Former rocker makes a move to the country

Posted by ADDICTEDtoStAiND on November 2, 2012 at 9:25 AM
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.

Categories: Aaron Lewis News, November 2012

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