Mike Inez is an American rock musician best known for his role as the bassist of Alice in Chains since 1993. He is also recognized for his work with Ozzy Osbourne from 1989-1993. Inez has also associated with Slash’s Snakepit, Black Label Society, and Heart. He is of Filipino descent.
Mike Inez began his career in music by playing guitar and saxophone. Since the late 1980s, his career has consisted of the role of bass guitarist in popular hard rock bands.
Ozzy Osbourne (1989–1993)
In 1989, more than 50 musicians auditioned for Ozzy Osbourne’s group, and Inez, then a member of the local L.A. band Skin on Skin, won the spot of bassist. Within a month, Inez was playing live at a gig with Osbourne at Wembley Stadium
Inez was an official member of Osbourne’s band during their recording of the No More Tears album. However, Bob Daisley was brought in to record the bass and none of Inez’s playing is on the final album. In the liner notes Inez was credited as “bass and music inspiration,” as he had written the riff to the title track in a jam session. Inez also appeared on the 1993 Osbourne live album, Live & Loud.
Alice in Chains (1993–present)
By late 1993 Inez had moved on to his next project. Alice in Chains bassist Mike Starr had left the group after the release of their album, Dirt, and Inez replaced him.
Inez toured throughout 1993 with Alice in Chains on the strength of the Dirt album. The group also participated in the 1993 Lollapalooza Tour.
Alice in Chains’ EP, Jar of Flies, was released in 1994 with Inez on bass. Jar of Flies debuted at #1 on album sales charts, the first EP ever to do so.
Inez recorded with the band for their eponymous 1995 release Alice in Chains, which also debuted at #1. In 1996, Alice in Chains recorded their MTV Unplugged special, the first live performance the group had played together in three years. After their last live performance, Alice in Chains went on hiatus. Then in 1998 Alice in Chains returned to the studio to release the songs “Get Born Again” and “Died”. In 2000 the band went on hiatus once again, when rumors of vocalist Layne Staley’s drug abuse arose. Alice in Chains disbanded on April 20, 2002 after the news of the death of Staley.
Slash’s Snakepit (1995)
In 1995, Inez played with Slash on the former Guns N’ Roses guitarist’s side group, Slash’s Snakepit. The group recorded It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere although Inez did not play any live shows during the corresponding tour He also briefly rejoined Ozzy Osbourne’s band on the Retirement Sucks tour after Geezer Butler resigned due to the pressures of touring.
Jerry Cantrell and Spys4Darwin (1998)
In 1998 Inez played with his Alice in Chains bandmate, Jerry Cantrell, on his debut solo album, Boggy Depot. In the following year, Inez played on the bonus track to Black Label Society’s debut album Sonic Brew, a reworked heavy metal cover version of the Osbourne track “No More Tears”. At around this time, Inez formed the band Spys4Darwin with Sean Kinney, Chris DeGarmo from Queensrÿche, and Vinnie Dombroski from Sponge. They released the microfish EP, and played radio festivals in the Northwest.
Black Label Society (2001–2004)
In mid-August 2001, Inez temporarily replaced Black Label Society bassist Steve Gibb, who was sent home in the middle of their Ozzfest tour.
In 2003, Black Label Society’s Robert Trujillo joined Metallica; Inez replaced him in Black Label Society, joining for a short two-week west coast tour of the United States and a short tour of Japan for their The Blessed Hellride album. A few songs from the Tokyo, Japan show of this tour appear in the bonus features section of their live DVD, Boozed, Broozed, and Broken-Boned.
In 2004, Inez recorded the track “Crazy or High” with Black Label Society for their studio album release Hangover Music Vol. VI.
Alice in Chains reunion (2005–present)
In 2005, Jerry Cantrell, Mike Inez, and Sean Kinney reunited to perform a benefit concert in Seattle for victims of the tsunami disaster that struck South Asia in 2004.
By 2006 Inez, along with the surviving members of Alice in Chains, Jerry Cantrell and Sean Kinney, set for a world tour with various guest singers to fill in for the late Layne Staley. The main singer for the band’s tour was William DuVall. The band was also featured on Decades of Rock: Heart and Friends where they performed “Would?” with Phil Anselmo and “Rooster” with William DuVall. DuVall would go on to be the permanent singer of the group, who has released 2 studio album and toured extensively since 2006.
- In late 2002 Inez was considered to replace Jason Newsted in Metallica.
- Inez appears on Heart’s 2003 release, Alive in Seattle, a double CD live recording that documents a 2002 concert at Seattle’s Paramount Theatre
- At the 2007 VH1 Rock Honors, Alice in Chains performed the tribute to Heart. Inez is the only musician who has been a member of both bands.
- Inez was a guest player on “Under the Gun” from Motörhead’s 2006 album Kiss of Death.
- In early 2008, Inez recorded a “Behind the Player” instructional DVD with the help of John Tempesta. The DVD features lessons of some of Mike’s favorite Alice in Chains songs, and a sit down in depth interview.
Mike Inez married his fiancée, Sydney Kelly, on May 8, 2010 at an undisclosed location.