Jerry Cantrell Says He Didn’t Want To Compete With Layne Staley

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Alice In Chains frontman Jerry Cantrell recently spoke about how he got used to the idea of replacing the late Layne Staley as the vocalist of the band after he passed away. He admitted that he didn’t compete with him and he was only inspired by him to get his confidence.

Alice In Chains faced a tragedy when their vocalist Layne Staley passed away from a drug overdose in 2002. His body was found two weeks after his death in an unrecognizable state, and the band members blamed themselves for not being able to notice sooner. Jerry Cantrell released his first solo album, ‘Degradation Trip’ two weeks after and dedicated it to Staley.

The band continued their career by replacing Staley with Cantrell on vocals and are still active to this day. It was difficult for Cantrell to replace his friend, especially after he left because he was gone. But his influence and inspiration lasted on Jerry, and he recently talked about this in his recent interview with Spokesman.

Cantrell stated that he was happy as being the guitarist of the band in the beginning and was reluctant to sing. He never wanted to compete with Staley, and he didn’t, but he inspired him with his confidence. He continued to state how ‘amazed’ he was by his friend, who encouraged him to sing the songs he wrote. While Staley was alive, Cantrell wanted him to sing the songs he wrote because he thought he was better than him.

Here is what he stated about Staley inspiring him:

“I was happy to play guitar and sing backup in Alice in Chains. When you have a guy like Layne Staley in the band, you don’t want to compete with him. But I give Layne credit for giving me the confidence to sing. I was amazed by him. I was the main writer with the band. Layne said, ‘No offense against these lyrics, but they’re very personal. I think you should sing them.’ I was like, ‘You’re better than me.’ He said, ‘You’ll be fine.’ We gave each other confidence. Layne was a unique powerhouse who had a great deal of empathy.”

Unlike many other bands, the two icons of Alice In Chains had no drama, jealousy, or competition with each other. They both gave each other confidence which lead them to be better and better each day. According to Cantrell, Staley was the ‘powerhouse‘ of the band who was very ’empathetic.’