Puddle Of Mudd’s Wes Scantlin Discusses The Creative Process Behind New Album ‘Welcome To Galvania,’ Sobriety And More

Nearly a decade has passed since we’ve heard new music from rockers, Puddle of Mudd, however with the release of their sixth studio album, Welcome To Galvania, it seems as if no time has passed at all.

Certainly, the band’s sound has continued to grow and mature over the years and the tracks that make up Welcome To Galvania are a true testament to the staying power behind Puddle of Mudd. The band initially formed in 1991 and are known for their incredibly catchy chart-topping hits such as “Blurry,” “She Hates Me,” and “Famous” to name a few.

Puddle of Mudd frontman Wes Scantlin has been with the band since day one as both lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist and we recently had a chance to virtually sit down with him to discuss the creative process behind their sixth studio album, setting up a record deal with Pavement Entertainment, his sobriety, the current coronavirus pandemic’s effect on the music industry and more.

How does it feel that after nearly ten years, Puddle of Mudd is coming back in such a strong way?

WES SCANTLIN: It feels great … it was inevitable. A lot of cool times, a lot of fun, a lot of writing and it’s been an adventure, to say the least.

How happy are you with the feedback the album has been receiving? Especially the first single Uh Oh which has already been receiving a ton of spins at rock radio and such.

It’s just amazing. Fans have been asking for it for so long and it’s really, really hard to keep telling fans that you have something new on the way and we have for a while, but I had to change my playground and playmates. I just had to do that!

Can you take me in the recording process for one or two songs in particular and tell me what the mindset was when you were putting the album together? 

Definitely! Uh Oh was just wonderful and an instant type song and it was collaborated and written with a couple of different people and when it came to fruition it was fantastic because I was like ‘wow! everyone messes up’, you know? With Time Of Our Lives, it’s just a song about people doing funny, weird, and crazy stuff … not as bad as the looting all over the world, but more like you know everyone jacks their mom and dad’s car and takes it out to go disco dancing or something (laughs). There are so many songs on the record that are so great that it’s just a collage of different emotions and different energies. We are always trying to do the best music we can do and keep it optimistic and keep it centered around moving forward in your life as well … kind of making fun of the past and moving forward.

That’s fantastic! I think that is what we all need right now. 

A little happiness is always welcome in my opinion!

Without a doubt! By the way,  major congratulations on your sobriety! What kind of effect has that had on you creatively? 

It got me centered and it got me balanced and it got me cleared … I mean nobody wants to be incarcerated, but of course, now everyone is dealing with a bit of that due to this whole virus [COVID-19]. Realistically it’s a little bit less than what I had to deal with incarceration style, but it’s like everyone is on home arrest. That’s what it feels like, sort of … to be shut down. I’m happy it happened to me, as it’s a blessing in disguise and I’m super happy with all the people who were supporting me and I’m glad to have turned the corner in a positive direction.

That’s great to hear! It definitely has to be a bummer for you guys not to be able to get this new material out on the road in front of fans at a live show. Do you have any plans laid out for the rest of this year or into 2021?

Basically everyone is waiting for a solution, just for the virus alone and I’m sure that after all the demonstrations and protests, hopefully, everyone can get their bats out of their caves and vent a little bit … everyone is venting right now … but the venting has gotten pretty freaky deeky … I’m no big fan of any thief and my whole life was basically stolen by some officials and some shady people trying to make a dollar and making fun and a fool of me. It was a crazy situation and these people who are looting are a big problem, so they shouldn’t be doing that. Obviously, on the other side police should not be beating a man to death on a live stream … dumping the body like it’s a piece of trash, it’s like ‘are you guys crazy? Really?’

I can agree with you on that! The George Floyd case was just horrific and now watching my city of Philadelphia being torn apart has been heartbreaking. 

Hey, all I can say is way, way back in the day these guys would have already been dusted off (laughs).

Your album Come Clean is inching near its’ 20th anniversary … is it surreal for you to look back and see how things have changed and how you continue to grow and adapt … especially with the ever-changing music industry?

It’s a wonderful feeling to know and continue to do this … it was my dream and my wish as a songwriter. I probably credit my mother Pat Scantlin and my family for supporting me and that’s what I chose to do with my life after seeing Van Halen as a younger man and I thought it looked like a cool thing to do and I said, ‘I want to do that; it looks fun!’. The challenge of songwriting is … it’s a very challenging experience all the time and I just thank God because I can write music wherever the heck I’m at … I mean I could go in the bathtub right now and write a song (laughs).

*Wes sings: ‘Bathtub Mania, Bathtub Mania! Woooo!! *

A little bit of goofiness and a little bit of act a fool goes a long way in writing. Get inside yourself and just release some positive energy. It’s fun. Just that alone got me pumped up!

How much material do you have leftover from this album? Are there already plans for a next one in the works? I know sometimes there is a lot of material and not every song makes the cut. 

It’s a tedious process and it’s really a hard call. David Geffen said once, “You don’t know you have a hit until it’s actually a hit”. It’s like playing Blackjack or Texas Hold Em’ or something.

What is one of your standout “moments of mayhem” over the course of your career? Does anything, in particular, come to mind?

The most tragic thing … a least one of them .. in my career was just not being able to see my family and my son …. not fully being there emotionally or financially for my family for my whole life and that was a tragic thing that happened … you know my son was basically kept away from me for almost his whole life. It’s definitely put a freaky situation on our relationship, you know, I love him and he loves me but that was crazy and there have been other things here and there, as people steal from you or thieve from you or take advantage of you and like I said, you have to keep God first place and move forward with life in a positive direction.

I recall talking with guitarist John 5 awhile back who was dealing with a similar situation with his son and him sharing some of your same sentiments about their growing relationship over the years. 

You have to strive on and persevere even though it is a terribly hard situation to face. Be there for your loved ones and support them through thick and thin. It is hard to go through a ton of defamation of character and slander, but the most important thing is to just be there for your kids. I’ll tell you what …on the bright side, it is great to stay upbeat and hopefully, we can all stay that way and move forward as I said keep God first place and there will be solutions.

Other than writing and recording, how else are you spending your time during quarantine? 

I’m a songwriter by nature so I’m having a blast. I certainly hope that all the fans are staying safe, all the Mudd Dogs and the Mudd Army, we’re alive and kicking and we’re ready to keep rocking. Everything will get balanced out … the world needs to get balanced again. It’s going to take a second but I think it will be alright.

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