The road to Galvania
Puddle of Mudd is officially back, we’re on tour and our new record, Welcome to Galvania will be released on September 13th.
Right now, I feel great. We’re traveling like crazy, but I’m used to that at this point. We’re doing some extra things to support this record. It’s a little exhausting but the overall experience is super fun. We’re sweating our brains out up there on stage.
But getting to this point was not easy. Over the past ten years, there were a lot of people that were bitter and a lot of stuff that happened that was wrong. I felt there were some people who wanted to keep me down. I had to power through a lot. Everyone was hearing what’s going on and I understand the interpretation on the listener and watchers’ part, but if people really knew what was actually happening with me, they would understand that I was being slammed and ridiculed by some of the people who helped start Puddle of Mudd get going. There were some moments of wanting to run and hide. I am no angel, but I did feel there were some people who felt – “Get Wes, get Wes!”
Music certainly helped deal with the hard times. We’re here now and we’re doing fine. The funny thing is, many of the people I was speaking of are proud that everything is going as well as it is.
I had to make an effort to be strong to get over the hurdles I had leading up to this record. Like many other people, I can’t imagine where I would be if I didn’t have music to guide me through life. I sat with an acoustic all the time. I’ve driven every girlfriend I’ve ever had crazy because of how much I sit there and play guitar and make noise. Maybe it’s a blessing and a curse all at the same time, but I just can’t stop playing or stop writing.
photo by: Jefe
There was a point where I was getting retirement music insurance papers sent to me and it crossed my mind that maybe I wouldn’t play anymore. Maybe Puddle of Mudd was finished. Then I realized that to me, retiring at this point in my life would feel like a death sentence. I rather just keep going for a long as I can – as long as I can play shows and tour the world and meet different people. I love being a rambling man.
“There’s oceans in-between us and that’s not very far.” That line from “Blurry” has always stuck out to me because I’m always far away from the people that I love. But no matter where you are, family and close friends can help shape your perspective.
I always knew a record like Welcome to Galvania was going to eventually happen. My dad taught me this rule when I was growing up that emphasized – when there’s static and negative charged energy between you and the universe, you have to give it a minute and let the smoke clear. It lets the tension fade and people will get over things, it just takes time. My dad reminded me of this and made me realize I needed to hold off for a minute to let myself cool down. At the same time, while everyone else was simmering down, he encouraged me that it was a great time to write and prove myself again – that I was a decent songwriter and there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.
Most of this new record as a result, was written over the past few years. I had about 40-50 songs from 10 years worth of material and was able to narrow down the best and most relevant to compile what I think is a great representation in Welcome to Galvania.
There are always themes within my writing. As a songwriter you have the obvious topics of love, hate and relationships, and you try to inject some optimism into it, so it has a nice spin to it. You can take a negative situation and turn it into a positive, and that’s exactly what I went for here. I want this record to be one where people are cruising down the highway with the windows down and this music pops on and makes you feel, “Yeah, alright they did it again!” I want it to fill people’s galvanic meter and wow them to the point where it’s exciting. With different listens, I think people can find their bridge to happiness and healing through the music.
This exact thing I speak of happened to us as a band just the other day. We were in a van going down the highway and the new single randomly came on the rock station we had on. We were so excited, like little kids again. Believe it or not, this was the first time that’s ever happened to me where everyone in the group was in the same ride and our song magically pops on. Everyone messes up at certain points in their life and can relate to what it feels like to do so. It was a rad moment to hear “Uh Oh” on the radio for the first time and feel like I’d gotten through it.
This is a new beginning for me. I had to change every playground and every playmate. I’m 23 months sober right now – my voice is back in shape and enabling me to feel like I’m singing great. My body, mind and soul are all healthy and we are just going to keep trucking – putting on shows, writing and recording.
There’s a line in a new song called “Sunshine” that says, “23, no lights, no sound” its reflecting upon when I was incarcerated. I was really in the hole for a minute. I hear that now and I’m proud that I got through that because it was incredibly hard, it was absolutely torture at times, but I made it that and I’m all better now. In the middle of our new single “Uh Oh” I say, “You can take the house, you can take the dog, you can take the cat, you can take the car, I don’t really care what you do just get the hell out of my face and we’re though”, yeah, I like that part, too. Haha. It’s for all the claws that would not let go.
We got to play with Cheap Trick and Foghat the other night. The singer from Cheap Trick, Robin Zander, came up to our trailer and he had this big hat on and a big smile on his face. It lifted my soul that he and Rick Neilson simply came over to say hi. They said, “Isn’t this fun, isn’t this great?” And it really made me think and say, “Yes, you know – this really is great.” It was a special moment for me.