Puddle of Mudd Frontman Wes Scantlin on New Music, Coronavirus and More


Puddle of Mudd – Story by Anne Erickson

Wes Scantlin from Puddle of Mudd speaks with Anne Erickson about the coronavirus pandemic, new music and why he thinks James Hetfield from Metallica will be able to concur his demons in rehab

To say this is an unprecedented time is almost an understatement. With nearly every spring concert in the U.S. postponed or canceled due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the music world is in a place it’s never been before.

Wes Scantlin from Puddle of Mudd has been touring consistently since the band released their latest album, “Welcome to Galvania.” Now, though, everything is paused while the world tries to battle COVID-19.

Scantlin spoke with Anne Erickson from Audio Ink about coronavirus, the success of the band’s latest single, “Uh Oh” and how his faith helped him come back from rehab a stronger person than before. Read the full interview below, and listen via the Audio Ink podcast.

Congratulations on the success of your new album, “Welcome to Galvania,” and the first single, “Oh Oh,” which has been doing really well at rock radio. What was the inspiration behind that track?

All the writers on that song– we’ve all messed up. (Laughs) A lot of the song wasn’t even really about just me… Everybody had struggled with it. Fortunately, we’re all sober now, which is pretty cool. You can’t be too hard on yourself in life. You’re going to make mistakes, and people have to be understanding, because we’re only human. On the bright side of that, you can pick yourself back up and get up and fight and better yourself. So, the theme of the song is poking fun at how stupid we’ve been.

Do you have a favorite song off the new album?

I like them all. I really do. Sometimes one will be my favorite, and then I’ll listen to another one, and that will be my favorite. We’ve been playing songs live, and those have gone over so well. It’s good to have a positive message in songs. It’s good to have the optimism approach. At the end of it, I like to keep it very optimistic. Hope and love and strive on and do better in your life, and just keep going. When we play “Blurry,” everybody just goes crazy. For “She Hates Me,” everybody goes crazy. Playing “Psycho,” people go crazy. And a lot of people want to hear new stuff…it’s good to change up the set list as much as possible and keep it fresh.

Puddle of Mudd released “Come Clean” in 2001, which means you’re coming up on the 20-year anniversary. Can you believe it’s been 20 years?

Yeah! Technically, it’s been a lot longer for me. I’ve been in Puddle of Mudd and have been doing this since ’92, ’93, so I was really shocked and surprised that it happened like this, and I’m super psyched, and I’m glad I kept God first place in my life. All the prayers that I get from everybody and all the fans– we wouldn’t be doing this without the fans.

What do you think it is about “Come Clean” and particularly the song “Blurry” that struck such a chord with fans?

My son– I didn’t get to see him a lot in my life, and it was sad. When I got signed, I got flown out here to L.A. and didn’t have any friends, and they just gave me a guitar and told me to do what I do, and that’s what I’ve done. I didn’t have anybody out here, so I missed all my loved ones. That whole song is about being overseas and being really far away from my family, and it touches people. People thank me for writing such a beautiful song, and I’m glad it helps people. It’s saved a lot of people’s lives, including my own.

Everybody writes about emotions. It’s coming from the heart. I’m sure all of the music comes from the heart of the writers, and that probably won’t ever change. There’s happy vibes in life, there’s crazy vibes in life, there are emotional roller coasters. You can discuss it in the lyrical content in the song and at the end, try to keep it optimistic and powerful and enlightening.

What are your thoughts on the whole coronaviruses situation and how so many shows and festivals are being canceled?

It’s nice to see everybody looking out for the well-being of everyone in the world. It’s good to see the unification of the nations. It’s in shut down mode, and I think they’ll have some kind of a vaccine very soon. Plenty of scientists who are amazing are working on this right now, so they just want us to sit tight and take a break. Everybody wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands. Take a lot of showers. Try to stay as clean as possible!

Fans are so happy to see you doing well, back out there touring and making music, after fighting some demons with addiction. James Hetfield from Metallica has been in rehab this year. What advice would you give to someone like James Hetfield, dealing with addiction?

He’s going to be just fine. He’s a strong man– strong-willed and a great songwriter. He’s great at everything, and he’ll power through. I believe that. In my life, he’s guided me and helped me in his musical life and inspired me massively, and I believe that he will be just fine.

Have you thought about the next Puddle of Mudd record yet?

Yep! I was thinking about the next record 10 years ago. But, all I can stay to everyone is if you’re screwing up or anything like that, change your playground, change your playmates and always keep God first place. Count your blessings.

Anne Erickson
Posted by Anne Erickson | Alternative, Features, Grunge, Interviews, Music, Rock

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