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Puddle Of Mudd

One of the first acts signed to Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst's label, Flawless Records, was the alternative metal/post-grunge quartet Puddle of Mudd. While their songs expectedly contain the fury of such contemporaries as Korn and Rage Against the Machine, frontman Wesley Scantlin's voice is at times eerily similar to Nirvana's late, great frontman Kurt Cobain, containing unmistakable elements of traditional hard rock. The group broke into the mainstream with the release of their 2001 debut Come Clean, which went on to sell over five million copies, and continued their commercial ascent with Billboard-charting efforts like Life on Display (2003), Volume 4: Songs in the Key of Love & Hate (2009), Welcome to Galvania (2019), and Ubiquitous (2023). Taking their name from the mud-caked Missouri river levee that was adjacent to their rehearsal space, Puddle of Mudd was formed in 1992 around the talents of Wes Scantlin (lead vocals/rhythm guitar), Jimmy Allen (lead guitar), Sean Sammon (bass), and Kenny Burkitt (drums). They released their first EP, Stuck, in 1994 on V&R Records. Lead guitarist Allen left the fold ahead of the release of the 1997 demo Abrasive -- many of the tracks would appear on the group's major-label debut -- but he wasn't the only one unhappy with the current state of the band, and by 1999 Scantlin was the only original member left. Luckily, Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst had gotten hold of the demo and invited Scantlin out to California to begin putting together a new iteration of the group. In 2001, with Durst acting as executive producer and A&R man, a line-up consisting of Scantlin, Paul Phillips (guitar), Douglas Ardito (bass), and John Freese (drums) began laying down tracks for a proper album. The resulting Come Clean, which would eventually go triple platinum, went widescreen on the strength of the singles "Control," "Blurry," "Drift & Die," and "She Hates Me," and peaked at number nine on the Billboard 200 albums chart. The band embarked on a European tour with Godsmack in support of the album before touring the U.S. as part of the Family Values 2001 tour alongside Stone Temple Pilots, Linkin Park, and Staind. During this time, drummer John Freese was replaced by new kit man Greg Upchurch. Puddle of Mudd's sophomore effort failed to reach the commercial heights of its predecessor, but still managed to achieve gold status and spawn the hit singles "Away from Me," "Heel Over Head," and "Spin You Around." It also marked the departure of drummer Upchurch, who left to join Three Doors Down. For their third studio long-player, 2007's Famous, the band teamed up with producer Brian Howes. The album was a modest success, debuting at number 27 on the Billboard 200 and selling a respectable 31,000 copies during its first week. 2009 saw the release of the Howes-produced Vol. 4: Songs in the Key of Love and Hate, followed in 2011 by a collection of covers called Re:(disc)overed, which featured Puddle of Mudd renderings of songs by the likes of the Rolling Stones ("Gimme Shelter"), Billy Squier ("Everybody Wants You"), and Led Zeppelin ("D'yer Ma'ker"). The band continued to tour with Scantlin at the helm and a rotating cast and crew, and in 2018 they entered the studio with producer Cameron Webb (Alkaline Trio, Disturbed, Motörhead) to begin laying down tracks for a new studio LP. The group's first collection of original material since 2009, Welcome to Galvania was released in September 2019 on Pavement Entertainment. The album included the Billboard Mainstream Rock-charting single, "Uh Oh." Puddle of Mudd gave fans a taste of their fifth long-player in early 2023 with the catchy, grunge-forward "My Baby," which appeared on Ubiquitous later that September.
© James Christopher Monger /TiVo


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