Aaron Lewis discusses "Country Boy", James Stroud and the March 2011 release of TOWN LINE.

  • In tandem with your role in Staind, you’ve been touring as a solo acoustic artist for the past few years—and your upcoming solo EP takes you into the realm of country.  What inspired you to take this country direction?  Listening to the lyrics of “Country Boy,” it’s clear that country music isn’t a stretch for you but rather something instilled in your life.


“It just seemed like the natural progression for me. If you listen to the songs I've written over the years on the acoustic guitar (e.g. ‘Outside,’ ‘It's Been Awhile’), those songs could have had country accompaniment behind them as well.”

  • “Country Boy” has cameos from George Jones and Charlie Daniels…not too shabby!  How did these collaborations come to be and what were your thoughts on working with these artists?


“When James Stroud, who produced the album, asked me who I would like to have guest on the song, grasping at straws I suggested Charlie Daniels and George Jones, not knowing that James was the godfather of Nashville and could actually call them and get them to do it.”

  • “Country Boy” is a powerful autobiographical song about you proudly living your life out loud: where you come from and where you live, with your views about living independently as someone who hunts and smokes weed, steering clear of societal intervention.  Can you talk about how this song evolved and how it has been received on the road in recent months?


“’Country Boy,’ as most of my songs do, evolved accidentally. Live, it seems to go over extremely well.  I think it's easy for people who hear it for the first time to really relate to it.”

  • Which country artists--past or present--do you listen to and what do they mean to you?


“I listen to Hank, George, Waylon, Charlie, etc. etc.  My childhood memories are intertwined with all of them. My grandfather always had country music playing on the radio and these guys seemed larger than life to me.  The fact that George and Charlie appear on the song ‘Country Boy’ still blows my mind. If my grandfather's looking down right now, he's shittin' his pants!”

  • What did producer James Stroud bring to the recording of this EP?


“Not much (laughs). Seriously, what can you say about working with James?  He's just one of the best in the business...really not much of a resume or anything!”   

  • Can you talk about the other songs--musically and/or lyrically--on the EP?


“’Vicious Circles’ is about relationships.  ‘Massachusetts’ is where I'm from.   ‘Tangled Up in You’ was originally on the last Staind album but I always envisioned performing it this way.”

  • What do you have to say to the Staind fans who may not be country music admirers?


“Sorry.”

  • Aside from music, you enjoy spending time outdoors hunting, fishing, golfing, riding dirt bikes, etc. What value does this add to your life?  


“Being outdoors is something that's been a part of my whole life.  These (outdoors hunting, fishing, golfing, riding dirt bikes, etc) are the things I live for, along with my family.”

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Comment by Hope Irving on January 23, 2011 at 6:32pm
I'm not a big Country fan, but I do like this song! Aaron Lewis has a unique voice, he just stands out! I've been a fan of Staind since 2001. After this song and video from him, I am proud to say I'm still a big fan!
Comment by Regina.Parra on December 17, 2010 at 6:27pm

AARON I WATCH ALL YOUR CELEB HUNTING FOR MAKE A WISH FOUNDATION,NICE DOE AND BUCKS YOU KILL'D THE BOW YOU USE'D WAS BAD ASS..YOU DID A GREAT JOB AND THE OUTDOORS LIFE IS GOOD TO CLEAR THE MIND AND SOUL.NOTHING LIKE A DEEP BREATH OF FRESH AIR AND LETTING IT ALL GO.YES.HAVE A GREAT NEW YEAR.AARON..

Comment by Justus on December 17, 2010 at 4:20pm

Yeah I only like some of Old Crow Medicine Show....It's not all for me, but there are a few that are funny and few that I like.....Yeah that's one of my favorites from Ray....

Comment by Justus on December 17, 2010 at 2:32pm

I think you right Amy....I go through stages of different music and had accually quit listening to country for a while and he turned me back to some of the my roots of country music and I really missed a lot of it.....He also turned me onto Ray LaMontagne....I even bought one of his albums....I wonder if Aaron has heard any Old Crow Medicine Show....My favorite by them is Wagon Wheel

Comment by Alexander Yiu on December 17, 2010 at 2:10pm

I'm not a "country music hater" Amy, I think the new Country Boy is awesome, but I can't stop listening to Vicious Circles which Aaron sang at WAAF if you know what I mean. I dunno I think Country Accompaniments are just not that addictive to me. And yes, Aaron's voice does have the ability to touch people's souls so yes, maybe I can develop an addiction to country as well once they release this album.

Comment by Alexander Yiu on December 17, 2010 at 2:46am

I never really thought that the entire album will be country music, I'm not a fan of it but I'm sure there will be at least one song in there that will get me high like Outside, It's been a while or Epiphany. I already can't stop listening to Vicious Circles, I'm still looking forward to it good luck guys.

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