Metallica Discusses Leaving Layne Staley Tribute Song Off "Death Magnetic"
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Metallica frontman James Hetfield penned a touching musical tribute to tragic Alice in Chains star Layne Staley - but decided it wasn't good enough for the band's new album Death Magnetic.
The frontman admits he didn't really know the late star, who died from a drug overdose in 2002, but his tragic demise inspired him to write many of the dark tracks on Metallica's new album.
And one track, "Shine," was written all about Staley.
Hetfield tells Rolling Stone magazine, "I know (Alice In Chains star) Jerry Cantrell quite well and learned about Layne through him... I could see some of the things Jerry went through to keep that band together.
"I started writing a song around a Layne Staley type - a rock 'n' roll martyr magnetised by death. Why did he choose that path, someone with such talent?"
Metallica recorded Death Magnetic with a photograph of Staley taped to the wall of their studio control room.
Hetfield admits the central message of the record is that people should come to terms with the inevitable prospect of death. And he reveals that the main inspiration behind many of the lyrics was Alice In Chains singer Layne Staley, who died of a drug overdose in 2002.
Hetfield told Guitar World magazine, "The theme of our new album is that we're all gonna die sometime. Just like the poles of a magnet, some people are drawn to death and others are repulsed by it, but we all have to deal with it.
"Lyrically, it started as a bit of a tribute to Layne Staley and all those who've martyred themselves in the name of rock and roll. But it grew and evolved from there."
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