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Puddle of Mudd Ready to put 'Life On Display'
By: Chad |

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 Sunday, September 21, 2003

Puddle of Mudd singer Wes Scantlin is set to put his Life on Display when his band's second album is released on November 25.

The group is still in the studio putting finishing touches on the record, but the first single, "Away From Me," is slated to hit radio early next month, according to a spokesperson for the group's label.

After selling millions of records and spilling his feelings about the girl who did him wrong on such hits as "She Hates Me," notoriously unlucky-in-love Scantlin admits that "Away From Me" is yet another tale of romantic woe.

"That song is about when I was on the road and I was dating this girl and everything she ever told me was one huge lie," Scantlin said. "When we split, I found out about things that went on when I was on tour." Scantlin said he wrote the lyrics by picturing what he thought his ex was doing while he was away, only to find out that what he imagined was exactly what was going on behind his back. The singer calls this his special gift, a kind of rock and roll "psychic writing" that informs many of the band's new songs. "I do it a lot," he said. "I write lyrics and don't know what I'm writing about, and then when I'm done I realize I was writing about something that just happened."

The group — which also features guitarist Paul Phillips, bassist Doug Ardito and drummer Greg Upchurch — recorded more than 23 songs for the album, including "Heel Over Head," "Spin You Around," "Freak of the World" and "Sittin' at the Bottom," which Scantlin said was one of POM's heaviest songs to date. In a nod to some of Scantlin's classic rock leanings, "Sittin' at the Bottom" kicks off with a nearly minute-long drum solo. Another song that pays homage to Scantlin's boyhood heroes is the moody rocker "Think," which the singer said was inspired by Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon.

The track slated to end the album, "Time Flies," pushes boundaries in a different way, clocking in at more than seven minutes. "I went to a different planet when I wrote that song," Scantlin said. "It's the kind of song where you can lay back in bed and cruise to sleep. There's this three-and-a-half-minute outro that has acoustic guitars and no vocals. It's just real peaceful. I wanted to make classic songs my grandkids could hear on the radio 30 years from now."

A track that may also make the cut is "Cloud 9," written when Scantlin was 15. "It's about being that age and all you're thinking about is rebelling against conformity," he said.

With more than eight months of on-and-off writing and studio time logged on the follow-up to Puddle of Mudd's 2001 debut, Come Clean, Scantlin said he was looking forward to wrapping things up. Following vocal overdubs for the song "Change My Mind" recorded on Monday night, Scantlin said he thought the band was finally finished with the album.

"It's been really hard and time-consuming," he said of the sessions. "I thought I was going to lose my marbles last week. A lot of people were telling me I'm doing a great job, then they'd say, 'Hold on, we have to check some things out.' "

With 12 songs likely to make the album, Scantlin said he was faced with an embarrassment of riches in cutting the track list down. "These songs are like my babies," he said. "It's hard for me to throw any of them away."

The leftovers may be saved for the group's next album, but some of them could end up on a collection of older material Scantlin recorded before the band signed with Fred Durst's Flawless Records. That album, which is not yet scheduled for release, is tentatively called Puddle of Mudd: Back in the Day.

Though label honcho Durst lensed the clip for POM's breakthrough video, "Control," Scantlin said the Limp Bizkit singer is giving the band more freedom this time. "He won't direct the video because he's done his fair share," Scantlin joked. "He did a great job on them, but I thought it was time to break off and try a different path."

Puddle of Mudd will shoot a video for "Away From Me" in late September, with director Dean Karr (3 Doors Down, Dave Matthews Band). Scantlin promised it would be a no-frills affair.

"We're just a rock band, so this won't look all crisp and clean and colorful like a Levi's ad," he said. "It will be more of a rock feeling, with a burlap background, mood lighting and just us jamming in a room."

A club tour is slated to kick off in late October and last through early November, with no confirmed dates or venues announced yet, according to the label spokesperson.

—Gil Kaufman

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