Banana 101.5 has a great new interview up with Alice In Chains drummer Sean Kinney.  Sean always comes off very well in interviews.  Below are some excerpts and above is the video.

On fans who criticize Alice In Chains for continuing without Layne Staley:

“I always have the chance to address those people, I mean, it’s personal choice. They don’t have to like it. We’re not designed for everybody. We never [begged] anybody to follow this or dig it. We do it because we like it. I get the passion that they have about our friends that are no longer here and that they’ve made a connection through music to that and I respect that, you know? I think It’s great that they care so much. But It can be off putting, you know? We don’t really look at that stuff. There’s always this [white noise] about things for the most part it seems like a minority mind set.

The fact is, like everybody here, they’re going to run up to the fact that people you love and care about and yourself won’t be here and what do you do then? This was never a solo project this is always a band. This is real to us. Those are really our friends, those are all my best friends. Nobody knows better of what do and how to handle this than us and were not doing it for the “money” … [the music industry] is dead. There’s not a lot of money, especially in rock and roll. So, I mean, we don’t need the money. We do this for the same reason we always did and more than half the reason I ever did this at all was bringing that that we did together — that was so important to us and that had a life of its own — to be able to bring them with us and the music and that’s important.

If people wanna close their minds to those things, these things will happen to them. It’s just not on a public forum where people have to deal with it. When your mom dies not everybody starts telling you, “you gotta change your name” and “how dare you go on living” and “you can’t be you and do things, you need to change your job and everything you spent your life doing… your career.” It’s just not well thought out, but it’s based behind passion and caring.

I have those same hopes too, you know? Trust me, nobody wished… nobody wanted it to be like this. It truly only affects — every single day — our friends, families and us in a real way. So we live with that and try to move on and how do we honor the past and honor who we are now — and it’s our past — and do that as men and that’s what we do.

I’m talking more than I know I have about this, I guess. When those guys were alive right? Mike [Starr] is on a TV show and everybody is talking shit about him for the most part, right? And when Layne was alive and we were doing this, we were very open about the lifestyles we lived and those lifestyles will end your life… and they have. Jerry [Cantrell] and I are just fortunate that it didn’t end ours either. It’s not like it was one guy doing things. We all lived a pretty toxic lives and that’s not rare to music. We’re not an exception to the rule, but the horrible facts are [that] these are the outcomes of those things.

Some of these people, back then, spent all their time chastising these people and trying to vilify us for what we were doing then and then when they’re no longer here, which I find is really nice, they come to accept that and hold them in a different regard. So I think that’s great, but it can be a little misguided sometimes.

In my fantasy, world maybe if those guys would’ve known that people cared like they apparently do now while they were alive would they have heard that. Would they have known. But these are the facts. This is reality. This is the reality we live with… it’s real to me, you know? Every day… there’s not a day we don’t think about that stuff and it’ll go on for the rest of our lives. This is why I do it. I’m not out here to play rock star and everything. We do this because were great friends and we spent our lives doing this and we still enjoy the music.

We have a pretty interesting past. We never took the easy road. We have a multi-racial band. We’ve had a female manager in the 80′s when it was ran by a bunch of old guys with cigars that ran these things that tried to treat her like a coffee lady [impersonates one of the aforementioned old guys] “Get me a coffee!” We just always seem to go our own way of dealing  with things. We seem to take a less easy path, but it’s the path we’ve chosen and we do what feels right… and it’s important to us.

We’re not begging anyone to pay attention, we never were. If that’s how you want to live your life and close the door on something… that door never closes for us. We live with it every day. But I do appreciate their passion about it, it’s cool that something resonated with them in the work and the things that we did with our friends [that] meant that much to them and if it ends for them there, good.”

On whether they ever considered returning with a different name.

“It’s our name… we keep all our business very private we don’t correct the mistakes on Wikipedia. We don’t spend our time looking at things and correcting the mistakes while people try to write your history for you. We don’t have any interest in that. Truth is, it wasn’t owned by one … all four of us own the band name and when Mike [Starr] left, he gave up his rights. Layne, Jerry and I … it’s our name, it’s our business, it’s our career, it’s our music, it’s our thing we created.

We operate on what feels right and what our truths are and that’s all we can do. What would the difference be? We’d sound like us and play our songs. Either way you go there’s gonna be people that have a problem with what you’re doing. I don’t have a problem with what other people do, if it doesn’t interest me I just don’t pay attention to it.

I try to spend my time and energy on more positive things and things that I can actually do instead of online being mad at what other people do, but that’s cool. It must make people feel better to be anonymous. We’re not anonymous. I’m right here and I’m sure what I’m saying right now people will comment on and say I’m a dick. We don’t live and hide behind things. We live in the real world and really deal with stuff … if it makes that person feel more empowered so they’re not more of a jerk in real life to their family, cool. It’s just words and it’s easy to not pay attention. I don’t search after my band or Google myself. It’s not all good. You’re not going to find all [good things].”


  • yeahwell

    Alice In Chains = Layne Staley, Jerry Cantrell, Mike, Sean Kinney

  • Mike

    I couldn’t agree more…….

  • PiE

    Always interesting to hear from Sean.

  • Dave Show

    Great answers! I love this!

  • Jeff

    then why does he look so miserable all the time?

  • Nxg

    I’m glad they kept going. I love Layne & that era will always be classic AIC but the new album is great! I saw em in 2009 & they were great. William’s a good fit

  • Scott McLean

    I need to listen to the interview too as I’ve only read it all the excerpts so far. Great work! I like everything he said, he’s doing an amazing job as always with the band and I agree with him completely. I was appalled by some fans on YouTube for the last four years being jerks, saying stuff like they think AIC shouldn’t have continued without Layne. That’s about as strange as it gets from fans, since Layne passed away, we miss him, but there’s nothing anyone can do about it. RIP Layne. The band should continue on and make great songs like they’ve always done.

  • steph

    AHHHHHH….Sean Kinney. You are my hero. See people, he doesn’t give a shit about what you think about AIC continuing with THEIR band. And neither do I. I get my way every day by listening to the band I love the most. Sean doesn’t look miserable….at all. He is always smiling and goofing off and happy. Those boys worked hard and they lost people they loved along the way. So if they want to keep their name and the money they make and their passion for what they do….more power to them. AIC is whatever equation THEY want it to be. Some people are just so ridiculous.

  • GwynnKatie

    Thank You Sean.
    Such an eloquent and mercurial way of speaking.
    Love listening to him talk.

    AIC/LSMS Forever

  • Kris

    Sean makes very valid points. He’s a terrific guy and I respect his viewpoints.


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  • Tim Buckley

    Sean is such a troll @ i don’t spend time online being mad at people. I bet there will be a LOTS OF BUTTHURT 😀

  • hallfan01

    Good for Sean. Agree with everything he said.

  • LoveHateLove

    Well said Sean. To many people dwell on the negative and live in the past…keep on making great music!

  • cosmicatomic

    Kinney bitchslaps all the “No Layne No Chains” haters with his answer. It’s HIS best friend who died so who the fuck is anybody else to tell him what he can and can’t do? Layne is my favorite but I fully support AIC picking up after FIFTEEN YEARS and starting to make music again. AIC has been absolutely 100% classy and respectful.

  • Elizabeth

    Well said Sean!

  • JG566

    What does he mean that Mike Starr gave up his rights to the band? Why?

  • Shayne

    Because mike Starr left the band in 1992-1993 during the dirt tour..that’s what he means by giving up his rights

  • Tina

    Yay~ love this ~ Sean tells it like it is,,,,Layne is my favorite as well, but I don’t have a problem with them carrying on….IN fact we saw them with William Duvall a couple years ago~ and everyone in the audience was singing so loud to all the old songs…..

  • Deviate

    He really put things into perspective. And it doesn’t matter what you do, you can never, and will never, please everyone. Ever.

    Sean and Jerry are two of the most down to earth guys in rock & roll.

  • JG566

    Still though.. what does that mean? Contractually, personally? I mean saying it was Layne’s and not Mike’s doesn’t sound right since Layne basically left the band also right? And I heard Mike was kicked out…Wow I’m confused but.. ok..

  • GwynnKatie

    cosmicatomic said:
    Kinney bitchslaps all the “No Layne No Chains” haters with his answer. It’s HIS best friend who died so who the fuck is anybody else to tell him what he can and can’t do? Layne is my favorite but I fully support AIC picking up after FIFTEEN YEARS and starting to make music again. AIC has been absolutely 100% classy and respectful.

    YES! 🙂

    Deviate said:
    He really put things into perspective. And it doesn’t matter what you do, you can never, and will never, please everyone. Ever.

    Sean and Jerry are two of the most down to earth guys in rock & roll.

    YES!!! 😀

    :::wondering about how long it will take before The Negativity begins, hoping it does not start at all — thinking…
    “Wouldn’t that be wonderful – a completely positive thread?”:::

    AIC/LSMS Forever

  • steph

    @Cosmic Mike Starr took a lump sum up front from Sony, technically he signed his rights away to the AIC name and his royalties to get money right there and then.

  • Raj

    When your mom dies not everybody starts telling you, “you gotta change your name” and “how dare you go on living” and “you can’t be you and do things, you need to change your job and everything you spent your life doing… your career.” It’s just not well thought out, but it’s based behind passion and caring.

    Very well said, AC/DC kept going after Bon died. If Alice wants to continue making music using the same name then so be it. There’s no one that can stop them. People that don’t support it are in the minority and very few would have the guts to tell Jerry and Sean that to their face.

  • steph

    ^^oops sorry that was meant for JG566

  • JG566


  • Tisha

    I just have 3 words to say:

  • The Incredible Mr. Mark Arm

    thank you Sean!! great speach!

  • Downinahole

    Amen! well said Sean.

  • Jenna

    Steph, how do you know Mike Starr took a lump sum payout from Sony? I always wondered if he was still receiving royalty checks because heroin habits aren’t cheap. I work in public relations and I can say for a fact that it would be in this bands best interest to have Sean do most of the talking for them.

  • steph

    I know someone who knows, is all. It’s pretty common knowledge, within the circle of people I am acquainted with. How much, when and all the details, I really couldn’t say. BTW, if you listen in the background….there is at least one more interview with Jerry going on at the same time with another interviewer. Jerry and Sean do most of the talking for this band. I was in PR at one time myself, and I can say I don’t think these guys give one shit about what people think about them, Jerry has always been off the cuff and honest. There is no reason for them to lie. It’s been the same story for years and years, clear back 20 years ago. They don’t deviate or stray, it is always the same. That’s one reason I am passionate about defending AIC, and their right to continue with THEIR band, with THEIR songs. Layne written songs are owned by the whole band, just like Jerry written songs are. When Jerry wrote a song, in general, it was for Layne to sing. Some of the foolishness that I hear people say….well, let’s just suffice it to say Sean has got it correct. They aren’t out there worrying about what people in general think. It’s a done deal, they are continuing on, and it is what it is. I respect that.

  • loather

    This is a lot different than STP goung on without Scott

    AIC can’t help but get a different guy. With STP it is all stupid and they should not do thay

  • Alice

    Alice In Money.

  • danny

    He doesn’t convince me. First of all because the last 2 records without Layne… It’s an imitation of the old Alice in Chains. they imitate Layne’s vocals. It makes sense to keep the name then, but it’s not the real AIC. They should have just tried to make different good music – because they are all good musicians – with a different name, without sounding like they sound. At 50 years old too… it’s even more ridiculous. Cantrell should just play guitar and leave a singer sing. Not imitating Layne.

  • GenXLady

    These guys don’t usually talk a lot about this stuff. They are usually pretty private. I am glad he spoke about I although. Seriously, I don’t get how any one of us thinks we have the right to decide what is ok for them to do with their band.

    If you are open to hearing more music without Layne (RIP), then buy their new CDs. If you are not open to it for whatever reason, then don’t listen.

    Simple in my mind.

    I am glad they are moving forward, and they have been so openly respectful of their past. Rock on AIC!!!

  • Leslie chow

    this guy is a tool. they kicked mike starr out for using heroin. same crap when duff and slash kicking out adler. bottom line is if you do not write songs or are viewed as an intricate part of the bands success it’s see ya later. wonder if Inez gets a %. this is a BUSINESS first. as a TRUE AIC OG FAN I respected sean more when LAYNE was on the bass drum. since mike’s passing now they talk about him. I’m sure his estate gets crap. talk about mike’s creative bass lines.

  • Blondie

    1st off @steph, not sure who you know and where you get your info.. but your wrong & if you think you know mike starr biz so well, why would you even say anything on a public forum ? I am sure if ANYBODY told you they wouldnt want it blasted here…total disrespect Its nobody’s biz..nice way to start incorrect rumors !!
    futhermore, all of the aic boys were deep into the drugs…getting real tired of hearing how mike was this huge heroin user,they all were and layne was the biggest …

  • steph

    @ blondie. uhhhhh….ok. pot/kettle/black


    well then… let us separate the truth from lies.

    you are holding on to a lie you are a part of.

    layne would not agree with anything you are about.

    but since you claim this to be your band NOW you are certainly a liar and fool.

    you will be challenged. I know what layne said.

    as for the name. you have NO RIGHT to this.

    again, you use and try to sway fans away from what’s real.

    I know every last thing.

    count on it.

    alice in wonderland.

  • Michael Shortt

    @Alice. Bitch please!! If you dont like it I suggest you stfu and go back to the Marilyn Manson forums(no disrespect to mm). You stink like shit.

  • Teller

    Mike still got royalties from the band after he quit, every single month. He just gave up the rights to the AIC name. Get your facts straight.

  • steph

    ok, Teller. Does Mike Starr still receive royalties after his death? And if he does, which by law his estate would be receiving….why is he not named as a party in Nancy’s lawsuit? Please help me to get my facts straight…I have been involved for 20 years, so this doesn’t make much sense. I know why Inez and Duvall aren’t named in it.

  • KateFred

    Sean and Jerry are finally speaking out because of all the BS these past 10+ years of people not caring about their friends who passed. Its their personal business leave them alone, they are playing killer music, keeping Layne and Mike’s memories still alive, which is why I still love this band from 1st CD to current

  • GwynnKatie

    Alice said:
    Alice In Money.

    Good For Them.

  • steph

    @Teller: I lost part of my sentence. ^^ should have said “been involved IN LAW” for 20 years.

  • steph

    @kate & Gwynn…absolutely agree with both of you.

    Why shouldn’t AIC make some money? Lord only knows how much they lost not touring and being down for so many years when making music was still viable and paid an artist something. Right on.

  • GenXLady

    I don’t know why I continue to be amazed at all of the AIC haters that post stuff. Some seem too young to have known much about the band than when they were first out anyway, so WTF? Maybe I am wrong about that, but sometimes the wording used and certain things said make it seem like that.

    I know others, like ALICE, claim to have a long personal connection to the band. What I don’t get there is that it has been so long since the band first formed. Wasn’t it like in 1987, or something? How is it that you have stayed angry for this long about a name they chose to use 25 years ago? Sometimes you talk on here like it was yesterday. Were you a part of that decision? Why do people take it so personally?? Especially ones who never even knew them?

    Oh well. I guess there are some things I just don’t understand.

  • Eric

    I was a lot younger then, but did AC/DC get this kind of crap when Bon Scott died and they decided to carry on? Actually, come to think of it, they may be the only band who didn’t….

  • Sasa

    English is not my native but I’ll try to describe and say something about the mood that I am in right now, after reading Sean’s interview and listening to the new Devil album by AIC. I usually read articles and headlines here and rarely comment, but I just have to spit it out! I love AIC from their beginnings and still do. New album is fucking awesome, it has a lot of Jar+Tripod sequences which put the smile on my face every time I listen to Devil and that’s one more reason why I TOTALLY agree with Sean when he said: We make our music because we LIKE it! And that’s why I always liked them, they’ve never been some ‘music-industry’ boys who just want to make some quick money with one or two albums and then disappear in some other projects and keep living by selling the history of an old glory. No, they keep rocking and they will always be my fav. I admit, I don’t like when Will sings Layne’s songs, not that he doesn’t sing ’em correctly, but it’s just..he can’t interpret them in the way I like. But new songs, from this new album and previous one are excellent. Never watch them playing alive but I hope I’ll have a chance one day to experience that feeling as well, because listening to the music played by people who love what they do and create, and if that music hits every single cell of your body, than it gotta be PERFECT. Thank god for Devil (haha…Ironic!), thank god for King Animal, new Pearl Jam is on the way…thank god that I love the music which will never die.

  • GwynnKatie

    Sasa, for someone who does not speak English very well you did a great job of expressing yourself. And totally agree with everything you said. I love the record, there are two tracks which are for me well.. *meh*, but 10 greats out of 12 is a solid record and I for one am fucking thankful to The Universe that my favorite three Men in Music found a Fourth to help them carry on with what they love, and what I love. RIP Layne & Mike, gone but loved and not forgotten.
    William honey — You Rock.

    AIC/LSMS Forever

  • Chadwick Vapors

    Sean, you make me proud to have called AiC my favorite band all these years. Rational thinking is so rare these days, it’s reassuring to read stuff like this.

    There’s always been a brutal honesty at the heart of your music, and this new record continues that. Don’t ever be afraid to be bold. This life is all we have, and I thank you guys for enriching mine.

    Rock on, Alice in Chains.

  • Chadwick Vapors

    And yeah, Will is awesome. Can’t wait to see you guys when Uproar comes to CT!


    alice said… you are sheep and fools.

    you follow a lie and have zero idea of any truth.

    keep rockin.

    I am shocked at such stupidity.

    hence why you will be eliminated by the agenda.

    and you still have no clue at all! HAHAHAHAHA!


    “if I had a world of my own it would be nonsense”

    you should have studied about alice.

    but hey, I will help you out a bit.

    get your A.L.I.C.E. packs ready.

    sweet dreams…

  • GwynnKatie

    Chadwick Vapors said:
    And yeah, Will is awesome. Can’t wait to see you guys when Uproar comes to CT!

    Please come back and tell us all about it! Thanks in advance! 😀

    AIC/LSMS Forever

  • chillow

    Well, I can remember, as like others, that Sean DID originally say that Alice won’t get back together without Layne, no replacement, and all that other BS. Point I’m making is that ppl change their mind. It must be hard to give an answer on an interview that is basically stuck in time, and then your word is stuck on that date & time. Maybe Sean forgot he said that about the name and Layne. But, I can certainly see why ppl (fans) can give Sean a hard time for saying those comments in the beginning since this is a touchy topic and Layne was loved so much. And no one can truely take sides because if Layne’s and Jerry’s harmonies weren’t so damn good in the beginning, then no one would care about AIC now.

  • Phil

    I like how Sean said when Mike Starr left. that’s a good one. Mike Starr was forced out and if guys that sound like Layne were a dime a dozen like bassists are Layne would have be gone too back then. Bunch of hypocritics, they were all addicted to something then but singled out Mike & Layne. Mike was forced to leave and Layne was forced to clean up. the rest is history. BTW – Jerry was a raging alcoholic before trainwrecking the reboot of AIC. I love AIC, but everything after Layne has been garbage and i feel that the orginal members have lost a lot cred with the fans that grew up with them. They are a disappointment to me.

  • NoLayneNoChains

    As a die-hard AIC fan of 20+ years, I can respect what Sean is saying, but let\\’s not the least bit naïve and think they are using the name for any reason other than the money involved. It\\’s funny how Jerry\\’s late 90s/early 00s solo band suddenly became \\”AIC\\” with the addition of some dude on vocals from a band that most of us never heard of. I like Jerry and Sean, but this was a $$$ move; no question about it. Without Staley, it\\’s not AIC. While they are still capable of coming up with good music, it\\’s not nearly on par with the Staley era music. Just the reality of it all.