NORTH HOLLYWOOD — Puddle of Mudd's Greg Upchurch is looking forward to seeing fans on the band's upcoming fall tour. Literally.
"Usually, I'm like 50 yards from the closest person," the drummer said, recalling his stage placement on Puddle's last tour, an arena trek with Korn.
That won't be a problem come October 23 in Chicago, when Upchurch and cohorts kick off an up-close-and-personal club tour to promote the aptly titled Life on Display, due November 25 (see "Puddle Of Mudd Still Mad At Girls").
"Those are my favorite type of venues," guitarist Paul Phillips said of places like the House of Blues, where the Chicago date is scheduled. "As cool as it is [to play arenas] for that many people, it's so impersonal. We just want to take it back down and get back close to our fans again, in a sweaty little box where there's so much more energy and the people are right there staring you in the face."
The outing, which is scheduled to hit 14 cities before wrapping November 10 in Philadelphia, will also feature Los Angeles rock trio Smile Empty Soul. The tour marks road warriors Puddle of Mudd's first time hitting the pavement since taking more than a year off to record Life on Display.
"The whole reason we started to play music was to play live," Phillips said, taking a break from the first day of rehearsals for the tour. "That's what we all enjoy doing, and when you sit around and sit on your couch all day you're like, 'I should be playing a show.' "
"Sitting on the couch isn't all that bad," Upchurch responded. "It is football season."
Puddle of Mudd have already missed a lot of gridiron action in preparing for the release of their second major-label offering. Late last month, the band traveled to Yucca Valley, California, to shoot a video for their new single, "Away From Me," with director Dean Karr (3 Doors Down, Dave Matthews Band).
"We spent the day in the high desert walking into this 'Beyond Thunderdome' Mad Max tent that we built," bassist Doug Ardito said. "Well we didn't technically build it."
"There's only so many times you can be in the same brick industrial building before it gets boring," Phillips added. "We tried something different. And it's mainly performance."
After selling 3.4 million copies of Come Clean, one might expect Puddle of Mudd to be a little nervous on the verge of releasing the follow-up. But as the band discussed everything from lighting effects to street team fliers with their manager Wednesday, they showed no signs of worrying about a sophomore slump.
"When you're in high school and you're a freshman, you're learning everything then," singer Wes Scantlin analyzed. "I had a great sophomore year. I was a professional partier at that point. I think we have a lot more wisdom. That [sophomore slump] thing is a weird myth."
Puddle of Mudd tour dates, according to Geffen Records:
- 10/23 - Chicago, IL
- 10/24 - Detroit, MI
- 10/25 - Toronto, ON
- 10/27 - Boston, MA
- 10/29 - Pittsburgh, PA
- 10/30 - New York, NY
- 11/1 - Baltimore, MD
- 11/2 - Cleveland, OH
- 11/4 - Atlanta, GA
- 11/5 - Tampa, FL
- 11/6 - Orlando, FL
- 11/8 - Charleston, SC
- 11/9 - Norfolk, VA
- 11/10 - Philadelphia, PA