Was Alice in Chains Layne Staley’s Last Interview Faked?
Today on Rock N’ Roll True Stories they take a look at Alice in Chains singer Layne Staley’s supposed last interview with Argentinian journalist Adriana Rubio. Did it actually happen or was it “fake news?” Find out below
You know I really got into alice in chains back in 2009. The band had their record Black gives way to blue, their long awaited return following the death of singer Layne Staley. William Duvall who previously toured with guitarist Jerry Cantrell was now the group’s singer and He had big shoes to fill. Of course I didn’t know anything about Staley so I did what most self respecting people do when they want to learn about something . I went on wikipedia as Michael Scott so eloquently puts it
I read of course about singer Layne Staley’s final years of his life and everywhere I read about him the same interview kept coming up. It was this highly quoted interview with an author named Adriana Rubio who supposedly interviewed the singer days or weeks before he passed. Staley apparently told the author he knew his time was near and he was crippled by his addiction. He talked about his regrets and how his addiction was all consumingHe also discussed his complicated relationship with his parents, going into treatment and slammed his alice in chains bandmates claiming they were no longer his friends. But what shocked me the most about this whole interview is that big news sites were picking it up as if it was gospel, but there was no proof it ever happened. There’s no tape recordings or anything. So what was the story behind it and was it fake? Stay tuned to find out.
One thing that was a well known fact about Layne Staley was that he didn’t grant a ton of interviews especially in his later years. . His last notable appearance was on rockline in 1999 during an interview the other members of Alice in Chains gave to promote their nothing safe boxset on rockline in 1999. Before that he appeared on rockline in 1998 as Jerry cantrell was promoting boggy depot. Prior to that he gave a few interviews to promote the band’s self titled album in 1995, the most notable one being with Rolling Stone. That interview angered the band as the band’s manager was promised by the magazine they wouldn’t focus on staley’s struggle with drugs. Of course the piece talked a fair bit about it and even the cover used the headline the needle and the damage done.
It was no surprise in the years that followed he retreated from the media spotlight. i found it rather odd that he’d give an interview and talk so openly about his addiction when he wrote songs like Grind which i thought took aim at the media for making assumptions and focusing on rumors about the band, the drugs and them breaking up.. Why would he only reinforce their views.
Rubio’s interview was part of a book she working on that came out in January 2003 titled Layne Staley Angry Chair – a look inside the heart and soul of an incredible musician. Rubio would claim she talked to staley at 3AM over the phone on February 3, 2002. Due to the timing of the publication of course Layne could never comment on whether it actually happened. Rubio would release an updated version of her book in 2006 titled Layne Staley Get Born Again. Rubio claims she spoke to layne for 2.5 hours , but only six pages of her book is dedicated to the conversation? So what did they talk about for 2.5 hours if she only came up with 6 pages. To date she never published the transcript or audio of the conversation. In the book Alice in Chains the untold story by david de sola he dissects this perfectly. Having read numerous interviews with Layne, De Sola claims the speaking style in Rubio’s book doesn’t sound like Layne. De Sola claims that in all the interviews he’s read with layne he never referenced any songs or lyrics from mad season or alice in chains, but in rubio’s book he supposedly makes 10 references to his own songs or lyrics. Rubio’s book also claimed that lyane made reference to jim morrison of the doors, which was another topic rubio wrote a book about. Rubio claimed she didn’t ask many questions during the interview claiming staley didn’t allow her to.
Things didn’t stop there though. Rubio was planning on creating a biopic about Layne. She would team up with author john brandon who wrote a book about Alice in Chains with former bassist mike starr. The movie project got as far as auditioning someone to play Layne, but the pair got a letter from Alice in Chains lawyer asking them to shelf the project because it portrayed the band in a negative light and they would not cooperate. In addition to that Layne Staley’s estate did not endorse it. When David De Sola tried to interview rubio about her supposed layene interview she declined claiming she had other priorities in life.
The book is also notable because it featured interviews with Layne’s mother Nancy and his sister Liz in addition to supposedly featuring artwork and journal entries by Layne. Following the book’s release Layne’s sister would comment on the book confirming she did talk to Rubio thinking the book would honor her brother and hopefully make him releazie how many people adored him and looked up to him and perhaps it could snap him out of his addiction. she would claim that she doesn’t believe that Rubio spoke to her brother and She would reveal that she told Layne about Rubio’s book and how the journalist wanted to talk to him but he wanted no part of it.