For Columbia, signing Alice in Chains was a deliberate move to regain the label’s foothold in the hard rock market.
"They came to us when we were hungry for music," says label president, Don Ienner, who took the band - especially Jerry Cantrell, who he referred to as a future "guitar god" - under his wing.
From the beginning, Ienner turned the building of Alice’s career into a crusade: “I flipped out the first time I heard their demo tape.”
Years later, upon learning of Layne’s passing, Don said in a statement, “I am incredibly saddened by Layne’s passing. His voice, lyrics and powerful presence were such a big part of what made Alice in Chains so special. On behalf of everyone at Columbia and Sony Music, I offer my condolences to Layne’s family, friends and his millions of fans the world over. We have all lost a gifted artist and a great friend.”
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