Music Interview: It’s been awhile since you heard Staind

By Colin Flynn

With the release of their newest album, Chapter V, Staind coaxes their audience into counting the predecessors leading to the latest chapter. In support of the new disc the band has also hit the road giving fans a live taste of fresh tunes as well as some old favourites.

“We have a lot more songs to choose from now,” guitarist Mike Mushok explains. “We can change the setup and make it a little bit more interesting, not only for us but for the people who have seen us before as well as those have not.”

Staind hit it big in 2001 with their release Break the Cycle, featuring the smash “It’s Been Awhile.” Fortunately their success hasn’t gone to their heads like other groups. Staind still enjoys playing smaller venues along with the larger ones their musical success dictates.

“It varies, we play pretty much every size, we just played in Guelph where it was a 1,000 seater and it was a great show. It doesn’t really matter the size as long as the people are there and they’re into what we’re doing, that’s the most important thing.”

Staind shouldn’t have much of a problem filling seats if Chapter V is any indication. The album seamlessly mixes the group’s musical abilities of creating heavy riffs as well as tender melodies.

“I think it’s the best thing that we’ve done,” Mushok boasts. “It’s our best attempt at combining some of the more aggressive stuff that we’ve done and some of the softer stuff that we’ve done, it makes it an interesting album if you want to listen to the whole thing.”

On Chapter V the band worked with a new producer, Dave Botrill, who has worked with such groups as Tool. Though his input played a role in the creation of the album, songwriting processes did not change.

“It comes from the songs that we bring down and what Dave did was try to help and get those songs as good as they could be,” Mushok details.

When Staind became successful the band underwent an interesting transition–from bar-band to rock-star. Mushok lists influential acts who the band looked to in order to understand how to make the transition smooth.

“We were covering anything from Pearl Jam to Alice In Chains to Pantera, Deftones, Rage Against the Machine and things like that,” he says. Now the group finds themselves on the opposite end of the spectrum where they are the influence for younger bands.

“It’s funny, we just did a tour with Breaking Benjamin and 3 Doors Down and those guys were like, we used to cover ‘Mudshovel,’” Mushok says. “That was one instance where it was brought to my attention and I thought, that’s pretty cool.”

This humble attitude towards stardom is refreshing and as the group continues their tour fans can expect to be welcomed with open arms and good music.