Former Staind frontman Aaron Lewis has some choice words for modern country music in his new single “That Ain’t Country.”
The 44-year-old vocalist asks of the latest tunes off of Nashville’s Music Row, “Whatever happened to the country songs full of truth and consequences, all things gone wrong? Someone came and changed it up, made it all a lie. I’d like to spit a little Beech Nut right in that dude’s eye” ( a reference to the Hank Williams Jr. song “A Country Boy Can Survive”).
It may seem strange coming from somebody like Lewis, who was once ranked the 49th greatest heavy metal singer of all time and took his band Staind to the top of the rock world in the early 2000s. But Lewis has always been a big country music fan and released an EP in 2011 and debut solo album called The Road in 2012.
Lewis was also very critical of Tyler Farr’s “Redneck Crazy” a few years ago and didn’t pull any punches when it came to how he felt about most of the stuff on the radio. In a strange move, Lewis recently signed with the Big Machine imprint Dot Records. It’s really only strange, however, because “That Ain’t Country” basically sets its sights on a whole mess of songs put out by Big Machine artists.
Lewis’ solo run with country music is certainly a passion project. After selling 15 million albums as a hard rocker, it’s hard to think Lewis is making country music for any other reason than he’s always loved it.
And, a lot of Staind’s original material carried the same down-and-out sentiments of old country music. It’s easy to see how Lewis could lament the number of party anthems in a genre he grew up listening to.
His new album Sinner is now available for pre-order through Pledge Music. The official release date is Sept. 16. It will be interesting to see if Sinner makes a splash in the country world, or, if like a lot of attempts to call out mainstream country, it ultimately becomes just another protest song.