"Sludge Factory" as written by and Sean Kinney Layne Staley....
You insult me in my home, you're forgiven this time
Things go well, your eyes dilate, you shake, and I'm high?
Look in my eyes deep and watch the clouds change with time
20 hours won't print my picture milk carton size
Carton size, carton size

Call me up congratulations ain't the real why
There's no pressure besides brilliance let's say by day 9
Endless corporate ignorance lets me control time
By the way, by the way, by the way

Once again you see an in, discolored skin gives you away
So afraid you kindly gurgle, out a date for me

Now the body of one soul I adore wants to die
You have always told me you'd not live past 25
I say stay long enough to repay all who cause strife

Once again you see an in, discolored skin gives you away
So afraid you kindly gurgle, out a date for me

(spoken in backround)
"I bear true and an existing witness
to this barrel of monkeys.
A self proclaimed immoral success,
perfected by each whereof
individually deadly and equally so
and spread about the surrendered troops,
for even thousands of miles will not
tear apart their communication, or the lack thereof.
Vultures, liars, thieves, each proclaim their innocence
In no suggestion or rhyme, your weapon is contained in
the wrecking of the keeping the desired effect.
The breaking of the spirit thwarts the whole being.
Your weapon is guilt, your weapon is guilt, your weapon is guilt.
Guilt."


Lyrics submitted by Ice

Sludge Factory song meanings
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  • +4
    Song MeaningHilarious how AiC always gets labled junky tunes or as contrived and derived purely and solely on drugs!!come on now!! there is reference but not redundancy, puh-fucking-lease, he was a genius compared to most living wastes, he was man enough to admit his mistakes/imperfections in his own music so listen to what the song REALLY says and -stop judging-('only god can play god,those who try to play, will soon say..')This song appears to be about people speaking for you in place of you (or about you,rumours, trashtalk).
    First two lines show how layne is a forgiving person,but how a person insistently attempts to point out flaws in him because of their own guilt. 'you insult me, in my home-youre forgivin this tim' 'things go well youre eyes dilate you shake and im high?' Obviously hes getting high with a friend who reflects themself on him because they shake and then state layne as the affected one. This next line (very meaningful if u can understand what it means) 'Look in my eyes DEEP and watch the clouds change with time'('dont idolize a being for simply being'-me) This is Layne explaining how this person shouldnt reflect his guilt to others with lies and gossip about others. how always watching his(laynes)every move wont do anything but change the time gradually,then the milk carton reference is to show how none would worry about him when he needed help, or attention. The next stanza goes on about corp. ignorance-this stanza is about someone reconnecting with himand how he sees them going down the same path he warned to stray from. The 'by the ways' are to show that hes told them numerous times(to change from ignorant lack of care) but still they refuse to see his point.Endless ignorance refers to earlier stanzas 'look in my eyes deep..' because he knows how to be while their ignorance simply redirects them to something new in life worth congrats hence why its said.'call me up congratulations aint the real why'.The chorus is about this flaw they have to layne, how they see an opportunity to gain but their stained character brings them ruinand allows for others to TAKE from them what they want. in this case it may be an actual reference to a situation layne was in such as: a long forgotten friend shows up and is in music bizz then interviews layne, seeing dicolored skin and having experience with heroin as well he would then judge laynefor that because of his own guilt over this drug many years ago, how layne is caught off guard and must reveal the time of his next album, rehab or something unclear.Then goes on about how this same music bizz boi is down in the gutters, reminiscing in their past together, layne advises to move on by saying to gain revenge on those who defamed him. (Which would be by living happily cuz its simply the greatest revenge to any enemy)Of course there is sort of a problem this person hurt their new advisor(layne) so now layne has forgiven and helped him at least twice with the next chorus as proof of how his friend still betrays him on and on.The ending backround talk is laynes most deepest thoughts on this persons inner works(which are clearly bad in nature)explaining how there are others like this everywhere all equally f'd up and how their fixation with their own imperfections(and others) keeps them from properly communicating with others because its revealed in their talk at some point.Then whoever is trying to forget the imperfect things (layne in this case)is affected by the person exposing all of them so greatly that they too soon succumb to acknowledging flaws helplessly and hopelessly and how this is a constant cycle globally and he knows it. So basically this masterpiece is about the media, or people acting as media, -watching any one persons move and unrelentingly judging till they break under pressure and lose sight of who they are.This song speaks great volumes of truth that everyone should learn from because no one likes to feel judged by any and everyone over something so juvenile such as drug addiction(in staley's case) "But majority rule, so ignorant people will continue to be and live unable to see their own image in the mirror."_-_ME
    LTSlive69on March 29, 2011   Link
  • +3
    General Commenti always thought this was about the record industry
    marson June 17, 2004   Link
  • +3
    General Comment"20 hours won't print my picture milk carton size
    Carton size, carton size"

    I think this line refers to the fact that if layne died no one would go looking for him. they wouldnt put his picture on a milk carton cause they would know exactly what killed him.

    "Call me up congratulations ain't the real why
    There's no pressure besides brilliance let's say by day 9
    Endless corporate ignorance lets me control time
    By the way, by the way, by the way"

    The record company called him up to see if he was alright. but they didnt care about his health they just wanted to know if he could make some more hit songs for them. brillance is the pressure put on him by the company and day 9 is when he'll come out. because the record company doesnt know wtf is going on layne says when he will do stuff and how long it will take.

    "Once again you see an in, discolored skin gives you away So afraid you kindly gurgle, out a date for me"

    I think the discolored skin might be the record companys turning red indicating that they are angry with layne. but they are afraid he will quit so they kindly suggest a day that he may come to work.

    "I bear true and an existing witness
    to this barrel of monkeys.
    A self proclaimed immoral success,
    perfected by each whereof
    individually deadly and equally so
    and spread about the surrendered troops,
    for even thousands of miles will not
    tear apart their communication, or the lack thereof."

    He is proof of his own life. he is a success even though
    an immoral one because of his drug addiction. he's been conditioned to be like this by all these people who seem to communicate with each other on how to keep layne this way.

    "Vultures, liars, thieves, each proclaim their innocence
    In no suggestion or rhyme, your weapon is contained in
    the wrecking of the keeping the desired effect.
    The breaking of the spirit thwarts the whole being.
    Your weapon is guilt, your weapon is guilt, your weapon is guilt.
    Guilt."

    All these people feed off laynes success but none claim their responsible for layne being the way he is. they like to keep layne broken and sad so he can keep producing good songs. They make him feel guilty to make him do stuff.

    Thats what I get from the song. who knows but layne what it means.
    sliznuton June 27, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General Commenti think the unplugged version is 1000 times better, especially in the begining with the "aaahh aah aah ooww, ahh ya". and i think its about people seeing him for drugs and how it is so obvious sometimes that drugs are the only reason that these perople were around.
    stonedtemplepiloton June 28, 2003   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis is about someone telling Layne when he's gonna die.

    likely a friend, enters layne's home & insults him, layne says hes going to change and get out of his drug habbit. The insult was probably about a 20 hour drug binge. hence the line, "20 hours wont print my picture..."
    The milk carton refrence is about back in the day, when someone would go missing, people would post te missing person's picture on milk cartons.

    the chorus is about this friend telling layne exactly when hes going to die, he gurgles out a date of death for him.

    the next line is the friend talking, saying that layne told this friend he wasnt going to live past his 25th birthday.

    The end is saying that people are trying to make layne guilty so he'll quit the drugs.

    Thats just a brief explanation, the song has alot more evidence, but I'm too lazy to type it all.
    GoD-Likeon March 11, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti would go with heroin addiction and I agree with stonedtemplepilot, the unplugged version is a lot better.
    ANSon April 13, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentSliznut, I think you got it pretty much spot on. I interpret the song much the same, but with one exception. I think the song as a whole is about his cynicism towards the production label. However, I don't think that he's using the milk carton reference to say that folks won't look for him when he's dead or because they will already know the cause. I think he's saying that other people are just used to him being reclusive for long periods of time (or straight missing practice or recording sessions). So if he is "missing" for a period of say, 20 hrs or so, he wouldn't actually be "missed". i.e., no one would print his face on a milk carton.

    To PopNFresh07: Demri died of endocarditis, not overdose. Also, she died in 1996. The selftitled album was released in 1995.
    onelokikittyon January 03, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Commentto me this song is about the people in general who get a high off of pointing their fingers the other way and using other peoples shattered lives to hide their own vile ones. this is one of alice in chains most incredible songs. just the second line alone gives me chills how he tells these hypocrites "things go well your eyes dilate, you shake, and IM high?" basically saying you sit there and act like i have this big weakness where i need to get high, yet look at the high you people get off of tearing other people down.

    to me the "gurgle out a date for me" part isnt about a record being released, but people trying to predict his death
    nashnwo1234on November 09, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is most likely about his heroin addiction.

    "Once again you see an in, discolored skin gives you away " Obviously, It's about the fact that his heroin usage started to show physical signs. There were reports of him looking "green" and sickly during '95/'96.

    The first line references the fact that Layne is scared of dying by his addiction. In my mind the line "So afraid you kindly gurgle, out a date for me" has always been about gurgling out a date when Layne promised he would kick his habit and enter rehab. It's from someone else's perspective, possibly Jerry's.

    Rebphoenixon October 11, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI really love this song, it has to be one of my favourite AIC tracks, so thought I'd share my interpretatiobn...
    This is my first post EVER - ANYWHERE, so errm here we go...

    I get the feeling the song is more about Layne trying to explain why he keeps relapsing and using heroin again, so yeah its about drugs and the damage they do and how hard they make it to deal with the sh*t in life when you already know there's something just around the corner that will make it all go away, whatever the cost.

    So the first verse I think would be someone turning up trying maybe to shame him into rehab by pointing out how he's in a bad state - the insult in his own home, Things go well and he cleans up. I'm guessing that the person advising him he's f*cked up and needs help has all this time been carrying on with his own cocain habit, maybe trying to hide it (unsuccessfully) from Layne, yet still all the time questioning Layne's sobriety - Your eyes dilate, you shake, and I'm high? Look in my eyes deep and watch the clouds change with time - this is pointing out while the coke addict is obviously wasted, Layne's eyes show that he's clean. Off the back of this it seems he is excusing himself a quick relapse just 20 hours of getting wasted again and he'll be back sober again before anyone starts checking up or worrying about him, everyone else seems to be doing their drug of choice around so why shouldn't he.

    Verse 2 - This to me is obviously a dig at the record industry, calling with empty congratulations on his sobriety, but just wanting to know when he'll be making them some more money, suggesting to him, lets say by day 9. Endless corporate ignorance lets me control time sounds like he knows that ultimately he knows that he can make them wait, as he knows they'll kiss his arse while they wait for the next big hit. Writing new material gets put by the way, the pressure is on...

    Once again you see an in, discoloured skin gives you away, so afraid you kindly gurgle out a day for me - this would probably be refering to him ending up in the company of old junky friends (or his Dad) for whatever reason, them promising they are due to clean up and are on their way to sobriety like him, but just wanting to hook up with him to get money to score smack. I am damn certain any junky would walk a mile on hot coals to run heroin for a rock star who is willing to pay so they don't have to get caught by the 'adoring press' scoring themselves.

    verse 3 - On top of all that, One soul he adores wants to die, I would guess that this was about Demri, its been fairly well documented that he loved her dearly, sounds like she was convinced that she was sure to die young, maybe also an addict. He knows shes sick and feels like she's giving up, trying to persuade her if she has nothing else left to hang on for, at least stick around repay the ones who caused strife.

    More pain to deal with another weak point and the relapse - Once again you see an in etc....

    The spoken bit at the end to me seems to be saying that he's been honest about his short fallings, there have been reasons for them and he's admitting to them in the main body of the song. Most likely mainly directed at the less than sensitive media/press who seem to love nothing more than to kick a rock star when he's down...
    A self proclaimed immoral success, basically reporting what sells and makes money no matter how true, hurtfull, damaging or otherwise it may be with no regard to the effect it may have, the surrendered troops is probably people, believing everything they read without question and swallow it all willingly every morning over a cup of coffee. Thousands of miles is saying it doesn't matter where you go its pretty much everywhere. The next bit seems to be less personal, to me suggesting that he veiws the media in general as a weapon, to control and keep order. They'll break a persons spirit to make a few extra bucks... And we are left feeling guilty when the people at the top who benefit most from it all are perpetuating a corrupt, selfish and unjust system.

    Alot of this has been said before in the previous posts i know, and as AIC have said the songs are about whatever you think they're about when you listen to them, whatever it is that speaks to you. I enjoyed reading all the interpretations above so just thought I'd post take on it too.
    temptingchaoson December 05, 2010   Link

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