Layne Staley’s Mother Details ‘War’ He Fought At Home: ‘He Died Five Times’


Late Alice In Chains singer Layne Staley’s mother Nancy Layne McCallum recently discussed her son’s addiction in a new interview with Seattle Times’ Nicole Brodeur.

“While others were in Afghanistan and Iraq, he was fighting a war at home,” McCallum said. “He chose to write about it and sing about it and perform about it.

“It was a warning.”

She also told the Seattle Times, “He was touring around the world, he was at home and he was in treatment,” she said. “He was caught in a trap. I came to understand it too late.

“Addiction is a disease like any other,” she continued. “Like a cancer, it can be treated, but it can also reoccur. We shouldn’t judge. The emphasis should be on research and treatment.”

McCallum also discussed Layne, Alice In Chains, and the opioid crisis in a recent Northwest Music Scene interview.

“I would say Alice in Chains is even more relevant now, given the opioid crisis across our country. The purpose of the music – Layne would say, ‘Mom, don’t they listen to the words?’ The purpose of his music was to warn people. ‘This is a trap, and it’s a trap that even I can’t get out of,’ he tried to warn people. With all of his money and all of his fortune and fame. He was in treatment ten times. He died at least five times, that we know of. He was dropped off at a hospital. He had infections. And he was still writing. He was still warning people. He was still performing.”

Nancy also recently discussed Layne’s birth with Northwest Music Scene, “Layne was my first child and I was just 19 (when he was born). When he was in the delivery process and he could see all the bright lights, you could hear him cooing, which is kind of unusual, because babies usually were screaming.

Then they propped me up and laid Layne in my arms. He was watching the lights and his little mouth was in an O and he was cooing. And I looked down and said, ‘Hi Layne, I’m your mom.’ I think it’s unusual that he was that natural from the very moment he was born.”