Alice In Chains’ Jerry Cantrell On Layne Staley’s Passing, ‘I Wish He Was Still Here’
Jerry Cantrell spoke to Brent Porche recently about how he handles the loss of his bandmate Layne Staley. The Alice In Chains guitarist stated that he doesn’t think about Layne’s death but instead focuses on his contributions to the band and the music they made together.
Layne Staley was the original vocalist of the band Alice In Chains. He contributed to the band with his distinctive vocals and was known to have a beautiful harmony with the band’s guitarist Jerry Cantrell. Unfortunately, he passed away after overdosing on a mixture of heroin and cocaine, and his body was found two weeks after his death. It was a traumatic event for his family, friends, band members, and fans.
Although the band didn’t announce their official disbandment, they went on a hiatus between 1996 and 2004. Cantrell focused on his solo works and dedicated his next album ‘Degradation Trip’ to Staley, which was released two months after his death. In 2005, the band reunited, and since then, they have been continuing to perform and create albums for their fans. After Staley’s death, Alice In Chains released three more albums with Jerry Cantrell on the lead vocals.
Recently, Cantrell was asked if he thinks about Cantrell, and he stated that he doesn’t think about his death but his contributions. Cantrell focuses on the time they spent together to create music. He said that since it’s not possible to go back and change history, he honors Layne by celebrating his life and talents rather than focusing on his death.
Here is how Cantrell stated that he doesn’t think about Staley’s death:
“I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about it. I think about the good times we had together and the music that we made. I wish he was still here, but we can’t change time and history. It is what it is. I was lucky enough that I call him my friend and make the music that I did with him and continue to celebrate our music and his life with it by still continuing to make music and play the music we made together.”
Cantrell seems to be one of those musicians who channel their grief to music to achieve closure. Although it’s impossible to change the past, it is still sad to lose a friend and a bandmate. Yet, Cantrell feels lucky to have worked with him anyhow. Almost 20 years have passed since Staley departed from this world, and it is nice to hear that his work is still appreciated by his band.