Fred Durst Takes 'Control' Of Puddle Of Mudd Video
Could Fred Durst be the P. Diddy of nü-metal?
Consider this: He helped pioneer a new metallic mutation, landed a top A&R position at Interscope and spearheaded the successful careers of Staind and Cold. His latest offering is Puddle of Mudd, who are already blowing up at radio with the song "Control" — you know, the one with the chorus that goes, "I love the way you slap my ass."
Early this month, Durst hooked up with the band in Jacksonville, Florida, to direct the butt-slapping video for "Control," which should be ready by early August, leaving plenty of time to hype the band's August 28 debut album, Come Clean.
In the clip, which was conceived by Durst, frontman Wes Scantlin plays a starving musician who gets booked at a dive in the middle of nowhere. As his girlfriend drives him to the venue, the couple get in a huge fight and she kicks him out of the car, leaving him to hoof it for miles, guitar in hand. When he arrives late to the venue, he gets yelled at by the club owner and his bandmates but redeems himself by playing an emotional, energetic show. The narrative shots are intercut with performance footage.
"The funny thing about it is when I was going over the story for the video with Fred, I went, 'Dude, this actually happened to me,'" Scantlin said, laughing. "I wasn't going to a gig, but I got kicked out of my girlfriend's car and had to walk. Then again, I think everybody's been kicked out of their girlfriend's car at least once."
While Durst may have a reputation for being unstable, Scantlin said working with him was a total cakewalk. "He's very easy to work with. He'll tell you exactly what he wants you to do, and you just do it. As long as you're real focused, it's very easy to work with Fred. He doesn't ever get mad about nothing, and he just has constructive advice."
Of course, if it wasn't for Durst, Scantlin would probably still be back in Kansas City, struggling to play tiny clubs like the one in the "Control" clip.
The Limp Bizkit frontman entered the Puddle picture after a 1999 Family Values show in Kansas City when Scantlin snuck backstage with a bogus pass and handed a demo tape to Durst's security guard. The odds of that tape actually ending up in Durst's mitts seemed negligible, and the chance that he would actually play it even slimmer, but somehow the stars were properly aligned for Scantlin that night, and Durst dug what he heard. A few weeks later he flew Scantlin to Los Angeles and set the Muddy wheels in motion.
"Fred is just an awesome guy," Scantlin enthused. "It's a total blessing that he heard my music and signed us, and he's really been generous and helped us out a lot. None of us have nothing bad to say about him at all."
The lyrics for "Control" are a little more graphic than the song's video, relaying the story of one of Scantlin's ex-girlfriends, who was abusive both in and out of the bedroom.
"She was a wild one," he said. "She would do crazy things that would hurt me. There was no way I could control her, but at the same time the intimate part of the relationship was totally off the hook. I was kind of blind to the whole situation I was in because the sex was so great. Then one day I woke up and just went, 'Man, I can't do this anymore, and you're just not the one for me, so you gotta go. Bye-bye.'"
For a career-launching tune, "Control" was almost an afterthought. Scantlin said he wrote it in five minutes late one night and scribbled the lyrics just as quickly.
"I've been writing songs since I was 12 years old, and most of the great ones come out in five or 10 minutes," he said. "The moment I started strumming the chords, the music was pretty much done. A lot of the songs on the record came out like that."