ALICE IN CHAINS Producer: Radio Stations Didn't Like LAYNE STALEY's Voice At First
June 15, 2015
According to The Pulse Of Radio, ALICE IN CHAINS producer Dave Jerden, who worked on the band's "Facelift" and "Dirt" albums, recalled in a new interview with Ultimate Guitar that radio stations refused to play any songs from 1990's "Facelift" for nine months after the record came out. The reason? They didn't like singer Layne Staley's voice.
Jerden explained: "The feedback we were getting was, 'Layne's voice is wrong.' So many program directors said that. 'Cause this is at the time of Axl Rose and Dio and all these high voices. I've always liked a little bluesy voice myself. To say Layne's voice is wrong or to say anybody's voice is wrong is a pretty ridiculous thing to say. But that's the feedback I got."
Guitarist Jerry Cantrell told The Pulse Of Radio a while back that the late Staley, who died in 2002, was a singular talent. "Layne was a very unique, one-of-a-kind guy," he said. "There's, like, a handful of those guys in music, for every generation, that are that unique and that hard to cop, but a lot of people try. [Laughs] But there's a lot of people that feel the weight of what that guy brought to music and have been influenced by it."
Eventually stations relented and the first single from "Facelift", "Man In The Box", became a huge breakout hit for the group.
Jerden also recalled working on "Facelift" with ALICE IN CHAINS, saying, "The first record they were wild and crazy guys and the second record they were very subdued… On the first record, we were up in Seattle and basically just partying together."
ALICE IN CHAINS regrouped in 2006 with singer William DuVall and has since recorded two albums.