Wake Up

Songfacts®:

  • In this song, lead singer Layne Staley sings about how he needs to "Wake Up" from his addiction to heroin. He refers to his drug use as a "Love affair" that has to go and how for 10 long years he has a lot of "Leaves To Rake Up." He knows heroin is a bad idea and tries to convince himself not to do it.
  • Mad Season was a side project for members of prominent bands. Staley was lead singer of Alice In Chains, Mike McCready from Pearl Jam played guitar and Martin Barrett from the Screaming Trees was on drums.

Comments: 17

  • Kelly Butler from Alabama Lol wow so many Layne "experts". For starters, Layne had absolutely been using drugs for 10yrs or so. There had been an attempt at an intervention with his very FIRST band called Alice n Chains (without the i ) back before he met Jerry. This was first mentioned by Jim Elmer (stepdad) and then the book David De Sola wrote confirms it. I think waaaay too much of Laynes work is attributed to being about Demri. Yes he loved her. But they had been splits for awhile and he had even stopped answering the door for her. I think his comments to Mike Starr the night before he died gives u an insight into his guilt over the fact that he'd let them grow apart. But just like the rest of the ..."experts", I wasn't with him at the time so I can only listen, love, and respect his memory. And I too would live to see him still around today making music. But some candles burn too bright. They are here and then gone and we can only bask in their glow for a short time.
  • Bighealer from Seattle I was lucky enough to catch Mad Season at the 1996 New Years Eve show In Seattle.
    It was at the same venue where I met Layne, Starr and Jerry at a PJ gig.
    Seattle was so damn fun at that time!
    All the shows, massive pit stage diving, small venues - Soundgarden, Nirvana, Chains, Mother Love Bone, Mudhoney, PJ - little security, meet the dudes, chill.
    Then the world stole our bands.
  • Topher K from Boston, Iowa (hell Town, Iowa)It's referring to how addiction is an infection that you simply just work through, addiction is a disease and it takes toll on the body and mind. Sadly Layne had lost his will to live after demri died. If she would of made it, he could of. IF I WOULD, COULD YOU?
  • No Show Joe from OregonDoes any of this matter? It's art. Interpret it for yourself. Besides there's no way to truly now how long Layne had been doing dope n s--t. Only he knows that. Us addicts rarely can be honest with ourselves anyway, let alone the rest of society. For most things that pain can only be delt with by drug use or therapy. Or in Layne's case. Music
  • Jimi62471 from UsaI think the “infection not a phase” line refers to his realization that he has been denying that his addiction will kill him if he doesn’t treat it.... he has no control.
  • Wack Arnold’s from Nyc Layne was an absolute beast. The passion and pain in his voice is so clear. Harmony for days. The best of all time in my book. Crazy that he couldn’t get more help with his addiction, but easy to say that in hindsight. RIP, dude is a legend, imagine how many more great tracks AIC would’ve had if he had gotten better.
  • Snufftherooster from UkImagine if Layne had lived and recovered from his Heroin abuse - a second Mad Season album or even a solo career. The material on this album showcases what we was capable of outside the Staley/Cantrell setup. Awesome stuff - his legend lives on.
  • Snufftherooster from UkYet Demri died a year after this was released so I doubt the infection line was anything to do with her.
  • Mark from Los Angeles, CaI think this song is pretty damn clear, read the lyrics, consider what Layne was going through at the time and connect the dots. It was obvously written by him. This perhaps one of the few, if not, only subject he really ever sang about in Alice songs, as well as Mad Season: his depression, long battle with drugs, and his longing to come out of it, but knowing that it was too hard for him to do so.
  • Justin from A Place, CtLook this is exactly what the song is and if you say other-wise your wrong (your entitled to your own personal take on the song, but we are discussing the artists take).

    1. It is about Layne Staley's heroin addiction, not his girlfriend, Demri Parrot, Who died in 96 when this was released in 95. He had in fact been doing hard drugs for just about 10 years. He started hard drugs, cocain and heroin, around the age of 15 he was about 28 upon the release. (10 was close enough, what sounds better "For 10 long years" or "For 13 long year").

    2. Layne was the writer of the lyrics, NOT Mike McCready. They all shared in the music writing process, except Layne wasn't involved music wise for River of Deciet, because he wasn't there yet. Staley wrote all the lyrics on this album except for the parts in Long Gone Day that Mark Lanegan sung.

    3. The song was written while Staley was part of the band as with all of the songs except River of Deciet (He wrote lyrics and vocal melodies to that song though)

    4. This doesn't have to do it, but I feel its wrong that in the song facts they didn't list John Baker Saunders of Little Pat Rushing and Hubert Sumlin was the Bassist and a really important member. After he died in 99 the possible resurection of the project left the minds of the other members (not including Staley who was in recluse)
  • C from Titusville, Flthe song was not written before layne joined the band...layne wrote the lyrics in this song. as far as who its about...mike mcready? doubtful. mcready was sober during the time of this band. mcready even said that he had hoped that having layne play with a few guys who were clean would help him. layne always wrote songs about his addiction's and his pain. this song is no different ok. this was in 1995, so yes layne had been addicted to drugs for 10 years. it wasnt until 90ish that he had become a full blown heroin junkie, but he was still screwing his life up before that. listen to the lyrics closely, you can see how it paints the picture of laynes life.
  • Claudia from St Petersburg, Falkland IslandsLayne's girlfriend dies AFTER this song was released....
  • Jason from State Of Fitz, NjTara, mike wrote the music, not the lyrics. If anyone has ever had a problem with drugs or wondered what it's like, this song and the album in general sum it up
  • Erin from Tulsa, OkIt was written by Layne, and the Above album was majority written by Layne (lyrical wise). This is an amazing song. The tribute calendar has a print of the original song on paper.
  • Peter from Homer Glen, IlKeep in mind that, on Pearl Jam's most recent album, there is a song called Inside Job where Mike McCready wrote a song about his life in rehab so this song could have been written by Mike. At this point, I believe they were(not too sure who) just getting out of rehab.
  • Tara from Lynchburg, Vaokay, its a freaking great song, and it does make sense for lAynes heroin addiction onlly problem is,is that the song was written before he joined the group and was written by Mike mCREADY. sTILL it is the story of laynes life in my eyes
  • Kevin from Portland , OrGreat Song. A little confused about the "10 long years". In 1994, Layne had only been on H for 4 + years. It could be he's talking about drugs/booze in general. But, it's rather prophetic that he ended up dying in 2002, roughly 10-11 years after his drug problems took over. "So an Infection not a phase" isn't about his girlfriend. She didn't die until 2 years after this song. Rather, he's explaining that his addiction is an illness, not a phase he's going through--he gets that at this point. It sounds like he's trying to talk himself into being clean/sober. "The cracks and lines from where you gave up make you an easy man to read" is so telling. Layne know the public/media was on to him--it was obvious that after the JOF, he just quit trying to fight his addiction. He had tried up until that point to kick several times. The two years prior to Mad Season, which involved a the famous AIC split, canceled tour dates, etc. all pointed to Layne's drug problem. Here, he's trying to pick up the pieces . . . again.
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