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Music / Staind

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From left to right:Johnny April, Aaron Lewis, Mike Mushok, Jon Wysocki.
And it's been awhile, since I could, hold my head up high,
And it's been awhile, since I first saw you.
And it's been awhile, since I could stand, on my own two feet again,
And it's been awhile, since I could call you.
"It's Been Awhile"

Staind is an American rock band formed in Springfield, Massachusetts. They consist of Aaron Lewis on vocals, Mike Mushok on guitar, Johnny April on bass, and (formerly) Jon Wysocki on drums.

They have changed up their genres since their first album. They started with a raw heavy-metal/nu-metal sound (Dysfunction), then did Break the Cycle, which received a lot of fame; their hit single "It's Been Awhile" has received a lot of radio play, and ranked high on many charts.

Staind started off making songs about depression, hate, and drug habits on their debut album, Tormented. Their next album, Dysfunction, was somewhat softer and less aggressive. It still revolves around the topics of dysfunction and anger. They then released their most popular album, Break the Cycle, which adopted a softer sound than their last album, containing ballads and slower, less aggressive tracks. This pattern continues up to their newest self titled album, which returns to their roots, and brings back a heavy sound.


Since their last album, they changed up their drummers. Their new drummer is Sal Giancarelli as of 2011.

The band is currently on hiatus as of 2012, with reunions in 2014, 2017 and 2019. Lewis has recorded several solo Country Music albums.

It's been awhile, since I could, hold my tropes up high:

  • Alternative Metal: The band has played this style throughout their career.
  • As the Good Book Says...: After "Four Walls", there is a hidden track note  featuring a priest reciting Bible verses.
  • Concept Album: Tormented is based around a depressed person who cocks a gun at the beginning of the first song of the album ("Tolerate"), and shoots himself at the end of the last song ("Four Walls").
  • Cover Version/First and Foremost: The chords for "So Far Away" have been used in a Rascal Flatts song, "What Hurts the Most". Ironically, Aaron Lewis covered that song.
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  • Death Song/Driven to Suicide: "Four Walls".
  • Despair Event Horizon: Tormented is basically a concept album about crossing the Despair Event Horizon.
  • Drone of Dread: "Funeral".
  • Dysfunction Junction: Dysfunction has a lot of songs about this subject.
  • Genre Shift: They've done this a lot. Tormented was full-on metal, Break the Cycle was slower and softer, The Illusion of Progress was mostly acoustic, and on their self-titled seventh album, they went back to metal.
  • Heroic BSoD: Much of "Reality".
  • Hidden Track: Tormented and Dysfunction both have this.
  • Improv: Half of "Outside" was made up on the spot, thanks to Fred Durst.
  • Lighter and Softer: Break the Cycle, while still pretty aggressive in some parts, is less heavy than their first two albums and even contains a few outright ballads. The band would continue in this vein for the next three albums before returning to a harsher sound with their Self-Titled Album.
  • Long-Runner Line-up: A Type 1 before Wysocki left.
  • Looped Lyrics: The end of "Self Destruct" has these:
    I self destruct my mind
    I self destruct my world
    I self destruct my life.
  • Loudness War: Break the Cycle is a victim of the phenomena. Vlado Meller being the mastering engineer for that record might've had something to do with it.
  • Non-Appearing Title: "Spleen", "Change", and many others.
  • Rockumentary: The Making of Staind.
  • Sanity Slippage Song: "Self Destruct" is this.
  • Self-Deprecation: Their first three albums had a lot of this.
  • Self-Titled Album
  • Solo Side Project: Aaron Lewis's country albums can be seen as this.
  • Surprisingly Gentle Song:
    • "Four Walls", the final track from Tormented, is surprisingly soft compared to the very aggressive songs that make up the rest of the album.
    • "It's Been Awhile" and "Outside" from Break The Cycle are mostly acoustic in the verses before getting heavier in the chorus.
    • "Tangled Up In You", from The Illusion of Progress certainty qualifies; Aaron Lewis once called it the "sappiest" song he's ever written.
  • Take That, Audience!: According to Lewis, "Can't Believe" was inspired by the rather unsavory behavior he would witness at concerts.
  • "When I'm Gone" Song: "Something to Remind You".
  • Xtreme Kool Letterz: Used in their lyrics sheet for Tormented.