The Alice In Chains Song Inspired By Chris Cornell And Layne Staley
Alice In Chains has been a prominent figure in the music industry since its formation in 1987. Like many other bands, they also went through lineup changes, such as when the band’s vocalist Layne Staley tragically passed away from a mix of heroin and cocaine on April 5, 2022. Alice In Chains took their time for proper grieving after the singer’s death and had a break from their musical journey for four years.
Later on, they decided to reunite, and William DuVall filled in for Staley as the lead vocalist. The band’s first three albums featured Layne Staley while recording the following three with DuVall. The band released their first studio album, ‘Black Gives Way to Blue,’ with the new lineup in 2009, and the second album named ‘The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here‘ featuring DuVall on vocals also arrived in 2013.
Since then, the band has been recording and playing together, and their third studio album named ‘Rainier Fog,’ with William DuVall dropped in 2018. The album includes ten tracks in total, and the third single of it called ‘Never Fade‘ has a unique story and inspiration behind it that stands as an homage to their late member and a fellow musician.
How Did Chris Cornell And Layne Staley Inspire ‘Never Fade?’
Alice In Chains’ sixth studio album entitled ‘Rainier Fog’ was released on August 24, 2018. Four singles preceded the record, ‘The One You Know,’ ‘So Far Under,’ ‘Never Fade,’ and ‘Rainier Fog.’ The album generally received positive reviews and was praised for its strong vocals and impressive songwriting. It debuted at number 12 on the Billboard 200 chart and mostly reached the top ten in other countries.
The album’s third single, named ‘Never Fade,‘ was released on August 10, 2018, written by Jerry Cantrell and William DuVall. Cantrell didn’t have the lyrics yet but intended to write them during the album’s recording process. As a result, he wrote the music and the chorus during the studio sessions, but he didn’t initially plan to be an Alice In Chains song. However, William DuVall ended up being the one who wrote the song’s lyrics.
DuVall spoke to Kerrang! about the song’s writing process in an old interview and said that his memories essentially helped him write that song. He didn’t leave the studio until he finished it, and he had his late grandmother, Layne Staley, and Chris Cornell in his mind while writing the song, which helped him complete it. Thus, the band released the song ‘Never Fade’ as a tribute to DuVall’s grandmother, Alice In Chains’ original vocalist Layne Staley, and Soundgarden lead singer Chris Cornell.
William DuVall reflected on the writing process of the song:
“I think there was some residue from the past lingering, but the ghosts were benevolent; they were there to help, not hinder. I wrote the lyrics to the song ‘Never Fade’ right there in Studio X. I thought, ‘I’m not leaving this room until I chase this song down.’ I sang about the history, all the songs that had been written, all the arguments among bands and discussions about the future.
I was thinking about my grandmother, who’d just died a few months earlier; thinking about Layne Staley, thinking about Chris Cornell, who’d just passed a month before just letting it wash over, and at the end, I walked out into the dawn and felt I’d had a significant spiritual experience. It couldn’t have happened anywhere else.”
You can listen to ‘Never Fade’ below.