Puddle of Mudd Interview

by Dawn Marie Fichera

Unless you've lived under a rock or on the dark side of the moon over the last decade, you've probably downloaded Puddle of Mudd tracks on a variety of media-- from the dark-aged days of the CD, to awkward MP3 players, to the ubiquitous iTunes, you've got at least one copy of "She F*cking Hates Me", "Control" or "Blurry" on your playlist. Or all of them. I know I do.

That's why when the opportunity came our way to chat with guitarist Paul Phillips of Puddle of Mudd we snapped it up like rabid beasts. It's not everyday you get to interview a musician who is both respected by other musicians in the industry and wanted by the majority of red-blooded women out there.

Now, granted, if he gives off the uber bad-boy vibe with his tattoos, longhair, and rock-star style, you may be on the money, but for us, he was every bit of a gentleman.

Paul's story reads like a dream-come-true. From the warm beaches of Jacksonville, Florida, Phillip's, a then-surfer/musician/ business major college student, was playing in a homegrown ska/punk band, Happy Hour, and was plucked out of his Bohemian lifestyle to start one of the biggest bands to hit mainstream music this generation. Puddle of Mudd.

After four years in the band and a public band meltdown, Phillip's left to pursue other creative interests, including a stint with the band Operator. Operator's album Soulcrusher was released on Atlantic Records and Phillip's spent the better part of a year-and-a-half touring in support of that effort. Phillip's even returned to his Jacksonville roots, playing in a local band, Society Red.

Eventually Phillip's made his way back to Puddle of Mudd, where he reclaimed the throne as lead guitarist for the last two years.

With a lively, wild, and successful career spanning over a decade, Paul Phillips had earned his marks in blood in the industry and has no intention of stopping. He's like a fine wine, he keeps getting better with time.

antiMusic caught up with Paul Philllips in between tour support of Puddle of Mudd's new album, "Volume 4: Songs in the Key of Love and Hate. Phillip's gives a candid, honest look at playing in the band and the struggles he's undergone and the triumph's he's enjoyed along the way. oh, and he dispelled a few name myths regarding the album.

antiMusic: Fred Durst originally hand-picked you to play with PoM before you guys hit
mainstream success. Talk a little bit about your relationship with him and
how that came about.

Paul: We were both from Jacksonville, Florida and our bands use to play together back in the day. When he got signed, he came back and wanted to sign my
band. Unfortunately, that band had since fallen apart, but we stayed in touch and when the opportunity came, he gave me a call.

antiMusic: Are you still close to him?

Paul: No, not any more.

antiMusic: What did you do from 2005-2009 when you weren't with the band?

Paul: I actually did a record with a band called Operator that came out on Atlantic Records. I toured behind that for about a year and a half. I also did a side project called Society Red with some good friends from Jacksonville.

antiMusic: You mentioned in another interview you went to see Puddle of Mud at a
festival a few year's after you had left the band and then received a phone
call inviting you back. What were the creative differences that made you

Paul: Well, it wasn't only creative. Basically, noone was getting along or talking. I was sitting in LA, ready to work on our third record, and nothing was getting done. No one was showing up and it was just miserable. We did manage to finish a few songs, and I just wasn't into it all. I really wanted to do something heavier at that
time. Our original drummer, Greg, left around this time and that was the
nail in the coffin. We were the only two still talking, so I left about a
month after him.

antiMusic: How have things gotten better since you've been back?

Paul: Well, the vibe is much mellower and friendly. There aren't
as many arguments, and Wes and I are much more of a team now.

antiMusic: Who does the majority of the lyric writing?

Paul: Wes does.

antiMusic Is the music on "Volume 4: Songs in the Key of Love & Hate" a departure from the band's previous releases?

Paul: I think it still sounds like a Puddle record. We have a sound that works
for us and we try not to stray too far from it. We aren't trying to
reinvent the wheel.

antiMusic: Do you ever get tired of paying your hit singles "Blurry", "She Hates
Me" or "Control"?

Paul: I don't actually. The crowd is always so excited every time we play them,
so it is still refreshing every night. Of course, I don't listen to those
songs anymore, but I'm glad other people still dig them.

antiMusic: What are your favorite songs to play on the new album?

Paul: I'd have to say "Stoned," "Spaceship," and "Blood on the Table."

antiMusic: What was the inspiration behind the new songs on the album?

Paul: A lot of the record was written by Wes and I up at his house. We would just be drinking and having a good time. It was very mellow and not stressfull at all. Lyrically, there is all kind of inspiration, but musically, it came from late nights with a bottle of Ketel One and a bottle of Southern Comfort.

antiMusic: The title of our fourth album was going to be named something else
originally-- "Jacket on the Rack". Why did you change the name to "Volume 4:
Songs in the Key of Love & Hate"?

Paul: Haha!!! That was actually never really the title - we just liked to joke
and make up crazy titles to be funny.

antiMusic: What do you take from fans? Besides sex and cookies?

Paul: I take their energy. Fans are what make a good rock show. Otherwisde, it's just rehearsal. I need that energy and interaction to have a good show.

antiMusic: How do you handle egos on the road?

Paul: Well, luckily, our bus has mellowed out. We are all pretty grounded right
now. I see younger bands coming up though who are getting their first bit
of success and you can just watch them change. Those people, I don't deal
with. If you are making music for a living, let's face it, you are lucky.
Why be a dick?

antiMusic: How do you get personal space and time when traveling?

Paul: I go to the gym every day, which is a nice escape and we
all have hotel rooms on days off so it isn't that bad.

antiMusic: Do you have time to pursue your other interests? Whatever they may be?

Paul: I do. I work out everyday and surf whenever I'm home.

antiMusic: If you weren't playing music what would you be doing?

Paul: I'm scared to know, but I was real close to graduating college with a business degree, so I may have been in a suit and tie somewhere.

antiMusic: Is touring becoming more difficult?

Paul: It actually isn't at all. I still love to tour, but after a long run it's always good to go home for a bit. I still get real excited for every tour though.

antiMusic: Do you ever feel like you want to just be rooted in a place?

Paul: I do sometimes, but that gets to be extremely boring. I did it for a while
and I lost my mind. I can only walk my dog and clean the house so much.

Catch Puddle of Mudd on tour if you can. It's worth it.


Puddle of Mudd Interview

Preview and Purchase This CD Online

Visit the official homepage

More articles for this artist

tell a friend about this review