Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Stagecoach
"I'm just using a different set of crayons to color everything in," he tells OC Weekly. "Life takes many twists and turns and it leads you places ... I felt like it was the best fit for me."
The multi-instrumentalist recently released his single, "Endless Summer," from the upcoming album, The Road. "It's definitely proof that I can write a happy song," says Aaron. "It was a straightforward and easy story to tell."
While that tune is positive, "outlaw country" was the inspiration for the project, which traces back to his rock career. "It wasn't like I was writing a song for today's country radio. I wasn't limiting myself," notes the singer-songwriter, who wrote each track while crossing the country with Staind. "If a song came out, it would come out and go on the record."
The 40-year-old insists he is at peace with his decision to focus on country music. "I don't really feel like the pissed off, angry young man [I was during] my Staind career," he explains.
Aaron certainly isn't abandoning rock music. Staind has a summer packed full of shows, for which Aaron will be doing frontman duties. See Staind's complete schedule here.
Aaron also had plenty of time to rub shoulders with several country artists recently, when he performed alongside Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton, Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan and several others at the Stagecoach Music Festival.
The Road is scheduled for a June release.