Interview With Puddle Of Mudd - 23rd October 2011
Photo Of Puddle Of Mudd © Copyright Puddle Of MuddLauren caught up with Puddle Of Mudd to talk about their return to the UK, touring with Soil, plans for the future and much more.

How did the co-headline tour with Soil come about?
Due to our old record label deciding to quit putting our records out over here after having two platinum records; which makes no sense and they never gave a reason for it, nobody could seem to do that.

Are they ever going to see the light of day over here then?
Yeah, well we’re now off of that label; thank the lord, and now we have our distribution back over here. It’s amazing when you get rid of your management and your record label how good things become. They want to work, they’re not haggard so they want to work and so we instantly got distribution again so we came over and did Download and a gig in London and he hired a new booking agent over here who’s also Soil’s booking agent and he said, “Soil’s looking to have a reunion tour with their old singer, would you guys like to join them?” and we said, “Yeah,” you know you can only circle America so many times.

How’s the tour gone down?
It’s been great, I really didn’t know what to expect. All the shows have been if not sold out then right at it, the crowds have been good. It’s just weird for us because of the records that didn’t come out over here because in American we’ve continued to have hits you know? The first night in London was a little rough, I didn’t know what to expect so I kind of tailored the set the way we do it in America. I had to change it instantly because we started with a set list that just killed in the states and here no one knows the song other than the hardcores you know? Like half the crowd, you know, the nostalgic fans who only own like the first two records didn’t so I had to adjust the set, so it’s been different, but the crowds have been great and the tours been good we get along with the soil guys.

Have you played a lot of covers recently with the new covers album coming out?
We do two, TNT and Gimme Shelter by the Stones. It was just something fun to do because we came off the last record cycle frustrated with management and our label and knew that we were getting rid of all of that so we had to take some time to take care of that so we weren’t writing or anything really so we all just took some time off from being frustrated and angry and it just sounded like a fun chill thing to do as opposed to try and write a record real quick so we could tour. The last record was kind of forced you know due to the label. We were in the studio writing songs while we were recording. When we were in the studio we had four songs; we would write and then just hit record you know and that’s not the way to do it.

So do you have plans for a new record of original material?
Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. In January we’ll be concentrating on that. We’ve been writing a lot, we have a bunch of really cool songs that I’m excited about. We’re actually going to be demoing in the next couple of weeks when we get back home and then January February is just full on getting the record together and recording.

You’ve had a lot of line-up changes over the years.
Yeah I know.

Is it hard to kind of keep the camaraderie to write new records?
It changes yeah, I mean obviously with the first record that was mainly Wes because he had a bunch of the songs, a lot of those songs were like seven years old and his band had broken up and he was done with music and then this happened, but yeah it’s evolved. The last record was mainly me and Wes and the one before that was Wes and Doug and yeah it evolves and I feel like right now the line-up we have, because me, Wes, and Doug are original, and then we’ve got Shannon on drums and then Adam as a second guitar player, but I really like this line-up a lot everybody’s chill and we get along and me and Adam have been writing a lot together, really connecting so that’s a cool thing, but yeah we’ll see what happens.

Obviously Come Clean is probably still your biggest record and Blurry the biggest hit from that yet you never played it at Download which disappointed a lot of fans, was there a reason for that?
There was a reason; it was a technical disaster for us, probably one of the worst shows that we’ve ever played. My whole pedal board went down, I was out of tune I believe on every single song and as a result of that…Blurry was our last song in the set, but as a result of trying to get all that stuff fixed we went over and they don’t mess about there, they come on and pull you off. We were getting ready to play Blurry and they’re like, “No you’re done.” So it wasn’t intentional. Yeah I’m sure people were disappointed, I was disappointed, it was the worst show. My wireless went out so I had to be put on a cable and then I got tangled up in Wes’s mic cable and I couldn’t move because we were locked together, it was horrible.

Sounds like a nightmare.
It was man because it was something we were so excited about. A, being back and then B, playing Download it’s huge; it was just a disaster I think I drank like a whole bottle of vodka within the next hour.

Do you ever get tired of playing songs like Blurry; a lot of bands hate their hits after a while?
Blurry no because I genuinely think it’s a good song. She Hates Me yes because I think it’s a horrible song and I always have. It’s a nursery rhyme, I don’t think any musician would tell you that’s a good song, but it’s a catchy song the fans like. I didn’t even want that song to be on the record, I told our record company, “No,” and they wanted to put it on, so I said, “All right you can put it on the record as long as you never release it as a single,” you know I always say a house and a car later…

If I never had to play that song ever again I would be happy as can be, but it’s like the Blurry thing; people get pissed. Our last tour in the states I took She Hates Me out and our Facebook just got lit up, so I had to put it back in and play it every night.

Who wrote She Hates Me?
Man that was sitting around drunk. Actually record was finished and we were in the studio and Wes just started playing that, literally it was a joke, it wasn’t meant to be recorded. Our label guy was there and he was like, “You should record that it’s awesome.” They tricked us into recording it, they tricked us into putting it on the record, they tricked us into having it as a single. As lucky as we are that it was such a big hit, at the same time as an artist I don’t want to be remembered for that song.

How did you decide on what the cover for the new record?
It started out we were just going to do TNT and The Joker by Steve Miller because we’ve been doing those in our set for a long time and then we got the idea of doing the whole covers record and bringing in a whole bunch of extra musicians. We spent three months compiling songs and going back and forth, we wanted to do things that were actually inspiring to us and we were fans of as opposed to just doing things we thought might sound good like most bands do. We wanted to do stuff we really liked and respected as musicians. Also there were some songs that were entirely selfish for us because they were so far away from what we could do, do you know what I mean? Like if we went and did and Elton John type piano ballad on our record people would be like, “What the hell’s going on here?” So it allowed us to go and do that, you know and if you don’t like it it’s because you don’t like that Elton John song and don’t by the record we’ve got a new one coming out soon, fuck you. For the most part it’s been positive, you do get the die hards that are like, “What why are you doing an Elton John song?” and it’s like, “Because I’m a musician man I get bored playing the same four chords all the time,” I thought it would be cool to tackle piano orchestration that we’ve never done before. I haven’t practiced since I was 15 and I had to practice, I had to work my ass off to do these songs; it was fun.

Is the approach to recording covers different to original material?
Yes and no. I mean the songs already written for you so that’s easier, but to go in and do it justice and not ruin it is difficult. A lot of people when they do covers they really make it their own and sometimes it works and totally blows your mind and sometimes it completely ruins it. So our approach doing the Stones and Zeppelin and stuff was I wanted to go in and make a really cool 70’s record as far as how it’s really stripped down compared to how we do it. Very live, very few takes and just record it on modern equipment, so I think that when you listen to the songs everything is represented in its truest form it just sounds like we’re playing through our amps as opposed to their amps. I didn’t want to take too many liberties because who am I to fuck with that do you know what I mean? You can take a Michael Jackson song and turn it into a rock song, but I’m not going to take The Stones and turn it into a grunge song.

How have people been responding to it, press and fans?
You’re going to get mixed views, but I’ve seen a lot of people who are like, “I hate Puddle OfMudd, but this is great,” and then I see the 14, 15 year old kid who’s like, “your new records shit, go back to grunge,” but I’ve seen more positive than negative. At the end of the day it was a covers record to do something different so I don’t really give a shit.

You guys have a lot of songs on WWE shows I was just wondering why?
I don’t know I mean it’s not us, they contact us and, obviously, it’s exposure and its money. I don’t watch wrestling I mean I did when I was a kid, I was a massive fan. It’s two of the highest rated television shows in America it’s unbelievable how many people watch that so it’s cool with me.

Much of the music industry is digital now and social networking plays a big part, what do you think about that?
The social networking part of I think is great because it allows you to reach out to fans. I have my own personal Facebook that I try my best to keep up with, at first I accepted anybody, but they cap you at 5000 on a personal page so now I’ve saved the last 100 for people that I actually know, but I tell people that they can go like my fan page and when I fill up here I’ll switch over to that. I do the Puddle page too and I try to keep updating as much as I can, but as far as digital music and what not it’s killed the whole industry it’s killed everything, luckily we just got in and we still make money off records. It either gets leaked, or you illegally download it, or even if you’re a good samaritan and you go to iTunes and you just buy the single; whereas you used to have to buy the whole record. I get it as a consumer, but for us we’re losing like $12, $13 if you only buy the single. That trickles down to music stores shutting down, it amazes me that you guys have so many record stores over here in the states we have none. I walk the streets here and I’m like, “A record store, that’s fucking awesome.”
It’s trickled down and there’s nothing we can do about it we just have to adjust how we tour and where you get your money from?

Where do you guys hope to be in a years’ time?
I hope to have the new record out and set up summer touring.

Over here again?
There are talks of something pretty big which I’m not at liberty to say yet because they haven’t signed on the dotted like yet. It’s a tour with another American band who are good friends of ours, hopefully it’s going to happen, it’s looking good.

Finally a question we ask every band which animal would you rather be a zebra or a giraffe?
I don’t know I’ve never really thought about that. I’m going to be a zebra because I only wear black and white and then that whole having your neck really high all the time I would think that your neck would get sore at some point and then you can’t walk, it would give you that whole bent over thing that old people have.

Interview by Lauren Mullineaux
 Band Members

Wes Scantlin
Doug Ardito
Shannon Boone
Dizzi Devereux
Christian Stone
 Latest Releases
Puddle Of Mudd Re:(disc)overed
Release Date - 30th August 2011

1. Gimme Shelter
2. Old Man
3. T.N.T.
4. Stop Draggin' My Heart Around
5. The Joker
6. Everybody Wants You
7. Rocket Man
8. All Right Now
9. Shooting Star
10. D'yer Mak'er
11. Funk #49
 Band Related Links
Puddle Of Mudd Myspace