Steve Hochman of The Los Angeles Times is reporting that the surviving members of the popular Seattle grunge-metal group ALICE IN CHAINS, whose singer Layne Staley died of a drug overdose in 2002, are exploring ways they might be able to perform again on a regular basis.
The seeds were planted this past February when guitarist Jerry Cantrell, bassist Mike Inez and drummer Sean Kinney reunited at a benefit for victims of the Indonesian tsunami. At that show, which took place in Seattle, four vocalists — TOOL's Maynard James Keenan, PUDDLE OF MUDD's Wes Scantlin, DAMAGEPLAN's Pat Lachman and HEART's Ann Wilson — stepped in for Staley.
"The guys had so much fun that they thought maybe there's something else we want to do," Bill Siddons, who co-manages the band with original manager Susan Silver, tells The Los Angeles Times. "We'd love to find a way to let these guys perform together and have the fun they had and honor and respect what they created in the past, as well as Layne's contributions."
What shape that might take is very uncertain at this point, though Siddons insists there will be no reality show to find a singer, à la "Rock Star".
"That's a perfect example of what happens when you marry television and music badly," Siddons says. "It's not what ALICE was ever about."
They may not even be looking for a lead singer, at least not one full-time member, Siddons adds. While they're open to the potential of something along the lines of the current QUEEN tour (in which veteran rocker Paul Rodgers is filling in for the late Freddie Mercury), that's far from a given.
"We might do a date here or there if there are opportunities to get a special guest to sing," Siddons says. "That's been discussed. More likely at this point we'll do benefits rather than paying gigs."
"Part of the enigma," Silver tells The Los Angeles Times, "was they didn't play that much."
That, she said, was as much the case for the band as for the fans, and the February show let the musicians get a taste of what they'd missed.
"It was so terrific for them to play together," she said. "But they're not ready to announce a new person, make a new record and start the cycle over yet. They want to just go have fun and give a tip of the hat to Layne and the people who enjoyed the music."