|The line-up of this US alternative metal act, comprising Aaron Lewis (b. 13 April 1972, Springfield, Vermont, USA; vocals), Mike Mushok (b. 10 April 1970, Manhasset, New York, USA; guitar), Johnny April (b. 27 March 1965, Enfield, Connecticut, USA; bass) and Jon Wysocki (b. 17 January, Northampton, Massachusetts, USA; drums), came together in February 1995 in Boston, Massachusetts. The following year, having established themselves as a leading live draw, the band recorded and distributed their debut, Tormented. The album went on to sell over 4,000 copies by word of mouth, and also gained them a high-profile support slot for Limp Bizkit's Connecticut show in October 1997. An initial misunderstanding about Tormented's satanic cover art almost saw them coming to blows with Fred Durst, but Limp Bizkit's lead vocalist was impressed enough to invite the band to record demos for his production company. A contract with Flip Records ensued in early 1998, and the band decamped to Pearl Jam's studio in Seattle to record their major-label debut with producer Terry Date. A reworking of Public Enemy's Bring The Noise, featuring Durst, was left off the final tracklisting. This proved to be a good choice, as the songs on Dysfunction eschewed the overt hip-hop influence of Limp Bizkit for a more traditional style of hard rock rooted in the early 90s sound of Alice In Chains.
Building on the success of their debut, the band's second album, Break The Cycle, debuted at the top of the US album charts in June 2001. The emotive rock tracks "It's Been Awhile" and "For You" took up residency on American rock radio, helping boost long-term sales of the album. An unplugged video for the MTV channel later in the year proved that Staind's material was particularly suited to the format. Their third album, 14 Shades Of Grey, was released in May 2003. Although the band attempted to repeat the highly successful formula of Break The Cycle, the lack of any songs as immediately catchy as "It's Been Awhile" lessened the album's critical impact. Nevertheless, the album debuted at the top of the US charts in its first week of release and spawned the hit single, "So Far Away". Staind made it three US chart-topping albums in a row in August 2005 with its new album, Chapter V.