Tag Archives: Alice in Chains

Man in the Box ~ Alice in Chains

alice-in-chainsAlice in Chains is an American rock band formed in Seattle, Washington, in 1987 by guitarist Jerry Cantrell and vocalist Layne Staley. Although widely associated with grunge music, the band’s sound incorporates heavy metal and acoustic elements. The band is known for its distinct vocal style which often included the harmonized vocals of Staley and Cantrell.

Alice in Chains rose to international fame as part of the grunge movement of the early 1990s, along with bands such as Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden.

Following the demise of his band Sleeze in 1986, vocalist Layne Staley formed Alice N’ Chainz, a band which he said “dressed in drag and played speed metal”. The new band performed around the Seattle area playing Slayer and Armored Saint covers. Staley met guitarist Jerry Cantrell while working at Music Bank rehearsal studios, where the two struggling musicians became roommates, and lived in a rehearsal space they shared. Alice N’ Chainz soon disbanded and Staley joined a funk band who at the time also required a guitarist. Staley asked Cantrell to join as a sideman. Cantrell agreed on condition that Staley join Cantrell’s band Diamond Lie, which at the time included drummer Sean Kinney and bassist Mike Starr. Eventually the funk project broke up and in 1987 Staley joined Cantrell on a full-time basis. Diamond Lie played in clubs around the Pacific Northwest, often stretching 15 minutes of material into a 45-minute set. The band eventually took the name of Alice in Chains.

Local promoter Randy Hauser became aware of the band at a concert, and offered to pay for demo recordings. However, one day before the band was due to record at the Music Bank studio in Washington, police shut down the studio during the biggest marijuana raid in the history of the state. The final demo was named The Treehouse Tapes, and found its way to the music managers Kelly Curtis and Susan Silver, who also managed the Seattle-based band Soundgarden. Curtis and Silver passed on the demo to Columbia Records’ A&R representative Nick Terzo, who set up an appointment with label president Don Ienner. Based on The Treehouse Tapes (a 1988 demo tape sold by the band at shows), Ienner signed Alice in Chains to Columbia in 1989.

Alice in Chains rose to international fame as part of the grunge movement of the early 1990s, along with other Seattle bands such as Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden. The band was one of the most successful music acts of the 1990s, selling over 17 million albums worldwide. The band achieved two number-one Billboard 200 albums (Jar of Flies and Alice in Chains), 13 top ten songs on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, and seven Grammy Award nominations.

Although never officially disbanding, Alice in Chains was plagued by extended inactivity due to Layne Staley’s problems with substance abuse, culminating in his death in 2002.

In 2005, guitarist Jerry Cantrell, bassist Mike Inez, and drummer Sean Kinney reunited to perform a benefit concert in Seattle for victims of the tsunami disaster that struck South Asia] On March 6, 2006, the surviving members performed at VH1’s Decades Rock Live concert, honoring fellow Seattle musicians Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart. The band followed the concert with a short United States club tour, several festival dates in Europe, and a brief tour in Japan. Comes with the Fall vocalist William DuVall joined Alice in Chains as lead singer during the band’s reunion concerts.

Kinney mentioned in a February 2006 interview that he would be interested in writing new material, but not as Alice in Chains. He explained, “If we found some other dude, I’d love to move on, write some cool tunes and change the name and go on like that. I don’t see continuing as Alice and replacing somebody. … We’re not trying to replace Layne. We want to play these songs one more time, and if it seems like the right thing to do, it’ll happen. I don’t know how long it will go or where it will take us. It’s kind of a tribute to Layne and our fans, the people who love these songs. It’s not some ‘I’m broke and I need the money’ situation. We love playing together.”

In April 2009, the band went into Dave Grohl’s Studio 606 and laid down the tracks to their new album in ten years called, “Black Gives Way To Blue” — a tribute to Layne Staley — which was released in September 2009.

Man in the Box

Man in the Box” is a single by the American rock band Alice in Chains. It was released as a single in 1991 after being featured on the group’s debut full-length album Facelift (1990). The song was included on the compilation albums Nothing Safe: Best of the Box (1999), Music Bank (1999), Greatest Hits (2001), and The Essential Alice in Chains (2006), and is a playable track in the video game Rock Band 2. The song is also played in the 2000 film The Perfect Storm.

In the liner notes of 1999’s Music Bank box set collection, guitarist Jerry Cantrell said of the song, “That whole beat and grind of that is when we started to find ourselves; it helped Alice become what it was.”[4] The song makes use of a talk box to create the guitar effect. The original Facelift track listing credited only vocalist Layne Staley and Jerry Cantrell with writing the song. All post-Facelift compilations credited the entire band.

“Man in the Box” is widely recognized for its distinctive “wordless opening melody, where Layne Staley’s peculiar, tensed-throat vocals are matched in unison with an effects-laden guitar” followed by “portentous lines like: ‘Feed my eyes/ Can you sew them shut?’, ‘Jesus Christ/Deny your maker’ and ‘He who tries/Will be wasted’ with Cantrell’s drier, less-urgent voice.” along with harmonies provided by both Staley and Cantrell in the lines ‘Won’t you come and save me’.

In a recorded interview with MuchMusic USA, Layne Staley stated that the lyrics are about censorship in the mass media, and “I was really really stoned when I wrote it, so it meant something else at the time”, he said laughing.

Man in the Box – Alice in Chains

I’m the man in the box
Buried in my shit
Won’t you come and save me?
Save me

Feed me my eyes (can you sew them shut?)
Jesus Christ (deny your maker)
they who try (will be wasted)
Fear in my eyes (now you’ve sewn them shut)

I’m the dog who gets beat
Shove my nose in shit
Won’t you come and save me?
Save me

Fear in my eyes (can you sew them shut?)
Jesus Christ (deny your maker)
they who try (will be wasted)
Fear in my eyes (now you’ve sewn them shut)

Feed my eyes (can you sew them shut?)
Jesus Christ (deny your maker)
they who try (will be wasted)
Fear in my eyes (now you’ve sewn them shut)

  • Audio from the 1990 album, Facelift:

Facelift

Play Man in the Box - by Alice in Chains

No Excuses ~ Alice in Chains

alice-in-chainsAlice in Chains is an American rock band formed in Seattle, Washington, in 1987 by guitarist Jerry Cantrell and vocalist Layne Staley. Although widely associated with grunge music, the band’s sound incorporates heavy metal and acoustic elements. The band is known for its distinct vocal style which often included the harmonized vocals of Staley and Cantrell.

Alice in Chains rose to international fame as part of the grunge movement of the early 1990s, along with bands such as Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden.

Following the demise of his band Sleeze in 1986, vocalist Layne Staley formed Alice N’ Chainz, a band which he said “dressed in drag and played speed metal”. The new band performed around the Seattle area playing Slayer and Armored Saint covers. Staley met guitarist Jerry Cantrell while working at Music Bank rehearsal studios, where the two struggling musicians became roommates, and lived in a rehearsal space they shared. Alice N’ Chainz soon disbanded and Staley joined a funk band who at the time also required a guitarist. Staley asked Cantrell to join as a sideman. Cantrell agreed on condition that Staley join Cantrell’s band Diamond Lie, which at the time included drummer Sean Kinney and bassist Mike Starr. Eventually the funk project broke up and in 1987 Staley joined Cantrell on a full-time basis. Diamond Lie played in clubs around the Pacific Northwest, often stretching 15 minutes of material into a 45-minute set. The band eventually took the name of Alice in Chains.

Local promoter Randy Hauser became aware of the band at a concert, and offered to pay for demo recordings. However, one day before the band was due to record at the Music Bank studio in Washington, police shut down the studio during the biggest marijuana raid in the history of the state. The final demo was named The Treehouse Tapes, and found its way to the music managers Kelly Curtis and Susan Silver, who also managed the Seattle-based band Soundgarden. Curtis and Silver passed on the demo to Columbia Records’ A&R representative Nick Terzo, who set up an appointment with label president Don Ienner. Based on The Treehouse Tapes (a 1988 demo tape sold by the band at shows), Ienner signed Alice in Chains to Columbia in 1989.

Alice in Chains rose to international fame as part of the grunge movement of the early 1990s, along with other Seattle bands such as Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden. The band was one of the most successful music acts of the 1990s, selling over 17 million albums worldwide. The band achieved two number-one Billboard 200 albums (Jar of Flies and Alice in Chains), 13 top ten songs on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, and seven Grammy Award nominations.

Although never officially disbanding, Alice in Chains was plagued by extended inactivity due to Layne Staley’s problems with substance abuse, culminating in his death in 2002.

In 2005, guitarist Jerry Cantrell, bassist Mike Inez, and drummer Sean Kinney reunited to perform a benefit concert in Seattle for victims of the tsunami disaster that struck South Asia] On March 6, 2006, the surviving members performed at VH1’s Decades Rock Live concert, honoring fellow Seattle musicians Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart. The band followed the concert with a short United States club tour, several festival dates in Europe, and a brief tour in Japan. Comes with the Fall vocalist William DuVall joined Alice in Chains as lead singer during the band’s reunion concerts.

Kinney mentioned in a February 2006 interview that he would be interested in writing new material, but not as Alice in Chains. He explained, “If we found some other dude, I’d love to move on, write some cool tunes and change the name and go on like that. I don’t see continuing as Alice and replacing somebody. … We’re not trying to replace Layne. We want to play these songs one more time, and if it seems like the right thing to do, it’ll happen. I don’t know how long it will go or where it will take us. It’s kind of a tribute to Layne and our fans, the people who love these songs. It’s not some ‘I’m broke and I need the money’ situation. We love playing together.”

In April 2009, the band went into Dave Grohl’s Studio 606 and laid down the tracks to their new album in ten years called, “Black Gives Way To Blue” — a tribute to Layne Staley — which was released in September 2009.

No Excuses

It was written by Jerry Cantrell about his unstable relationship with band vocalist Layne Staley.

Alice in Chains performed an acoustic version of “No Excuses” for its appearance on MTV Unplugged in 1996 and the song was included on the Unplugged live album and home video release.

No Excuses – Jerry Cantrell

It’s alright
There comes a time
Got no patience to search
For peace of mind
Layin’ low
Want to take it slow
No more hiding or
Disguising truths I’ve sold

Everyday it’s something
Hits me all so cold
Find me sittin’ by myself
No excuses, then I know

It’s okay
Had a bad day
Hands are bruised from
Breaking rocks all day
Drained and blue
I bleed for you
You think it’s funny, well
You’re drowning in it too

Everyday it’s something
Hits me all so cold
Find me sittin’ by myself
No excuses, then I know

Yeah, it’s fine
We’ll walk down the line
Leave our rain, a cold
Trade for warm sunshine
You my friend
I will defend
And if we change, well I
Love you anyway

Everyday it’s something
Hits me all so cold
Find me sittin’ by myself
No excuses, then I know

  • Audio from the 1994 album, Jar of Flies:

51XwFWgcFnL._SS280_PJStripe-Robin,TopLeft,0,0

Play No Excuses - by Alice in Chains