Interview With Staind - 9th October 2011
Photo Of Staind © Copyright StaindJames caught up with Mike Mushok from Staind before their headline show in Birmingham to talk about their latest album, their time as a band and much more.

You have been together as a band for the best part of 16 years now what would you say your main high and low points have been?
Well I’d say the high point was definitely when we had that first number 1 record “Break the Cycle”, when that came out it sold like 700,000 records in a week so definitely that. The lowest point I guess would be making this new record; it was tough. Another low point would be the first time we came over here after “Break the Cycle” touring “14 shades of grey”, we were told one thing by the label but when we got over here we found out the label had done effectively nothing so we went from huge venues to little club shows and nobody even knew we had a new record out.

You have just released your seven studio album how did you find the whole writing and recording process this time around?
We started off the same really. We had a bunch of ideas so we started working on them; it just didn’t feel like everyone was on the same page, it led to us doing things differently and separating and ultimately it lead to us losing our drummer. It was a really difficult 4 or 5 months trying to make that record.

Your latest album was due to be called ‘Seven’ but ended up being called ‘Staind’ was this to sort of mark the occasion that you have gone back to the heavy ways of your earlier material?
Yeah, we wanted to go back to why we originally started the band to make aggressive music and that was really the idea behind it, we felt self titled was the way to go.

The album entered the US billboard chart at number 5 and happens to be your 5th album to hit the top 5, you must be happy with this right?
I never expected to have a number 1 record before and we’ve had a few of them so I always feel very fortunate.

What would you say your favourite tracks from the album are and why?
I always look at “Eyes Wide Open” being the song that may define what the new albums really about. The thing is when finishing an album you have to like them all, if you don’t then you aren’t finished and should keep working on it.

The artwork for the album is fantastic, who came up with the ideas?
When I saw it I was like that’s it, you know when you just see something and you instantly just think that’s the one? It was that kind of situation.

I understand Jon Wysocki departed the band back in May, was his work on the album finished at this point and was his departure a shock to the band?
No not at all, they say it was a departure but there was a lot that led up to it. It wasn’t just “I quit” there was a lot of things that led up to us parting ways, it was more that than a quit. Was it a shock? No it was something that had been going on for a while, it wasn’t an easy decision but we just weren’t on the same page. He did finish the album though it’s his drums on the album.

You are currently back in the UK on tour how does it feel to be back over here and how have the shows been so far?
The shows have been really good so far! It feels good to be back, I’d like to get over here a lot more often if we could. It’s always been a goal of ours and we always speak of it, I know we’re planning to come back for festivals and some other dates around then,

How have you found picking a setlist for the tour considering that you have so much material to choose from now?
The thing is that there are songs that you have to play, that the people expect. Then there’s new songs that you want to play and the new album really translates well live so we put those in then we fill the rest in with stuff from other albums.

What do you have planned once this tour comes to an end?
We actually have a little bit of time off. Then around thanksgiving in the states which is towards the end of November we go around the states for 3 weeks right up to the holidays doing festivals and headlining dates. Followed by Australia and New Zealand in February then a proper tour of states, then coming back over here.

What would you say your favourite ever staind song is and why?
Shit I don’t know, the fan favourite is “Mudshovel” it always gets the best response. I’d probably pick a really obscure song like “Blow Away” off “14 Shades of Grey” or something that we’re not even playing.

What’s your take on the digital revelation killing off the music business?
Haha it killed it! I can sure agree with that, it’s not funny but I have a friend in London who couldn’t find anywhere to actually buy a CD, my friend in Los Angeles who had to go on Google to find one. You ultimately won’t see many new bands really getting anywhere unless they get a really huge hit because nobody will put up the money to make the record unless you get that.

Where do you hope to see Staind in a year’s time?
We’ll still probably be on tour of this album, I know Aaron wants to go and do this solo thing he’s got going but then hopefully a new record. I just want to get this European thing done that’s as far ahead as I look haha!

One last random question that we ask every band, if you could be an animal out of a zebra or Giraffe which one would you be and why?
Giraffe because I’m short and I want to know what it’s like to be tall haha!

Thanks for your time is there a message for your fans reading this?
I just want to say thanks for allowing us to still be here and playing for you, without you we wouldn’t be here so thank you so much.

Interview by James Webb
 Band Members

Aaron Lewis
Mike Mushok
Johnny April
 Latest Releases

Staind - Staind
Release Date - 13th September 2011

1. Eyes Wide Open
2. Not Again
3. Failing
4. Wannabe
5. Throw It All Away
6. Take a Breath
7. The Bottom
8. Now
9. Paper Wings
10. Something to Remind You

 Band Related Links
Staind MySpace