Staind frontman Aaron Lewis told Oregon's Register-Guard in a new interview that he is "more country than I am anything else," responding to criticism that he jumped from making rock music to being a country artists as a way to make money. Lewis said, "People still think I'm just pandering to a different audience because the audience that I've supposedly pandered to for the past 15 years (in Staind) is sick of what I have to offer . . . I've heard some pretty messed-up stuff as to what my motivation is as to coming over to country. The fact of the matter is, I'm more country than I am anything else."
Lewis told us that he could understand some of the criticism when he started doing country music -- but only to a point: "If it was garbage that I was offering, I could understand that, but it wasn't and it isn't and it hasn't been. I guess I knew it was gonna be a fight because I was starting over, I just didn't think that people would be as close-minded as they were. It hasn't been dauntingly and terrifyingly difficult, but it -- I wasn't given a free pass for selling, you know, 17 or 18 million records in my career already."
- Lewis released his first full-length country album, The Road, in November 2012.
- His first country release was his debut solo EP, Town Line, which topped the Billboard Country Albums chart when it came out in 2011 and featured the hit "Country Boy."
- Lewis said that country music has been part of his life as far back as he could recall, explaining, "Traditional country music was what my childhood soundtrack was. My grandfather was a huge country music fan, and the radio, the music, was on all the time, always, always, always, from the time that people woke up in the morning to the time that the last light got shut out."
- Staind went on an indefinite hiatus late last year after completing the touring cycle for its self-titled seventh album, which was released in 2011.
- Earlier this year, Staind guitarist Mike Mushok joined Newsted, the new heavy rock project assembled and fronted by former Metallica bassist Jason Newsted.
WHAT DO YOU THINK??
- Does it sound to you like Lewis wants to stay in the country genre and not return to rock?
- Do you think he has credibility as a country artist? Does that diminish or change his credibility as a rock musician?
- Have you listened to Lewis' country material and if so, what do you think of it?
- Should the other guys in Staind find a new singer and move on?
INTERNET COMMENTS at Blabbermouth -- agree or not?
Mike Dean wrote: "Well, if Hootie can do it..."
Cody Grandish wrote: "I hope Staind work things out and keep going eventually. Aaron Lewis has great hard rock vocals, hate to see them wasted on country music."
Nathan Webster wrote: "All his music blows, regardless of genre."
Mark Honermann wrote: "Go do the 'country' thing, all you could do is make it better, which isn't saying much since 'Modern Country' is about the most unoriginal s***ty form of music today."
Staind's Aaron Lewis On Criticism Of His Country Career
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