Staind have lived a usuall life of American hard-rock band, going from small-club performances to wide popularity and over 15 million albums sold worldwide. The band was formed in November 1995 in Springfield, Massachusetts, by friends Aaron Lewis, Mike Mushok, Jon Wysocki and Johnny April. At first they were covering KoRn, Rage Against The Machine, Pearl Jam and Alice In Chains, and than decided to compose their own songs. Simultaneously, they started to perform in clubs. A year later, Staind self-released their debut album, titled Tormented. The band's hour of triumph came in October 1997, when Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst saw them performing at local festival and signed Staind to his Flip record label. Under Durtst's controll, the band produced their second album Dysfunction in 1999, which became a commercial breakthrough. Later, the band went on a Family Values Tour with Limp Bizkit, and Fred Durst directed several music videos for the band. Ironically, at first Durst was frenzied by the broken cross on the cover of Tormented album, and shouted at Staind members calling them Satanic band.
Moving away from Durst's influence, the band released Break The Cycle album in 2001, which was sold more than 7 million copies. Staind changed their nu metal sound to more familiar alternative metal sound. Break The Cycle was followed with 14 Shades Of Grey record in 2003, which is considered as the band's most mainstream album. Aaron Lewis said that he was writing songs about his daughter, as well as about forgetting his past and uncertainty for the future. Album enjoyed great chart success, debuting at number 1 on the Billboard 200, but at the same time it was sold only 2 million copies. Songs from that album were actively used by World Wrestling Entertainment in its events.
In August 2005, Staind released their next album Chapter V, which also featured mainstrean sound and became platinum in USA. After it, the band took a brake for a while explaining that they "have been on the road for a year". During that time, compilation album The Singles: 1996-2006 was released in November, 2006. It featured most of Staind's singles and three covers: Tool's Sober, Pink Floyd's Comfortably Numb and Alice in Chains's Nutshell. Finally, after the brake, Staind released The Illusion Of Progress on August 13, 2008. The song This Is It was released two weeks before as downloadable content for Rock Band. Speaking about The Illusion Of Progress, Lewis said: "We went into the studio with the mindset of making our heaviest record yet, but the record that came out has flavors of Pink Floyd and blues".