Interview: Staind – Aaron Lewis

You did mention Blabbermouth as one of those who are disrespectful.

Not just Blabbermouth but that’s a good one though. Man I swear to God, Blabbermouth got more out of me talking about how much I freaking hate it then from people just going there and checking the site out.

Blabbermouth then reported on your hatred of the site and the direction of the song but they again continued it without ever realising what you meant.

All good to me. You live and you learn and one day they will see what complete idiots they are being. Sometimes it is better to just not say anything at all. I would never intentionally go on a website just to sit and bad mouth bands I didn’t like, what’s the point in that.

Do you pay attention to a lot of what is said online by searching for reviews or do you tend to avoid it?

In waves, it goes in cycles. When I’m putting out a record I go and see what everyone thinks, hell I probably read your review but I might not know it was yours and maybe I should have turned you away at the door [laughs] but then I just let everything go away. I’ll still pop on YouTube real quick just to see how close I am to ten million views with ‘Country Boy’ but that’s about it, and I’m getting pretty damn close if it isn’t there already.

I’ll plug that in if it isn’t at ten million by the time I put this online.

It’s really not far. The record with no single being worked or anything is climbing the country charts like a bullet right now and I don’t even have my second single released. Only thirty nine of the one hundred and forty country stations actually played the song and there are ten million views of it just about on YouTube. So it’s obviously getting through to people and they obliviously like it but the machine just hasn’t embraced it yet.

Song: Country Boy

When we look at the things you were saying about the machine and the sort of contracts bands are now being tied to, how hard do you think it is to find a band these days who can last for the same amount of time as Staind. Ten years is now regarded as the lifespan of any band.

Ten years is the longest lifespan you can really expect from most bands today. Ten years is really a lot for a band to survive.

Do you think it requires that passion that you feel right now to continue to go or is it completely built on the back of a fan base who can afford to keep you going?

We have a great fan base which I think has come through the lyrics I have written over the years. I have been writing to get things off of my chest but I think I have connected with so many people in their own life and their own situation. Making a real connection with fans is something that might give you a little more time in this career. It’s raining outside but I’ll be out there in the rain tonight for anyone who waits for a picture or an autograph or just to say “hello.” You bet your ass I’m going to be out there until that last person says they have to go home or it becomes so late that I’ll miss the next show if I don’t leave now [laughs]. I’ve done many times before and I’ll keep doing it. If one person or one hundred people are waiting outside at the bus tonight, I can assure you that I will be there to meet with them.

Coming off that last question, up until this year Staind had kept the same line-up from ‘Tormented’ so how important is it for bands to not just build a bond regarding music but also that special connection which keeps you there for one another?

There will always be the special connection of what we accomplished as four individuals working as a unit, absolutely. When we put the band together we didn’t know each other. I met Mike at a party at his house that I ended up being the guest of someone who was invited and I knew a bass player [Pete McEwan] who wasn’t Johnny April and Mike knew Jon. We got together and we played and the first thing we did as a band was to write an original song to see how it would come out if we tried to do it as a band. That song is ‘No One’s Kind’ from ‘Tormented’, the first song we ever wrote and played together. About a year into it, the bass player that I knew [Pete McEwan] had drank himself out of the band and Old School [Johnny April’s nickname] joined the band with the stipulation that we would only play covers. He had just gone through a nightmarish ordeal with having a record deal and two days before it was suppose to hit the shelves the plug was pulled on everything that this particular guy was responsible for. He had been fired from the label and every band that he was responsible for had been canned so he didn’t want anything to do with trying to be a band that got a record deal again. He said “I’ll play covers and have a good time and make a pay cheque every week” and here we are sixteen/seventeen years later with fifteen million records sold into it; I case he kind of caved on the idea of covers only [laughs].

He must have been happy with the decision after you started making so much more money as an original band.

We made a shit load of money as a covers band because we had a fan base, people would show up to every show we played in the area just to hear us play covers. At the end of the show the bar had always gone through so much alcohol that they wanted us to come back and every time we played the place would be sold out and at the end of the night, no matter how much they ordered, they were sold out of beer every single time we played. We were making $2,500-3,000 a night just to play as a local cover band. We were killing it and Old School was happy with that.

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About ??

Michael is the owner and creator of EspyRock. He is your general all round geek; sports fan; TV show fanatic. You can find him sharing his thoughts on his personal Twitter account. Contact Michael on Twitter or via Email.


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