The Album Jerry Cantrell Turned His Back On Because Of Layne Staley
Alice in Chains has had a massive role in the rock and roll industry since its formation in 1987. They released three albums together with their iconic lineup before the tragic passing of Layne Staley. However, the band had faced its demise shortly before that. Although they didn’t officially disband, Staley had drifted away from the band after their 1995 eponymous album.
Unfortunately, Staley passed away a few years later, and the band lost its lead singer. No one had heard from Staley in two weeks, and when they went to his house, he was found deceased. This tragic passing affected many people around him, and some even felt guilty for not checking on him often. His co-lead vocalist and guitarist Jerry Cantrell was one of the names that got affected by this incident, and that period became a time he didn’t want to remember later on.
Jerry Cantrell Dedicated An Album To Layne Staley
‘Degradation Trip‘ was Cantrell’s second solo album, and it received more attention and positive reviews than his debut ‘Boggy Depot.’ The musician created the album during Alice in Chains’ hiatus, and Cantrell was having a hard time dealing with the possible demise of his band. However, he continued creating and releasing this album in 2002.
The release was two months after Staley’s death, and he dedicated ‘Degradation Trip’ to his late friend and bandmate Staley. As he later talked about the album, it was a hard time for everyone, specifically Cantrell. The rocker said he doesn’t listen to it much anymore, indicating that he turned his back on the release. It wasn’t a good time in his life; according to him, it’s apparent on the album. Moreover, the guitarist was also dealing with his addiction issues which made it more of a period he didn’t want to remember.
Here is what he said about not listening to the album:
“I was really f*cked up back then, to be honest with you, and you can hear it on that record. It was done right before I got sober, and it was also done right when I was dealing with the death of my band and then the unhappy coincidence of Layne passing away right after I released that record. So it was not a good time in my life, and it totally comes across on that record. It does strike a chord with a lot of people.
It’s a record I don’t listen to a lot anymore because of all those things I mentioned. And I sobered up a year after Layne passed. But it’s a record that’s important to me, and I’ll see Robert and Mike every once in a while, and they’re like, ‘We should do some fucking shows, man. Some ‘Degradation Trip’ shows.’ I tell him, ‘We’ll do it someday.'”
After Staley’s passing, Alice in Chains reunited in 2005 and continued releasing songs and albums. Jerry Cantrell took vocal duties and still carries Staley’s legacy with the band. Also, he overcame his addiction issues and focused on group and solo works.