Aaron Lewis Opens Up About Staind’s New Album + Why He Thinks He Has the Best Fans – ‘I Didn’t Do Anything to Deserve This’
"It's a funny thing, this industry," he told Chuck Armstrong on Loudwire Nights Friday night (Sept. 22). "We had huge success on Break the Cycle. I think before Break the Cycle came out, that was the last time I kind of felt like this."
Lewis admitted it might just be because of the time that has passed between 2011's Staind and their new LP, but he thinks the feeling is more related to the reality that the band was always chasing the success of their third studio album.
"This feels different ... I feel the way I felt before Break the Cycle came out."
Confessions of the Fallen Features Classic Staind Sound That's Evolved
While Confessions of the Fallen will no doubt bring fans back to an earlier sound of Staind reminiscent of both Break the Cycle and its predecessor, Dysfunction, they'll also quickly pick up on modern elements that Staind have never incorporated on an album before.
Some may think these things were added after the fact, but Lewis is proud to say they are foundational to how Confessions of the Fallen was created.
"The production value that you hear is actually the skeletal structure of the songs. Mike [Mushok] sent me a whole bunch of ideas and I had extra time on my hands so I started working with these programmed beats and stuff like that. I took these ideas and I started chopping them up into little pieces and me and my friend Paul, we basically created the landscape with programming and the ideas that Mike had sent. We created the canvas, if you will."
After that process and building out the "canvas" with the rest of the band, they sat with everything for a while. Then with all of the programmed pieces, Mushok, bassist Johnny April and drummer Sal Giancarelli played their parts live — and they did that, for the most part, remotely.
"Everybody did it from their own space and everybody had their own space to be comfortable in and not feel like anyone else in the band was questioning or judging or breathing down their neck," Lewis said.
"Sometimes the process of writing a record in the past has been us stuffed all together for six months in the studio. This gave us time. This gave us freedom to come up with all of this stuff."
Why Aaron Lewis Says He Has the Best Fans
In one of the most poignant moments in the conversation with Chuck, Lewis opened up about his personal struggle with self-confidence and why it's harder for him to talk about his feelings than it is to "show his insides" onstage for thousands of fans to hear.
"I can't believe for one second that I'm the one that's in control of this crazy ride I've been on," he confessed. "I didn't do anything out of the ordinary to deserve it. I have hit the lottery over and over and over and over and over and over and that's what's made up my career ... I can't believe that this has all been in my hands. There's no way. There's no way."
Along with that perspective and attitude, another thing that has helped Lewis along the way has been the support and trust of his fans.
To best illustrate that support and trust, Lewis shared a story about a solo show he'll never forget in Boston.
"I was expecting there to be a ton of people from my home area, there always was," he said. "For some reason, that show, nobody [from my home] was there. And I played this song that makes local references and every time I would hit that local reference, all the people that were from where I was would all cheer."
Because nobody from his home was there, the first time he hit that local reference, he heard nothing but crickets.
"My bottom lip started going and every time I tried to sing, it would just squawk because I was trying not to cry. The whole place took over singing the song for me. Every time I would come to a spot where I thought I could try to start singing again and my voice would crack and my bottom lip would go again — I somehow made it through the song with the help of everybody."
When he finished the song, he called his guitar player up and had him play and as he admitted, "I lost it. I lost it for three-quarters of the fucking song that he played."
He eventually was able to get back on stage and played six or seven more songs, but the most powerful moment for Lewis came after the show when he realized nobody filmed his struggle.
"There's no video footage of that on YouTube, on the internet, anywhere. I have amazing fans — they knew that was a moment and they knew that they needed to protect me in that moment and they let it go and they didn't post it."
What Else Did Aaron Lewis Discuss on Loudwire Nights?
- The story of Sal Giancarelli and why he was the only person who could step in as Staind's drummer: "Sal's been with us from pretty much the beginning."
- What it was like seeing Brad Golowin's music video interpretation of "Here and Now"
- The difference between performing with Staind and singing by himself as a solo act
Listen to the Full Interview in the Podcast Player Below
Aaron Lewis joined Loudwire Nights on Friday, Sept. 22; the show replays online here, and you can tune in live every weeknight at 7PM ET or on the Loudwire app; you can also see if the show is available on your local radio station and listen to interviews on-demand. Stream Confessions of the Fallen at this location and then stay up-to-date with everything happening in Staind's world here.