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Springfield, Mass. rock band Staind's latest album, Chapter V, became the group's third straight disc to debut atop the Billboard album chart after its release in early August. While guitarist Mike Mushok is pleased with the CD's strong initial showing, one senses that he wonders if Staind will have as good a shot at stretching that streak to four on the next CD.
"The business that we're in is not an easy one, and it seems to be getting harder by the day, especially being a rock band," Mushok says. "I'm happy. I never expected to have one number one record, much less three. It's just difficult these days, it seems."
Many of his concerns center on changes that have hit the record industry and threaten both record sales and the ability of bands to sustain popularity. For one thing, the ease of downloading music legally may be causing a fundamental shift in the nature of the relationship between fans and bands.
"This could have always been the case, but it just seems more so today with being able to download a song or get singles much easier than before, where I think people are more fans of a single than of a band," Mushok says. "They're fans of a song, but they don't make that connection sometimes or want to be a part of what that band is and have the [full] record and go to the shows. They want to be a fan of that song."
Staind have also seen a drop-off in sales, although in this case it's probably due more to a lack of a blockbuster single than to a general trend of declining CD sales. But rather than worrying about perceptions, Mushok and his bandmates -- singer/lyricist Aaron Lewis, bassist Johnny April, and drummer Jon Wysocki -- set the same basic goal for Chapter V they've had on other CDs: simply write the best songs they possibly can. The dozen songs find Staind striking a near-equal balance between rockers and ballads. In both settings, the band achieves solid results.
Staind headline at the House of Blues in Myrtle Beach with support from P.O.D., Taproot, and Flyleaf on Wed. Dec.