Massachusetts-based rockers STAIND will reunite for a few select dates this fall after a five-year hiatus. With more than 15 million albums sold worldwide, original members Aaron Lewis, Mike Mushok and Johnny April along with longtime drummer Sal Giancarelli, will play some select shows, including the Louder Than Life festival in Louisville, Kentucky in September and the Aftershock festival in Sacramento, California in October.
Asked by "Rock Talk With Mitch Lafon" in a new interview if the STAIND reunion dates will lead to further activity from the band in 2020, Lewis said (hear audio below): "This is definitely, 'Let's just get together and play a few shows and see what happens.' And 2020 is 2020. And we'll see. I've made no commitments to anything. I just wanna kind of see how this couple of shows goes."
During his time away from STAIND, Lewis pursued a solo career as a country music singer. But he insists that the group "never" officially split up and he has always remained on good terms with his positive bandmates.
"I needed the break," he said. "I definitely needed that break. And that break turned into these avenues. And the break went long enough to where I wouldn't mind getting out there on stage with STAIND and playing some songs that we all wrote together a long time ago."
According to Lewis, the grind of touring was a major factor in his decision to take a long-term hiatus from STAIND and focus on playing solo shows at a more relaxed pace.
"I think that it was 13, 14 years of being away from home for 10 months out of the year and singing those songs," he explained. "It was just a culmination of everything. And I'm ready to play some shows [with STAIND] again."
Lewis also didn't rule out making new music with STAIND, which hasn't released a new studio album since 2011's self-titled effort. As for what new STAIND material might sound like, Aaron said: "I think that if we were to go into the studio and do anything, it would be pretty brutal. It would be continuing back to how heavy we were to begin with, when 'It's Been Awhile' and 'Outside' and 'So Far Away' and songs like that, that were radio songs, confused everything. 'Cause if you came and saw us at a show, the show was a hell of a lot heavier than most of the songs that you would hear on the radio. And I would have to say that it would be going back in the direction of just heavy… I think I've got some pent-up stuff that would probably flow out quite nicely over some of Mike's heavy riffs."
Mushok recently told iRockRadio.com that STAIND was under no obligation to make an album at this stage of the band's career. "We don't have a label," he said. "It would be great to write some music. It doesn't have to be a full record at this point. We have a studio, and it would be easy to do. I think right now, it's, 'Let's get in a room together. Let's play together again. Let's do a couple of shows and see how it goes,' and kind of take it from there."
Asked why it is important for him and other musicians to continue to make new music in addition to going out on the road, Mike told iRockRadio.com: "I'm a musician. I love writing music and creating music. It gets me excited. I'm always very proud of what Aaron and I did together. He's super talented, and I really enjoy bringing my ideas to him and seeing what they become at the end. So the idea of being able to do that again, I'd love for that to be able to happen.
"We're in a position right now with these festivals that we can go do them without necessarily having new music, which is nice," he continued. "But I think you wanna have something out there for the fans too. It's great that they come to see your show, but I think they'd like to see the progression of where you're going musically as well."
The last time STAIND performed was back in August 2017 at the "Aaron Lewis And Friends" benefit concert in Northampton, Massachusetts. The event saw three of the band's original members — Lewis, Mushok and April — playing a three-song acoustic finale with Giancarelli. It marked STAIND's first live appearance in three years.
Lewis released his third full-length country album, "State I'm In", in April via Big Machine imprint Valory Music.
Mushok and ex-THREE DAYS GRACE vocalist Adam Gontier unveiled SAINT ASONIA in early 2015, releasing a self-titled debut album and scoring a Top 10 rock single with "Better Place". SAINT ASONIA's second full-length effort is due later this year via Spinefarm Records.