Jerry Cantrell recalls how Tom Morello inspired Layne Staley to step up his guitar playing

Layne Staley and Tom Morello
(Image credit: Mick Hutson/Redferns / Gie Knaeps/Getty Images)

During a conversation with Tom Morello on his Maximum Firepower podcast, Jerry Cantrell has recalled Layne Staley’s early fascination with the Rage Against the Machine firebrand’s guitar playing.

Alice in Chains and RATM were both part of the bill at Lollapalooza 1993, an experience Morello cites as formative given it was the politically charged outfit’s first major tour, but it also marked an influential time for Staley’s development as a guitar player.

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Michael Astley-Brown

Mike is Editor-in-Chief of, in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He has a master's degree in journalism from Cardiff University, and over a decade's experience writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as 20 years of recording and live experience in original and function bands. During his career, he has interviewed the likes of John Frusciante, Chris Cornell, Tom Morello, Matt Bellamy, Kirk Hammett, Jerry Cantrell, Joe Satriani, Tom DeLonge, Ed O'Brien, Polyphia, Tosin Abasi, Yvette Young and many more. In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe.