Puddle of Mudd frontman, Wes Scantlin shares the deep meaning behind the group’s new video for “Go To Hell”.
“I put “Distance” in the same category as “Imagine” by John Lennon + “Blurry” by Puddle of Mudd songs; that remind me so much of my own dad I have to be ready to hear them + have to recuperate afterwards!” Sebastian Bach tweeted to Wolfgang Van Halen back on November 19th.
That’s some great company for Wes Scantlin to be in as a writer who’s been able to deeply connect with people through the art of song.
In September of 2019, Puddle of Mudd released their long-awaited fifth studio record, Welcome to Galvania, after a 10-year stretch between new albums. “ Like many other people, I can’t imagine where I would be if I didn’t have music to guide me through life,” Scantlin wrote via a heartfelt My Journey column. Like Bach, Scantlin accredits music for being the force that guides the way through any challenging time.
Now, after abruptly halting life on the road due to our global pandemic, Puddle of Mudd have released a powerful new video for their latest single, “Go To Hell”. At the conclusion of the video, you will notice a dedication to Sean Scantlin, a cousin the Puddle of Mudd frontman recently lost. “Sean was the man. “Go To Hell” is completely dedicated to him and in his honor. He would have loved this song, and I know he’s smiling down now with it released like this. He’s a guardian angel for me, I’ll see him again someday.” Scantlin tells me in a recent zoom interview.
The concept of “angel” is a prominent theme in “Go To Hell”. “It’s a song about recognizing the angel is always on one shoulder and the devil is on the other. You really have to focus on balancing yourself, ya know, taking deep breath and realizing the angel is probably correct, but the devil is still going to be there trying to take you down. It’s being between heaven and hell in your mind,” Scantlin says. “I have found that if you turn to God to figure it all out for you, there’s a good chance he will.”
“I know you want to make it to the Heaven in the sky,” is a reoccurring lyric in the pre-chorus of “Go To Hell”, with an emphasis on the word sky. I asked Scantlin about the prominence of overarching skies in the song, and it turns out it inspired the creative process in more ways than one. “I wrote and recorded the song in a beautiful studio in Malibu. John Denver’s wife actually invited me to record at their place, she’s one of the nicest people. The studio and setting was just beautiful man, so perfect to look at, and the perfect overall vibe for a song like “Go To Hell” to be born,” Scantlin explains.
With the video for “Go To Hell”, which contains the lyrics to the song, has given Welcome to Galvania another dimension, now having been released for 15 months. Scantlin hopes to get back out on the road touring on the new tunes as soon as it’s safe and possible. “”Go To Hell” is such a blast to play live,” he says. “I can’t wait to get back out there and rock this tune, especially now that the video is out, maybe people can relate to it, and have their own meanings, especially given the timing of it’s release. Music has been so important to me during this pandemic, and I know it’s helped many others, too. It’s part of the healing.”
I’m sure once we are able to have proper concerts again and Puddle of Mudd take the stage, Scantlin will have thoughts of his cousin Sean and his own personal journey to that point. Pensive he concludes, “Keep your loved ones close and never give up on them, because no one gave up on me.”