ARTIST: Alice in Chains
Want to know the band that ended my obsession of “hair metal”? Alice in Chains. I wasn’t a huge fan of the so called “Seattle Sound” or “Seattle Bands” until I discovered Alice in Chains and no so called “grunge” band off that era could even compare to AIC in my opinion. There was a strength in their music that overcame the dark sadness of the lyrics. It’s what drew me into their web. When DIRT was released, the band was opening for Ozzy Osbourne and I was very fortunate to have front row seats and I was able to meet Layne Staley and Mike Starr (later, my days in radio would bless me on meeting Jerry and Sean). This album was one of the albums that saved my soul and this song…I cannot begin to write or appropriately express what it meant to me when I was 17. It expressed feelings I didn’t have names for. It expressed a darkness I didn’t know what was. It gave my depression a name, a feeling, a thought, an emotion. It wasn’t something I had “made up” in my head. This song validated this thing called depression even if I didn’t know what the fuck depression was at the time.
We all battle our demons the best way we know how or learn the best way possible. Some methods are better than most and some lead us into the mouth of demons to be swallowed forever.
I put two versions of “Would?” below. (The original video for the song and the “MTV Unplugged” version.)
For me, the first video shows the strength of the music and the power in Layne’s voice/lyrics.
In the second video, I can now see the toll heroine was taking on Layne. I see the sadness, the darkness of the lyrics and the inner demons he was fighting.