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Nearly every musician has an embarrassing past. It's very rare for anybody to be in a good high school band, and most musicians have been in bands that they would rather not have anybody talk about. Sadly, with the advent of the Internet, your crappy high school band will not get lost in the dustbins of history. Like Pantera, Alice in Chains also had a glam rock past. Prior to his mega successful career as a gloom and doom hard rock/grunge front man, the late Layne “Candy” Staley sang in a Shorewood High School band called Sleze. Sleze eventually morphed into Alice 'N Chainz and recorded a demo before Layne joined up with Jerry Cantrell and his glam band, Diamond Lie, around 1987. Diamond Lie would soon change their name to Alice in Chains, ditch their glam rock image, hook up with Soundgarden’s management, and eventually become one of the first Seattle "Alternative Metal" bands to sign to a major label.

Alice 'N Chainz originally formed sometime in the early eighties with Layne on vocals, Nick Pollock on guitar, Johnny Bacolas on bass, and James Bergstrom on drums. In 1986, they went to the famed London Bridge Studios and recorded their first 3-song demo tape. Produced by Timothy Branom and engineered by former Enemy drummer, Peter Barnes (check them out on Killed By 7" 1-5 or Screaming Fists vol 2), the demo features a guest horn section, took them several months to finish, and cost them around $1600. While it's rarely discussed nowadays in the post-grunge and modern day indie rock age, Seattle actually had a pretty large hard rock/metal scene in the 1980s. Metal Church, Queensryche, TKO, and Rail were the big local bands, and bands like Mistrust, Heir Apparent, Myth, Overlord, and Fifth Angel were supposed to be the Next Big Things. Alice N Chainz should then be placed in this hard rock/metal context and not in the post-punk or grunge one, and obviously, their demo sounds nothing like their later recordings.

After Layne joined Diamond Lie, former guitarist Nick Pollock started My Sister's Machine with ex-members of Mistrust and released a few records, followed by Tanks of Zen and, more recently, Soulbender. Johnny Bacolas and James Bergstrom would go to form Second Coming, who still gig and record regularly.

And according to the demo’s thank you notes, if you are “Blonde, Tan, Tastey [sic], And Tight,” the boyz in the band love you lots.

Oh yeah, “Over the Edge” is not the Wipers’ song.
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