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Mad Season’s Barrett Martin Remembers Layne Staley [Exclusive Video]

Mad Season
Sony Legacy

Some bands are stable, built to last, destined for long and fruitful careers. Mad Season weren’t one of ’em. The alt-rock (or grunge, if you wanna start some arguments) supergroup formed in 1994, when Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready met bassist John Baker Saunders at a Minneapolis rehab facility. The two became friends, and after moving back to Seattle, McCready tapped Alice in Chains frontman Layne Staley and Screaming Trees drummer Barrett Martin to help them get something going.

That something was Mad Season. The band released just one album, 1995’s ‘Above,’ and while it’s often overlooked in discussions about great alt-era rock records, Sony Legacy may well change that. April 2 will see the release of the ‘Above: Deluxe Edition,’ a three-disc set featuring the remastered original album, a live CD and DVD of the foursome’s final show, and three new tracks — finished versions of songs intended for an aborted second full-length, now with vocals from Mark Lanegan.

In anticipation of the collection, is thrilled to premiere an exclusive video clip of Martin reminiscing about Staley. More than a decade after his death, AIC’s blonde, big-lunged frontman stands as one of Alternative Nation’s iconic figures, but as Martin explains, he was just a regular dude who cared deeply for his fans. On an early-’90s tour featuring Alice and the Trees, Martin reveals, Staley would use his nightly allotment of VIP tickets not to impress starlets or schmooze with bigwigs, but to get ticket-less kids into the gig.

“He always was looking out for people that wanted to see the show but couldn’t afford to,” Martin says. “That’s why he represents those people. He doesn’t represent the elite.”

Watch the Full Clip of Barrett Martin Discussing Layne Staley

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