ALICE IN CHAINS Drummer Says Music Saved His Life... Twice

ALICE IN CHAINS drummer Sean Kinney has admitted that he continued dabbling in substance abuse even after the death of the band's lead singer, Layne Staley, who had struggled for a decade with drug addiction before he finally passed away in 2002.

According to Kinney, the band was firing on all cylinders during the making of 1992's "Dirt", which spawned five singles — "Would?", "Them Bones", "Angry Chair", "Rooster", and "Down in a Hole" — and has since been certified four times platinum by the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America), making it the group's highest-selling album to date. "Whatever we were doing and all the things we were doing [referring to the band's substance abuse — Ed.] were working at that point," he told Holland's FaceCulture in a recent interview. "And then they quit working. Well, they didn't quit working," he quickly corrected himself, "but they'd start working against you. Some things opened some doors, some things closed some doors."

He continued, "[During the making of 'Dirt'] we were all on the same page about where we were at in life. And then it kinda started spinning out of control a little bit. It was pretty much during that record [that the bandmembers started doing heavy drugs] — it was full-on and then it kind of stayed that way."

Kinney, who grew up in Renton, Washington, claims that he quit using drugs "a few years ago," explaining that "to do this [the ALICE IN CHAINS reunion], for me, I couldn't be toxic. It wouldn't make sense. Half the reason I'm doing it is to take [Layne's] legacy and what we created together forward and move forward with this band with [new ALICE IN CHAINS singer] William [DuVall] and to move on in life. We've all grown, so that's important to me.

"So I had to make a choice. . . I didn't want to be out here and be disingenuine [sic] and be false — be out here bringing our legacy and Layne's legacy forward and be fucked up. That doesn't do anybody any good — it doesn't do me any good and I wouldn't be happy with myself doing that. So I made a choice. What's more important? Music's more important."

He added, "The same thing that saved us... When we started the band, I was a homeless guy. I had nowhere to live. So music kind of became my life [and] saved my life at that point. And I guess in some way it did again."

Video footage of Sean Kinney talking to FaceCulture about his drug use can be viewed below.

The first all-new ALICE IN CHAINS album in 14 years, "Black Gives Way To Blue", arrives in stores on September 29. The disc features the recording debut with the group of singer and guitarist William DuVall.


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