Staind's Aaron Lewis was the latest guest on Full Metal Jackie's weekend radio program. With the band reformed and back in action, the singer and guitarist discussed the latest release, Live: It's Been Awhile. Lewis also spoke about balancing the reunion alongside his country-tinged solo career.

The live show was also part of a twofold livestreaming concert series with the second component being a performance of Staind's standout album, Break the Cycle, in commemoration of the record's 20th anniversary.

Although these offer a period for reflection on the Staind legacy, Lewis maintained he does not often think about the past, despite all his career in Staind has afforded him. Instead, he's looking forward to a new studio album from Staind, which he suspects will be out next year, as well as another solo release and even a new venture with his neighbor that was a byproduct of the pandemic.

Read the full chat below.

Staind are back. They've released their first album in nine years, the live record Live: It's Been Awhile. It's accompanied by the return of Staind and a two-part global streaming series. There are unknowns when inactive bands regroup after a long period of time. What went through your mind when first considering resuming Staind?

If I'm going to be honest and real about it, [what went through my mind is] that everything had to be different [laughs] and some things had to change. It was on a lot of my terms and it just needed to happen.

The two-part streaming event that is coming up is going to include the new live album and an anniversary performance of Break the Cycle. What particular fondness do you have for playing these songs with these people?

It really sent me down a road of being able to do this for a career. It really set up everything. I couldn't be doing what I'm doing now without everything having happened.

Staind, "It's Been Awhile" — Live from Foxwoods

Your music aside from Staind presents a whole different stagecraft. How does that side of you manifest itself in the context of Staind?

It's two different things and two different places that I go to for lyrical content. On this new acoustic record that I'm putting out, I dabbled a little bit in the whole concept of Nashville, which is nobody ever writes songs by themselves anymore. So, I worked with some writers — usually like a one-on-one type of thing for this new record — but Staind has always been my 'purge' if you will. Country is more so just telling regular stories.

What is unique about the creative interaction of this band that is still evident regardless of the length of inactivity?

I don't know yet. We haven't gotten that far into the process.

What was really important before we ever got together as a band was the first thing we did was to write [our own] songs. We started out playing covers and we were putting together a band to go out and work and play covers at bars to make some extra money from whatever we were doing at the time. I wasn't doing anything, but other people had real jobs.

We always wanted to write songs, so we made sure that we could write songs together before we went any further with the lineup. Other than that, I don't stop and think about that shit. I just don't. I probably miss out on a lot of reflective moments just because I don't, but it's not my nature.

Yap’em / Alchemy Recordings

There's a heightened division right now between Americans. How does music unite, yours in particular, even if someone might not fully agree with the lyrical message?

I don't know.

I don't know how to reunite us as a country. There's been so much focus on psychologically destroying this country and everything that held us all together that I don't really know how we're we're supposed to recover from that. This has all been one big psychological experiment and it's going to have grave and lasting consequences.

There's going to be new music coming from Staind. Is there a timeline for the release of the new record — this year or next year?

If I was to be realistic about it, I would have to say that it'll be next year.

I go into the studio next week actually to record my new solo record. Once that is finished, which will only take a couple of days — I think my last solo record took 16 hours — but when I'm finished with that, then I can turn my focus completely onto the Staind project and get that taken care of.

Then I turn my focus back to the 30 ideas that I came up with with my neighbor over the pandemic, which don't fit into any box that I've ever created, to be quite honest with you. It's mostly computer-generated and there's an acoustic guitar on it, but that's pretty much the only instrument in the entire musical landscape of what we came up with. So another new twist and turn in the creative mind of me.

Thanks to Aaron Lewis for the interview. Get your copy of Staind's 'Live: It's Been a While' here and follow the band on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Spotify. Find out where you can hear Full Metal Jackie's weekend radio show here.

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