"Puddle of Mudd has won the 'Billboard Rock Song of the Year' three different times." – Interview

This summer you’re going to get a chance to see five great bands for the price of one on the Carnival of Madness Tour. The tour features rock acts 10 Years, Chevelle, Sevendust, Shinedown and Puddle of Mudd.

Puddle of Mudd has been together for more than 10 years. They’ve won the Billboard Rock Song of the year three different times (“Blurry,” “She Hates Me,” and “Psycho”) as well as having several hit songs.

Recently I got a chance to talk with guitarist Paul Phillips from Puddle of Mudd about their latest effort “Vol 4. Songs in the Key of Love & Hate” as well how the Carnival of Madness Tour came to be.

Q - You guys recently announced that you'd be part of the Carnival of Madness Tour with Shinedown, Sevendust and more. How did that come together?

A - These are all bands that we came up with and have played together with many times. We also share the same management (Indegoot), so they helped get this started and made it happen.

Q - Puddle of Mudd has a knack for writing catchy radio friendly songs like "Blurry," "Control," "She Hates Me," "Psycho" etc. Your latest effort, "Vol 4. Songs in the Key of Love & Hate" continues that trend with "Spaceship" and "Stoned." What is the song writing process like for you and where does your accessible sound come from?

A - It is usually an acoustic guitar and a couch somewhere. We have never really written together in a rehearsal room. We tend to do our own work individually and then bring that idea in for the band to hash out. As far as for catchy and accessible, I don't really know where that comes from. It isn't a conscious decision. I think we are all just influenced by hard rock and pop melodies. I've always been a sucker for a good hook in any style of music.

Q – Puddle of Mudd is a well established band with a great catalog of hits. Is there still a level of anxiety over the success of each record/single that comes out?

A - Yes, to a certain extent. We obviously want to be able to continue touring and doing this for a living, but I don't think we put as much pressure on ourselves as we did. If we never have another hit single, we can look back at the success we were already able to accomplish and that is comforting.

Q - How many songs off of "Vol 4." will make it into your sets this summer?

A - Well, the Carnival tour set is a little shorter, so it will probably only have two or three. We have so many other songs that people expect us to play and we don't want to disappoint them.

Q - What are your thoughts on touring? Is it tough, is it fun, do you look forward to it, dread it, etc?

A - I love the energy that can develop between a band firing and a crowd that is hyped, so I love it for that. However, two or three months away from home and living out of a suitcase can wear on you and your relationships at home.

Q - What is your most embarrassing on stage moment?

A - Opening for Korn in London on our first record. The crowd was throwing water bottles at us, so I got on the mike and said to throw alcohol so I could at least get drunk. Well, someone obliged and hit me right in the head.

Q - Who are some of your earliest influences?

A - Pantera, Metallica, Guns N' Roses, Nirvana, Motley Crue, Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains. Just to name a few.

Q - What bands are you listening to right now?

A - I still listen to all of those bands daily, but lately I've been rocking to Monster Magnet, Kyuss, and a German band called Union Youth.

Q - What has been the career highlight for Puddle of Mudd thus far?

A - Winning the Billboard rock song of the year three times is pretty huge. “Blurry,” “She Hates Me,” “Psycho.”

Q - Wes has been in Puddle of Mudd since the early nineties yet he didn't hit it big until ten years later, when he was the only member left. What made him and ultimately you keep going? How close did you guys come to giving up on your dream?

A - Well, Wes had given up on the dream at the time, as had I. Weird how that works. I was actually three months from graduating college and entering suit and tie land when I got the call. I was tired of being broke and knew I had to do something. Who knows how different my life would have been without that call.

Q - Is there anything else you'd like to add?

A - Thanks for the continued support. We've been at this for almost ten years now and that is amazing.

Check out Puddle of Mudd, as well as Shinedown, Sevendust, Chevelle and 10 Years, on the Carnival of Madness tour which kicks off on July 16th in Jacksonville, Florida. Pick up Puddle of Mudd’s new album “Vol 4. Songs in the Key of Love & Hate” featuring the hits “Stoned” & “Spaceship.” You can also check the band out at www.puddleofmudd.com and you can follow them on twitter at twitter.com/puddleofmudd.

BYLINE:

Bob Zerull is the Managing Editor of Zoiks! Online. He writes pop culture commentary, does interviews with bands, and reviews music and stand-up concerts. He also administers Zoiks! Online's Facebook page. Follow Bob on twitter at bzerull. Email Bob at bob@zoiksonline.com.

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