Springfield rock outfit Staind are universally recognised for their 2001 smash hit balled It’s Been A While.
Unfortunately, many people in the hard rock and metal world wrote the band off because of the global success of that song, failing to care or acknowledge the fact that Staind came from much heavier pastures.
Their early shows consisted of a sprinkling of originals plus covers of Korn, Rage Against the Machine, Pearl Jam, Tool, and Alice in Chains, among others.
These bands had more of an influence on the emerging rockers, who, despite the universal acclaim sent their way because of their success with a rock ballad continued plying their hard rock/alternative trade over consecutive albums.
After a five-year hiatus where frontman Aaron Lewis concentrated on his growing country career, Staind reformed in 2019, hitting the touring circuit with renewed vigor and falling in love all over again with the world of music.
Last month, after 12 years between studio albums, Staind released Confessions Of The Fallen, reaffirming their status among their peers and casting doubt on all those who had written them off.
HEAVY sat down earlier today with guitarist and founding member Mike Mushok to find out more.
“I’m pretty excited,” he enthused when asked about the new album. “We worked pretty hard on this. It’s been so long since we put out new music it just feels great to be working again. I’m really proud of the way the record came out.”
We press Mushok to take us deeper into the musical side of Confessions Of The Fallen.
“We got together… we hadn’t played together in a while, and we got together around 2018 and did some shows in 2019 and signed a record deal then,” he explained. “Then COVID happened, and it put all of our plans on hold, but we were able to go on a tour in 2021 with KORN, and Aaron has a successful country music career in the States, so he’s always out playing. He doesn’t stop (laughs). On that tour with KORN it was a great opportunity – because we were all together – to get him in a room and play him some of the ideas that I had and get his feedback of what he liked and what he didn’t. With a lot of those notes I was able to go back and start making changes and follow what his guidance was or what he was into. We actually wrote a lot of the record on that tour. When we finished we chose Eric as the producer and it was funny. COVID was still a thing and him and I were supposed to get together at the beginning of last year and he got COVID, so we ended up doing a lot of stuff through zoom. We tried for a song a day. One week we did five songs, and he put his twist on it because one of the things Aaron wanted to do was introduce more of an electronic element that we’d never really experimented with. I feel like Eric did a great job, because I remember saying to Aaron I play guitar, I don’t wanna play any of those electronic elements (laughs). Really what it was is there might be a verse or a riff that I wrote on guitar that ended up getting played on a synthesiser. Eric added in some loops and that type of thing in certain areas and I felt he had a great grasp of adding some of that but not too much, you know what I mean? So it still maintained who we were, yet kind of a little more modern sounding. At the end of the day I think he did a great job in going back and listening to it. I’m happy with the little production things that he added as well.”
In the full interview, Mike talks about the singles released, why they chose Lowest In Me to be the lead single and first song on the album, how Staind have changed as a band since their last album 12 years ago, the early days of the band and the musical climate that gave birth to them, how Break The Cycle in 2001 changed things for Staind, resisting the urge to recycle the successful formula of It’s Been A While, how Staind has adapted to the changing musical landscape and more.