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Staind Singer Aaron Lewis Clashed With Guitarist Mike Mushok Over New Album

Aaron Lewis
Kevin Winter, Getty Images

Staind’s 1999 major label debut was titled ‘Dysfunction’ and judging from singer Aaron Lewis’ comments about the recording of the band’s upcoming self-titled effort, the process was fraught with plenty of that type of drama. The way Lewis tells it, recording ‘Staind’ was, well, dysfunctional!

When Lewis dropped by Q103 in Albany to promote the new disc, simply titled ‘Staind,’ which drops on Sept. 13, he detailed the struggles the band encountered and endured, which resulted not only in the departure of longtime drummer Jon Wysocki but also “quite an aggressive and heavy record.” Sometimes the albums made under the most tense and uncomfortable circumstances yield the best music.

“It was born from process we had to go through to record it,” Lewis acknowledged. “It was the most difficult, trying … and frustrating to the point of the end of it, we had gone our separate ways and recorded the record ourselves, on our time away from each other. We lost our drummer by the end of it, and me and [guitarist] Mike [Mushok] were at such odds with each other that he didn’t want to hear the tracks I was laying down at the end.” That certainly made things uncomfortable in the Staind camp.

Even though the situation had deteriorated and Staind’s interpersonal relationships may have sunk to an all-time low, they managed to churn out an album by stepping away from the process, which was difficult for the band. Ultimately, though, Lewis feels that the band was transported to a familiar place. “We captured the energy of ‘Dysfunction,’ when we were nervous, unknowing, anticipating, and excited.” In essence, Staind had come full circle.

Lewis also mentioned how he sacrifices a piece of himself for his art. He is known for his room-filling, emotive voice. When asked where he pulls that emotional heft from, he joked, “My wife will tell you I am naturally over-dramatic.” He also said that it’s crucial to “put painful truth in a song. I leave some sort of piece of myself in every song, so when I go back and perform it, that piece that I left in it will trigger everything it needs to trigger it to perform it with the proper emotion.”

Aaron Lewis is nothing if not a passionate artist. He leaves a piece of himself in his songs and battled with his bandmates to get ‘Staind’ done. That’s why an electric, real-life current runs through the album.

Watch Aaron Lewis perform Staind’s new song ‘Something to Remind You’ acoustically at Q103

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