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Members include Douglas Ardito (born on March 10, 1971, in Concord, MA), bass; Paul Phillips (born on June 26, 1975, in Brunswick, GA), guitar; Wes Scantlin (born on June 9, 1972, in St. Joseph, MO), vocals, guitar; Greg Upchurch (born on December 1, 1971, in Houma, LA), drums. Addresses: Record company--Flawless Records, 2220 Colorado Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90404, website: http://www.flawless-records.com. Website--Puddle of Mudd Official Website: http://www.puddleofmudd.com.

The history of Puddle of Mudd's rise to popularity could provide the definition of being in the right place at the right time and with the right talent. Their major label debut album, Come Clean, sold more than 100,000 copies in its first week of release. The album went on to sell more than two million copies and remained on Billboard's Top 200 Albums chart for more than a year.

Singer and guitarist Wes Scantlin formed Puddle of Mudd in 1993 with a group of musicians in Kansas City, Missouri. The group gained some notoriety in Kansas City and locally released two CDs--Stuck in 1994 and Abrasive in 1997--in an effort to garner attention from a major record label. The band came up with its name after severe flooding turned the entire first floor of their rehearsal space, which was located next to the Missouri River, into one big puddle of mud.

In 1999 the members of the band had decided to call it quits, and Scantlin was ready to move to New Orleans, Louisiana, to manage his girlfriend's career as a stripper and to work in his cousin's bar. But before he headed south, Scantlin decided to accept his friend's invitation to go to the Family Values concert in Kansas City, featuring Limp Bizkit and Korn. While there, he used a fake pass to get backstage at the show, where he met a security guard for Limp Bizkit. Scantlin gave the guard a copy of his band's demo tape to give to Limp Bizkit singer Fred Durst, who was starting his own record label.

After the show, Scantlin continued with his plan to move to New Orleans. He was on his way when he received a phone call from a friend who told him that Durst had left messages trying to reach him. Durst had not only listened to Scantlin's tape, but he liked what he heard and wanted the band to go to Los Angeles to meet him. Durst's interest didn't convince the former members to regroup, so Scantlin went to Los Angeles alone. Scantlin, with Durst's help, recruited a new group that included bassist Douglas Ardito, guitarist Paul Phillips, and drummer Greg Upchurch.

Ardito, who grew up in Bedford, Massachusetts, had previously played with a band called Cellophane. Upchurch, from Kingston, Oklahoma, had performed with Chris Cornell on his 1999 Euphoria Morning tour and was a former member of the band Eleven. Phillips, from Jacksonville, Florida, knew Durst from the local music scene there and was asked to audition. "When Wes went out to L.A., I got the call, flew out there, and we jammed for awhile," Phillips told Phil Ascott of Guitarist online. "We wrote 'Control' [the band's first single] on the second day we were together. We clicked really quickly, which was cool."

With all the members of Puddle of Mudd in place, they signed with Durst's Flawless Entertainment label, part of Interscope Records, and recorded their debut. Before its release, they began touring in May of 2001 to generate some initial exposure for the band. Their first date was in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and they continued to tour for the next few months. On August 28, 2001, Come Clean, which was produced by John Kurzweg, arrived in stores. Along with the debut single, "Control," Come Clean launched Puddle of Mudd's career into overdrive.

"The whole project was very low profile at the beginning," Ardito told Arturo Perez at KludgeSound.com. "We were definitely not on top of the label's priorities once we started, but then 'Control,' our first single, started getting played on the radio and on TV, and things started rolling."

Durst continued to support Puddle of Mudd at every opportunity. He directed the video for "Control" in his hometown of Jacksonville, Florida, and invited Scantlin to join him and former Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page on stage at the MTV Europe Awards to perform the Led Zeppelin song "Thank You." Scantlin's appearance gave Puddle of Mudd even more exposure, particularly at an international level.

In 2002 Puddle of Mudd released their next single, "Blurry," which soared to number one on Billboard's Modern Rock chart. Scantlin wrote the song about missing spending time with his son Jordan, who also appeared in the Durst-directed video. Puddle of Mudd followed "Blurry" with the release of two more singles from Come Clean--"Drift and Die" and "She Hates Me." That same year, Puddle of Mudd won four Billboard Music Awards, including Rock Artist of the Year, Rock Track of the Year for "Blurry," Modern Rock Artist of the Year, and Modern Rock Track of the Year for "Blurry."

The group kept the momentum of the album's success going with an intensive touring schedule that included stints with Korn and Staind. According to Scantlin, the members of the band didn't get wrapped up in the typical over-the-top partying on tour to which many new rock bands succumb. "We're really down-to-earth guys, and all of us have our heads on our shoulders and feet on the ground, and we're almost like choirboys on tour," Scantlin told Stephanie Cabral at Yahoo! LAUNCH.

Following a break from the tour, Puddle of Mudd returned to the recording studio, again with producer John Kurzweg, to work on their follow-up CD, Life on Display, scheduled for release in late 2003. Since it worked so well on Come Clean, Scantlin continued to harvest his own life experiences for subject matter on the next album. "The content of the lyrics is definitely coming from reality and a real place," Scantlin told Joe D'Angelo at MTV.com. "And that's where I kind of write from--real-life situations.... We've all still got problems in our lives that we can get inspiration from."

These "down-to-earth guys" have realized that their fans connect with their "real-life" approach to their material, and they plan to make every effort to stay connected to those fans with their future material. "I'm just trying to crawl under people's skin and make them feel good," Scantlin told Corey Moss at MTV.com.

Ardito echoed the sentiment in an interview with Chris Jisi for Bass Player: "What really matters is the kid who hears your song on the radio, turns it way up, and sings along, while he's cruising down the road to see his girlfriend.... I just want to continue to make music that people keep humming in their heads."

by Sonya Shelton

Puddle of Mudd's Career

Group formed by Wes Scantlin in Kansas City, MO, 1993; recruited Douglas Ardito, Paul Phillips, and Greg Upchurch, 1999-2000; signed recording contract with Flawless Entertainment, 2000; released Come Clean, 2001; released Life on Display, 2003.

Puddle of Mudd's Awards

Billboard Music Awards, Rock Artist of the Year, Rock Track of the Year for "Blurry," Modern Rock Artist of the Year, and Modern Rock Track of the Year for "Blurry," 2002.

Famous Works

Further Reading

Sources

PeriodicalsOnline

Puddle of Mudd Lyrics

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Visitor Comments Add a comment…

about 6 years ago

this is the only band that i want to see before i die! i love wes

over 7 years ago

First off i want to say that Puddle of Mudd is by far the best band ever, and also Wes Scantlin has the same birthday as I do, June 9th, keep doing what your doing and i look forward to buying more CD's from you guys in the future.

about 8 years ago

i saw puddle of mudd at the bite of las vegas and they were amazing there one of my favortite bands ever blurry is one of the best songs I ever heard man those guys are just plain and simple amazing ill see them live again and always buy new records,and if the band really does read this just want to say thanks for inspiring me to do better with my life with music

over 8 years ago

I'll be seeing POM for the first time on Nov 29th at the Fuel room. I can't wait. I've pretty much liked every song they've released for air play and it'll be great to see them up close and personal in the fuel room. I'm thinking the Fuel room is going to get rocked like never before. Thanks for keeping the band going Wes!

over 9 years ago

Take It All Away is a great song

over 9 years ago

I have been to several shows the last 2 in Florida,always awesome. Drove from New Jersey to see the band play at Jannus Landing in Fl got such a rush drove back nonstop.Been listening from the early begining and knew you guys would make it big.Relate to the music. Thank you for being so creative with your music. #1 Fan Hector B.