Jerry Cantrell Admits He Tricked Layne Staley Into Joining Alice In Chains

Alice In Chains guitarist Jerry Cantrell talked about how he managed to convince Layne Staley to join the band in a recent interview with Kerrang! Magazine.

In the conversation, Jerry recalled when he first saw Layne singing and stated that he was singing on another level. Therefore, he wanted to form a new band with him as soon as possible. Afterward, they met each other and put some rehearsals together.

However, Jerry was not happy about Staley’s lack of commitment to Alice In Chains because he was playing with three different bands at that time. Jerry agreed with Alice In Chains’ original bass guitarist Mike Starr to pull a stunt to make sure that Layne is fully committed to Alice In Chains.

As Jerry said, they started to audition singers to piss Layne off. Jerry mentioned that they put ads around the city and purposely auditioned the worst people they could find, and they were acting like all these vocalists were great. Eventually, this angered Layne, and he decided to commit to Alice In Chains fully.

Jerry Cantrell talked about how he convinced Layne Staley to stay with Alice In Chains in the interview:

“The first time I saw Layne perform was in my hometown, Tacoma. His band, they were called Alice N’ Chains at the time, played, and as soon as he opened his mouth I thought, ​Oh my God, that guy is fucking next level – I have to be in a band with him!’

We met, and we hit it off immediately, and he invited me to move into the rehearsal place he was living in and he got me a job there. Layne would be fucking around jamming with us, but I needed to get him to commit to it properly, because he was in about three different bands then.

So Mike and I pulled a bit of a stunt on him: we put ads out and started purposely auditioning the worst people we could find, including a male stripper.

We did it at the rehearsal so he’d see, and acted like we really liked them in order to piss Layne off and get him to join instead. It worked and he eventually did commit to us. We told him all about what we’d done afterwards.”

Unfortunately, Layne Staley passed away back in 2012, around the same time when Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain passed away. The cause of his death was ruled as overdose after using a mixture of heroin and cocaine.