The new self-titled seventh album from Massachusetts rockers STAIND has landed at position No. 5 on The Billboard 200 chart. The album was produced by Johnny K – known for his work with Disturbed,and Sevendust, including his Grammy Award-nominated collaboration with STAIND on 2008’s “The Illusion Of Progress”. “Staind” stands as one of the band’s most intense and powerful works to date. You can buy the album in the following formats:
1. Not Again
2. Eyes Wide Open
5. Throw It All Away
7. The Bottom
8. Take A Breath
9. Paper Wings
10. Something To Remind You
Special-edition digipack CD/DVD includes:
11. Spleen (Live)
12. For You (Live)
Plus a bonus DVD including “Making Of The Album” documentary
Guitarist, Mike Mushok, chatted to ExploreMusic recently and you can see that video interview below – get comfy for this one as it’s almost 20 minutes long:
Lou Di Monaco of the Examiner also conducted an interview with Mike and you can see some of that interview below:
NY Examiner: The record [“Staind”] definitely is HEAVY. What exactly got you guys so angry?
Mike Mushok: Nothing really got me angry. I just knew that we had discussed getting back to where the band started and why we started, which was to write aggressive. I do know that a lot of the inspiration for the lyrics came from the turmoil of trying to make this record. I’ve heard Aaron [Lewis, vocals], on more than one occasion, say that for him that’s where some of the lyrical inspiration came from.
NY Rock Music Examiner: There have been a lot of allusions to this “Dysfunction” when talking about the new record. In what ways are they similar/different to you?
Mike Mushok: “Dysfunction” was written before we had a record deal and were still rehearsing in my basement. When you write that record you have no idea that a lot of people are going to go on and like it. Again, I know for Aaron that when he wrote those lyrics he had no idea what they were going to mean to a lot of people. I’d like to think that this record is more modern sounding. I’d like to think that the songwriting has matured and is a bit better. What I really like on this record is how it can go from a really beautiful melody to all-out screaming.
NY Rock Music Examiner: I can definitely appreciate that, too. How is the writing process different for you guys 12 years after “Dysfunction” debuted?
Mike Mushok: You know, the process isn’t all that different. At least it wasn’t when we started. Usually a song will come from a riff or arrangement that I bring down that everyone likes and we jam on it as a band and get an arrangement going. I guess where on this record that it differed is that the jamming on it part really wasn’t working that well. That’s what led to me putting the ideas down and us separating as a band and doing things on our own with Johnny K., the producer.
NY Rock Music Examiner: It’s rare these days to see a band keep the same members for the duration of their career, and you guys had a pretty solid run there of 16 years. How are things different for you guys moving forward without Jon [Wysocki, drums]?
Mike Mushok: Well, losing Jon wasn’t an easy decision or one that was made quickly. He’s the only drummer I played with for 16 years! So, in that sense it is pretty different with someone else playing drums. I do have to say though that we have a good replacement in [longtime drum tech] Sal Giancarelli. Also, playing shows with Will Hunt. Both guys were able to step in and make a pretty easy transition, which is testament to what good players they are.
NY Rock Music Examiner: Who are some of your more heavy influences?
Mike Mushok: I’d have to say PANTERA, and RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE …I was definitely into metal growing up, like BLACK SABBATH and IRON MAIDEN. I gotta say though, that playing the benefit for Dime [late PANTERA/DAMAGEPLAN guitarist “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott] a few years back and playing “Cowboys From Hell”, “Walk” and “This Love” really got me excited about making a heavy record again. It was so much fun to play those songs.
You can read the full interview over at THIS LOCATION. And if you fancy hearing Aaron’s take on making the album, check out the excerpt from an interview that he did with the San Antonio Metal Music Examiner:
San Antonio Metal Music Examiner: What made the making of this album more tense than the previous ones?
Aaron: Well, there was a lot of internal stuff with the band. I was out on tour as a solo artist promoting my solo record, and I was trying to be a dad while making that STAIND record. It was definitely a circus atmosphere.
San Antonio Metal Music Examiner: On the documentary, you talk about the song “Wannabe” and how you felt you needed to rap the first couple verses about addressing fan critics and haters. What was the thought process for doing that on a part that may have called for a heavy expression of anger?
Aaron: Well, if you remember on the DVD, I had said that I either had to scream it for the entire song or rap it in some way. It turned into a rap merely by accident. We were trying to come up with something different. I was sitting there, and the first line came, and we all laughed our ass off. And the next line came, and we laughed. That song was the only fun time during the entire recording process for me. It was the only time me and [producer] Johnny K were laughing the whole time, and it was all because of this song. Could I have screamed something? Yeah. Could I have come up with something different? Yeah. I’m certainly not trying to crack the rap genre. It just came out that way.
San Antonio Metal Music Examiner: I know it’s only been a couple of shows, but how are things working out with Will [Hunt] on drums?
Aaron: Will’s actually not with us anymore. Will played those couple shows in the beginning and, um, it didn’t go any further than that. The person playing with us now is Sal Giancarelli. He’s been our drum tech from the very beginning.
The full interview can be FOUND HERE. There has been a raft of press around this album release but there is one review that we found online that’s a favourite at Roadrunner HQ – It was a bit of a ‘dude alert’ moment finding this gem and we’ve decided to coin him the Will Gompertz of Nu Metal. Check out the below video for an awesome ‘fan’s view’ review: