Jerry Cantrell Resembles His Work With Layne Staley To The Beatles Members’
Alice In Chains guitarist Jerry Cantrell gave an interview to Metal Hammer in which he pointed out the similarities between the way he worked with Layne Staley to the Beatles members’ way of working.
Formed in 1987, Alice In Chains is known for their distinctive vocal and unique sound, which featured the harmonized vocals of Jerry Cantrell and Layne Staley. From 1996 onward, the band stayed inactive for some time due to Staley’s substance abuse, but they never officially disbanded. In 2002, unfortunately, he passed away due to his drug addiction.
Following the death of Staley, Alice In Chains regrouped in 2006, and William DuVall took over the lead vocal duties full-time. So, this lineup featured the vocal harmony of Cantrell and DuVall: Cantrell sang the vocals on most of the songs from their albums released after Staley’s death while DuVall harmonized with him in new songs and sang Staley’s vocals.
In an interview with Metal Hammer, Cantrell reflected on his musical partnership with Staley, his friend and former bandmate. The guitarist started his words by praising Staley’s vocal talents, saying he had a unique and powerful voice. He then stated that their songwriting blended together quite well as if they fit naturally.
Moreover, Cantrell added that Staley’s voice was more powerful than his, but they completed each other with their capabilities. The guitarist then mentioned The Beatles, Pink Floyd, the Eagles, and their way of working. He stated that they all took different lines to sing, and this aspect adds more color to the band’s sound, just like it did in Alice In Chains.
Speaking to Metal Hammer, Jerry Cantrell said the following:
“Layne was just an amazing talent. He had a really unique and powerful voice, but he had a sensitivity and touch to it as well. The way that I wrote and the way that he wrote blended together so well; we felt like a natural fit. He had more horsepower than me, I’m not going to be able to do the Brian Johnson gargled razor blades, but together we had something that the other didn’t.
Think of The Beatles, Floyd, the Eagles, that attitude of, ‘You take this line, and I’ll take that one’ – it adds more color to the canvas. Someone reviewed us once and called us ‘The Satanic Everly Brothers’, which I thought was pretty cool.”
Although only John Lennon acted as the lead vocalist until 1963, the Beatles members ultimately agreed that all four band members would contribute to the vocals on their albums, including Starr, who had a restricted vocal range. According to Cantrell, their way of working like that brought more color to their sound.