Was this alt-rock hit inspired by a hard-to-open pickle jar?

This email arrived over the weekend from Adam.

I heard this story the radio in the 90’s about Aaron Lewis and the band Staind.

Aaron came home drunk and hungry and the only food he had was a jar of pickles which he couldn’t open. From that drunken struggle with the pickle jar came the inspiration for some of the lyrics to Staind’s song Outside.

If you look at the lyrics in eyes of a hungry drunk I think you can see a glint of truth behind this story. I certainly did lol.

Oddball origin stories like this are fantastic and are likely happen more often than we realize, and help to both humanize the artist and allow the listener to connect in a new way.

Please let me know what comes of it, and good luck with your research.

This is a new one on me. Can anyone remember this story? Here’s a sample of the lyrics. If you start your analysis from the point of view of a drunk guy who just wants some pickles, you can kinda see it.

And you
Can bring me to my knees
All the times
That I could beg you please
In vain
All the times
That I felt insecure
For you
And I leave
My burdens at the door
But I’m on the outside
I’m looking in
I can see through you
See your true colors
‘Cause inside you’re ugly
You’re ugly like me
I can see through you
See to the real you
All the times
That I felt like this won’t end
It’s for you
And I taste
What I could never have
It was from you
All those times
That I cry my intentions
Full of pride
But I waste
More time than anyone


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38524 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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