|Posted by ADDICTEDtoStAiND on July 22, 2012 at 12:25 AM|
Staind's Mike Mushok talks touring, family, song writing, and the Uproar Fest
They came through Syracuse along with Godsmack and Halestorm back in May during the MassChaos tour, now Staind comes back to Syracuse on August 25th as a part of the Uproar Festival, taking over the fairgrounds in what has to be the coolest rock show to ever hit the NYS Fair.
Staind is on another roll with yet another killer album burning up the airwaves. Through it all they remain a balanced, grounded bunch of guys from Boston. Some infighting brought along a new drummer and the song ‘Not Again’ (see video) and a lot of soul searching among the group itself as the pressures of schedules, a little ego, and opinions saw them fight through it all. The process was documented on DVD and can also be seen on YouTube here. It is a very interesting and sometimes funny video to watch, especially when it comes to the writing and creating of the rock/rap song ‘Wannabe’. The end result was of course the self titled album ‘Staind’ If you have seen and heard only what’s online, do yourself a favor, put on your big girl/boy pants and go buy the CD, the entire thing simply rocks with a new ballad to boot. You do yourself a disservice by not buying any full album in my mind, but this one is a must have!
You have heard ‘Eyes Wide Open’ and ‘Not Again’, but you should hear the wickedly intense ‘Paper Wings’, the ballad ‘Something to Remind You’ and every other track on this killer CD.
With the Uproar Festival upcoming here, I had the opportunity to talk with guitarist extraordinaire Mike Mushok about a number of things. I’ve heard all sorts of crap about him and ego, whatever, he is one cool guy and easy to have a conversation with, it helps that we had some similar things to talk about and that we are about the same age with the same tastes in many things. Take a read and get to know Staind’s master guitarist.
Dave- Hey Mike, thanks for taking a few minutes for this; so you guys are going from MassChaos with Godsmack, which came through here in Syracuse in May and head right into the Uproar Festival soon, how has the fan reaction been to the new album? I will say that an awful lot of people with you guys stole the show in Syracuse.
Mike- Oh very cool, thank you! I don’t know about that but thank you! I have so much respect for Godsmack as a band and it was just a great tour, just great to be out with those guys. As far as the new record goes, I think that this record, when we finished it we knew it was meant to be played live. We’ve been playing a bunch of it and the reaction has been good out there. We’re on our third single now, so there are three songs that have a little familiar sound out there and there are some other songs on the album that are just really fun to play live. On Uproar, we don’t really have a ton of time, but there is definitely going to be a lot of the new stuff for sure.
Dave- Uproar has an intense line-up of bands, is there any competition when there are so many of you playing night in and night out or is it just kind of what you do?
Mike- Yeah, that’s kind of the way it is for me, regardless of what it is I try and go up there and do the best job I can every night, that’s what we do. That’s what everybody does, try and put on the best show we can. I think the cool thing whether its Uproar or Mayhem, I think they put together really great line-ups. I think that it’s a great value for anyone that wants to go to a show. These festivals really make for a great day of a lot of great music. So I am really just proud to be a part of it. I know we have spoken previously, but it never happened, so I’m proud to go out on this one.
Dave-This one is because I used to be on the road for extended periods when I did construction for a living so I get it; how hard is it for you being as a Dad being on the road, but at the same time, it’s your job?
Mike- Oh man, I know it just gets harder and harder. The older the kids get. You know its one time it was my daughter had a problem with it, then she was fine then my son had a problem with it, and then my daughter did again (laughs) The one thing that makes it a little easier is whether it’s Skype or Face Time or whatever it is, I try and do that a few times a day. I try and catch them at meal times because I know they’ll be sitting down and can’t move (laughs). So we do the best we can and make it work, and when I’m home I make the most of it. I spend as much time with them as I can. You realize that they will only be five for so long and they are only going to want to do things with me for so long and it will change at some point.
Dave-Oh it does trust me!
Mike-I know it does, my daughter is going through a thing now where it’s ‘Oh I’m afraid you’re going to leave’ and she having a hard time sleeping and she has always been a good sleeper since she was three months old! I know I have to enjoy this now because as I tell her, ‘Pretty soon you’re not going to be able to wait for me to leave’.
Dave-It’s that one day when all of a sudden they don’t want to hold Daddy’s hand anymore; it kills you.
My wife and I saw you at Turning Stone Casino a few years ago, front row center, she’s a big fan of Aaron like a lot of woman are, I was blown away by not only the band, but you as a guitarist; do you create by feel or theory? How do you guys create your songs?
Mike-You know I read something a long time ago, I think it was by Al DiMeola, that said learn all the theory you can and then forget it. I never understood that until I started with this band. I did take a lot of lessons, I did know a ton of theory and scales and all that kind of stuff because I spent a lot of years doing it, but seeing I play a baritone guitar, there are twenty-three different tunings that I use, and that’s really what it comes down to. For me, now playing on a guitar tuned totally different I would have to sit with a standard guitar just to tell you every chord that I play. A lot of it is just what you said, coming up with something that I like the way that it sounds and not worry about a certain framework theoretically or not. So it’s more so on feel these days and come up with something I think is catchy when writing. And something that Aaron’s going to want to sing over obviously.
Dave- I hear you, one of my favorite songs by Staind is ‘Home’, what’s behind that song if you can talk about that?
Mike-Yeah I remember writing that riff! We were down in Jacksonville working with Fred, this is years ago, maybe ’98, and I just came up with the riff and we put the song together. It’s about away from home because that’s really the first time that we were! Aaron wrote the lyrics and it came out on Dysfunction.
Dave-I think that song is when, in my mind anyway, that set Aaron apart in the world of vocals anyway, that song to me made him the best out there.
Mike- Yeah, he’s great.
Lastly, any words to the Syracuse area fans that I know are completely psyched for this show at the NYS Fair in August?
Mike-Always appreciate the fans that allow us to do this and come to the shows and allow us to do what we do. We all realize that if it wasn’t for them we wouldn’t be here and be able to do it, so always very thankful.
Dave-Thanks again Mike and we’ll see you in a month.
Mike-Sounds great! Thank you very much David!
Be sure to catch Staind on the incredible Uproar Festival while it lasts!