The History



1987. The wonderful year marked with the birth of Alice in Chains. It all started in Seattle,
WA at a party. It just so happened that an extremely talented guitarist named Jerry Cantrell was
attending this party along with the man that sings like a lark, Layne Staley. At that time, Layne was
involved in a glam band which was growing stale. When he met and hit it off with Jerry that night, Jerry
threw out the brilliant idea that they should start a band together. Layne agreed. Now there were two.


Jerry knew a man by the name of Mike Starr who agreed to play bass for the new band. Now all they
needed was a drummer. (Layne could play of course, but as you know, he enjoys vocals) Luckily, Mike
introduced the others to Sean Kinney, a crazy drummer who was dating Mike's sister. They decided to
call their band Alice 'n Chains. (The name was supposedly spawed from a crazy idea about the group
dressing in drag and playing). The monumental date of their first gig was on August 5, 1987.


After that, they were briefly known as Diamond Lie and played a few shows sparking the takeoff of their
music. Of course they ended up calling themselves Alice In Chains. Later in 1987 they signed with
Columbia Records. Their first EP titled "We Die Young" was released in 1990 and is currently a
rare collectors item. A few months after that, they released their first full length album called "Facelift".
The release of this album sent their debut song "We Die Young" to the top.


Westminister, CA was their first U.S. tour date which happened a few months after Facelift's release. In
Seattle, the December 22 show sold out. It was, though, filmed and released as Live Facelift. Their first
American Music Award nomination happened in January of 1991 when they were up for Favorite Heavy
Metal Artist. Sadly, they lost.

"Man In The Box" was their first single which they released. This was their first exposure on MTV.
Alice In Chains made a movie debut in the film "Singles" where they played the song "Would?" in a bar.
They then toured with Megadeth in Europe for the first time. They received a Grammy nomination for the
"Best Heavy Metal Performance". Sadly, they lost again.


Next up for AIC was the "Clash of the Titans" tour with Slayer. They then had time to make their television
debut with ABC for their "In Concert" show. After that they accompanied Van Halen on a 4 month tour.
Facelift went gold around September of 1991. During their tour break in November, they recorded their
second EP. The album was titled SAP, a name given to it by Sean Kinney. He had a dream about the group
making an album and naming it SAP because it was "sappy".


Spring 1992 was some well deserved off-time for AIC. They soon began recording Dirt, though. It was
released in September. "Would?" was the first single released. "Angry Chair" followed. At this point,
Layne broke his foot, but completed the tour with Ozzy using a wheelchair or crutches. (He didn't miss a
date!) A tour shirt had an X-ray of Layne's fractured foot on it.


The Hollywood Festival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil was the next show AIC would do, and the last for bassist
Mike Starr. The pressures of constant touring finally got to him and he had to leave the band. AIC asked
Mike Inez, who had played with Ozzy Osbourne, if he would be interested in finishing the tour with AIC.
He agreed and later (thank goodness) became a permanent member of the band.


Lollapalooza was the main focus of the summer 1993. After this, they recorded their new EP- Jar Of Flies.
They then began the Down In Your Hole tour- a six week speedy tour. At this point, "Down In A Hole" was released as a single. A video was shot for this song as well. Finally, "Them Bones" was released as single
number four from "Dirt". The cool film "Last Action Hero" was in theatres along with two unreleased
Alice in Chains songs- "What The Hell Have I?" and "A Little Bitter". A video was shot for "What The
Hell Have I?"


Jar of Flies was released with SAP as a double in 1994, then later Jar of Flies was released individually.
Jar of Flies was a monumental album- It was the very first EP ever to debut as number one on the Billboard
chart! "No Excuses" was the first single and video released.


AIC recorded their third full length album in April of 1995. After nearly four months, the result was a
harder heavier album originally named "Tripod". (third full length album, three legged dog and man)
The dog on the cover was inspired from a dog that would chase Sean when he was delivering papers as a
child. The album ended up self titled. It was released in November 1995 and debuted number one on the
Billboard chart. They were nominated for a Grammy once again, and once again they lost.


1996 found AIC performing on Saturday Night Special, David Letterman, and a show for MTV Unplugged.
They opened four shows for KISS on their reunion tour as well.


Alice In Chains Albums-
Facelift- Platinum
SAP- Gold
Dirt- Triple Platinum
Jar of Flies- Double Platinum
Alice In Chains (Tripod)- Double Platinum
Unplugged- Double Platinum


Side Projects-

1994 Mike Inez joined up with Slash to form "Slash's Snakepit". They recorded the album "It's 5 O'clock Somewhere".

1994/1995 Layne joined up with Mike McCready of Pearl Jam, Barret Martin of the Screaming Trees and
Baker Saunders. They formed Mad Season (name changed from The Gacy Bunch) and recorded the album
"Above" which has a more soft bluesy tone.

Jerry and Sean teamed up to do the song "Leave me Alone" for "The Cable Guy" soundtrack. Jerry has been working on a solo album. Jerry also made his acting debut in Jerry McGuire as the Kinkos copy guy.

Sean helped with the Willie Nelson tribute.

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