Having recently returned from an extended European tour, the members of Staind are in the midst of a well-deserved break.

Well, most of them, anyway.

Lead singer Aaron Lewis departed on a short solo acoustic concert tour within days of the band’s return stateside. That mini-tour wraps up Sunday, but not before Lewis performs today and Friday in Niagara Falls.

Speaking on a cell phone while riding a bus near Zurich, Switzerland, Lewis said during a recent interview that the European swing — the band’s second within the past year after several years of underexposure outside the United States — went quite well.

“We’re still playing sold-out shows to people who can’t even talk to us after the show,” said Lewis, whose band has been on the road since Staind’s fifth studio album, “The Illusion of Progress,” was released Aug. 19.

Formed in 2005, Staind caught its break in 1997 after Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst befriended the group and signed it to his music label. Starting with 1999’s “Dysfunction,” Staind has had three No. 1 albums and three chart-topping modern rock singles while selling more than 9 million records in America; “Illusion” topped out at No. 3 on the charts and has moved about 318,000 units to date.

Before returning home to Massachusetts, the 36-year-old Lewis wanted to embark on the solo tour to fine-tune some material for an acoustic album he hopes to release by early next year. The musical change of pace is welcome, he said.

“It’s a completely different thing. It’s more just kind of hanging out, just hanging out with a bunch of people playing some music,” he said. “I usually don’t have much to say when I’m playing with the band, and with the solo show you sometimes can’t shut me up.”

When he’s not yapping away, Lewis plays a variety of Staind songs and his own arrangements, as well as a few covers — which he admits to altering, whether by design or because he simply makes a mistake. He’s steered the show away from other people’s work of late, however.

“That’s not what got me here. It’s not what people are coming to see,” he said. “It’s all fun and games. I don’t take it too seriously.”

What is taken seriously, however, is Lewis’ schedule the rest of the year. Staind will tour America in April and May, then perform on the festival circuit in Europe during the summer before visiting the Pacific rim in early fall.

A change in management is what spurred the look outward, Lewis said. Due to what Lewis said was a lack of profit from touring the globe, the band’s previous wranglers kept the band in the United States, leading to overexposure and something of a backlash here at home.

“We should be bigger worldwide than in the States,” Lewis said. “We’ve started to pay attention to the rest of the world.”

Before globetrotting, though, Lewis remains focused on the solo tour.

“It’s a fun evening of music delivered in the purest, most honest, stripped-down way it can be,” he said. “It’s just me and a guitar up there.”



IF YOU GO

WHAT: Aaron Lewis solo acoustic concert

WHEN: 7 p.m. Thursday and 8 p.m. Friday

WHERE: Bear’s Den Showroom at Seneca Niagara Casino and Hotel, Niagara Falls

MORE INFORMATION: Call 299-1100

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