Kerry King Calls Alice In Chains’ Layne Staley The ‘Superstar’

In 1991, Alice In Chains was the third headlining alongside Slayer and Megadeth on the Clash Of The Titans tour’s US leg, one of the most significant collaborations in the metal world. These concerts also started Slayer guitarist Kerry King’s lifelong fandom for AIC. In a recent conversation with Metal Hammer, King, a metalhead who performed with the band, shared his favorite AIC song and spoke highly of the lead singer, Layne Staley.

“‘Them Bones’ is such a great song –super-short, heavy, great video and these really haunting vocal melodies,” said the guitarist, praising the opening track of AIC’s 1992 album, ‘Dirt.’ “Those dudes were untouchable on their first two records, they were really vibing as a band, and Layne was just a superstar. They played on the Clash Of The Titans, and on the first couple of dates, we’d be backstage going, ‘Who is that with that f*cking voice?’ And we started going out to watch the entire set every night. It was just one of those moments.”

One of AIC’s most brutal metal albums, ‘Dirt’ celebrates its 30th anniversary. This was their second studio album, released in the fall of 1992. After their debut album ‘Facelift,’ they took on a pretty dark mood on this one, and it received pretty good critical acclaim from metal circles. Not only did it affect the metal scene of its time, but it also remains considered one of the ‘bests’ retrospectively.

Jerry Cantrell, who had his signature on most of the band’s songs, said they dealt with their ‘daily demons’ on that record. The listeners enjoyed this brutal honesty and intense feeling woven around the addiction theme in the album. Kerry King’s favorite ‘Them Bones’ was also penned by Jerry Cantrell. This track, which deals with the theme of ‘death and mortality’ in a very dark and sarcastic tone, has also become one of the most-known songs of the band with its powerful riffs.