It appears as though Aaron Lewis and the rest of Staind will soon be giving fans a break. The band just released a greatest hits compilation, The Singles: 1996-2006, and once they finish up a brief tour in support of this album, the band’s frontman says it will be a while before anyone hears from them again.

"Everybody needs some time off,” Lewis told Billboard. "I like to try to make sure the surface is clean. You've got to let all the build-up from being on tour and playing the same songs over and over again go away and have a clean slate to start over with so we don't repeat ourselves.”

Staind, unfortunately, didn't have this idea five or six years ago, before the incessant release of repetitive mid-tempo rockers — concerning the bewilderment and alienation of today’s youth — permeated the airwaves and bored so many radio listeners to tears. Apparently, domestic matters are also involved in the hiatus, as guitar player Mike Mushok’s wife recently had twins and drummer Jon Wysocki got married.

Lewis said rumors of an upcoming solo project are greatly exaggerated, though the idea of a solo album does intrigue him somewhat. "It's there in concept and thought, but there's a lot of things that have to fall into place for me to bring it to the table. My (solo) thing will go more in the direction of the songs that I've always written -- 'Outside,' 'It's Been Awhile,' 'So Far Away,' 'Everything Changes’.” Lewis is also developing a reality show about roadies called “The Crew.”

Whether or not you're a fan, it’s tough to deny Staind’s record sales and omnipresence on the modern rock scene so far this century. If chugging riffs and whining lyrics are your bag, Staind no doubt speaks to some place deep inside. For the rest of us, they’ve always just kind of been there, one of those bands who routinely sell a million albums though you don’t know a single person that owns one.

Well, I take that back: Mudshovel was pretty harsh. Maybe this extended hiatus is what the band needs to get back some of the energy on that first album. Or maybe it’s just what they need to smile a little and stop taking everything so damn seriously.

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