Members: Aaron Lewis (vocals, acoustic guitar), Mike Mushok (guitar, background vocals), Jon Wysocki (drums), Jonny April (bass guitar)
Staind is a four-piece alternative metal group from Springfield, Massachusetts. Over the past five years, the band has had a large impact on rock and mainstream radio with a large number of successful singles spanning several albums, and have sold twelve million albums worldwide.
After meeting through friends and covering KoRn, Rage Against the Machine, Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains, among others, in smalltime clubs for two years, Staind self-released their debut album, Tormented, in November 1996, citing influences Pantera and Sepultura. The album is generally regarded as the band's heaviest and "rawest" effort. Until recently, the album was difficult to obtain, as only four thousand copies were originally sold. Since then, the demand from fans has allowed it to be released through the band's official website.
The band's big break came after lead singer Aaron Lewis befriended Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst after opening for the band in October 1997 in Hartford, Connecticut at the Webster Theater. At first, Durst disagreed with Staind's choice of cover art for Tormented, which depicted a stabbed Bible, a crucified Barbie doll, and the words 'There's nothing left for me' scrawled in blood across the wall, and refused to sign them on the argument that they were Satan worshipers. However, after hearing them out, Durst was so impressed he signed them to his Flip record label, and co-produced their 1999 breakthrough Dysfunction with Terry Date. To this day, Dysfunction has sold over two million copies in the U.S. alone. The album was given mediocre reviews by critics for being "indicative of the times", but a large number of the band's fans nonetheless regard it as the group's best work. The nine-track nu-metal LP (with one hidden track, "Excess Baggage") produced three singles, all of which enjoyed radio play. The most well-known, "Mudshovel," (which also appeared on Tormented, spelled as "Mudshuvel"), has since become a staple of the band's live show. Staind toured with Limp Bizkit for the Family Values Tour during the fall of 1999, where Aaron Lewis performed their first mainstream hit "Outside" (a song he was working on at the time but had not yet finished?he finished it on the fly while performing) with Fred Durst to hundreds of waving cigarette lighters, and which set them up for their smash hit 2001 album Break the Cycle, which brought them international success (it went number 1 in both the U.S. and the UK), sold more than 7 million copies, and had first week sales of over 700 000 in the U.S. alone. The album sees the band move away from the nu-metal sounds of their previous album and resort to an alternative metal sound that many bands, including Cold, Seether, and Crossfade, have tried to replicate. Break the Cycle spawned five hit singles to date, "It's Been Awhile," (which hit the Billboard Top 10) "Fade," (which has been featured on a number of movie soundtracks and television shows), "Outside," "For You," and "Epiphany," and included a track called "Waste," devoted to two teenage fans who committed suicide shortly before the album was released. The album also received mixed critical praise; Rolling Stone magazine called them "the grim genre's most song-oriented, downright sensitive band in years" while New Musical Express referred to the album as "14 tracks of parent-friendly grunge-flavoured soft rock that make Creed sound like GG Allin."
In early 2003, Staind embarked on a world-wide tour to promote the release of the follow-up to Break The Cycle, 14 Shades Of Grey, which sold two million albums and also debuted at number 1 on the Billboard 200. The fourteen-track collection was the band's most mainstream yet, and showed Aaron Lewis writing songs about his daughter, as well as moving on with his life and forgetting his past, hence the title representing uncertainty for the future and forgiveness (a tribute to Lewis's supposed idol Layne Staley from Alice In Chains also appeared on the album). The album provided two mainstream hits: the lead single "Price to Play", and "So Far Away"; in addition, two other singles failed to crack the Hot 100?"How About You" and "Zoe Jane"?but "How About You" was a fairly popular song on modern rock radio. The band's appearance at Reading Festival during the 2003 tour had another impromptu acoustic set, this time due to equipment failure. The singles "So Far Away" and "Price to Play" came with two unreleased tracks, "Novocaine" and "Let It Out," which were released for the special edition of the group's Chapter V, which came out in late 2005.
During the break between releases, Aaron Lewis performed backing vocals for good friends Jimmie's Chicken Shack for their single "Fallin' Out," taken from that band's LP Re.Present (released in 2004). He also worked with the popular nu-metal group Linkin Park in making a remix of their song "Crawling" (spelled as "Krwling") for the band's 2002 album Reanimation and Scooter Ward of Cold on the track "Bleed" from early 2001.
After extensive promotions, including an appearance on Fuse TV's 7th Avenue Drop, Staind's newest album, titled Chapter V was released on August 9, 2005, and became their third consecutive number one in a row. The album opened to sales of 180,000 and has since been certified platinum in the U.S. The first single "Right Here" has been slowly gaining momentum since it was released mid-2005, and is currently climbing the mainstream charts. A new single "Falling" (the video of which does not feature the band members at all) has also been released and there are plans to release another single, "Everything Changes." Staind have been on the road since the album came out doing live shows and promoting it, including participating in the Fall Brawl tour with P.O.D., Taproot and Flyleaf.
Staind appeared on the Howard Stern Show on August 10, 2005, to promote their new album Chapter V. They performed acoustic renditions of the single Right Here and Beetlejuice's song "This is Beetle." Their rendition of "Beetle" is immensely popular with fans and listeners alike and has become a staple of the show. A black-and-white animated video was created for the song by Kevin Lofton, who does all the animation for the Howard Stern website.
Their song "Price to Play" was the official theme song of WWE's Vengeance pay-per-view event in July 2003. As well, their song "So Far Away" was featured on an episode of WWE RAW as part of a video tribute to hardcore wrestling legend Mick Foley. During a January 2006 Episode of WWE RAW, a tribute video to then WWE Champion Edge featured the band's song "Right Here."
In early November of 2005, Staind released the limited edition 2-CD/DVD set of Chapter V, which included several rarities and fan favorites? music videos; a complete, 36-page booklet with exclusive artwork; an audio disc with an acoustic rendition of "This is Beetle"; the original, melodic rendition of "Reply"; the previously released B-side singles "Novocaine" and "Let It Out"; and live versions of "It's Been a While" and "Falling", among many others.
The band's lead singer Aaron Lewis is a father of two, Zoe Jane (b. 2002) and Nyla Rae (b. 2005). All of the members of the band are currently married.
In 2005, Staind were listed in metal magazine Hit Parader's Top 100 Metal Stars of All Time List, in which lead singer Aaron Lewis was placed at number 81. He also ranked as the 10th most mysterious metal star of all time.
1996 - Tormented
1999 - Dysfunction
2001 - Break the Cycle
2003 - 14 Shades of Grey
2005 - Chapter V
1999 - "Just Go" Dysfunction
1999 - "Mudshovel" Dysfunction
1999 - "Home" Dysfunction
2000 - "It's Been Awhile" Break the Cycle
2001 - "Outside" (with Fred Durst) Break the Cycle
2001 - "Fade" Break the Cycle
2002 - "For You" Break the Cycle
2002 - "Epiphany" Break the Cycle
2003 - "Price to Play" Shades of Grey
2003 - "So Far Away" Shades of Grey
2004 - "How About You" Shades of Grey
2005 - "Right Here" Chapter V
2005 - "Falling" Chapter V
2006 - "Everything Changes"