When Staind frontman Aaron Lewis isn't performing for thousands of fans, he's hibernating in his house in the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts. As one of just 1,200 residents in the town (which he declined to name), Lewis has the luxury of complete privacy. Sure, his neighbors know who he is, but they pretty much keep to themselves as well.
"Everyone else lives here for the same reason," he explained. "They don't want to be bothered either, so it was the perfect place for me to move. The mail doesn't even come to my house. I have to go to town to visit the mailbox. It's perfect."
Now that Staind are off the road, Lewis is enjoying some well-deserved downtime. Aside from an appearance at the Rolling Rock Town Fair on July 31 in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, he has no immediate plans do anything with Staind — but that doesn't mean his label is done working the band's latest album, 14 Shades of Grey.
"How About You" continues to receive strong airplay, and two other singles are being lined up for release later in the year. The priority track is the heartfelt "Zoe Jane," which hits radio on April 19. Lewis wrote the song about his daughter, who is nearly 2 years old.
"That was such an easy song to write," he said. "All the [sentimental] things in the song just had to be said and they came out easily. When I'm out on the road and it's time for her to go to bed, I get the call, and Zoe gets on the phone and says 'Na-night,' and tells me that she loves me. You can hear my face through the phone cracking from my smile."
Unlike the normally reticent Lewis, his daughter is "talking up a storm," but in other ways she's a chip off the old block. "She doesn't stop singing," he beamed. "At the end of the day, when you put her down in the crib to go to bed, she's still deliriously singing and crossing songs with other songs. It's pretty funny. I'm definitely haunted by children's tunes. I get in my truck and it's what's in my CD player already playing when I turn the thing on. And if the TV is on, it's on the Noggin channel. But I love it."
While "Zoe Jane" is being worked to alternative and rock radio, Staind will simultaneously offer heavier stations the more rockin' "Yesterday." The track is about reflecting on the past and features the line "Isn't it strange how yesterday it seems I was just a boy and already afraid."
"I guess it's looking back in wonderment and amazement as to where I came from and what I've been through to get here," Lewis said.
Some of those experiences have been well documented, and many aren't pretty. But these days the frontman is no longer interested in dwelling in the past. "It's much more uplifting and much more enjoyable in my life now to look forward," he said. "I just try to live in the moment, live for the now. You can't change what happened yesterday and you can't control what's gonna happen tomorrow. The only thing you can do is control what's happening to you this second."