PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The second time around sounds different for Aaron Lewis.
After finding success and selling millions as the lead singer of the band Staind, Lewis has spent his second decade in the spotlight singing country music. It's not the cute boots and tailgate party pop brand of country though, this is classic country.
"I think the thing that right now I'm the most proud of is that all of this has happened on this country side of things really without any love or support from the genre's radio stations, and it just keeps growing despite their efforts to keep me off the radio" Lewis explains on a call on tour. "I'm looking for the consumer that isn't going to country radio for their music, and doesn't find anything country about what they're hearing on the radio."
Lewis is sincere and passionate in his traditions, and it extends far beyond his music. The "Sinner" singer starts every show with the Pledge of Allegiance, a practice that's been in place long before the flag and the anthem became such a political topic.
Lewis started including the pledge because he felt like it was "something that was missing".
"I remember starting every school day with the Pledge of Allegiance and our kids don't do that anymore" he explains indignantly. "Some schools still have it, but there's plenty that don't. It was just a way to bring awareness to my pride in what this country is, and it was a proper way to start the show every night, and once I started there's no reason to stop."
As for the anthem protests, Lewis is strongly against it.
"It just shows how unbelievably uneducated our government has successfully sent our kids out into the world" continues Lewis. "When you give a government control over your educational system, there is serious problems with that."
"What happened to civics? What happened to knowing the constitution? What happened to that not being the document that creates this whole amazing place that we have?" asks Lewis. "Everything is so out of whack, and we've just accepted it as normal now, and we're just the big sleeping giant that's addicted to the handouts and addicted to the social programs, and, we're a mess right now."
Aaron Lewis is on tour currently with Blackberry Smoke for the Sinners And Sanctified Tour. We talked with him about this, about gun control, about veterans, and a whole lot more as the tour kicked off last week. To hear everything check out the full interview above.
The Sinners And Sanctified tour stops in Philadelphia at the Tower Theater on November 16th.
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