You said you can’t remember when you weren’t in Staind. Just for some background, what was your life like before joining the band?
I joined Staind the year I graduated college. I had a degree in electrical engineering, I designed temperature control systems. That was during Staind too, but that was my first real job after I graduated college. I played guitar since I was six, and it was a no-brainier that if an opportunity like this came along, I was going to take it. There were some let-downs that led to me saying, ‘Okay I am going to get a degree.’ And my parents, especially my mother who was an educator, and she wanted nothing else except for me to graduate college, and after some let-downs, I was like, ‘I am going to go to school, I am going to get the degree.’ The year I graduated, I met Aaron, and it really worked out great.
Your parents must be happy, too.
Absolutely, comes to every show when they can. Everybody is happy.
You cover Tool’s ‘Sober’ acoustically on The Singles 1996-2006, what made you pick that song in particular? It’s a great version of that song.
Thank you. It’s funny, when we started back in ’94, at least in Springfield MASS, if you wanted to get a gig, you had to play other people’s songs. We wrote five songs as a band together and we said if we want to play out, we are not going to be able to get a Friday night gig if we are not playing other people songs.
So we went and learned a bunch of covers, but we always played originals in there and the bar owners never cared as long as the people are coming in, and they were. ‘Sober’ is a song that we would play 13 years ago, and it’s just a song that we’ve always liked and we have done it acoustically from time to time. When Aaron does solo acoustic stuff, which he still does, I don’t know if he does that song or not, but we just started doing it that way. It was just something that we have done and it’s fun to do.
The Illusion Of Progress hits stores on Aug. 19. Catch Staind at the Hard Rock Times Square in NYC that same day for an album release show. For more info visit staind.com
Photo Credit: Chapman Baehler