Puddle of Mudd: The Gun Shy Interview

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Puddle of Mudd
I’d be lying to you if I said I liked Puddle of Mudd and I don’t lie. So I’ll just tell you that the band has a tour launching this Friday (July 16) in Jacksonville, Fla. The band are part of the lineup for the first-ever Carnival of Madness Tour, with 10 Years, Shinedown, Chevelle, and Sevendust. Cock rock to the max, dude! Ahead of the big tour, I sat down on my couch and spoke over the phone with Ryan Yerdon, Puddle’s drummer since 2005, and he chatted with me about this summer’s tour, what it’s like being in Puddle of Mudd, and other shit. You’ll just have to read on to find out what he had to say, you lazy son of a bitch.

Late last year — and I didn’t even know this — Puddle of Mudd released its fourth album, Volume 4: Songs in the Key of Love & Hate, and this tour will be in support of the LP’s third single, “Keep It Together,” which was serviced to rock radio this week. I was saddened to learn that of the original Come Clean-era Puddle, only frontman Wesley Scantlin and Paul Phillips remain. When I think Puddle, I think Fred Durst. So I ask Ryan if Wes and Fred are still beefing.

“I don’t really know what’s happening with them,” he tells me. “I know that they kind of didn’t see eye-to-eye on a couple of things after the first record came out and they have kind of just left it as is. I don’t think there’s a lot of love but I don’t think there’s a lot of bad vibes either. Fred is not as into the music business as he was back n the day. It’s been a minute since Limp Bizkit has been out rocking it and Fred has been in charge of a record label on a day-to-day basis. They have their differences, but its all good.”

I suggest that, with the way things are going, Limp may soon be opening for Puddle. He laughs at this. I was serious. “I don’t know man, stranger things have happened in this world,” he says. I tell him to stop laughing at me. But he refuses. I move on. So, Ryan, be honest: How much do you hate being in Puddle of Mudd? That’s what I wanted to ask, but I just asked what its been like. I didn’t want him laughing at me again.

“Its been awesome, man. The first show that I did was overseas with Puddle and in 2007, we did a U.S.O. tour. We kind of wrapped around the entire world in 40 days. That was an incredible experience to play for the troops, and playing at bases that are at war, essentially. We did shows in Japan, Korea, Kuwait, Iraq…nothing but amazing and positive things. I don’t know how many times we’ve toured the states. A lot, to say the least. Puddle of Mudd fans are a different kind of fan. They’re dedicated, and to see 20,000 people singing along with you each night its awe-inspiring.”

I mention to him how the band’s newest album has sold more than 81,000 copies domestically. Not too shabby, I tell him. “It wouldn’t surprise me if none of us in the band even knew the number of records it’s sold right now. We kind of gave up on trying to keep track of how many units we’ve sold of the record. We don’t keep track of that. We have other priorities we’re focused on.”

I ask him if he feels Puddle of Mudd get the respect they deserve. Ryan answers honestly. “It is what it is,” he tells me. “The truth of the matter is who knows if Vampire Weekend or Fall Out Boy will be a band in seven years from now and playing shows and releasing records [Edit: Fall Out Boy broke up. I think.] Puddle of Mudd is that band. We’re going to do a fifth record probably next year, and we can have thousands of people come out to a show. You have to stand the test of time. Its always attractive to see a young, fresh face on the scene and blow them up out of proportion more than they really deserve. Three years ago, Fall Out Boy was the biggest band in the world.”

What makes Puddle stand out from the rest of the radio rock herd. “We’ve always had the same live show or the same attitude towards a live show and what that is is, ‘Go out on stage and play your balls off. That means a lot of energy, conviction, and passion. We get up there and give you everything we have in us in that moment. We keep it the old punk way, in that respect. We give you that true passion that supersedes anything you could do with a lighting show.”

And what about the babes, dude? Puddle of Mudd must certainly attract some gash? “We’re all in relationships, and Wesley’s married,” Ryan tells me, before going off on this diatribe that, upon conclusion, leads me to believe he’s gotten too much pussy. “I think at one point or another we’ve experienced what the road has to offer. In the beginning of the Puddle days or lately. It’s interesting, man. There’s plenty of girls who are into guys who play in rock bands, but I can’t give you all the dirt. If you want to call me back later on, we can talk about it. Its pretty interesting. It gets old after a while. Its pretty interesting how it all goes down and how girls just wanna hang out. They’ll do whatever.”

Carnival of Madness dates:

July 16 – Jacksonville, FL – Jacksonville Arena
July 17 – Simpsonville, SC – Heritage Park
July 18 – Huntsville, AL – Von Braun Amphitheatre
July 20 – Tampa, FL – St. Pete Times Forum
July 21 – Estero, FL – Germain Arena
July 23 – Knoxville, TN – Civic Coliseum
July 24 – Charlotte, NC – Verizon Amphitheatre
July 25 – Raleigh, NC – Raleigh Boutique Amphitheatre
July 26 – Virginia Beach, VA – Virginia Beach Amphitheatre
July 28 – Columbia, MD – Merriweather Post Pavillion
July 30 – Philadelphia, PA – Penn’s Landing
August 1 – Boston, MA – Comcast Amphitheatre
August 4 – Uncasville, CT – Mohegan Sun Arena
August 5 – Holmdel, NJ – PNC Bank Arts Center
August 6 – Canadaguiga, NY – CBMS Performing Arts Center
August 7 – Detroit, MI – DTE Amphitheatre
August 9 – Cleveland, OH – Time Warner Amphitheatre
August 10 – Pikeville, KY – Eastern Kentucky Expo
August 11 – Chicago, IL – Charter One Pavillion
August 18 – Lafayette, LA – Cajun Dome
August 22 – Dallas, TX – Nokia Theater
August 24 – Casper, WY – Casper Event Center
August 25 – Billings, MT – Metropark Center

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