Jay Nanda of the San Antonio Metal Music Examiner recently conducted an interview with STAIND frontman Aaron Lewis. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
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.
San Antonio Metal Music Examiner: You spoke of the kid who hung himself after learning to play “Outside”. You’ve always known the positive impact you’ve had lyrically on your fans. Can you talk about what went through your mind when you found out about this?
Aaron: I was pretty taken aback by the whole situation. His mother was standing outside my bus, wanting to talk to me about how her son could’ve possibly killed himself to one of my songs. He was a pretty big fan of STAIND. That was — I can’t believe I’m blanking on my own song — wait, that’s two different stories altogether. The song “Waste” was inspired by the mother that came to the bus. The story I was telling (on the documentary) was about the kid who wrote the letter. And like so many letters like that, it ripped my heart out. You know, I try to be careful and take responsibility for the lyrics I put in my songs. And when I take that much care, and something like that happens, it’s hard.
San Antonio Metal Music Examiner: Can you compare how you feel when you work on your solo country material vs. STAIND songs?
Aaron: The STAIND stuff has always been where I get rid of all the stuff that I’ve been carrying around. The country thing is the way to tap into a different inspiration for creativity. It’s not so internalized and not so — I’m not sure what I’m trying to say — I think the best way to leave it is STAIND is where I get rid of the stuff I don’t want around anymore. The country stuff is more autobiographical.
San Antonio Metal Music Examiner: This is the last record in the contract, and I know it’s too early to ask, ‘Where do you go from here?’ But DISTURBED is going through the same thing where they just played their last show for an indefinite period, and the breakup rumors are swirling around them. What can you envision for STAIND?
Aaron: I don’t know. I know that when I’m done with this touring cycle, which will be a year from now, that my focus will turn and be completely on putting out my next solo record. And when I’m done with that solo record is how it will go. There’s certainly no reason to break the band up, and I don’t think there’d ever be a reason for the band to break up.
San Antonio Metal Music Examiner: Do you think when it comes time to make the next record that you might look back on the making of this one and say, “Oh man, I remember how it was the last time. I don’t think I wanna go through that again?”
Aaron: Hopefully it’ll be a different experience next time. The times before this one weren’t like this.
Read the entire interview from San Antonio Metal Music Examiner.