Sometimes you’ll hear songs that would immediately take you back to where you were when you first heard them, and “It’s Been a While” is one of them. 

Released by American rock band Staind in 2001 as the lead single from their album Break the Cycle, it became their only song to make it to the top ten on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at No. 5. It reached the top of the Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart too and held it for twenty weeks, and stayed at No. 1 of the Hot Modern Rock Tracks charts for a record of sixteen weeks.

The Song That Put Staind On The Scene

Written by the original members of Staind, “It’s Been a While” is a song about a man who is beating himself up after losing the woman who cured his addictions, tempered his nerves, and got him on his feet. He saw himself repeating the same self-destructive cycle repeatedly and now realized it had been a while since he was whole. Something Staind frontman Aaron Lewis called, “an acknowledgment of the past.”

“It’s been a while since I couldn’t hold my head up high. And it’s been awhile since I first saw you. And it’s been a while since I could stand on my own two feet again. And it’s been a while since I could call you,” the song begins.

These head-on depictions of anguish hit home for many listeners, making “It’s Been a While” the biggest hit for Staind, and the one that put them on the scene. The band sustained a decade of popularity before Lewis broke free with a solo career in 2011, transforming himself into a conservative country singer.

Since then, Lewis has been active as a country artist, but that doesn’t mean his metal roots have entirely been laid to rest. During his free concert in 2019 to promote his third country album State I’m In, Lewis screamed a few times during his performance of “It’s Been Awhile.”

The song has also been in his catalog of material since the new millennium. When Lewis once dropped by the Country Rebel Headquarters to give an acoustic performance for some songs, one of those was absolutely “It’s Been Awhile.”

Enjoy one of Aaron Lewis’ performances of “It’s Been a While” in the video below. Lewis will let you into the song’s real emotion, which will ultimately take you back to the early 2000s.