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5 Albums I Can't Live Without

5 Albums I Can’t Live Without: Mike Mushok of Staind

Staind (Credit: Steve Thrasher)
Staind (Credit: Steve Thrasher)

Name  Mike Mushok

Best known for  I am best known as the husband to my beautiful wife of 22 years, Dawn, and the father to my 17-year-old twins, Mike and Maddie. I also have a side gig as Maddie’s assistant, travel agent, and bank for her horse show/riding addiction along with being my son’s biggest fan at his baseball games. 

Oh yeah, I play guitar in the bands Staind and Saint Asonia, as well.

Current city  Farmington, CT

Really want to be in  With my family in a beach house in Maui, snorkeling with turtles.

Excited about  The current tour we are on with Seether, Saint Asonia, and Tim Montana. (Tour with Breaking Benjamin kicks off on September 10.]

My current music collection has a lot of  METAL!

And a little bit of  Jazz Fusion.

Preferred format  I’m a streamer as it’s just super easy and anything you want is right at your fingertips.

5 Albums I Can’t Live Without:


Vulgar Display of Power, Pantera

This album is a metal masterpiece from beginning to end. Dime [Dimebag Darrell was] a legend and one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met, along with his brother Vinnie. RIP. This album and the Deftones was why Staind wanted to work with Terry Date on our first record. Those records sounded incredible! It’s great that fans, both old and new, get to experience how powerful this music is again in a live setting.


Van Halen, Van Halen

I consider this the best rock record ever. There is no better than EVH, again RIP. To this day, whenever I hear “Eruption,” it stops me in my tracks. Everything about it, from the note selection to the tone — it’s absolutely perfect. As is the entire record. When I was in high school, I was in a band, and we played almost every song on this record. Here we are over 40 years later and it’s still amazing. The playing, production, songwriting — doesn’t get any better.


Edge of Insanity, Tony MacAlpine

Tony was my old guitar teacher. One of the most talented people I’ve ever met and also a beautiful person. I have many memories of him recording the demos for this album at the local music store where I took lessons and spending countless hours trying to learn the songs. I’ll always remember just spending hours jamming with him and watching him play classical piano and just [being] blown away by his talent. 

Also, how he completely changed my life and really fueled my obsession with guitar. He has had many great albums since, but I just love Edge of Insanity.  


Led Zeppelin IV, Led Zeppelin

Just another perfect album from beginning to end. I also spent many hours trying to learn these songs and jamming them in my high school band. I just love the songwriting on this album. So many I just wish I wrote! Who doesn’t wish they wrote “Stairway to Heaven”? 


Korn, Korn

This album brings me back to the beginnings of Staind and us as a cover band playing some of these songs. When we first got to tour with them in 2000, we actually went up during their set and played their song “Need To” off of this record. It really was a lot of fun and a great honor to be able to do that and watch those guys every night.  Korn is also the band that was influential on my starting to work with down tuned guitars and alternate tunings. The songs on this album just have so much raw energy and emotion. Amazing record!