MIKE MUSHOK Says DELEO Brothers Were Brought In To Write With STAIND For '14 Shades Of Grey' Album

September 15, 2023

In a new interview with Anne Erickson of Audio Ink Radio, STAIND guitarist Mike Mushok spoke about the twentieth anniversary of the band's fourth album, 2003's "14 Shades Of Grey". Reflecting on the making of the record, which was the follow-up to 2001's mega-selling "Break The Cycle", Mushok said: "You have a record company, after you have a song like 'It's Been A While', who wants 12 'It's Been A While's on your next record. And it was a really hard record to make. I remember getting calls from the president of the label, saying, 'You don't have it. You need more songs.'"

He continued: "I remember going out to NAMM that year — it's that music convention in Anaheim [California] — and getting together with management and they're just, like, 'They want more songs.' And we thought we had a record done. And it was hard to even get to that point. I remember it was a lot. And I called the band. I'm, like, 'You guys gotta get out here. Get out here.' So everybody flew out to Los Angeles, and we got into a rehearsal space. And I remember we wrote 'Price To Play'. And Aaron [Lewis, STAIND frontman] had written 'So Far Away' already; we had that. And I think we wrote 'How About You', which was another song on the record. And 'Price To Play' ended up being the first single. And then obviously everybody knows what 'So Far Away' did; I mean, it's a staple in the set, obviously, since then. But yeah, it was a hard record to make; it really was.

"You go and make your first record and, honestly, everybody left us alone; nobody cared," Mike added. "And then you made the second one, and it sold a million copies. Now people start to care and they're a little bit more involved. Then after 'Break The Cycle', it was, like, 'Oh, you gotta try and duplicate that.' And it's, like, 'Well, I don't know that's going to happen, but we'll do our best.'"

Mike also revealed that STAIND's record company had asked that he and his bandmates consider employing outside writers during the writing sessions for "14 Shades Of Grey".

"I don't know if I've ever even told this [story to anyone in an interview]," Mike said. "I remember when everybody came out to Los Angeles. We'd never really used any outside writers or whatever; it had just kind of been us that's done it. And I remember they brought in the DeLeo brothers [Robert and Dean from STONE TEMPLE PILOTS] to our rehearsal spot that we had. They were, like, 'Oh, they're gonna help you guys.' We were just, like, 'Whatever. And we love those guys. We had known them or whatever. And they came in, and I remember they were, like, 'Well, what do you guys have?' And we played them the record, and they both went, 'Why are we here?' [And I said], 'I don't know. They said they wanted you to be here.' They were, like, 'You guys are good.' So, we're, like, 'Oh, thank you.' … It was nice. Those guys are great."

STAIND's new album, "Confessions Of The Fallen", will be released on September 22 via Alchemy Recordings/BMG. STAIND's first new LP album since 2011 was produced by Erik Ron (GODSMACK, PANIC! AT THE DISCO, BLACK VEIL BRIDES).

STAIND has released eight albums since 1995. 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.

STAIND released its first album in nine years, "Live: It's Been Awhile", in May 2021 via Yap'em/Alchemy Recordings. The "Live: It's Been Awhile" album was accompanied by "The Return Of Staind", a two-part global streaming series in partnership with Danny Wimmer Presents.

STAIND and GODSMACK recently completed a 25-city co-headlining 2023 tour, produced by Live Nation. The trek launched on July 18 at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in St. Louis, Missouri, with stops across the U.S. before wrapping up in Austin, Texas at Germania Insurance Amphitheatre on August 31.

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