Despite worldwide recognition, a year-long residency in the limelight and enough groupies to make Gene Simmons proud, Puddle of Mudd are not without their problems. While troubles plague most people, singer Wes Scantlin is thankful for them — what else would fuel the songwriting for his band's next album?
"It's still packed full of passionate melodies — which is something I truly believe in — and melodies that people can sing along with," the often ball-capped frontman said of the follow-up to last year's Come Clean. "The content of the lyrics is definitely coming from reality and a real place. And that's where I kind of write from — real-life situations. Even though we've sold umpteen million records [2.7 million in the U.S., actually], everybody thinks we're living it up and there's not a worry that we have in our lives, and that's just not true. We've all still got problems in our lives that we can get inspiration from."
At least 10 songs, bearing such titles as "Spin You Around" ("A rad song that everybody's going to enjoy"), "Away From Me" ("Pretty rad"), "Cloud Nine," "Never Coming Down," "The Mountain" ("There's already a 'Mountain Song', and we couldn't snag that from Jane's Addiction"), are slated to appear on Puddle of Mudd's next album, which they're working on in a Los Angeles rental house (see "Puddle of Mudd Getting Hands Dirty on Come Clean Follow-Up"). Experiential themes aren't the only recurring facet of the band's as-yet-untitled second major-label LP; they've re-enlisted producer John Kurzweg, who worked on all three Creed albums as well as much of Come Clean.
For evidence of Puddle of Mudd's success with translating real-life situations into song, look to their latest — and likely final — single from Come Clean.
" 'She Hates Me' is about a relationship that I was going through," Scantlin explained. "The girl was driving me crazy, and she didn't want to be intimate with me anymore. I thought she hated my guts so I just wrote 'she hates me' like 150 times, and put some other little words next to it, and it just came out real [easy]. It sounds innocent, but it's about a bad time in my life."
Ideas derived from observations are constantly infiltrating Scantlin's head, and the new material began to take shape almost immediately after Come Clean was completed. With a relatively short break for R&R after their last tour, Scantlin and the Puddle of Mudd men were quick to find their focus and get to work.
"It took me three-and-a-half weeks to come back down to reality," he said. "Because when you're on the road, you're going all the time. Then, all of a sudden, it's like, 'Let's do a new record,' and you have to center yourself."