Today’s Feature – March 18-19: Puddle Of Mudd

March 19, 2008 at 1:03 am (Today's Feature)

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Having the opportunity to speak with and meet so many brilliant individuals through PensEyeView.com has been a dreamlike experience, and today’s feature is a perfect example of why we started the site in the first place. Front man of mega-band Puddle of Mudd, Wes Scantlin, who is consistently honest and direct with his lyrics, acted just as such during our scheduled interview – completely at ease and as himself. He is, as he puts it, “going through the laid-back-cat-days,” but that doesn’t mean the band still can’t bring it on stage. I mean, these guys have played New York, London, Germany, even Iraq and Kuwait City – they know how to put on a show.

It’s been quite a ride for Wes and Puddle of Mudd, starting in 2001 with “Come Clean.” The record, which sold over 5 million copies, told us all it was OK to admit “I like the way you spank my ass,” and spawned 2002’s most played song, “Blurry.” And no one can forget, “She F@#$ing hates me!” the lyrics that are part of the theme song for men everywhere. Puddle of Mudd saw more success with “Life on Display,” providing hits such as “Away from Me” and “Spin You Around,” and today they stand behind “Famous,” the new album featuring the current chart topper, “Psycho.”

The collection, which includes newer members Christian Stone (guitar) and Ryan Yerdon (drums) as well as long time bassist Doug Ardito, is in no way a rushed creation. Ardito recalls “We had a lot of time to write and then make the record… this time we had time to live life and have experiences to talk about.” The record isn’t as heavy as some of the band’s past work, but still very “Mudd-esque,” capable of reaching under your skin to help you get through a rough day while remaining “some kick-ass rock Ôn roll music.” And that’s what Scantlin aims for when he sits down to write with his acoustic guitar, “If it sounds good and it makes your skin goose bump-up then you’re probably onto something.”

If you ever get the chance to see the band play live, take it. They’re tremendous. These guys have no problem coming into the crowd, interacting with a random birthday girl, or throwing about a billion guitar picks and drumsticks into the pit. The show also has some aces hidden – I can’t begin to describe the excitement I felt when Wes announced, “this next song is called ‘Breed’ by Nirvana.” So hurry and find the location of their next performance – soon the boys are off around the world again stopping by Japan, Australia and Korea. If you miss out, don’t worry. A live concert album should be around soon. Learn so much more below in the XXQ’s.

XXQs: Puddle Of Mudd – Wes Scantlin

PensEyeView.com (PEV): I’m glad you guys got to come to DC. What do you think of DC so far?

WS: I like it! It’s been great. There’s a lot of history here.

PEV: Any site seeing?

WS: Last time we were in town, when we were playing with Nickel Back, we got to see the capital, the monument. We never made it the White House. We walked up to the White House, it was so funny (laughs)… we walk up there and you know how they have security all around there, right… So we walk up to this security guard and she was really cool and we say, ‘We’re in the band Puddle Of Mudd and we want to go in… take us on in!’ I mean, being in a rock band you sometimes get the red carpet action, but not at the White House. They’re like, ‘No, sorry’. You got to plan that thing like three months in advance. Good looking cop lady though man. She’s a looker.

PEV: How do the DC fans relate to other cities?

WS: Oh, Lordy. Everybody’s great. Every city is cool man. DC fans are just really laid back and cool to talk to. DC fans are really smart too. Sometimes you can go to places and they’re not so, you know… a few sandwiches short of picnic, you know?

PEV: Which city do you find to be your favorite to play?

WS: Um, I don’t know man… New York City is pretty cool. When we played Times Square on New Years Eve, that was pretty cool. We’ve been all over the darn world though and seen a lot of different cities. There is always something special about each one. London, Germany… some of the best shows we’ve had have been festivals in Germany. We’re getting ready to go to Australia and Japan and Iraq to play for the soldiers – again. We go to see Kuwait City. We’ve seen a lot of places. I can’t wait to go to Australia. I don’t know why, I just can’t wait to go. I’ll probably wishing I was home though (laughs).

PEV: You are about to go on in a couple of hours; are there any pre-show rituals you do?

WS: Yeah we kind of huddle around- I call it the “puddle-huddle.” And I call my pastor, his name is Randall Smalls, he’s really cool. We ask God to come down and rock with us on the stage man! He’s always there but lately we’ve been doing real well on the live shows.

PEV: What’s the best part about playing live?

WS: Fans. Hopefully you do good. That is the best part about playing live. There have been nights were there haven’t been so great.

PEV: There has to be some war stories were things did not go as planned.

WS: Yeah, it happens quite often. Not now but… I mean, I think now we are all getting a little better playing.

PEV: You’ve been around for quite some time but how has your live performance changed over the years?

WS: I don’t know. We’ve always done different things for live shows. Just different members, man. Hopefully we can hang on to these guys, Ryan and Christian. Doug, I don’t think he’s going to be going anywhere. We’re like tied at the hip. It sucks to have to switch band members but people are going to do what they want to do. And at the end of the day, man, you can’t stop someone from doing what they want to do.

PEV: What is the best and worst part about touring?

WS: It gets very stressful. The most stressful thing about being on tour is that you have to do multiple performances in a row. I mean, we go days and days and days without a break and it starts to wear and tear on your vocal chords. You can change guitar strings but you can’t change vocal chords. The list my doctor gave to me of “don’ts” is like, ‘What am I going to do, like sit in a chair and not like talk to people?’

PEV: Yeah, that would make my job pretty hard.

WS: Yeah, I’d just sit there like ‘Yes’ or write notes down (laughs).

PEV: So what’s it like when you get to go home?

WS: Very mellow, I just chill out. I usually, depending on how long the tour is, just make the couch and the tv my home for two or three days. And just sleep as much as I can. Eat food, sleep and just chill!

PEV: When you get some spare time what can we find you doing?

WS: Like today I just laid in my bunk (on the tour bus). I mean, it gets pretty busy out here. I don’t do a lot of journeying around and looking around because there is just so much going on.

PEV: You touched on the fans earlier and you have a large wrestling fan base. You’ve had several songs with World Wrestling Entertainment – The Royal Rumble, The Smackdown VS Raw video game, WWE One Night Stand. Are you guys wrestling fans?

WS: I grew up a huge wrestling fan. And there’s this guy, Edge… the other night I’m with my wife and Edge was kicking someone’s butt and doing this psycho look and my wife goes to me, ‘You guys look seriously identical!’ Except he’s, like a lot bigger than me.

PEV: You guys do look a lot alike.

WS: Yeah, I know, isn’t that weird? I heard he was a pretty cool guy. I’m pretty sure if I ever run into him I’d just high-five him. If anyone wants to kick my ass, I’ll be like ‘Yo man, I’m the Edge dude!’ (Laughs) Don’t mess with me homes, I’ll put a suplex on your ass.

PEV: Actually Walter and I are wrestlers, too (Note: PEV Creative Director was taking pictures of the interview).

WS: Oh yeah?!?

PEV: A little side project you know.

WS: It’s cool for the kids. It’s all in good fun and having a good time.

PEV: I’ll have Walter throw me through a table later.

WS: (Laughs) Oh God no! That would be funny.

PEV: Tell us about the new album “Famous”.

WS: Well, we really worked our butts off on it. Shit, there’s about 800 million other songs that we didn’t put on the record that I am sure one of these days will surface… or not. And everyone that helped make the record, God bless, we really didn’t necessarily need the help. The help that was given was God-sent. It’s just a record with some heart felt songs on there, some party songs on there. There is some agro-grunge stuff going on there too…tasty jams for different types of listeners.

PEV: The growth from “Come Clean”, with millions sold and already with “Famous” getting rave reviews, is there something you see per album you want to touch on or see for the next album?

WS: It just depends where your head is at. I write about 70-75 percent of all the stuff and then other musicians and artists that help out too. From since day one, we used to be a lot heavier. We used to listen to Pantera, I mean, I still listen to Pantera… but we used to mock there kind of riffs. But we hope that it will still sound “Mudd-esq”. I hope it will be able to help someone through a hard time they are going through. A lot of our songs reach people in that way.

PEV: Do you ever have to get into a certain zone to write?

WS: Yeah, you do. Sometimes you do. Sometimes I’m in the right mood and sometimes I’m not. Sometimes it’ll be late night and I got a couple cold ones and if I’m not feeling it, I just put the guitar away and go to bed. I’ve actually been on kind of the down tip of writing since we’ve been so busy. But I can’t wait to get back to writing.

PEV: We got a chance to check out the video for “Psycho” (off Famous) and you have some pretty funny cameos. What made you guys to decide to go that route?

WS: Well, they have that back lot up there at Universal Studios. The Psycho – Bates Motel thing and Psycho house is up there and I was there with my dad and my son and they were giving us a private tour in a golf cart. We pulled up to the Psycho house and I was like, ‘If they release Psycho, you know this would be cool if we could do the video here.’ Then I started to think, ‘well, our record label is affiliated with Universal, so maybe we can pull this off,’ then made some calls. We got Jason in there. Kid Rock in there… it wasn’t really him though. It’s a bunch of cameos of different celebrities. We go to do the video at night! Which was great. Didn’t have to get up at 5:30 and go to some desert. It worked out good. Thanks to the Alfred Hitchcock Foundation and the Universal peeps, we really appreciate it.

PEV: What’s something we’d be surprised to hear about the guys in Puddle Of Mudd?

WS: Uh, Lord… We’re just laid-back cats now. We’ve been through our wild days. Now we’re just going through our laid-back-cat-days.

PEV: I hear the rumor about a live concert album coming out?

WS: Yeah, someone started that rumor?

PEV: So it is a rumor, no truth to that?

WS: No, it’s not a rumor. There will be one but we’re just trying to get this one out. We’ve already recorded so many live concerts, we could release live albums for 100 years. So, we’ll get it out there soon.

PEV: So, what’s next for Puddle Of Mudd?

WS: Well, we got the 930 club tonight and rolling to Richmond next. And like I said, we’ll be going to Japan, Australia, Korea. The songs are doing great on the radio and I guess we got God on our side.

PEV: Alright Wes, thanks for taking the time with us.

WS: No problem man.

For more information on Puddle Of Mudd, check out www.PuddleOfMudd.com

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