The Reason Layne Staley Lost An Audioslave Audition To Chris Cornell

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Starting from the 1980s, grunge has introduced many important bands like Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Soundgarden, and Alice In Chains to the music industry. By the early 1990s, these bands had already gained international fame followed by their huge fanbase and great media attention. 

As a significant part of the grunge movement, Alice In Chains gained significant commercial success as they sold over 20 million albums worldwide. Layne Staley, as the lead singer, was the most prominent figure of the band. Staley had a unique way of delivering his powerful voice to the audience. He also had a harmonious collaboration with his vocal partner Jerry Cantrell.

Cantrell was the main songwriter of Alice In Chains but over the years, Layne Staley also made a great contribution to many songs. Staley’s lyrics mostly reflected his personal issues like drug use and depression. Staley performed for the last time with the band while they were touring with KISS on July 3, 1996.

Layne Staley Spent His Final Years In Isolation

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After his last performance with Alice In Chains, Layne Staley appeared at the Grammy Awards in 1997 but later on, he gradually started to disappear from the public eye. In 1998, there were many rumors circulating around his deteriorating health condition. In the same year, he attended Jerry Cantrell’s solo concert but refused to sing with him, which was considered as one of his last public appearances.

Staley spent his final years mostly in isolation from his family and friends. He was in a bad shape both physically and mentally. It is known that his friends and bandmates tried to convince him to get into rehab but he declined to go. He then stopped contacting them in the last few months.

On April 5, 2002, Layne Staley died of a drug overdose in Seattle. However, his dead body was found two weeks after his death since he refused to contact anyone. There was no account activity in his bank accounts for two weeks. Then, his mother suspected the situation and went to Staley’s home with the police. Unfortunately, she encountered an unpleasant situation as her son passed away weeks ago.

Was Layne Staley Invited For An Audioslave Audition Before Chris Cornell?

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Layne Staley’s old friend Morgen Gallagher claimed in an interview that Staley was invited by Rage Against the Machine members to audition for their new project, Audioslave. Gallagher asserted that he saw Layne in 2001 while he was struggling with his drug addiction.

Contrary to what was known about him in those days, his friend said that he wasn’t in a bad mood. Staley was even considering having an audition for the lead vocals for this new project of Rage Against the Machine members. According to Gallagher’s claims, Layne would first receive treatment by going to rehab and then go to the audition. Unfortunately, he couldn’t make it.

Here is his friends’ claim on the topic:

“That day we were talking and he said he had gotten a call from the old Rage Against the Machine members and they were putting together a new project, and they wanted him to audition. He said he was going back to treatment and then going to L.A. to do the audition in a couple of months. He never made it, so Chris Cornell went and got the job.”

Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello and Layne Staley were good friends. They would play guitar and sing together. Morello once mentioned on Twitter that Staley never auditioned for Audioslave. However, it is still not clear that whether Staley was their first option for the lead vocalist position in Audioslave.

Gallagher stated that Staley couldn’t pull himself together at the time and then, Chris Cornell auditioned and became the lead singer of Audioslave. These are just the claims of his friend and we will never be able to hear the real story from Layne Staley. If the claim is correct and if he could make it, Audioslave might become an entirely different band.