Alice in Chains Singer: 'There's a Lot of Differences Between My Voice and Layne's'

"He was really great in his own way," says the group's current vocalist William DuVall.

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Current Alice in Chains vocalist William DuVall recently drew a parallel between himself and group's late frontman Layne Staley, pointing out at several major differences.

According to DuVall, being himself is the only way to go and any kind of compromise would basically be disrespectful towards both Staley and the fans.

"All I can do from day one is be myself, be who I am," the singer kicked off in a recent 99.5 the X interview, adding that any similarities found between the band's two incantations are mostly based on music, rather than the vocal style.

DuVall then directly went to compare his own style with Staley's, saying, "There's actually a lot of differences between my voice and Layne's. He was really great in his own way ... It would do nothing but do a disservice to him and to the fans and to myself to be anything other than what I am. It's been a process and it's still kind of unfolding."

As far as the upcoming record "The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here" is concerned, the singer once again shared some of his views about the title track being a "comment on intolerance."

"It's taking a sort of a semi-humorous, semi-serious jab at intolerance and the salesmanship that goes with trying to put one's point of view over on someone else. We see a lot of it these days."

The band recently stirred up a big discussion with their comments regarding the US government and religion, saying they are "blown away" with some of the stands from certain government officials.

Previously announced with two video singles, "Hollow" and "Stone," "The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here" is set to drop on May 28 via Virgin/EMI Records as the band's fifth studio effort and the second one with DuVall handling the vocal duties.

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51 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Am I the only one loving DuVall's work with AiC because that got Cantrell to sing a lot more than he used to back in the 90's? Also, both are nice singers. DuVall was badass on "Last of My Kind", especially. Anyway, I kinda love and hate these articles at the same time: it's good to hear about AiC on a regular basis, but it also kills me because of the waiting for the new album.
    I'll be seeing Alice In Chains tomorrow for the 3rd time with William. He sounds great live with joining Cantrell for harmonies. They're co-headlining with SoundGarden !!!
    I think he has the right amount of similarities and differences between Layne to keep the band moving forward while not isolating the fans. He was a great choice for singer.
    His explanation of the meaning behind the album is MUCH better than Jerry's. I'd let this guy talk more often. Also, great singer, I don't think Layne would want someone to just try to sound like him.
    I went and looked at some of the discussions on that other article, there is some smart mother****ers on this site.
    off topic...but I ****ing love staley in mad season... start your day off with wake up and give me holler..
    He is really good but AIC is a dark band and Layne had a dark voice that came from his lifestyle and addiction to drugs. You could just hear the pain in his voice. That's the only thing I hear missing from william's voice.
    DuVall has an amazing voice, and Layne had an even more so amazing voice. Yes, they are very different, but I think they both work with the band very well. Not sure why people hate him so much, I hear it all of the time.
    Layne was definitely better, but DuVall is still the best we've got right now as Alice's singer. There are many with a larger range or stronger tone, but William fits this band well.
    Hopefully theyll start doing more new songs in the set. it would be cool if they just had 1 or 2 songs from the layne days but i want to hear william sing the songs he helped write
    The thing that sucks about being a replacement singer is that there's always going to be people saying you suck and that they want the original guy back. No matter how good you are, or how bad the old vocalist was (not the case here, of course). Some people are just that close-minded, and there's nothing that can be done about that. It really sucks.
    To be honest i dont see a great difference between Jerry,Layne and William.All great singers may i add.
    One major difference, I enjoy the songs they made with Layne. I do not enjoy the songs they make with DuVall. It sucks, too because I think he is a good singer, but getting used poorly.
    I don't think it matters. I believe they sound great together. They have complimenting styles. I've been a fan of Alice In Chains since 1990. As much as Layne was a HUGE part of AIC, he's gone. Nothing can replace him. I doubt the band would ever try. They did what they felt was best and moved forward. I think they sound great! William DuVall is a great singer. I saw them live in 2009 and they killed! I hope to see them again soon.
    There's more similarities between Layne's voice and this guy's than Layne's and Will's.
    Similarities through "pale imitations".
    Try to sing "Man in a Box" and NOT imitate Layne. This guy does a better job than anyone I've heard, including Duvall.
    I don't hate him, he sounds good at studio but he is a terrible singer live. Can't wait to get the new AIC album though!
    I disagree, you should look at some performances of him doing Rain When I Die.
    Agreed Layne was the original badass and his voice was unique, but I've also seen some embarrassing footage of him performing while spaced up out of his mind. If Duvall tried to pull that sh*t off it wouldn't be tolerated by the fans For that reason alone I have the utmost respect for him. If that were me on the stage with Jerry and the boys I doubt I could handle that kind of pressure, let alone have any fun. I mean, if you let yourself go too much in any way (being off key, dressing up too wacky, taking to the mike a little too often) people will think you're disrespecting Layne's legacy It's not the same as replacing a bass player in some newb band. William is quite aware of the fact that most of the people who show up at an Alice gig will constantly be comparing him to Layne (whether they're aware of it or not), and probably will keep doing so for years to come. He knows his place and frankly I think he's done the best job in terms of replacing the irreplacable
    Congrats to Shwilly for crafting, far and away, the most sane, logical, and measured response to a post I think I've ever read on this website.
    I think Duvall was one of Jerry's guitarists during his solo work. Matter of fact, even back then I think he'd do some singing on Man in the Box when Jerry's band would play it live. I don't know if he feels that pressure, because he's been playing with Jerry for years.
    I see what you mean and I agree! He has a great voice and he has done a great job with AIC. I'm not saying that he should replace Layne because of course nobody could do that. And I respect him too, the only thing I'm trying to say is that his live performances are not good. AIC songs have a kind of "harmonic" (I don't know how to call it) style that needs quite an accurate tuning. And I believe DuVall doesn't achieve that. But that's just my opinion.
    They're amazing live. The vocal harmonies are on point and he fits the band great.
    Personally, I feel the true frontman has always been Cantrell. As for DuVall, I have nothing but respect and gratitude for what he's doing. AIC's dedication paired with their lasting fans' proves that Layne's memory is in great hands.
    I always thought that too. The vocal harmonies are Alice In Chains strength. All the other stuff too.
    His vocals were great live when I saw them in 2010. I do agree that the two voices are a little different. But William sounded just fine. And he even took a slight lyric liberty in Rooster and I didn't hear a single complaint from anyone that night. Hell, he opened up with "Them Bones". All the old songs had the same Jerry/Layne vibe. All the new songs, however, have a Jerry/William vibe.
    :-O -- I looked like that for several minutes when I've heard him live for the first time, I was stunned, so I definitively disagree that he's a terrible singer, he's very good at least.
    Saw them live back in 09. One of the best live bands I have ever seen. DuVall held himself very well, and I know everyone around me were impressed.
    Ya know, I'd be all for the intolerance thing, if only Cantrell wasn't also being such an intolerant dick about it. (Intolerant about anything contrary to his beliefs really.) He needs to shut up and play guitar. Anyway, I really like DuVall's voice. He fits in well, despite not being Layne.
    I think we have a duty to be intolerant to ideas that perpetrate misinformation. Its called standing up to ignorance and its what makes human progress. We shouldn't even be debating on creationism. It's been disproven. We live in a day and age of being politically correct and its holding us back. I'm tired of the idea of not stepping on anyone toes. I'm completely for being intolerant against stagnation of humanity and that includes religion. I don't want religion dictating my future or the progress of my life whether it be direct or indirect. So I don't want Cantrell to just shutup and play guitar. He's still entitled to his opinion.
    Wow, aren't we just a pot calling the kettle black. Talk about "misinformation". When was creationism "disproven"? Please supply facts that there is no creator/s of the universe. If you even reply to this, I'm sure your answer will be laughable, but please give it your best shot.
    A central core of creationism is that dinosaurs existed alongside humans and thats simply not true. It also states that the biblical account of creation is true. That of course is also bullshit. 7 days? Hardly. Thats simple posturing. You could argue what 7 days is defined as but as far as the rest of us are concerned its 24 ****ing hours. Please argue me how everything was created in 7 days when we know the planet is billions of years old, not to mention, christianity isn't even a unique religion. Its borrowed from countless others so it doesn't even have an "original source". It doesn't take a degree to see through creationism.
    There are different forms of creationism. Sure, some take scriptures literally and believe that the earth was created in a matter of several days and that dinosaurs never existed, or some that dinosaurs existed but at the same time as us and everything in between. Not all creationists believe that. Creationists' actual central core is that a supreme being created the universe and everything within it (monotheism)...can you produce me factual evidence against that idea? Probably not. And of course Christianity is a unique religion. So is Judaism and so is Islam. They're all unique in their own ways, although all three are considered Abrahamic. As expected, you provided absolutely no proof that we are not created beings. Thanks for playing.
    No the supreme being thing is more intelligent design that differs from creationism. No. There is nothing unique about christianity. Not their savior, not their holidays, nothing. Its all borrowed from older religions. We can debate all day but todays religion is tomorrows mythology. Cracking open a book at the library shows the folly of religion.
    He doesn't have to disprove it. The burden of proof sits with those who make the positive claim, not those who maintain the default position of disbelief.
    That's silly. Why should he withhold his opinions any more than you should? Because he makes a living on a stage? Tolerance of willful stupidity is an absurd and dangerous principle to uphold. Rethink your views.
    I agree with the headline statement. There are differences. For instance, Layne's voice actually sounded good with AIC