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Wes Scantlin of Puddle of Mudd reflects on his songwriting and the band’s ascension

When grunge and ’90s alternative comes to mind, listeners tend to think of the sounds that originated from Seattle, Washington, not the South or Midwest.

But Puddle of Mudd from Kansas City was getting radio airplay with tracks such as “Blurry,” “She Hates Me,” and “Control” off its hit record “Come Clean.”

The rock band will be performing some of those songs for fans at the Rock Yard at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino on Saturday, June 25.

“Fans can expect some of our hits, and also some of our newer stuff coming out for our new record,” said Wes Scantlin, lead singer and guitarist of Puddle of Mudd.

In a phone interview, Scantlin talked with the Southern California News Group about growing up in the ’90s, his musical influences and more. The conversation was edited for space and clarity.

Q: What’s it like to have a hit single on the radio that still gets played presently?

A: It’s a joyous moment, and I don’t even know if I could put it into words. You want to make sure you remember it when you experience it.

Q: How has your songwriting and overall music changed as an artist since the early days of your experience in music? What topics have you noticed you’ve shifted towards or have stayed the same?

A: They’re basically all about love and everyday life. Any human being and individual can find something to connect with. You find different paths along the way. If it feels right, go with and if it sucks, chuck it and throw it away.

Q: “Come Clean” recently celebrated its 20th anniversary. What does it feel like to reflect on those early years with the present in mind and the future ahead?

A: I think about what it’s like learning my craft. My mom always encouraged me to keep writing my own songs. I couldn’t do the things that Eddie Van Halen did so effortlessly, so I sucked it up and did my own thing, and it’s been working ever since. I’m lucky God blessed me with the ultra songbird.

Q: What were some of your other influences while you were growing up?

A: Prince, Janet Jackson, Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Commodores, Pearl Jam, Johnny Cash, Soundgarden and Nirvana. Iron Maiden, AC/DC and Rage Against the Machine are in my top five for sure. I also grew up with Snoop Dogg, Ice-T, and Nate Dogg and in some of those breakdancing scenes. It’s good to pick up stuff that people can dance to, too. The list can basically go on forever.

Q: Have you listened to anybody that’s up and coming that you’ve enjoyed recently?

A: I really like Halsey. Her voice is just amazing. I also think Paramore and their song “The Only Exception” is one of the best songs I’ve ever heard.

Q: Looking back at your time in music, was there any particular person or band you brushed shoulders with that was a cool interaction that sticks out to you?

A: I haven’t had the opportunity to play with Foo Fighters or David Grohl, God rest Taylor Hawkins’s life. They’ve been a major inspiration for me just in general. Grohl can write music, play guitar, bass, and drums. These are the artists that just hit the bone.

Q: What are you most proud of in your career?

A: I’m happy to be doing the best I can and making my parents and family proud. I’m happy to have amazing fans and their support. I get to live a cool life that others don’t get to experience.

Q: What are you looking forward to the most in playing Fantasy Springs?

A: It’ll be killer, and hopefully, we’ll cheer some people up looking for a better time.

If you go

When: 7 p.m. Saturday, June 25.

Where: The Rock Yard at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, 84-245 Indio Springs Parkway, Indio

Tickets: Free

Information: fantasyspringsresort.com

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