A grunge/metal band from Seattle, Washington. Alice in Chains was one of the biggest acts of the early '90s. Founded in 1987 by frontman Layne Staley and guitarist Jerry Cantrell, they are most known for their dark, gloomy sound and vocal harmonies between Staley and Cantrell. They were arguably the first band of the grunge scene to achieve commercial success with their debut album Facelift. During this time their anthemic hit "Man In The Box" received significant play on MTV's Headbanger's Ball block, giving them an audience among metal fans. Their next release was an acoustic EP called Sap, probably best known for the song "Got Me Wrong", which was featured in Clerks.Their follow up full-length album, Dirt, was released in 1992, and became a success with the mainstream audience, due in part to Nirvana's release of Nevermind and the breakout of grunge. They released another acoustic EP in 1994, titled Jar of Flies, which quickly topped the Billboard 200 charts making it the first ever EP to reach the number one spot (and remained the only EP to gain this distinction until Linkin Park released Collision Course with Jay-Z in 2004). One year later they released their self-titled final studio album which reached number one again, and is often considered the last album of the grunge era.The group's self-titled 1995 album dealt came around the same time that Layne Staley's heroin addiction began to overwhelm the singer and caused tension within the band (culminating in the song "Heaven Beside You", which had Cantrell blasting Staley over his addiction). By 1996, the group disbanded and Cantrell released a solo album, Boggy Depot. In 1999, the group reunited to produce a greatest hits album/box set with several new songs. Despite teasing a full-on reunion, Staley's heroin addiction culminated in him dying from an overdose in early April 2002. Staley's corpse would not be discovered until two weeks later (April 20, 2002), ironically on the eight year anniversary of the death of fellow grunge singer, Kurt Cobain's death). After Staley's death, Alice in Chains officially disbanded.Even after his death, Layne Staley remains a major inspiration for many artists today, with many singers such as Sully Erna of Godsmack (the band claims that their name is not a reference to the AIC song of the same name, but even if it's genuinely not, the connection is hard to avoid making), Aaron Lewis of Staind, and Chester Bennington of Linkin Park citing him as a major influence. In addition, he was an inspiration for Jerry Cantrell's second solo album, Degradation Trip and Metallica's Death Magnetic.The band reformed in 2005 for a tsunami benefit concert and began touring with a number of guest vocalists, including Phil Anselmo, Maynard James Keenan, James Hetfield, Chester Bennington, Sebastian Bach, and Ann Wilson. They chose William Duvall as their official new vocalist in 2006 and released their first new album in 14 years, Black Gives Way To Blue, in September of 2009. The album peaked at #5 on the Billboard chart and has sold in excess of 500,000 copies.On the 8th of March 2011, the band suffered its second Author Existence Failure when former bassist Mike Starr was found dead in Salt Lake City.
The band exemplifies the following tropes: