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Alice in Chains Reflect on Seattle’s Layne Staley Day: He “Deserves It”

Alice in Chains: Sean Kinney, Mike Inez, William DuVall, and Jerry Cantrell
SEATTLE, WA - AUGUST 21: (L-R) Sean Kinney, Mike Inez, William DuVall and Jerry Cantrell of Alice In Chains pose for a photo before performing for SiriusXM's Lithium Channel at The Space Needle on August 21, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Mat Hayward/Getty Images for SiriusXM)

The surviving members of Alice in Chains are all for honoring late frontman Layne Staley. In an interview with St. Louis’ 105.7 The Point, Jerry Cantrell and Mike Inez shared their thoughts on the mayor of Seattle’s decision to declare August 22 Layne Staley Day.

“It’s good stuff! I love that!” exclaimed bassist Inez, who joined the iconic grunge band in 1993. “The mayor of Seattle … somebody presented it to her, and it just kind of happened on its own—rightfully so.”

“Layne deserves it. He’s such a part of that Seattle lifeblood of the music that came out of there,” Inez continued in the interview, which was made available on YouTube September 18. “I was really happy, to be honest. It’s not somber at all for me. I thought it was great.”

Guitarist Cantrell, who co-founded the band with Sean Kinney, agreed: “It’s good to see the boy get some love from the hometown.”

Staley died of an overddose at age 34 in 2002 after battling substance abuse. In her proclamation of Layne Staley Day, which would’ve been on his 52nd birthday, Mayor Jenny Durkan noted that the late singer “was an influential and incredible musician,” and that his “voice was legendary.” The proclamation also promoted the Layne Staley Memorial Fund, which the rocker’s parents founded to offer “hope, education, support and treatment funds for heroin recovery in the Seattle music community.”

Alice in Chains went on an extended hiatus after Staley’s death, but in 2006, brought William DuVall on as the new lead singer. They have since released three new albums: Black Gives Way to Blue in 2009, The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here in 2013, and Rainier Fog in 2018.

Cantrell shared with The Point that the band went back to Seattle to record the most recent album, and is incredibly proud of their latest offering.

“I just think it’s really good work. … We’re still working at our peak,” he said. “We haven’t fallen off.”

The band is wrapping up their tour for Rainier Fog with a homecoming show in Seattle on September 20.