Staind Frontman Aaron Lewis Goes Country
Wow! Aaron Lewis is a true musical genius, from rockstar to country boy; he is taking the world of country music by storm. He took some time to talk with Entertainment Scoop about what he has been up to, from playing at the Grand Ole Opry, to funding a community school, to recording his upcoming show On The Road,which is set to air July 2.
You are playing the Grand Ole Opry on Monday, May 27, are you excited?
“Yes, it’s awesome to have received an invite to come and play. But I will have to play a lot of shows before I can be inducted in the Grand Ole Opry.”
Since the release of your debut EP “Town Line” you have received a lot of praises and recognition for your work?
“I hear good things and bad things about it. You can’t make everyone happy and please them. I take things as they come.”
How was it making the transition from rock to country music?
“Country Boy” was the first song I wrote. It got 20 millions views on You Tube and the record debuted at #1 on the country charts. A rock singer that is still relevant and putting out a country record and it doing so well has never happened before. I have country roots and country music is the first music I ever heard growing up. My grandfather always had it on in the background and that is all we listened to. When I went on my first tour ever we went with Kidd Rock in February 1999, Country Music was the only music that we listened to with Kidd and it took my down memory lane with the music that I listed to with my grandfather as a kid growing up.”
How old were you when you knew you wanted to be a musician?
“When I was 3 or 4 years-old I used to tug on strangers pants and ask them if they wanted to hear me sing Rhinestone Cowboy and I would just start singing.”
How has the Jagermeister Tour been?
“Great, attendance is good. I have actually done 1 or 2 before with Staind”.
What is the current status of Staind?
“We are in hibernation. We are still a band. Mike made a commitment to Jason Newsted and he is going on a European Tour with Iron Maiden. Jason is from Metallica so it going to be a super band playing together at stadiums across Europe. Old School (Johnny April), our bass player is enjoying a much needed vacation. We will realign when everyone is done doing their thing and get together to make more music.
How were you able to record your country album while on tour?
“Recording the album was like riding a bolt of lightning. I toured with Staind six days a week and flew back to Nashville on the seventh to record the album, then I would fly back to continue the tour. When I recorded “State Lines”, the lyrics were in the moment. What I wrote about happened to me on a Tuesday and I wrote and recorded it on a Wednesday.”
What is the last record you bought?
“That Lonesome Song” by Jamey Johnson.
Your new television show “On the Road” is debuting in July. What is the premise of the show?
“It will premier July 2nd. With the little time we have we are doing what we love: fishing, sand rail riding, hunting, 4-wheeling. It’s an Outdoor Lifestyle show. It is going to be done naturally and I refuse for it to be set up and it will be done as it happens. I am very anti-reality TV and I refuse to make it like that.”
What was your first job growing up?
“I mowed lawns but my first paycheck job was when I was 16 years-old washing dishes at a Big Boy restaurant. I even moved up to be a line cook. I went to school to be a gold smith and did that for awhile. But while doing that I was a struggling musician in a band and at times by myself.”
What is the strangest fan encounter you have had?
“There are a lot of them, I think because of the lyrical content that is in our music. There are some horror stories that are really heavy. A funny story is when we were at a signing table and a kid walked up to us and removed his prosthetic leg so we could sign for him. He told us his mom would kill him but he wanted it done. We didn’t know that was going to happen, he didn’t walk with a limp so it was a complete shock to us to see a leg on the table.”
Talk to us about your upcoming show for your foundation “It Takes a Community”
“This will be the third show and the proceeds will go to the town school. It was previously a public school that was closed and I leased the building and reopened it as a private community school. It is a private school without the price. It’s individualized education with the best aspects and attributes of all of the Montessori, charter, and private schools and from them we created a curriculum. It’s an individualized approach to a child’s education and we do not prohibit them from learning. Kids are sponges and if they are in third grade and read at an eighth grade level we do not prohibit their learning.”