Staind wasstarted on Christmas of 1994 by vocalist Aaron Lewis and guitarist Michael Mushok who almost immediately hooked up with drummer Jon Wysocki and an unknown bassist. Johnny April would become the bassist after a gig in February 1995. In late 1996, the group financed their own debut in the form of the U.S. only release of Tormented, an album boasting a fitting title, for the contents featured a depressing Nu-Metal approach. Encouraged by modest sales, they pounced at the chance to play on the same bill as Limp Bizkit in late 1997. But while singer Fred Durst took exception to the act's quasi-Satanic cover art, they were soon sending demos, and getting accepted by, Elektra' backed imprint label Flip' with Dysfunction arriving in 1999 to a 74 U.S. and pulling out all the stops by spawning three radio hits in the form of Mudshovel, Just Go and Home with supporting tours with Kid Rock, Korn and Limp Bizkit following. It was a solid performance in both cases but proved to be an uninspiring example of post-Grunge. MTV then came calling when Staind were named the headline act for their Return Of The Rock deal. Amidst all the media hype their Break The Cycle emerged in 2001 to a 1 U.S. spot.