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Halestorm’s Arejay Hale: Layne Staley Was a ‘Freak of Nature’ and an ‘Amazing Talent’

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Legendary Alice in Chains vocalist Layne Staley was found dead on April 5, 2002, leaving the music world in mourning at the loss of a great talent. We recently had the chance to chat with a few musicians about Staley’s legacy and the impact of Alice in Chains, and in the interview above, Halestorm drummer Arejay Hale talks about Staley’s influence.

“To say that Layne Staley was an influence on me is truly an understatement. I know I’m a professional drummer, but I love to sing,” explains Hale, who admired not only his vocal work but his songwriting.

The drummer continues, “[He’s] one of those male singers that really stood out to me and really haunted me. The way his tone was, the way he was able to hit high notes, the way he was like, he had a slight distortion to his voice.”

Hale says one of his fondest memories was when a friend introduced him to Alice in Chains’ MTV Unplugged special as a teenager. “His voice was amazing, his tone was amazing, his pitch was dead on,” says Hale. “The dude was a freak. He was a complete freak of nature and what an amazing talent. That one I would say is one of the most tragic losses.”

Stay tuned for more recollections on the late Alice in Chains vocalist Layne Staley.

15 Things You May Not Know About Layne Staley

10 Unforgettable Layne Staley Moments

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Mike Portnoy: 'Layne Staley's Vocals Were So Unique and Original'

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