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Biography: Layne Staley

Quick Stats

Position: Lead Singer, Lyricist
Member since: 1987


Layne Staley was born on August 22, 1967 in Kirkland, Washington. Layne grew up in a broken home with a divorced mother and father. Picking up the drums at age 12, Layne later went on to play them for many different glam rock bands around Seattle. Layne's talents shone through as he'd play and sing at the same time. Layne was a member of a glam band called Alice 'N Chains when he finally decided to stop drumming and concentrate more on singing. Part of Alice 'N Chains' show routine was dressing up in womens clothes while distributing condoms to the crowd.

Jerry Cantrell met Layne Staley at a party in 1987, where he introduced Layne to two other guys, Mike Starr and Sean Kinney. Conversing for a short while the four decide to create a band, Alice in Chains.

Like his "rival" rocker of the times, Scott Weiland of Stone Temple Pilots, Layne had two battles with major drug addiction. Unlike Weiland though, it hasn't hindered his ability to write and sing for new albums. Between the release of "Facelift" and "SAP," Layne battled his heroin addiction, which he later let influence his next album "Dirt." During the "Jar of Flies" time, Layne once again sunk into relapse and had to battle against the drugs. Due to Layne's addiction Alice in Chains had to cancel their tour with Metallica.

After his bouts with heroin, Layne got together with Mike McReady of Pearl Jam and Barret Martin of the Screaming Trees to produce the album "Above" under the band name of Mad Season. Layne, as he did for the sun on "Dirt," drew the pictures for the album.

Considered by most listeners to have one of the most unique voices in music, Layne Staley is also a very powerful performer who's always put on a great show wherever he played.

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