In a recent interview for Kerrang, Alice in Chains singer William DuVall revealed his thoughts about the band’s late vocalist Layne Staley and singing his songs live on stage after his death.
The original lead singer of Alice in Chains, Layne Staley, was known for his distinct vocal style and tenor voice. The talented musician sadly passed away in 2002, at the age of 34. Layne’s body was discovered at his house two weeks later of his death. He died from a mixture of heroin and cocaine.
The current frontman of Alice in Chains, William DuVall, joined the band in 2006 after the tragic death of Layne Staley. Since then, William recorded three albums with the band, ‘Black Gives Way to Blue,’ ‘The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here,’ ‘Rainier Fog.’
During a recent interview with Kerrang, William DuVall answered some questions about Layne Staley and his songs. Initially, the interviewer asked William about the reviews referring to the similarity between his voice and Layne.
Here is his answer:
“I have my own thing, I always have and I always will. But when working within the context of Alice in Chains, there are certain areas that naturally overlap in terms of our influences, taste and even vocal tonalities, approaches to riffs and harmonies.
What you’re really doing in a situation like that is exploiting the overlaps to their maximum – they exist, so make the most of it and, at the same time, inhabit the songs with your spirit.”
Furthermore, William explained how he had been feeling about Staley and singing his songs live on stage:
“It’s incredibly powerful, especially if there’s a sea of people in front of you – it’s unbelievable. Unbelievable. For many years now, I’ve had to live in that space with the older material and inhabit these songs which, in some cases, have lyrics written by Layne describing a state of affairs with him.
Of course, you learn things, and I’ve heard countless stories from my bandmates about who he was as a person, how funny he was, and how we would have gotten along. I’ve met his family, all of that. The circumstances that inspired the songs may or may not be unique to the individual, but it’s universal.
Layne was doing the same thing that all of us try to do as songwriters: you’re trying to tell your truth, and hopefully, it strikes a chord with somebody else. And when it does strike a chord, it’s an incredible thing. It really transcends space and time. And death.”
Click here to read the entire interview with William DuVall.