Puddle Of Mudd 2019

An interview with founder, guitarist and singer Wes Scantlin
by Tommy Rage
October 2019

Wes Scantlin - photo by Facebook #Puddleofmudd

Wes Scantlin
photo by Facebook #Puddleofmudd

“Uh Oh”, I fucked it up again. Yep. It’s true. But this isn’t about me, it’s about the brilliant new single from Puddle Of Mudd. Climbing the active charts for the last six weeks, Puddle Of Mudd is making a triumphant return to the top of the album charts with their fun and quirky alternative rock roots that we all fell in love with 28 years ago. Founding guitarist and lead singer Wes Scantlin, along with guitarist Matt Fuller, drummer Dave Moreno and bassist Michael John Adams have teamed up with Producer Cameron Webb (Disturbed, Megadeth) to create their latest release, Welcome to Galvania, which dropped on September 13th, and was the band’s fifth studio album.
 
Originating out of Kansas City, Missouri, where the band had to occasionally wade through the over-run Missouri river in order to get to their second-floor rehearsals studio. The band took their name: Puddle Of Mudd, from wading through puddles of mud; both musically and artistically in order to achieve success. Selling over five million records with their debut release Come Clean in 2001, Wes Scantlin recalls what it was like achieving success with hits “Control”, “Blurry”, and “She Hates Me”. “That was basically, just go with your gut, buckle down and just go with the waves. I didn’t hassle anyone. I signed up, because I didn’t have anything else going on [laughter]. Let’s just ride this wave and see what happens; that’s basically what I did. It was just me that was flown to L.A. and stuck in a hotel with an acoustic guitar and a bunch of paper and pens; just to write, and just to be a song writer. It was very challenging and scary. I didn’t have any friends here in the city, but I just went for the gusto and I’m happy I went that route.”

Wes continued to write and tour; enjoying success with the band’s 2003 album Life on Display and 2007’s Famous, topping Billboard’s # 1 Hot Modern Rock Track with the hit “Psycho”. A greatest hits album along with a cover album, Re(disc)overed, in 2011 followed, as the front-man shrugged off getting retirement music insurance papers in the mail. “I can, if I wanted to, retire right now. I could have retired 7 or 8 years ago. But retirement, in my opinion, almost equals slowly dying, ya know. It’s better to keep going and keep motivated - keep driving.”

Following the success of Come Clean in 2001, Wes fell into the trappings of fame and stardom. Having been arrested on multiple occasions beginning in 2002 and throughout his career, including a 2016 police stand-off at his home in L.A, Wes knew it was time to get his life back in order. “I’m almost super happy that I went down for the count and was incarcerated, and I had to go to rehab and stuff. I think it was necessary in my life to evaporate away from those demonic, weird people that should have never been in my life. It really just boils down to hanging out with the wrong people, and not the people you need to be around. I learned the hard way. I had to change my playground mates and basically just vaporize away from these monsters that were clouding my career and my life.”

Finding sobriety and a fresh start, Wes surrounded himself with new friends and headed into the studio to record a new album with a group of musicians which he is excited to be playing with. “They are amazing musicians. Professional and inspirational mad-dog awesome guys for sure. We are total best buds. We love playing together.” Guitarist Matt Fuller kicks off Welcome to Galvania with a familiar rock-alternative riff on “You Don’t Know”. Bassist Michael John Adams and drummer Dave Moreno turn the 90’s clock back with sway-grooves on “My Kind of Crazy” and “Time of Our Lives”. The heavier rock songs of “Sunshine”, “Go to Hell” and “Diseased Almost” bring all three musicians to the forefront of the album and are a culmination of Wes’s personal stories and struggles brought together by almost ten years of songwriting. “I just wanted to keep writing, and it just comes down to the fans and they wanted to hear new stuff. I heard that for so long. We are going to be back on the road, and we are playing a bunch of new stuff off the new record like, “Go to Hell”, and “Uh Oh”. “Diseased Almost” is a pain in the ass to play live [laughter]. But it’s kind of a magical thing, as we are playing older stuff off the other records too.”

The first single, “Uh Oh” is a song which beckons back to earlier Puddle of Mudd days. With the humorous outlook on drunken mistakes and personal missteps, the song on the radio is noticeably different than what’s released on the album. This in part may have to do with how Wes wears his heart on his sleeve. “It hits home. It’s not just about me. That was co-written with Christian Stone, Doug Ardito and Leann Ista, and it’s about everybody and their fuck-ups’ [laughter].” 
The true humor of the first single “Uh Oh” on Welcome to Galvania may not be the stark reality of fucking up yet another relationship. The humor may be in the album’s title explains Wes. “That word was derived from my father [laughter]. It basically measures all the music I write and record. It’s like a galvanic skin response. I just slipped up the word and made it Galvania. The Galvanic Skin Response [GSR] is just when you get goose pumps when you listen to music; and I just felt the energy from the music alone and I hope everyone gets the same goose bumps.”

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Puddle Of Mudd 2019
CD: Welcome to Galvania Record Label: Pavement Music
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