The Slipknot frontman was asked to name his favorite of the “Big Four” Seattle grunge bands — Nirvana, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, and Pearl Jam — and was quick to choose AIC, heaping praise on the band and its late singer Layne Staley.
“Alice in Chains, to me, is one of the greatest rock bands that ever was,” Taylor said during the question-and-answer portion of a theater appearance in Columbus, Ohio, this past Monday (December 13th). “And I don’t just mean that from a grunge standpoint or metal or anything like that. They revolutionized so much musically and they inspired me to change the way I write music.”
Taylor went on to call Staley “still one of the greatest f–king singers that ever lived” and singled out emotionally stirring tracks like “Nutshell” and “Would?” among his favorites.
“Now, that is not a reflection of the demons that he had to fight, obviously, and that’s everything to do with his talent,” Taylor clarified. “He just made it look so f**king easy, and he could sing anything, he could write anything, and the shit that he was writing about was killing him, and yet we loved it. To me, that was the greatest baring of the soul that I ever listened to.”
He continued: “But the great thing is that we can listen to their music and it can help us get past our own pain. And there’s probably not a day that goes by that I don’t listen to Alice in Chains. It’s still just that good. And the fact that I know those guys now is just icing on the cake. It’s rad to be able to hang out with your favorite band.”
After Staley’s tragic passing in 2002, Alice in Chains re-formed with singer William DuVall and released the triumphant comeback album Black Gives Way to Blue. The band has dropped two more LPs since. Singer-guitarist Jerry Cantrell remains the band’s guiding force as a songwriter, with DuVall admirably sharing lead vocal duties.
Cantrell released his third solo album, Brighten, earlier this year. The LP recently landed in our list of the Top 30 Metal & Hard Rock Albums of 2021, and Cantrell will support the new solo effort on tour in 2022. You can get tickets here.
Slipknot, meanwhile, recently unleashed the new song “The Chapeltown Rag” ahead of their as-yet-untitled upcoming studio album, expected sometime in 2022.
Watch Corey Taylor discuss Alice in Chains in the clip below (beginning at the 6:20 mark).