Aaron Lewis spoke to Billboard about the progress of the songwriting sessions for STAIND's first studio album since 2011's self-titled effort. "There are definitely some ideas that have been shared with me that I focused on for a little bit," he said. "We haven't really talked very much about producers and where and that type of stuff yet. We've all kind of got our thoughts and ideas, so we'll see."
Elswhere in the chat, Lewis confirmed that he is planning to release a new country solo album later this year. He is also working on a separate project that sound like "somewhere between PINK FLOYD 'Dark Side Of The Moon' and Billie Eilish — very dreamscape-y, very ethereal. The musical landscape is quite simple and sparse; there's a lot of stuff going on without much stuff going on," he said. "It'll be much more focused around melody."
Last month, Lewis told SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk" that he "would certainly love to" have the new STAIND album "recorded and done by the end of this year, to be released next year. All of our plans that were kind of semi on the books and on the table, everything just had a year taken off of it [due to the pandemic]," he said. "We were gonna have a record come out sometime in 2020 or certainly in 2021, and there was a schedule that was on the table that, just like everything else, got burned to the ground as soon as [the lockdown] started."
STAIND has released seven albums since 1995, the latest being the aforementioned "Staind". The band has had a number of hit songs during its first two decades, including the Top 10 smash "It's Been Awhile" from the No. 1 album "Break The Cycle". Follow-up LPs "14 Shades Of Grey" and "Chapter V" also topped the Billboard chart.
In 2019, Lewis said that new STAIND material would likely sound "pretty brutal. It would be continuing back to how heavy we were to begin with, when 'It's Been Awhile' and 'Outside' and 'So Far Away' and songs like that, that were radio songs, confused everything. 'Cause if you came and saw us at a show, the show was a hell of a lot heavier than most of the songs that you would hear on the radio. And I would have to say that it would be going back in the direction of just heavy… I think I've got some pent-up stuff that would probably flow out quite nicely over some of Mike's [Mushok] heavy riffs."
STAIND will release its first album in nine years, "Live: It's Been Awhile", on May 7 via Yap'em/Alchemy Recordings. The "Live: It's Been Awhile" album will be accompanied by "The Return Of Staind", a two-part global streaming series in partnership with Danny Wimmer Presents. The series launches with STAIND's "Live: It's Been Awhile (From Foxwoods)" concert, which streams globally on May 1. The "Live: It's Been Awhile" album and concert were recorded at the band's comeback show at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut in October 2019. The never-before-seen concert celebrates the band's reunion after a five-year hiatus.
STAIND will also perform its iconic multi-platinum 2001 album "Break The Cycle" in its entirety for a May 8 streaming event, exactly 20 years after the album's release. The "20th Anniversary Of Break The Cycle, Performed In Its Entirety" takes place at Mill 1 in Open Square in Holyoke, Massachusetts, bringing the band back to their Western Mass roots. Please note, this is a fully virtual event, with no in-person attendance.
Both global streaming events debut at 2:00 p.m. PDT / 5:00 p.m. EDT / 10:00 p.m. BST / 11:00 p.m. CEST on their respective days and will be available on-demand for 72 hours.
Purchase tickets for one or both of the STAIND global streaming events at StaindLive.com. Fans can also purchase bundles and VIP experiences, including exclusive merchandise, a custom STAIND guitar autographed by the entire band, and a virtual meet-and-greet with the band.
STAIND played its first full live show in five years in September 2019 at the Louder Than Life music festival in Louisville, Kentucky.
The band was scheduled to support DISTURBED on "The Sickness 20th Anniversary Tour" throughout North America last summer. The amphitheater trek has since been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic which is sweeping the globe.