The Metallica Album Inspired By Layne Staley From Alice In Chains

The music industry is a very competitive era in which almost every band tries to become the best and most popular one globally. Even though artists look like they are never interested in each other’s works, most of them probably examine and try to figure out what made it special after that record became more popular and commercially successful than theirs. However, there’s always another side of the coin.

Some bands and musicians constantly supported one another during challenging times. They collaborated on several projects, including tours, albums, and other occasions, which made their friendship stronger despite the music industry that encouraged them to tear each other up. Let’s look at the relationship between alternative rock’s iconic band Alice in Chains and thrash metal legend Metallica to see what encouraged the latter to pay homage to Layne Staley.

The Relationship Between Metallica And Alice In Chains Members

Alice in Chains and Metallica members have known each other for a long time, so it can be said that they have a history full of unforgettable moments along with painful ones. Their fans couldn’t have a chance to watch two bands playing together, especially with the lineup that Alice in Chains’ late frontman Layne Staley in it. They planned to team up for a Metallica tour, but a problem occurred a short time before the concerts.

In addition, Metallica’s The Shit Hits the Sheds Tour started on May 30, 1994, in Corfu, and it ended on August 21, 1994, in Miami. Alice in Chains was supposed to perform supporting acts for Metallica with Danzig, Suicidal Tendencies, Candlebox, and Fight. However, Staley entered rehab because of heroin addiction, so they decided to cancel it. Then, Jerry Cantrell was Metallica’s guest to sing ‘For Whom the Bell Tolls’ during one of their concerts as a part of the tour.

Which Metallica Album Started As A Tribute To Layne Staley?

Unfortunately, Layne Staley and Metallica members couldn’t play and sing together again after the frontman passed away due to a speedball overdose on April 5, 2002. His early and unexpected death devastated his fans, friends, and family and inspired the thrash metal legends to write and compose an album about death and how we are close to it. The band released their ninth studio album ‘Death Magnetic’ on September 12, 2008.

Also, the album was considered the band’s return to their thrash metal roots. In one of his previous interviews, Metallica frontman James Hetfield revealed that the lyrics of ‘Death Magnetic’ began as a tribute to the late singer and the other musicians that lost their lives throughout their journeys as rock and roll stars. As a result, the record has a special place for Staley’s fans and surviving Alice in Chains members.

In Hetfield’s words, he said:

“The theme of our new album is that we’re all going to die sometime. Just like the poles of a magnet, some people are drawn to death, and others are repulsed by it, but we all have to deal with it. Lyrically, it started as a bit of a tribute to Layne Staley and all those who’ve martyred themselves in the name of rock and roll.”

You can check out the album below.