Private Hell

Album: Black Gives Way To Blue (2009)


  • Alice in Chains guitarist Jerry Cantrell wrote this song, which is often thought to be about the last days of the band's original singer, Layne Staley, who struggled throughout his career with drug addiction, which eventually led to him overdosing and dying in April 2002.

    Speaking with FaceCulture in 2009, Cantrell said that it is about something completely different. "It's about me breaking up with a girl that I loved a lot, and I wasn't man enough to go through with it."

    The line, "I excuse myself, I'm used to my little cell," relates to how he wasn't ready to move on to something new.

    Cantrell points out that his songs can relate to whoever is listening to it in their own personal way.

Comments: 4

  • Nicko Mcbrain from UkHe is from Boston. Does anybody actually like anyone from there?
  • Justin Case from Baltimore, MdBrian needs to get a life. Apparently he has too much time, enough so as to look up band he "doesn't like". In reality, he IS a huge Alice fan(but a closet fan). That closet has to be getting cramped with his skeletons and gay tendencies. Come out Brian. He's too embarrassed cause he doesn't want the other "Beliebers" to know he likes AIC.
  • Matt from North Kingstown, RiWow Brian, you have literally written on a lot of these songs about a band you don't even like. First off, thats pathetic. Why would you want to look up these song meanings about a band you don't like? And yes, AIC does have a lot of songs about drugs because thats what many of them have suffered through, but they have a lot of other songs that don't deal with it. You apparantly have not heard the album Facelift. Try being a former addict and have one of your best friends die from it, what the hell else would you even want to write about? Do us all a favor and shut up.
  • Brian from Boston, MaHey Alice in Chains enough songs about heroin already.I think you pretty much covered that territory. Try writing about something else the 90's are over.You guys are millionaires now stop being so miserable.there's a new thing in music it's called melody you should try it
see more comments

Editor's Picks

The FratellisSongwriter Interviews

Jon Fratelli talks about the band's third album, and the five-year break leading up to it.

Actors With Hit SongsMusic Quiz

Many actors have attempted music, but only a few have managed a hit. Do you know which of these thespians charted?

Danny Clinch: The Art of Rock PhotographySong Writing

One of rock's top photographers talks about artistry in photography, raising funds for a documentary, and enjoying a County Fair with Tom Waits.

Mike Scott of The WaterboysSongwriter Interviews

The stories behind "Whole Of The Moon" and "Red Army Blues," and why rock music has "outlived its era of innovation."

Director Nick Morris ("The Final Countdown")Song Writing

Nick made some of the biggest videos on MTV, including "The Final Countdown," "Heaven" and "Don't Know What You Got (Till It's Gone)."

Allen Toussaint - "Southern Nights"They're Playing My Song

A song he wrote and recorded from "sheer spiritual inspiration," Allen's didn't think "Southern Nights" had hit potential until Glen Campbell took it to #1 two years later.