Interview with Staind: The Illusion Of Progress

Just to dissect the songs a little bit so to speak, how was ‘Pardon Me’ born? There’s a great riff in there.

It’s funny, that is a riff that I had had and kind of forgot about. I was listening back, I always back-log stuff and I was listening to it, and I was like, ‘That is kind of cool.’ I didn’t really think it was a Staind song, I just thought it was kind of a cool riff. When we were at rehearsal, I was just trying to remember what it was and play around with, and Aaron was like, ‘Wow, what is it, that’s really cool.’ We just started playing around with it.

I have to say, that was one song that Aaron actually did have lyrics to. I mean, we were writing a couple of songs a day, pretty much, two or three sometimes, and that one came together pretty quickly. It was a song that Aaron actually had the chorus to right away, and that one stuck from day one, the chorus idea. It’s kind of like a bluesy type of tune for us, which is pretty different. I love the way that one came out. If it is a good song, it is a good song. There is a song that’s ‘The Corner’ on there, and Hammond organ and pedal steel guitar and a choir, it’s what can make the song the best song that it can be, and if it is something that we don’t necessarily do, the better. Hopefully, broaden what we do, and hopefully, everybody is in it for the ride, and the fans want to hear something a little different.

Like, I think the first single is the most typically Staind song on the record probably, and I think they did that for a reason, I guess the record company doesn’t want to shock people and put out ‘Pardon Me’ or ‘The Corner’ first. They might never get released, who knows? I still think we are who we are, and we were more experimental on this record and I am really happy that we were able to do that. ‘Tangled Up In You’ was a song that Aaron wrote, Johnny K heard it and really liked it, and wanted to put it on the record.

What is the secret of being able to maintain a consistent line-up for so long?

I don’t know, I think part of it, at least for me, is how important this is to me, and making it work and making it last. It is tough, we have been together for 14 years now, and I have a hard time remembering when I wasn’t in this band. It has been a big part of my life, obviously. To me it’s just about realizing people’s personalities, what they are and you try to work with everybody and you try to make things work. Like I said, I realize how important this is to me and I think to everybody.

What is the meaning behind the title, Illusion Of Progress?

It could be applied to a lot of different things. It really came about in the studio with Aaron and Johnny K. Aaron was working on a lyric idea, and as you know sometimes inspiration is a switch you can turn on and off, and sometimes it happens and sometimes it doesn’t. It wasn’t really happening at that time, and they were just looking at E-bay or something— online just screwing around. They were like, ‘We should be doing something,’ and Aaron was like, ‘Well this is the illusion of progress.’ You are supposed to be in the studio working and sometimes things just don’t click when you need them too, and sometimes you are better off just leaving it for a while and do something else.