to not get high today. That’s pretty much got me to where I am today, I just don’t get high today and wake up the next day and try to do the same thing.”