PContributor’s Note: Puddle of Mudd have recently risen from the ashes with their sixth studio album in nearly a decade, entitled Welcome to Galvania. Formed in 1991, Puddle of Mudd has sold over seven million albums and has had a string of number-one singles, including the hits “Blurry,” “She Hates Me,” and “Famous.” Their newest album, Welcome to Galvania, was produced by Cameron Webb (Alkaline Trio, Disturbed, Motorhead). It also marks the band’s first full-length album since Volume 4: Songs in the Key of Love and Hate in 2009.
“This album has been a long time coming. I’m just so happy to finally get it out there for my fans,” says Puddle of Mudd’s frontman, Wes Scantlin. “I hope the new music inspires my fans to live their lives. I’m just trying to crawl under people’s skin and help them through their life musically.”
Scantlin has provided Puddle of Mudd with lead vocals and rhythm guitar since the band’s inception. The origins of the band’s name came from the Missouri River flooding, damaging their rehearsal space
Puddle of Mudd released their first major album, Come Clean, on August 28, 2001, which spawned the singles “Control” and “Blurry.” These hits propelled Puddle of Mudd to reach the No. 5 slot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. This success led to the band venturing out on a full-scale European and American tour, hitting the road with Linkin Park, Stone Temple Pilots, and Staind. Come Clean reached triple platinum status in January of 2003.
The subsequent album, Life on Display, was released in 2003 and reached gold status. They went on to release Famous in 2007. In 2009, they released Vol. 4: Songs in the Key of Love and Hate. In 2011, the band released an album of cover songs, entitled Re:(disc)overed.
Now, Puddle of Mudd have returned to the rock scene with their sixth studio album, Welcome to Galvania. Inking a deal with Pavement Entertainment, their new material is primed to reach longtime and new fans. “Sometimes in life you come across people who want to bring you down and rip apart your soul. Well, those days are gone,” says Scantlin. “I have surrounded myself with a great team of people. They believe in me and I believe in them. I’d like to thank each and every one of them for their hard work and perseverance. I’d also like to thank all of my fans for their patience. This is just the beginning. I have a lot more rock ‘n’ roll in me to share with the world!”
I recently had the opportunity to catch up with Wes Scantlin of Puddle of Mudd for Madness To Creation and have a chat with him now that his life was no longer Blurry.
Mark Dean: Hi Wes, it’s Mark here.
Wes Scantlin: Hey, what’s up Mr. Dean?
Mark Dean: I’m good, how’s you?
Wes Scantlin: I’m freaking good, great, man, really, you know?
Mark Dean: It’s a difficult time for the world right now. I just wonder how you’re getting through it.
Wes Scantlin: Touring is a lot of hurry up and wait kind of situation. And a lot of travelling, planes, trains, automobiles, you guys do it over there all the time in the UK. God bless the United Kingdom, by the way. Hope you guys are all healthy over there.
But yeah, we’re kind of like having to sit tight in small confined places. So you know what? I’m surrounded by guitars right now, and I’ve got plenty of paper and pencils and pens and inspiration at this point right now. So I’m just going to keep writing songs.
Mark Dean: Good man. September last year saw the release of Puddle of Mudd’s sixth studio album, nearly 10 years after its predecessor. Just wondered why there’s been such a gap between album releases?
Wes Scantlin: The problem with that whole situation was, there were some pretty vindictive, facetious women and other people in my life that weren’t as healthy. So I kind of had to give everything to God and keep him first place and I had to change my playgrounds and my playmates, and that’s what I’ve done. And it seems to be working perfectly. Nothing’s perfect, but it’s a lot better and I’ve gotten rid of those kinds of people in my life. So they’re just not around.
Mark Dean: Regarding the album, Welcome to Galvania, was that a collection of songs then that you’d gathered together, built up over the years, or was it a totally new bunch of songs that you got together for the album?
Wes Scantlin: Yeah, that was just the collaboration of a bunch of really cool producers and songwriters and stuff. And I was happy and fortunate to be involved. And we did our best. There was a lot of turmoil in my life and a lot of weird things going on, but you know what? I’m super, super happy. Whatever happened, happened. I’m just glad to be alive and healthy and to make more music, and write more songs, and try to reach people and help them out in this emotional stressful type of situation like we’ve got right now. So, got plenty stuff to write about, man.
Mark Dean: What about recording that album? Was that essentially a solo project or did you have a band, a lot of guys that you knew, that you’d worked with, in terms of putting that album together?
Wes Scantlin: Yeah. Well, the guys that play in the band right now, Matt Fuller and Dave Moreno and Michael Adams, it’s a solid crew of guys. It’s amazing and I’m super happy to be able to work with these guys. They’re professional people and they’re just really awesome and I’m super happy that I got to go around the world with a bunch of cool guys and stuff in the band.
Mark Dean: Yep. The band line up for Puddle of Mudd seems to have changed a lot since the band first started. I just wondered why it was. Did you have any explanation for that or was it just a case of people coming in for a little while and moving on?
Wes Scantlin: Well, it’s kind of like this whole virus thing. It’s like, when you get a record deal, it’s kind of like you’ve got to drop everything It’s a discipline, and many, many, many people that have come and gone in this crazy little band that I came up with, they missed their loved ones, they missed their girlfriends and all of a sudden they cave in and they’ve got to go back and they’ve got to go home. It’s a shot in the dark. You don’t know if it’s going to succeed, but people just miss their families and they miss their girlfriends and then they get married or whatever. It becomes kind of a cluster, a cluster hump.
You know what I mean? I mean, everybody gets sick or something, but it’s just like, if you’ve got kids and you ain’t making as much money as you need to be making, then go ahead and go back home. I mean, I just can’t stop that type of a force of emotionalness. They just move on seriously. I mean, I do badly miss my family and I haven’t been able to see them as much as I’d like to, believe me, doing what I’m doing, but they kind of cave in, man, and they want to go back home and cuddle up with mommy.
Mark Dean: Everybody’s living in an internet age where you can’t do anything before it appears on the internet, either good or bad. And as such, you’ve attracted more than your fair share of negative press over the years. Do you find that fame and the trappings that go with it, that they have been personally very difficult to deal with?
Wes Scantlin: Well, my dad, a long time ago when I was growing up, he taught me a little rule. Wait a few days. If some kind of little stir or some kind of ruckus or something happens, just try not to overthink it and beat yourself up over it and just let the dust settle. Shake the dust off, kick the dust off your feet, move on, try not to dwell. Dwelling is not good. You’ve got to have to have that discipline and that’s how I roll, man.
Mark Dean: Do you find, though, that you’ve become mentally stronger and dealing with things that maybe have appeared online where people actually don’t know the full situation of what actually transpired?
Wes Scantlin: Yeah, man, it’s just the way it is. And people like to throw rocks and throw stones at things that shine and they just want to bring you down and they really want to mess you up. I don’t know. They’re just basically like haters. They like to focus on the negative, but I’ve been turning negatives into a positive my whole life, so I’ll keep on that track.
Mark Dean: How do you look back at your career to date with the band ? How do you view that? Are you filled with pride at what you’ve achieved or do you just prefer to look forward rather than backwards in terms of Puddle of Mudd?
Wes Scantlin: I’m pretty proud, man. I’m very proud of… It’s a long way to the top, if you want to rock and roll, man. So if you can get that discipline inside of you and inspiration and keep working and keep… I just keep songwriting and do what you do best. And I write songs and I do semi pretty good, so I’ll just keep writing music.
Mark Dean: You’ve been a professional musician now for many years. What’s the key lesson that the music industry, the music business has actually taught you? What have you taken out of it? What’s the main thing that you’ve learned from your experiences to date?
Wes Scantlin: You know what? I believe, be kind to everyone. Try to help people if they are in dire need and just be there for your fellow humans and animals and every type of life in this universe, just be kind to it. And I think it’s a win. I mean, it will be a win-win if you just treat everybody with kindness.
Mark Dean: Do you think it’s more difficult to sustain a living as a professional musician these days? Of course, I mean the record companies these days aren’t putting the big bucks like they used to, when you first started, and it’s more reliant on the artists themselves.
Wes Scantlin: Yeah. And you know what? That’s not the worst case scenario because we all are artists and we do have artistic direction. Some people really, like Fred Durst was doing all the videos and he was helping… He signed me back in 2000. But the dude is seriously a freaking mastermind, this craftsman. He’s doing a lot of things that are really, really cool. And I’m glad that I just inadvertently had gotten a fake backstage pass and got backstage and gave the demo tape to Fred Durst from Limp Bizkit in 2000. And then bam, I got a phone call. Boom, go to LA, and then blam, it’s on, and the rest is history, and I will continue to work with him and continue to do records with him in the near future.
Mark Dean: You mentioned earlier that the current time you’ve got, obviously a lot of downtime, you’re using that to create more music. I assume then that we’re not going to have to wait 10 years before the next Puddle of Mudd album release?
Wes Scantlin: You’re not going to have to wait 10 years. You will not have to wait a decade. I’m all over it. I’m at the drawing board and I’m writing and I’m just going to keep writing. And whatever comes my way, I’m going to knock it out and make it happen.
Mark Dean: Just a final one then. I’m sure you’ve done many interviews. Who would you like to personally interview? Who would be maybe a personal hero or inspiration?
Wes Scantlin: I think it would be funny to interview Eddie Vedder from Pearl Jam, and ask about the song, Yellow Ledbetter.
Mark Dean: I’m familiar with it, yeah.
Wes Scantlin: I would be like, “What are the lyrics that you’re singing, Eddie? What are the lyrics?” I think he’s just kind of mumbling, but it’s so cool. Even his mumbling is cool. I would just like pick his brain and go, “So Ed, what were you thinking right here on this song?” Because it kind of sounded like a killer drunken sailor song.
Mark Dean: So he would be a big musical hero of yours ?
Wes Scantlin: Eddie Vedder is monstrously inspirational in my life. Yeah. I mean, he kept me going, along with Kurt and Staley and even Cantrell. That was a big, big, super duper big thing for me because it kind of made songwriting a little bit easier.
Mark Dean: Do you keep in touch with them with current musical trends? Are there any new bands maybe that you can recommend or that have particularly struck you?
Wes Scantlin: Well, since the isolation right now, there’s a band called Lakeshore, and they did a version of Blurry and it came out really, really cool. The video is really, really cool, but I think it’s on Puddle of Mudd TV and they do a really cool version of Blurry and the band is called Lakeshore.
Mark Dean: I’ll look out for that.
Wes Scantlin: Pretty cool. Pretty cool to see somebody else do it like really, really cool. And it sounds cool, man. I liked it actually.
Mark Dean: Just a final one then. Outside of music, what do you like to do in your spare time? Any interest, maybe any hobbies?
Wes Scantlin: Yeah, recently we found a lifestyle exercise bike in the alleyway. All it needed to work with a nine volt battery. So I just kind of can get up and just go sit on the stationary bike and just kind of pedal, and just working out really, is how I pass the time, and playing and writing and talking to family. I really like talking to my family because I haven’t been able to see them in a long, long time. And I was trying to do some conversations with people on the interweb and stuff and just relax, chill out. I find this to be a very strange break, but it’s also a really terrifying thing. So everybody’s scared sort of, I don’t know, I’m going to sit tight and everybody’s basically be safe, be strong, be healthy, be kind to one another and keep God first place, man.
Mark Dean: That’s great. Thank you very much. Thanks for chatting.
Wes Scantlin: No problem. Thank you so much, Mr. Dean. Cheers.
And there you have it! Fans can find Puddle of Mudd at the following locations:
- Photo Credit: Crios Photography