Metal singer Aaron Lewis finds second home in country music

Mon Nov 19, 2012 9:27am EST
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By Vernell Hackett

NASHVILLE, Tennessee (Reuters) - Aaron Lewis stands as one of the more unusual crossovers into country music, but the singer of the metal band Staind believes it was a fit made in the cradle.

"It's been quite the pleasant eclectic mix of tattoos and black eyeliner, and Stetsons, cowboy boots and big shiny buckles," Lewis said in an interview after the release of his first full-length country studio album, "The Road," this week.

Lewis, 40, was raised on what he terms his grandfather's country music: Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Charlie Daniels and George Jones. He collaborated with Daniels and Jones on his country EP, "Town Line," released last year.

This made the transition from the angst-ridden world of metal to the laid-back country scene an easy step for him, but perhaps not so much for his head-banging fans.

"A few fans are really having a hard time with it," Lewis said. "I can't make everyone happy. Music is about making me happy first. For those who wish I would stick with Staind, they'll get what they want, too."

Lewis, who sold seven studio albums over a 17-year career with Staind, says he has two musical careers because he is "creatively bipolar" and suffers from attention deficit disorder.

"I need to switch it up a little bit," he said. "It's kind of nice to write a song about taking my daughters to the beach instead (of) about something that's tearing me apart from the inside."

For Lewis, each song on "The Road" is the opportunity to explore his creativity in music, while winding down a road filled with new country listeners and taking Staind fans along for the ride.   Continued...

Aaron Lewis, singer for rock band Staind, arrives at the 47th annual Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas, Nevada, April 1, 2012. REUTERS/Richard Brian