STAIND's MIKE MUSHOK: 'I'm Very Thankful That We're Back Together And Doing This'
June 10, 2023
STAIND guitarist Mike Mushok talked to Matt Bingham of the Z93 radio station in Saginaw, Michigan about the band's upcoming album, "Confessions Of The Fallen", which will arrive in September 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).
Speaking about why it took STAIND so long to make a new studio album, Mike said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I always hoped that [we would get around to working on new music]. Aaron [Lewis, STAIND frontman] wanted to pursue his country career and kind of felt like doing STAIND was something that would be detrimental to what that would be. He had to show the country people, 'I'm a country guy.' And I was able to go off and do a few other things, which was great — play with some really great people, musicians. Thankfully I was able to do that. That being said, I'm very thankful that we're back together and doing this. Because this is really kind of what I started with Aaron — over 28 years ago, whatever, or 27 years ago; whatever it was. So it's great to be able to be back making music again. And I'm looking forward to going out and doing these shows."
Asked if it was the initial plan to write new material when STAIND reunited for its first full live show in five years in September 2019 at the Louder Than Life music festival in Louisville, Kentucky, Mike said: "There was always talk of doing music. Even when we were off, it was funny — I remember Aaron would call me randomly, and I would always be at the same place, this indoor soccer place at my son's soccer game. And I would be, like, 'Oh, it's Aaron.' And we would kind of talk about ultimately [writing new music]. We knew it was in the future. We never had any plans. Then it finally started to come together. I wanna say 2018, I think, we started talking about it. And, honestly, that KORN tour [in 2021] was really where a lot of the record got put together, was on that. I was working every day, and I was able to demo a lot of the songs on that tour and able to get Aaron in a room and say, 'Listen to some of the music,' and get some direction from him of where he wanted it to go and some changes that he wanted to make and what he liked and what he didn't like. So a lot was done on that, and it really gave me the foundation and kind of a roadmap of where things should go. So it was actually really productive and a really good time."
STAIND recently released the DJay Brawner-directed music video for the first single from "Confessions Of The Fallen", a song called "Lowest In Me".
Last month, Mushok told Lou Brutus of HardDrive Radio about the songwriting process for "Confessions Of The Fallen": "I had a lot of songs, and they were all demoed. So it was basically just instrumental songs. I would take something that I liked, and I would just play it for him. Aaron would listen. And [he would say], 'Oh, I like that verse. Maybe we could try this. Maybe change the chorus a little.' So it was just really kind of getting ideas of where he was at, what music that I had that he was wanting to sing over and really kind of taking those notes, going back and reconstructing the songs, if need be, changing parts, rewriting stuff. And finally when we decided we were gonna do it, and I kind of had a pretty good group of what I thought would make up the record, and Erik ended up being the producer, Erik and I kind of went back and did the same process through the music. Kind of refining the songs, demoing them. And he'd take it to Aaron and they would work on the melody and the lyrics."
In an interview with Billboard, Lewis said that it took him "a long time to be ready to do another STAIND record. I got really burnt out on digging into the dark corners of my psyche every night to deliver those very deep, dark songs in a manner that was believable and authentic," he explained. "I needed to step away from it for awhile and do something different. It just came back together naturally."
Regarding the lyrical inspiration for "Lowest In Me", Aaron told Billboard: "Everybody has got people in their lives that don't bring out the good in somebody. Just with what's going on in the world right now, there's so many things, so many people that are like, 'You bring out the lowest in me.' There's a lot of factors out there that could fall under the 'you' category."
When "Confessions Of The Fallen" was announced in April, Lewis stated about the LP's musical direction: "I did want to modernize the sound and bring us up to date. You can certainly recognize the band but at the same time you can hear that we've been paying attention and understand what kind of sounds and approaches we can use that maybe weren't around the last time we did this."
STAIND has released seven albums since 1995, the latest being 2011's self-titled effort. 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 announced a 25-city co-headlining 2023 tour, produced by Live Nation. The trek kicks off 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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