Interview: Staind – Aaron Lewis

Least you know that if it becomes hard to make money through original material then you can go back to being a cover band.

[Laughs] We’ll start playing Bar Mitzvahs and weddings [laughs].

You used to actually go on and perform a Korn song when you toured with them.

Yeah we got to go out and play ‘Need To’ every night because we used to cover it as a band and they wanted to hear what the sound system sounded like. At the time they had some world record indoor stadium sound system that was just louder and bigger than anything that had ever been out and they wanted to go out and hear how it sounded every night. So while we played ‘Need To’, they would literally walk around the outside and pop up at the soundboard and watch the song then come back.

Song: Need To

Are you still big fans of Korn’s music?

I’m a huge fan of Korn but what was so cool is that Jon got up on, it wasn’t David’s [Silveria] kit at the time it was Mike’s [Bordin] from Faith No More, Jon got up on his kit and Old School played Fieldys bass and it was through all of their rigs.

I saw a video a long time ago of it and I can’t remember if it was Mike or Johnny but they were playing it in a Korn style on stage.

[Laughs] It was so cool. I was singing through Jonathan’s microphone, so it was definitely not one of those things that you forget.

I have to ask what you think of their move to make a dubstep/nu-metal album?

I don’t understand this whole dubstep thing because I’ve spent the last year mainly in the country world, what is it exactly?

It’s like a form of electronic dance music which is done with drums patterns and heavy bass sounds. It is just a series of noises that appears to have taken over the world.

Sounds terrible but I’ll give it a go because it is a Korn record and see what it is like. I honestly don’t listen to that much music these days, probably the only time is when I’m driving in my truck and it’s usually country music, if it is music I have on, and if it’s not then it’s usually conservative patriotic talk radio. That’s all I have on when I’m in the truck so I’m not listening to new music or anything. What I’m usually exposed to is what my daughters listen to.

I’m guessing that is pop.

Yeah totally. They really like Taylor Swift and Adele so it’s not necessarily kids pop but it’s definitely pop [laughs]. I love Adele, she is amazing, and she can sing her ass off.

I think she has just cancelled her tour of the US recently due to problems with her throat.

It’s really not easy to do what we do every night. When we are at home we play five nights a week and it’s tough. On two different occasions in my whole career we’ve had to cancel a couple of shows just to let my voice come back. Both times I went to the doctor my vocal chords looked like chewed up bubblegum and they’re meant to look like nice little ribbons right next to each other.

I can’t imagine sleeping on tour buses all of the time helps you either.

My back is so destroyed right now you have no idea. That’s just from sleeping on the bus last night to come from London to here; I’m in excruciating pain. You got to do what you got to do. I don’t need my back to sing.

I’ve got one more question and then I can at least give you some time to relax before you go on.

As soon as you leave Mike and Jonny will be back in so I have no chance of relaxing, you being here doing this interview has given me a break from them [laughs].

Obviously when you started out as a musician you had influences who you inspired to be and who you looked to emulate in order to have success but with the tables now turned, what does it mean to you when you see people say that Staind are their influence or Aaron Lewis influences me?

That’s very cool, it is the ultimate compliment for bands to come out after you do and name you as one of their influences. It’s nice to be acknowledged for accomplishing something in this business. We’ve never been medias darlings and we’ve never been the cool thing, even for a minute. We’ve always just kind of stayed under the radar and very quietly sold fifteen million records [laughs]. It has been pretty quiet except from ‘Break The Cycle’ where it came out number one on the charts over here and that hadn’t happened for an American band over here for years and year before it. I remember coming over here for the first time ever and we played in Dublin to 8,500 people having never stepped on Irish soil before and we finished ‘Outside’ and they just kept singing it. They just burst into another chorus before then going into rugby chants and it was amazing, absolutely amazing. Then the following time we went over there we couldn’t fill a club. We’ve always suffered from lack of label support over here. We were with Roadrunner for the last record but it just never seemed to fit for Europe whereas this time everyone is seriously fired up. My next step is to find out who is going to represent me over here on the solo thing.

I didn’t know you were trying to break outside of the US with it.

I played last night in London.

How did it turn out?

It was a very small venue but the crowd were amazing. They were dead silent as I played and then out of control in between, it was fantastic. I think it was called Ruth Hall, about 240 seats.

Do you perform a lot of the Staind material during your set? Country has never translated over here.

Yeah that’s the best thing I have going for me is that most of the set is the Staind songs I wrote over the years. I also have my bus driver who plays the dobro and the pedal steel so everything has a different flavour to it even if I had been playing acoustically by myself.

I wish you the best of luck with that and hopefully people will be open to your country material.

We’ll see. Thanks man.

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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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