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Staind’s Mike Mushok on the Difficulties of Recording Latest Album

Bill Pugliano, Getty Images

Writing and recording a record is a stressful event for a band. Submerging into the creative space is intense and when that scenario is compounded by interpersonal issues, things can get uncomfortable. For Staind, recording their self-titled new album was hard enough with drummer Jon Wysocki bouncing midway through the entire process and singer Aaron Lewis releasing a solo album at the same time. Guitarist Mike Mushok revealed that deadlines were missed, forcing the band into breach of contract. That, coupled with the fact that he and Lewis being at each other’s throats made for a rough five months, mucked up the situation. But things never got dire or to the point of a break up!

“We did not meet our deadline, and then we had to turn something in at that point, and we didn’t know what it would be,” Mushok tells Loudwire. “It was a finished record but it shouldn’t have been. However, it was accepted. That’s something that doesn’t happen that often. It just goes to show you what we could touch upon. It took me a while to realize that I was happy with it. When I was in the studio those last few days, I was not wanting to listen to it and wanting to be done with it.” At that point, Mushok said he realized, “Wow, I needed space since I had no perception.”

Mushok admitted that losing Wysocki was not the only reason things were tough and he wanted to be done with the process for the album ‘Staind.’ He said, “Remember, Aaron put out a solo record while we were doing this, and he had the most work to do on the album, so that was a task. The deadline was looming, putting us in breach of contract, so that makes for more stress. It can start to effect other parts of your life. It was all beyond my control, so it was tough.”

Regardless of all that noise, Mushok is ultimately proud of the final product now that he is removed from the experience of making it. The album is Staind’s seventh and it marks their final obligation to Atlantic Records. So what’s next or where? Mushok seems to like the uncertainty, saying, “We’ll see what happens. With the music business, who knows? I can’t see record companies lasting much longer.” That said, Mushok feels “fortunate that we’re still here,” which is a testament to the resonant power of Staind’s music.

One thing Mushok would like to clarify is that despite the somber tone and moody nature of the music, coupled with Lewis’ dark lyrics, the band is not miserable with its collective head down. “That’s such a misconception, since we’re not like that,” he said

Playing guitar isn’t the only skill Mushok uses his hands for. The guitarist grew up with a contractor for a father, so he likes to build things. He revealed, “I took my deck down and put in a patio and did all of the electrical work. I installed everything, put in fountains and did the wiring for pumps and wiring.” There’s magic in those hands!

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