Alice in Chains have addressed criticisms of continuing on following the death of original frontman Layne Staley in a new interview. Guitarist Jerry Cantrell spoke out about the “trolls” who declare “no Layne, no Chains” by firmly stating, “This is our band.”
Cantrell, bassist Mike Inez, drummer Sean Kinney and frontman William DuVall sat down with Eddie Trunk recently when the question of how they decided to reunite the band several years after Staley’s 2002 death of a drug overdose came up.
“We started off on this with a really pure intent,” Cantrell says. “William and I have some history of touring and playing and making music before Sean, Mike and I started talking about the idea of getting the band back together and maybe doing a tour and just going out and celebrating the music – and maybe leaving the band in a better place than when we left it, and also celebrating our friends; Layne at the time and [original bassist] Mike [Starr] later.”
“William was willing to take on that challenge, and we never looked at it as a part of somebody is replaceable, because Layne Staley is not replaceable, Mike Starr is not replaceable,” Cantrell continues. “Their period of time with us in the band, on those records is indelible and completely unique. When Mike [Inez] joined the band and when William joined the band, those were new eras and important additions, and equally as important.
The guitarist then discussed how while the original goal was to celebrate the music and history of AIC, it “felt right” to move on. DuVall was up to the challenge, despite receiving negative opinions from some fans, which Cantrell says continues to this day.
“Us too. ‘No Layne, no Chains.’ Shit like that,” he says. “This is our band. It’s just like the troll shit. But this is our band, this is our music, these are our friends, and we’re lucky enough to have worked through those challenges and continue to move forward and create a new chapter for this band. We’ve created three of them, three new chapters in this book that is Alice In Chains.”