Indy: There was a lot of pre-release commotion about the new Staind album, The Illusion of Progress. You were quoted by MTV saying the album would surprise fans and have some significant musical twists, like a gospel chorus and pedal steel guitar on songs. You seemed to be preparing fans for a different Staind.
AL: Isn't that what you're supposed to do every time you go into the studio? My theory has been proven wrong by a lot of bands that seem to go into the studio and write the same record over and over and over again. But that's something that we've always tried to steer away from.
Indy: So what contrasts do you see between The Illusion of Progress and Staind's other albums?
AL: There's more texture. There are guitar solos, there's tasty little stuff, there's a lot of old instruments and instruments that never got used on another Staind record. ... I think everything came out really well. It's just a matter of whether the fans are going to agree with us or not.
Indy: Over the years, Staind has often been lumped into the n metal category. The new album isn't n metal, but has that term ever accurately described Staind's sound?
AL: We've always gone for a [stylistic] mix. We've always tried to make sure we weren't pigeonholed into being one thing or another thing. That's one of the reasons that the whole n metal label that was always put on us always irritated me. Jesus, what have we got, three songs that would fall under the classification of n metal, and then all the rest of them are straight-up rock?
At Denver's Fillmore Auditorium, Dec. 2.