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STAIND RETURNS FOR ROCK ON THE RANGE

Posted by staindli on January 25, 2014 at 7:50 AM Comments comments (0)

 STAIND RETURNS MAY 16. 2014 COLUMBUS CREW STADIUM FOR ROCK ON THE RANGE


Rocker Aaron Lewis keeping true to outlaw country roots

Posted by ADDICTEDtoStAiND on December 11, 2013 at 10:45 PM Comments comments (0)
Rocker Aaron Lewis keeping true to outlaw country roots

A couple years have passed since Staind frontman Aaron Lewis announced he was going country. Although some might wonder how he balances the two genres – Staind hasn’t officially broken up – Lewis said he has been focusing entirely on country music, an appreciation for which he developed while living with his grandfather in rural Vermont, before moving to New Hampshire and then on to Massachusetts at age 13. But not just any country. His influences mirror his grandfather’s tastes: The outlaws of country music. Lewis comes to Vinyl at the Hard Rock Hotel Dec. 11 – 14 to perform songs from his recently released album, “The Road.”

You got into country because of your grandfather. Can you tell me a little bit about some of your influences there?

My grandfather loved that outlaw country: Waylon Jennings, Merle Haggard, George Jones, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Charlie Daniels.

Would you say those are your influences as well?

Absolutely, that’s the music I was basically being forced-fed as a child (laughs).

Did you like country music as a kid?

Not so much, to be quite honest with you, especially once I was old enough to choose what I wanted to listen to myself, because I really didn’t have a choice back then. It also helps that the people I was friends with, and I had moved away from Vermont where my grandfather was and all that country music was, and now everybody around me was listening to rock and the very first Twisted Sister record and like Quiet Riot and that first wave of stuff from the ’80s. I ended up going down that path and ended up in a rock band. And now I’m old and life goes in circles and I feel like I can relate a lot more these days in life to country music. Now, am I saying what you hear on country radio is country music – no, that is not what I’m saying at all. But I find that I tend to relate to country music more these days as an old man (He’s 41).

I find your draw to outlaw country interesting, and wonder if there’s a rock connection there for you?

Well, Waylon Jennings was a guitarist in a rock band before he came over to country. I guess the correlation is that there has always been that bad boy image to being a rock star and playing rock ‘n’ roll and that same kind of bad boy image is also there in outlaw country. Not that I’m some bad boy, but I certainly fit the mold.

What can Vegas audiences expect?

Mostly country music. I’ll stick a couple of songs during the break down in the middle of the set that aren’t country, and I’ll throw in a couple of songs that I have written over the years, but it’s primarily supporting the country record that I have out.

What were the album’s influences?

I tried to not let too much influence come in. I just tried to naturally tap into what in the back of my mind, in my world, was country. And just try to go with that, flow with that.

And what is country to you?

Music that tugs at the heartstrings, music of the heartbeat of America. It’s the music of the heartland. It’s the music of the folks that don’t live in the big city that really make up the mainstay of this country.

Do you see yourself ever leaving rock behind and devoting yourself entirely to country?

I don’t know. That’s kind of what I’ve done right now, because of the fact Staind is just not touring and not doing anything. We’re not in the studio making another record or anything. So, I’ve kind of turned the corner and doing all country music now, but there will definitely come a time when it’s time for Staind to make another record again.

Are any of you guys writing?

For Staind? No.

Nothing?

(Lead guitarist) Mike (Mushok) has a solo record coming out that he has a whole bunch of guest vocalists on. I think Cory Taylor (lead singer for Slipknot) did a song, Adam (Gontier) from Three Days Grace did a couple songs, Ivan (Moody) from Five Finger Death Punch did a song, (and) I’m doing a song. We might release the song that I do basically as a Staind single, but we’ll see.

When about is that coming around?

Oh, I don’t know.

You grew up in New England. For a lot of people, when you think country, you think cowboys, but from what I remember of living in Massachusetts, there’s not a whole bunch of country.

Well, where did you live?

I lived in East Boston.

Yeah, exactly. Come out to my end of the state. I’m about a half an hour from the New York (state) line in a town of 1,200 people, and tell me there isn’t any country in Massachusetts.

OK. Fair enough. Do you feel like you’re a part of the changing sound of country music? It’s starting to reach wider audiences and it’s much more mainstream.

Do I feel like I’m a part of that? Thankfully, absolutely, not. If anything, I am clinging on for dear life to what was country and in my mind is country. What’s being called country now, isn’t so much.

You’re more of the outlaw, then. Is that how you’d describe your music?

Absolutely. Against the grain (and) the mainstream country that’s going on right now.

Which seems to totally suit you. You’ve got the tattoos, the rocker persona, when they hear your name, that’s who they think of.

Well, not on purpose. It’s just how I feel it. I really don’t relate and don’t feel this pop-ified country that is so prevalent today.

How is writing country music different from writing for metal?

It really just differs in the sense that I can write songs in a different way.

Can you write about experiences..?

Yeah, I can tell stories in my songs instead of picking my psychological scabs, if that makes any sense.

It’s like what you were saying, growing up or a much more mature music.

Yeah, I guess so. It really comes down to being able to tell stories about life without it being so exposing, I guess, in more of a true to facts – not facts, because it’s not like I was making up the stuff with Staind – but it was more internal. With the country thing, I can tell external stories. A perfect example, “Endless Summer.” It’s a story about taking my daughters to the beach for a weekend. It’s not about my internal struggles, it’s not about my pain from childhood, it’s not about any of that. It’s about taking my daughters to the beach for the weekend. It really kind of frees me up to be able to not pick those proverbial psychological scabs and just tell stories.

How are your fans responding to you now vs. when you were writing and performing for Staind?

It’s a mix. I’m pretty happy to say that more so are accepting than unaccepting, but there are some people out there that would really, really like nothing more than for me to never sing another country song. But there are people out there that would like nothing more for me to never sing another song again period, Staind or otherwise. You can’t please everybody. I’m inspired. The last Staind record took upwards of six months to create and record and this country record I did last year, “The Road,” took 30 hours to create and record. So there’s a level of inspiration that’s there that I haven’t had in a long time.

Are you saying the creativity is flowing a lot more easily?

So easily. I found myself walking through the airport this morning and my pedal steel player Ben (Kitterman) said some line about it being 10 miles from his house to the door of the something – I don’t remember – and it instantly triggered lyrics in a song, a country song, in my head. I’m just following my inspiration and anybody who can’t understand that obviously does not understand inspiration and life.

Your song “Party in Hell” is about a Vegas trip, from what I understand.

It was written in Las Vegas. I wrote it in the basement of the Palms Hotel, in the recording studio, so that’s where the lines, “And the devil be dealing the cards as they lay” that’s where those lines came from.

Do you think there might be a country version?

(laughs) Well, I’m sure I can write one, for sure. The closest thing to hell is Las Vegas, where there’s no consequences to anyone’s actions and what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.

STAIND/NEWSTED Guitarist MIKE MUSHOK Partners With JamPlay.com

Posted by ADDICTEDtoStAiND on August 2, 2013 at 1:20 AM Comments comments (0)
STAIND/NEWSTED Guitarist MIKE MUSHOK Partners With JamPlay.com

Calling all aspiring guitarists: it's time to get ready to shred. In an exciting announcement, JamPlay.com, a leading online educational platform for aspiring guitarists, revealed that they have partnered with prolific rock guitarist Mike Mushok to bring the music of STAIND to the JamPlay.com lessons library.

Mushok, a songwriter and lead guitarist for the five-time chart topping band STAIND, will not only discuss songwriting and technique, but will walk JamPlay.com members through step-by-step lessons focused on the band's biggest hits. The five-lesson series with Mushok is just the latest addition to JamPlay's already impressive group of celebrity instructors that includes everyone from Nick Catanese of BLACK LABEL SOCIETY to Joel Kosche of COLLECTIVE SOUL to Steve Stevens of BILLY IDOL.

"By collaborating with the artists who actually create the music, JamPlay is able to give our members access to a level of instruction never before available online," says Kevin Wimer, co-founder of JamPlay.com. "We're all huge fans of Mike's work and musical legacy and are thrilled to be able to bring his talent to guitar students around the world."

Fans of STAIND's music, as well as students who just want to learn to really rock out, can learn songs that include "It's Been A While", "For You", "Right Here", "Mudshovel", and "Outside", all at Mushok's instruction. JamPlay recently offered this sneak peek at what students can expect on their YouTube page.

JamPlay.com, founded in 2007, offers its members access to over 1,000 hours of online guitar lessons with the best professional and celebrity musicians in the world. For a monthly fee, students not only have access to thousands of pre-recorded lessons, but also to eight-hours a day of live group sessions via webcam.

Aaron Lewis Talks About His Country Album and Music Inspirations

Posted by ADDICTEDtoStAiND on April 1, 2013 at 6:35 PM Comments comments (0)

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A message from Mike Mushok

Posted by ADDICTEDtoStAiND on March 19, 2013 at 6:15 PM Comments comments (0)

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Mike Mushok Brings Staind Guitar Lessons to JamPlay, LLC

Posted by ADDICTEDtoStAiND on March 1, 2013 at 12:15 AM Comments comments (0)
Mike Mushok Brings Staind Guitar Lessons to JamPlay, LLC

JamPlay.com, a leading online educational platform for aspiring guitarists, now welcomes Staind's long standing lead guitarist Mike Mushok to its list of online guitar instructors. Formed in 1995, Staind has become a staple of modern rock, selling over 13 million albums and holding #1 singles for five of its hit songs.

An Ohio-based company founded in 2006, JamPlay utilizes high definition video to present guitar lessons to students across the world. As of March, 2013, the company offers over 1000 hours of video based lessons from 56 instructors, all accessible online on the desktop or mobile device. Mushok will offer lessons which discuss song writing, technique, and step by step lessons teaching Staind's biggest hits.

“I have been a fan of Mike Mushok for over a decade.”, said Chris Dawson, Co-Founder of JamPlay, LLC. “We are excited for the opportunity to present his knowledge to students around the globe.”

Aaron Lewis Interview: Staind Frontman Talks About The Road That Brought Him Into Country Music

Posted by ADDICTEDtoStAiND on November 14, 2012 at 3:50 PM Comments comments (0)
Aaron Lewis Interview: Staind Frontman Talks About ‘The Road’ That Brought Him Into Country Music

After the release of his seven-song country EP in 2011 titled ‘Town Line,’ which spawned the gold-selling single, ‘Country Boy,’ country rocker Aaron Lewis is back with a full-length album of monster songs that will put his name on the map of industry hitmakers.

Lewis penned all but one tune on ‘The Road’ — a 10-track album that hit stores Tuesday (November 13) — including its lead single, ‘Endless Summer,’ and his follow-up release and current single, ‘Forever.’ ‘The Road’ shows growth in Lewis’ career, and after one listen, it’s easy to realize that the heart and soul of the man behind the music is pure and honest.

Taste of Country recently sat down with the frontman of the rock band Staind to talk about the music that fills the new album and his journey through the entertainment business.

ToC: Compare this new record to the first EP. Would you say it’s similar, or does it show another side of you?

Aaron Lewis: I would have to say from a traditional standpoint, it’s a lot more country than the EP. Definitely there were no fear of there being too much pedal steel or too much Dobro or too much of the country pickin’ on a tele. It’s just more country.

What did you learn from making that first project that you carried into the work you put into ‘The Road’?

That the country genre does not like outsiders [laughs]. It’s odd. I’ve gotten a sense over this time frame that the 14 or 15 million records that I’ve sold in the rock industry has been held against me by some. I’ve been welcomed with very open and warm and nurturing arms by others, so I guess that’s probably how it always is.

When was that moment when you knew you wanted to take a bit of a break from the rock world and try your hand at the solo country stuff?

Well the solo thing I’ve been doing for about 10 years now, just me and an acoustic guitar. I guess it was when I sat down and in my mind, I was like, ‘I’m going to write a country song.’ Then I wrote ‘Country Boy.’ Then I started playing it out live. It wasn’t recorded; I just figured I would play it out live and see how people reacted. The reaction was so big that it kind of made the decision for me. The song has 15 million views on YouTube, it was nominated for three CMT Awards, two ACM Awards, the CD it was on debuted at No. 1 on the country charts… I think that writing that song was kind of telling me something. I think that I’ve done alright so far in my adventure.

You mentioned writing a country song. Talk about how that is different from writing a song for something that Staind would cut.br/>
It’s storytelling. Writing Staind songs for me has always been exposing and torturous in its content, if that makes any sense at all. It’s always been the things that have been bothering me and the things I’ve been carrying around on my shoulders… the things that I have a hard time expressing in regular conversation. The country thing isn’t that. With the country thing, I can tell a story about taking my three daughters to the beach for a weekend. I couldn’t do that with Staind. Could you imagine if I brought the lyrics to ‘Endless Summer’ to the table for Staind [laughs]? It just would not work.

Do you find that songwriting is a little easier in the country world?

Not easier; refreshing though. At the moment, I’m a little over scrapping the plaque off the back of my psyche walls to express all the sh– that I stuffed down. It’s kind of nice to pull up happy stuff — maybe not even happy stuff because it’s not like the whole record is lyrically driven from the same place as ‘Endless Summer.’

You wrote all of the tracks on the album except for ‘Granddaddy’s Gun,’ which was penned by Rhett Akins, Dallas Davidson and Bobby Pinson. What made that song so special that you went ahead and recorded an outside tune?

I would have written that song eventually, but it wouldn’t have come out the same way [laughs]! I did jump in on writing it in a roundabout way. I changed a few things around in the song for it to perfectly fit. The song originally said, “Someday, I will pass it on to my son.” I’ve got three daughters [laughs]. So, I changed it to grandson. Little things like that. Like I said… I would’ve wrote that song because I felt so strongly about that song. I love the way that it fit the way that it did. It happened so naturally, and it wasn’t like I went looking for a song. I heard Rhett play the song years before in an acoustic manner with just his guitar. It was such an amazing song. I instantly fell in love with the song.

Through the making of this album, it just got to the point where I would have to sit down and come up with another whole song to complete the project or give my very dear friend Rhett the ultimate compliment by recording a song that he wrote that made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up the first time I heard it. That’s really what it was. It wasn’t that I needed to record somebody else’s song, it was that I wanted to. He’s my friend, and it’s an amazing song.

Was the recording process this time around a little more relaxed because you knew what you were getting yourself into after the release of the country EP?

The schedule I was on to record this record was insane. I was on tour with Staind. I had blown my vocals out completely. Through most of the recording of this record, I was on my second round of steroids to fix how blown out my throat was so I could just get through the tour. I would play three or four shows with Staind, and on the fifth day when I should have taken a break, I flew to Nashville and I recorded. I was doing my vocals four days into ripping my throat out with Staind. The approach for the lyrics with Staind is a lot more aggressive than the country approach. I’m screaming a lot, and basically singing for Staind is screaming at the top of my lungs through all of it, whether I’m screaming or singing.

What is the current status of Staind … are you guys still together or just taking a break?

There’s no breakup or anything like that. We’re just taking a break. There’s absolutely going to be the material for another Staind record. I’m absolutely going to need to express myself in that manner again, but again… I don’t think that should be held against me. It doesn’t mean that I’m not fully committed to the country genre. It means that I’m creatively bipolar [laughs]. I need all these different outlets. Stuff gets stale and stagnated. I’ve got to expand on my creativity.

Seems like you just don’t like a whole lot of downtime!

I totally value my time at home. I’m just not one to rest. I’m not one who is afraid of hard work. The music industry is one big smoke and mirror show. As many records as I’ve sold and as well as it seems that I’ve done from looking at it, it’s not how it works. I work as hard as I do because I need to because everything that I’ve worked so hard to obtain will slowly have to be let go of if I don’t.

Former rocker makes a move to the country

Posted by ADDICTEDtoStAiND on November 2, 2012 at 9:25 AM Comments comments (0)
Former rocker makes a move to the country

Aaron Lewis, the founding member and lead vocalist of the rock group Staind, has crossed over into the world of country music, and he's bringing his new music to Mount Airy for two nights of shows.

The new country album will be released Nov. 13, but fans will get a taste of the new music at the shows.

Lewis had some time to chat with the Pocono Record about crossing over into country music, his charity work and about his future plans.

How did you get started in the music industry and when?

I was that kid who had no idea what I wanted to do. Music was always part of my life. I grew up watching my dad have band practice at my house every week, and the household was musical. My grandfather was a huge country music listener. That was the music I was exposed to the most growing up. Pretty much all my childhood memories have country soundtracks to them.

How did you get interested in rock music?

Many twists and turns started rock for me. When we moved, I lost country music in my life. None of my friends listened to it. Musically, I went elsewhere. Off the top of my head, I can't think of one single person in high school that listened to country music.

Who were some of your influences growing up?

My dad was very musical. I watched him playing. I've always liked music. I kind of figured out at 13 or 14 that I could write poetry. I figured out shortly after that that I could put poetry to a song.

How was the transition from rock to country for you?

For me personally, it was pretty easy and a no brainer. I have always written on an acoustic guitar. Songs like "Outside" and "It's Been a While" and any songs that seemed like they came from an acoustic guitar were written on an acoustic guitar. I think I'm lucky enough to bring some fans over with me (from Staind) and attained some new fans as well.

Was country something you always knew you would eventually do?

If you told me 15 years ago when I started in this career I would do a country record, I would have laughed at you.

Tell me about your new album.

It's a collection of songs that were written in an extremely timely fashion. I wrote and recorded nine of the 10 songs on the record in about 30 hours. Everything was very off the cuff and on the spot, and I was coming up with lyrics and immediately recording them. I would write songs and immediately bring them into the other room and play them for the studio band and they would immediately record them. It was spontaneous and amazing.

How does this album differ from the last one?

If anything, I just kind of embraced the country vibe of it more. The new one is more country than the last one, in a traditional sense of the description.

What kinds of music do you listen to when you have downtime?

The only time I listen to music is when I'm driving around in my vehicle. My kids listen to a lot of music. I had to deal with Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus for a while, but they would rather listen to Miranda Lambert or any good country music now.

Tell me about the charity you and your wife started.

It's called It Takes a Community. The big project we worked on with the charity is we took an elementary school that the district closed due to consolidation and budget squeezes. We took that school and refurnished and re-staffed it, and reopened it two months after the keys were handed to us. We are in our third year. We are trying to create the model to do this for other schools all over. It's a privately funded community school. There is a voluntary tuition that is very reasonable. We won't ever turn a kid away. If there are multiple kids in the family there is a cap. Most people's daycare programs for younger children cost more.

What can your fans expect from your Mount Airy shows?

It will be primarily the country stuff. There will be a couple Staind songs that I wrote and there will be a cover here or there. The covers will be country covers as well. I'll have my own country band with me. Right now I need to focus on the new music coming out in November.

What's the future looking like for you?

There will be a third album, and I'm sure another Staind record as well. Staind is going to take a very short break. We survived our seven record contract and honored all our commitments and we are free agents at the moment. We never had the opportunity to chill a little bit.

Aaron Lewis golf tournament raised $150,000 for Worthington school

Posted by ADDICTEDtoStAiND on August 21, 2012 at 9:05 AM Comments comments (0)
Aaron Lewis golf tournament raised $150,000 for Worthington school

The inaugural Aaron Lewis Invitational Charity Golf Tournament held on August 11 at the Crumpin-Fox Golf Club in Bernardson raised more than $150,000 for the R.H. Conwell Community Education Center in Worthington.

Participants and more than 50 event sponsors , including Blaster Entertainment, Zeke’s Smokehouse Grill and The Sandri Company, aided the It Takes a Community Foundation set up by Lewis and his wife Vanessa.

Lewis, the lead singer for the rock band Staind, has said he was inspired to create the charity after his local school district closed three of the five area elementary schools because of budget cuts.

He used the money he earned from his performances, as well as profits from a benefit concert held in 2010 at Look Park in Northampton, and opened the private R.H. Conwell Community Education Center. The foundation funded everything from desks, books and school supplies to the teachers’ salaries.


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