Alice in Metal-Land
Alice in Metal-Land
by Layne Staley
I started out when I was about 12, playing drums. My dad's friend had a
drum set, and every time I went over there, I was attracted to it. I'd
been listening to rock 'n' roll since I could remember - reading the
magazines. It just seemed like a glamourous life, and I wanted to be a
part of it. I started singing when I was about 15. I'd been playing
drums in a band in this band with some friends from my high school, and
the singer was terrible. I wanted to sing backup on a song, and he said,
"You play drums; you can't sing." I got pissed off and sold my drum set.
I actually traded it for a delay and a microphone. I plugged it into my
stereo at home and just started singing to tapes - Black Sabbath and
I have two sisters, a brother, and my parents. They weren't very
musical. My mom kind of was. She used to sing. I'd say my first
influence would be Black Sabbath, then Ozzy, then Ian Gillan with Deep
Purple and Black Sabbath. The first record I ever picked up was Black
Sabbath. It was either my mom's or my dad's album! I just picked it out
of their collection.
I was in a band before, when I was 15, for two years. We were a glam
band. Then I couldn't afford to buy makeup. At the time that was the
thing. Poison had just come out, and a lot of bands like that were
coming out. I was kind of into that. It originally started out with me
and a bunch of friends. It was a glam band that played Slayer and
Armoured Saint covers, kind of a glam/thrash band. Now most of the bands
I listen to are from Seattle or the old stuff. I like a lot of different
stuff - Ministry, Lords of the New Church, Skinny Puppy.
As far as the Seattle scene, there's always been great bands - great
metal bands, great alternative bands - as long as I can remember. The
reason being is that I don't think people are too worried about who they
impress, really. Everyone just likes to play music. They don't do it
with a gimmick. Other places, where there's so many bands to compete
with, sometimes you have to have a gimmick to outdo the other bands.
It's not like that in Seattle. There are not as many bands as there are
in L.A. or New York. It's a lot smaller. There's a big difference. A lot
of power-pop comes out of L.A., a lot of speed metal comes out of New
York, and then a lot of the stuff we're doing is coming out of Seattle.
There were a lot of drugs. We kinda just passed the time that way. For a
couple of years we were all doin' anything we could get our hands on. I
think we just got tired of living like that. Andrew Wood's death changed
things, maybe, for a few weeks. I probably got even heavier into drugs
after that happened.
One of the first bands to break out of Seattle was Heart. After Heart
I'd say Queensryche. Then probably Soundgarden. Mother Love Bone pretty
much broke the ice in this genre, I guess. We played the Seattle scene
for a couple years. There's three placed to play, and we just kind of
played 'em each a couple of times a month. We did that for two years,
played these three bars over and over and over.
It wasn't competitive at all. We all (Nirvana, Soundgarden, Mother Love
Bone, etc...) went and saw each other's bands and jammed together. It's
just that type of scene; it's more supportive. All the bands come out to
see all the other bands. We're all friends, so there's really no need
for competition. Everyone has their own sound and their own style, so
there's really not anything to compete with.
I think we've been successful because people are starting to accept this
style of music. A lot of bands broke the ice - Faith No More, Jane's
Addiction. It's not grunge, it's just not your typical band - eight rock
songs, two ballad albums. There's a lot of experimentation, doing
different stuff and not really worrying about sticking to one theme or
one way of writing. I'm more concerned with writing good music and
putting out good music.
I don't really like doing videos, but you kind of have to today. We
really like the finished products, we just don't like the making of the
video - singing the same song over and over and over for 24 hours. It's
cool to be able to take some of our ideas - how we picture the song to
be portrayed in the video - and see that come through. That's what's
We've been out on tour in support of Facelift for 17 months. At this
point we're exhausted. We're all pretty tired. The road's very grueling.
It's not what I thought it was. Well, actually, it is what I thought it
was going to be, but I just don't take part in it the way I used to -
the bimbos, the free beers, free drugs, and all that. That's still there
if you want it, but I don't really seek that out anymore. I concentrate
on singing the songs, then I don't do much else but stay in my hotel
Originally with Facelift, I figured we could sell 100 000 albums. That
was pretty much our goal. We thought that would be pretty cool. Maybe
200 000. We didn't think it would sell as well as it did.
We're getting ready to do our second album, and we're looking at some
studios in California. Not in Los Angeles. I don't like that town. Too
decadent, and it's slimy. I kinda attract people that I don't want to
attract - drug fiends, scenesters - and it freaks me out. We're thinking
of somewhere in Sausalito.
We recorded the EP - it's called Sap - in two days. Four songs. It'll be
released about the time we'll be going into the studio. It's lighter
material. It was actually a dream that Sean, our drummer, had that we
did this EP of mellow acoustic songs and called it Sap. He woke up, told
us what he dreamed, and we said it sounded like a good idea.
Source: STALEY, Layne. Alice in Metal-Land . Seattle Sound [online]. 2005 [cit. 2008-08-31]. Dostupný z WWW: www.seattle-sound.com/articles.php?topic=2 - 31k