After a long successful career as a rockstar, former lead vocalist for rock group Staind, Aaron Lewis, launched his first documented country album The Road in 2012 and has been waging a war against the new classification of country music ever since. With the release of his sophomore album, Sinner, back in mid-September, Lewis shows no sign in slowing down in his pursuit of bringing country music back to it’s roots.
To set the tone for the album, Lewis selected the lead single “That Ain’t Country” as a summary of his feelings on much of the modern country music artists in those three simple words. The single was released June 17 of this year and ignited a spark in the hearts of traditionalists within the country music genre with bold statements against modern country with lines such as “It’s full of tales of good times and happy endings” which he describes as not country, inquiring “whatever happened to the country songs full of truth and consequences?”
“I had, and still have, a very established career in the rock world, and as much as that has been a blessing in some ways, it has been a curse in others in trying to be looked at as somebody who is taking this seriously and isn’t just trying to go where the money is,” states Lewis in regards to the questions surrounding his transitioning into the genre. “There have been times I’ve been told by a program director that my record was his favorite that came out that year but he couldn’t play it because it’s ‘too country.’”
Lewis goes on to explain that the current landscape of the country music genre doesn’t “leave any room” for an artist like himself, which may have led to the frustration that inspired the single. Lewis compares his new album to the country music he heard as a kid.
Lewis dropped his highly anticipated video for “That Ain’t Country” on Sept. 15 which illuminates his personal feelings of what is country into a visual presentation. The video features Lewis performing in a dive bar that sets the stage for a young couple falling in love. The music video proves that you can keep it simple in the way of Waylon and Cash and still make for an entertaining country music video sans glitz and glam.
Watch Aaron Lewis’ “That Ain’t Country” below and let us know what you think in the comments!