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Staind: Interview with Staind’s Mike Mushok

Staind: Interview with Staind’s Mike Mushok

By Tim Hargesheimer

Tim Hargesheimer: Hey Mike, Are you and the guys excited to head over to Europe?  (Staind's first show on the European tour is 2/28 in Glasgow)
Mike Mushok: Yes, we're very excited - it's been some time since we've been to Europe and we really want to be able to come here more often than we have in the past.  It's really important for us on this record to travel and play some places we may have not played before and make sure we hit all the places we have played also.

Tim: Do you notice any major differences in live performances overseas?
  Mike: I don't think there is a huge difference in shows overseas. One thing that I notice more here is that people like to clap along to the music more.  That doesn't seem to happen that much in the states.  It's a really cool thing - as long as people clap in time!

   Tim: John 5's band Loser joined Staind on the Spring U.S. Tour.  How was that experience with such a music veteran?
  Mike: Touring with john 5 and loser was great!  He's an awesome guitar player and I enjoyed the band.  We had actually played with Manson on a few occasions when John was in the band so we had met and played together before.

   Tim: One of UnRated writers asks - Why does Staind write such sad story telling songs? Are they from personal experiences or experiences viewed by others?
  Mike: Well first off, Aaron writes the lyrics and I don't necessarily perceive them as being "sad stories" but real life experiences that he has lived through.  I'd actually like to think that from the songs people can take away something positive from the lyrics.

  Tim: One of our UnRated readers also wanted to ask - If you had to pick three bands you have ever toured with, which ones are your favorite and why?
  Mike: Well, there are a couple that come to mind very quickly - 3 Doors Down and Sevendust.  We just did about 2 1/2 months with 3 Doors Down in the states and that was just a really fun tour.  We had a great time with those guys - just normal down to earth people who love to play music.  The same can be said for Sevendust who we've toured with on more than one occasion.  Actually, we were supposed to do Europe with them last October but the tour got postponed and they weren't able to come with us this time which stinks because it would have been a blast!!!  As far as a 3rd band goes - we always had fun when Lo-Pro was out playing with us - great band!!

  Tim: Fans always want to know what their favorite bands/artists are listening to.  Can you tell us what's resonating through your ears these days?
  I've been listening to the Foo Fighters lately along with The Police - just what I consider some really good music.  I also always listen to Led Zeppelin - I love them!!

  Tim: How do you feel about the changes in the music industry in regards to digital downloads, Podcasts, etc.?
  That's a tough one.  I think it's a great thing that people are able to get music that they want that quick and easily.  However, I also think that it makes it much tougher for bands because it seems that people are just buying one song that they like and becoming a fan of a song rather than a fan of the band.  I think it makes bands more disposable unless they always have a hit song that someone's going to want to download or buy.  I know that I try to be a fan of the band rather than one song that they do - buy the album and see what the band is about and support them.  That's really important for artist's to be able to have any kind of longevity.

   Tim: What is the next single from Chapter V?
  Mike: The next single is "everything changes".
  Tim: How has the fan reception of Chapter V been different in comparison to previous albums like Break the Cycle and Dysfunction?
  Mike: I’m not sure that it has been different.  If it has, I haven't noticed it.  As far as I’m concerned - Chapter V is by far our best album.  I’m really proud of the songs and how the record came out.  Hopefully, the fans feel the same way.  Every time we make a record we do our best to grow and mature as a band and try not to regurgitate something that we may have done before.  We try to write what we consider to be the best songs that we can at that time. 

  Tim: Final Question. Staind has a reputation as being some of the nicest guys in the music industry with some of the most devoted fans.  Why do you think that is?
  Mike: hopefully the fans are devoted because they realize that we know we wouldn't be able to do what we love to do if it wasn't for them.  Without our fans there are no concerts, we wouldn't be able to put out albums - there would be no career.  So, our fans are the most important thing to us.  We try to give back as much as we can to show that - whether it's through the fan club, meet and greets, smaller acoustic shows that we do for winners or just signing something after a show - it's an easy thing to do to show our appreciation of them.

Tim: Thank you for taking the time to answer some questions for UnRated Magazine!

I would like to thank Mike Mushok of Staind for his time and willingness to chat with UnRated Magazine. Thanks also go out Kim Harris at Atlantic Records for making this happen. NOTE: This interview was originally scheduled to be with Aaron Lewis and did not happen due to a scheduling conflict.