Puddle of Mudd Spread the Love, on New Album and on the Road
There’s nothing but love on Puddle of Mudd‘s tour supporting their fourth studio set, the appropriately named ‘Volume 4: Songs in the Key of Love and Hate.’ These days, lead singer/guitarist Wes Scantlin has nothing to complain about. “The band’s great,” Scantlin told Noisecreep. “The music’s fun, and the other bands are fun to play with and listen to. I could have a shittier job but I guess I’m living the dream.”
The “dream” includes releasing ‘Volume 4,’ which has already spawned the hit ‘Spaceship,’ on Tuesday, Dec. 8. Scantlin called it Puddle of Mudd’s best record to date. “This one we went balls to the wall on it,” Scantlin said. “We put a lot of heart and soul into it. We didn’t hold back any emotions. We just threw everything we had in our guts and our hearts into this record. We’re really proud of it. I’m very proud of it. I feel very good about it.”
Recording ‘Volume 4′ in Vancouver and Los Angeles, Puddle of Mudd re-enlisted the talents of Brian Howes, who produced 2007’s ‘Famous,’ and John Kurzweg, who produced 2001’s album, ‘Come Clean.’ Scantlin said the band kept it simple during the recording process. “We didn’t have a bunch of cooks in the kitchen this time,” Scantlin explained. “It was four dudes in a room, just rockin’, working on it, working on it and working on it and getting it done.”
Collaborating with Howes for the second time was a good experience, he said. Howes made the process easy, contributing “great melodies,” “great ideas” and a “great team of people.”
“He makes it very simple,” Scantlin said. “We get it done real quick, you know? He adds a lot of ambiance to [the music], just like any great producer. Most of the stuff we write is really raw dog. He throws bits and pieces of ambiance and overtones and just guitars and different keyboard parts here and there and violins, strings and stuff like that. Any great producer like Brian Howes knows how to do that and bring a raw dog song to the next level.”
Like the recording process, the writing of the album was effortless. Scantlin has a sure-fire way of creating music. “I sit down on the couch, get a bottle of Southern Comfort, a case of Coors light, a pack of smokes, sit there for hours and hours and hours and just go at it,” he said. “If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. Sometimes the magic happens and you come up with something really nice.”
Other times, it’s not so nice. But sometimes there’s a surprise. Take, for example, the song ‘Keep It Together,’ which will appear on ‘Volume 4.’ Initially, it was a rough idea, but Scantlin said it grew into a decent piece.
“The song ‘Keep It Together’ is probably going to be a pretty good one,” Scantlin said. “I really enjoy listening to it. It’s a very heartfelt song. It was like a little bit kind of weird in the beginning. [Guiarist Paul Phillips] wrote the riff. I changed it around a little bit and made it a little bit more intense. That song went from down to up, maybe through the sky I don’t know.”
In addition to Scantlin, bassist Douglas Ardito, drummer Ryan Yerdon and the return of Phillips on guitars round out the Puddle of Mudd lineup. Scantlin said Phillips’ returns to the fold “means a lot to me.”
“He’s a really great friend of mine,” Scantlin said. “He’s one of my best friends. Back in the day he wanted to go in a different direction. I’m just the way I am. [I said] ‘I’m not going to stop you from doing what you do, man.’ Then unfortunately for [former guitarist] Christian Stone, Paul called me back and said, ‘I want to be back in Puddle of Mudd.’ It’s working out great. Everything’s great.”
Next year, Puddle of Mudd and Scantlin intend to keep touring and writing. Scantlin said he will also be penning songs with other artists, which he would not name.
“I’ll probably, maybe be doing some producing and songwriting with different artists and stuff like that,” Scantlin said. “I’ve got a lot of offers on the table tight now with different artists and stuff like that. I just sit down with an acoustic and I write stuff. If they don’t like it, they don’t like it. But if it works out for them, God bless ’em.”