Puddle of Mudd in control of destiny
Veteran rockers continue to record and perform with stop in Angola on slate
Puddle of Mudd continue to be a sought after live band, playing 50-75 dates a year around the country.
A fan favorite in northeast Indiana since the very early days of their career, the band head back to the area to visit The Eclectic Room in Angola on Saturday, Nov. 19, for a night full of hits, fun and, perhaps, a few surprises.
new album on horizon
Puddle of Mudd continue to tour in support of their 2019 release Welcome to Galvania, the rock band’s first album in a decade.
As frontman Wes Scantlin, the lone original member of the band formed in 1991, was getting more attention for his onstage antics brought about by substance abuse than for the music he had produced, many wondered if they would ever hear new music from the band again.
With all of those problems behind him, Scantlin delivered Welcome to Galvania, one of the best albums of the band’s career, reminding us of why they are still so loved. Melodic, full of hooks, and with some of the band’s best work, the album produced the live staple “Uh Oh.” Unfortunately, it was released just ahead of the pandemic and didn’t get the proper support it needed to elevate it in the minds of more casual fans.
Scantlin took advantage of pandemic shutdowns by writing songs that would keep the momentum.
Rumors recently circulated that there might be a new album on the horizon and has been proven to be true as confirmed by Scantlin himself during a recent Whatzup interview.
While he didn’t offer up a potential release date for the new opus, Scantlin did indicate fans might not have to wait too much longer.
“It’s basically getting remixed and remastered right now,” he said. “We’re putting the finishing touches on it to make the songs really badass sounding. We got to work with John Kurzweg again, who produced (debut album) Come Clean, and he’s the magic man. He’s got the magical sprinkles.”
playing what got them here
Formed in 1991 in Kansas City, Missouri, Puddle of Mudd broke through with 2001’s Come Clean, selling more than 5 million records, driven by a number of rock radio hits including “Control,” “Blurry,” “Drift & Die,” and “She Hates Me.”
At the time, it seemed like the band had come out of nowhere, but the success of that album, initially nudged along by the helping hand of Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst after that band had broken up in 1999, wasn’t a huge surprise to Scantlin. He said he knew the songs were strong.
“You know, I just really had a good feeling about it,” he said. “I really did.”
A lot of what the band continues to play in concert revolves around that 21-year-old album, but Scantlin said he never gets tired of singing those songs because he gets energized by the audiences, giving new life to the songs on just about every occasion.
“It’s cool because everybody sings them,” he said. “It’s kind of like a sing-along deal. The crowds have great voices. I might dibble dabble a little bit melodically sometimes and take a little bit of a break here and there to catch a little bit of wind, which is a big part of singing, but we play them just like people remember them, for the most part.”
Evolving fan base
While many of Puddle of Mudd’s early peers have faded away, Scantlin and company continue to tour, filling venues wherever they play. Scantlin attributes the band’s longevity to good songwriting that resonated enough with fans that they keep coming back. And as those fans have gotten older, they’ve passed their love of those songs on to a new generation.
“It’s really special and magical,” Scantlin said. “It’s like a lot of the kids that were a little too young back in the day and couldn’t come to the shows or whatever are coming now. It’s cool to see this entirely new fan base rotating to another generation. People will bring their 3- or 4-year-old daughter or son. It lifts your spirits and gives you a good adrenaline rush and makes you really happy.”
Creative outlet most important
The road hasn’t been entirely smooth for Puddle of Mudd as they have navigated several lineup changes and massive changes in the industry. But they have endured by sticking to what they do best: writing hook-laden songs and performing them passionately night after night.
Album sales no longer make most musicians much money. But making new music is still a necessary outlet for Scantlin’s creativity, so he says he doesn’t pay attention to streaming numbers or “likes.”
“It’s crazy how it all went down, but there’s nothing you can do about it,” he said about the shift in the industry. “Fortunately, you can still make a living. I just write songs and put out music to see if I can outdo myself. I love writing music so much that it engulfs my entire life. I give full thanks to God and keep writing cool little jams that people can relate to, which is what this whole thing all about.”
When Scantlin and company hit the stage at The Eclectic Room, fans can be assured of a typically energetic and fun night as he and the band strive to always put on the best show they can produce.
“We’re really just wanting to perform and do the best we can,” Scantlin said. “We will collaborate with the crowd, have a good time with everybody, play some cool music and everybody will have a nice time. We might even play a couple of extra jams to make the night interesting.”