In his final interview, conducted less than three months before he died from an overdose of heroin and cocaine last April, ALICE IN CHAINS singer Layne Staley looked and sounded like a broken 34-year-old who had given up the will to live.
"I know I'm dying," he rasped through missing teeth, according to a report published at MTV.com. "I'm not doing well. Don't try to talk about this to my sister Liz. She will know it sooner or later."
Staley, suffering from fever and nausea, told Argentinean writer and music fan Adriana Rubio that his need for heroin was all-consuming, even though the effects of the drug were no longer enjoyable.
"This fucking drug use is like the insulin a diabetic needs to survive," he said. "I'm not using drugs to get high like many people think. I know I made a big mistake when I started using this shit. It's a very difficult thing to explain. My liver is not functioning and I'm throwing up all the time and shitting my pants. The pain is more than you can handle. It's the worst pain in the world. Dope sick hurts the entire body."
The most chilling passage of the interview reads like a suicide note.
"I know I'm near death," he said. "I did crack and heroin for years. I never wanted to end my life this way. I know I have no chance. It's too late. I never wanted [the public's] thumbs' up about this fucking drug use. Don't try to contact any AIC (ALICE IN CHAINS) members. They are not my friends."
Staley's final interview appears in Rubio's biography of the late singer, "Layne Staley: Angry Chair", which features 50 pages of photos of Staley's sketches, diary entries, childhood pictures, art work and his eulogy by his friend and SCREAMING TREES drummer Barrett Martin.
For more information on the book, including a sampling of Staley's art, poems, and photos, click here.