Staind has always been known as a rock band that produces great ballads. Or is it a ballad band that knows how to rock? The Massachusetts-based group, which formed 15 years ago and has topped the charts with hits like "So Far Away" and "Fade," has managed to appeal to all sorts of fans, from the devout heavy metal heads to the fans who are happy to sing along to the heart-wrenching love songs like "It's Been Awhile."
Staind has always been known as a rock band that produces great ballads. Or is it a ballad band that knows how to rock?
The Massachusetts-based group, which formed 15 years ago and has topped the charts with hits like "So Far Away" and "Fade," has managed to appeal to all sorts of fans, from the devout heavy metal heads to the fans who are happy to sing along to the heart-wrenching love songs like "It's Been Awhile."
And while creating the band's current album, "Illusion of Progress," members were mindful not to duplicate earlier material, even though management might have been pleased with another "It's Been Awhile."
"The pressure, to me, is trying to grow as a band and achieve something that's different for us," said Mike Mushok by telephone from a tour stop in Amsterdam. "The pressure is getting together in a room with everybody when we haven't written a song since the last record. It's kind of getting over those hurdles and once things start flowing and we get moving it usually turns out pretty good. Knock on wood, we've never really had a hard time writing songs."
The band will bring its "Stimulate This!" tour to Peoria on Wednesday. The show also features Shinedown, Chevelle and Halestorm.
Staind will perform songs from "Illusion of Progress," its sixth album. Mushok says the album was a departure for the band, which is made up of Aaron Lewis (vocals, guitar), Mushok (guitar), Jon Wysocki (drums, percussion) and Johnny April (bass, vocals).
"I think people at first were a little surprised by it, I think it's a little bit different for us, but I think in a good way. On the other records, I always play a baritone guitar. This was mostly written on a standard guitar. And there's some blues songs, there's a choir in one song, a Hammond organ, more guitar solos. We just tried to do things a little differently than we have in the past."
Staind enlisted producer Johnny K (who has also worked with 3 Doors Down, Disturbed and Avenged Sevenfold) for the album, which took about six months from start to finish. They recorded much of the material in Lewis' home studio, a converted barn in Massachusetts.
"We had the two studios set up, and he would work between the two studios almost every day," Mushok is quoted as saying in press materials. "When you have your own place and you're doing it your own way, there are no time constraints. Of course you want to get it done, but it drags on a bit more. We might have spent a few weeks more than we needed to on the album, but that's why it sounds like it does. We'd spend five hours trying to find the right tone for a guitar part, because we had that luxury, then it would take me five minutes to lay the part down."
The album features songs like "Pardon Me," "Believe" and "All I Want," which Mushok says is the closest to pop rock that the band has ever come. And they also have a few signature ballads, as well.
"Their ballads have always been their mainstay," said Matt Bahan, morning show host and program director for the rock radio station WIXO-FM 105.7 "The X." "I think it's hard when you're a band that's known for serious content and ballads, Staind got painted as a doom and gloom band when they're not. Many of their songs are positive and uplifting and they have some heavier songs with a lot of guitar. I think that was the challenge for them, that they got typecast a little bit. And for rock radio program directors, we like to see bands that have ballads but at the same time can put out a great rock song, and Staind's definitely done that over the years."
Bahan said of the concert, "It's a really exciting show because you have the history of Staind - with years of great songs - and you have Shinedown, which is the hottest rock band in the country right now."
Danielle Hatch can be reached at (309) 686-3262 or email@example.com.
'Stimulate This!' tour
What: "Stimulate This!" tour featuring Staind, Shinedown, Chevelle and Halestorm.
When: 7 p.m. Wednesday.
Where: Peoria Civic Center arena.
Cost: Tickets $25 and $37.50 at the Civic Center box office, Ticketmaster locations and online at Ticketmaster.com, or by calling (800) 745-3000.