Niagara Gazette

Music

April 30, 2009

MUSIC: Staind to rock Falls

Staind has had four top-five records and even more rock chart-topping singles, but it’s the band’s decade-old first hit for which fans clamor.

And no one in the band minds a bit.

Guitarist Mike Mushok said during a recent phone interview that if having to repeatedly play a favorite song before sold-out crowds worldwide is a band’s worst problem, then things are going well.

While the band continuously tinkers with its setlist, including on its current tour that visits Niagara Falls on Friday, its breakthrough song “Mudshovel” never strays off of it — anymore.

“We played an acoustic show for some fans, and the response when we didn’t play it was overwhelming.

They wanted to hear it,” Mushok said. “AC/DC is still playing ‘Hell’s Bells’ and ‘Back in Black,’ and they have to be sick of doing that, but there’s certain songs that you kind of feel like you have to play.

“You still hear someone from the third row back screaming for us to play ‘Mudshovel.’ ”

Not that the band lacks for other hits from which to draw. The veteran Massachusetts-based quartet exceeded 2 million copies sold of “Dysfunction,” the band’s major label 1999 debut record. That record sent three singles into the top 25 of the rock charts — including “Mudshovel” — with “It’s Been Awhile” from 2001’s album “Break the Cycle” topping the rock chart and reaching No. 5 on the Billboard Top 200.

“Break the Cycle” was the first of four straight Staind studio records to crack the top five of the sales chart, with the most recent effort — “The Illusion of Progress” — hitting No. 3 and exceeding 330,000 copies sold. In all, the band has sold more than 12 million albums worldwide.

Having seen the recording industry at its peak and now at its low point, Mushok said the band has to stay focused on the music as opposed to shifting units.

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