Very few bands survive the departure of a lead singer--Van Halen is one of the few that come to mind--and even fewer are able to carry on after a singer's tragic death (AC/DC is one of the few success stories there). When singer Layne Staley, of the iconic Seattle band Alice In Chains, passed away in 2002 after years of drug abuse, surely most fans assumed that that was the end of AIC--and that if AIC ever did choose to reform without Layne, they would never be able to recapture their former glory.
However, Alice In Chains came roaring back this year with a new singer, William DuVall (also of the band Comes With The Fall), and their first studio album in 14 years, Black Gives Way To Blue (the title is a dedication to Layne, and the title track actually features Elton John on piano). And incredibly, it was like they never left. The album debuted on the Billboard chart at number five, and garnered critical acclaim for being just the right balance of old (their signature sound is still intact, partially thanks to co-singer Jerry Cantrell's unmistakable harmonies) and new (William never tries to mimic Layne karaoke-style, letting his own voice shine through).
After AIC's triumphant return against colossal odds, Yahoo! was honored to have the group come into the Y! studio to perform acoustic (it was like the days of their 1996 Unplugged
album all over again), and perhaps even more honored that the band was willingly to so frankly discuss their trials, tribulations, and tragedies. Check out their interview and very special performances below.