By Rick Coates
When Puddle of Mudd takes the stage Friday night at Ground Zero
Nightclub in Traverse City it will be a reunion of a couple of
survivors. POM performed to a sold-out crowd three years ago at Ground
Zero and both the band and the club have found a way to survive the
challenges they have faced.
For Ground Zero (Streeters/Terminal) it was the departure of Doug
Street, who in December of 2008, sold the club to pursue interests in
Grand Rapids. Street has returned and the ailing club is back on its
feet with packed houses for college night on Thursdays and ladies
night on Saturdays. In addition, Street has put together an impressive
concert line-up that starts with POM Friday, February 19, and has
Uncle Kracker in March. Street is currently in negotiations with other
additional acts, including major rock and country stars and plans to
announce new shows soon.
POM is getting ready to celebrate their 10th anniversary this year.
Though the lineup has changed a few times over the years, the current
group includes founder and frontman Wes Scantlin along with bassist
Douglas Ardito and guitarist Paul Phillips who rejoined the band last
year after a four-year hiatus. Both Ardito and Phillips were with POM
in 2000 when Scantlin reformed the band and both were instrumental in
the groups debut CD Come Clean that boasted four number-one hits.
NOT ALWAYS EASY
We are definitely survivors, said Phillips. Bands are a mix of
business, relationships and friendships and there are a lot of
personalities involved. It is not always an easy business. We have had
some separations and some challenges, but after 10 years we are still
here and we owe it to our fans.
POM is currently out in support of their fourth studio set Volume 4:
Songs In The Key Of Love & Hate, released in December. Their first
single of the new album Spaceship is currently charting, giving them
four consecutive albums with hit songs.
Its easy and predictable to say Im most proud of this record, said
Scantlin, But I think its more appropriate to say Im most proud of
what weve accomplished as a band to this point.
I think our success lies in the fact that we have remained true to
who POM is artistically, said Phillips. Sure we could have headed in
a different direction -- even tried a concept album -- but do our fans
really want that? I dont think so. They want our songs to sound like
POM songs. Look, you are working hard and money is tight and you lay
down cash to see us perform. You want us, not some concept.
DONT GE ME STARTED
Both Phillips and Scantlin are grateful for the fans keeping them going.
The business has changed so much, dont even get me started, said
Phillips. One million CD sales is the new five million today. Record
labels are like graveyards and ghost towns. The business model has
changed and you have to change with it. It means being out on the road
and making your money on the road. I am not complaining -- I love
being on the road and I am grateful to be performing.
Scantlin agrees and sees their approach and connection to their fan
base as the key to their future.
Weve not only navigated the minefield successfully, but weve laid
our own on the battlefield that is this business, said Scantlin. As
self-sufficient as ever, we virtually depend on the fans to come
through for us - and because of that, this band is built for the
Despite tough economic times in the country and the music industry,
POM is seeing some sign that things are getting better.
Shows are selling out not just for us but others, said Phillips. I
think people are sick and tired of this crappy economy and they are
looking to blow off some steam and a high energy concert is a great
way to do that.
Doug Street is seeing the same thing.
Advanced ticket sales have been great and we are nearing sell out,
said Street. I am seeing and hearing a lot of enthusiasm for live
shows from my customers.
POM brings an arsenal of ear-friendly songs including She Hates Me,
Drift & Die, Blurry, and Away From Me, all were number one hits
in a 14-month span back in 2002-03. In 2007 they hit the charts again
with Famous and the number one hit Psycho. They will be joined by
CAVO whose hit song Champagne hit the top of the charts in 2009.
Doors open at 7 pm on Friday with music starting at 8 pm. Tickets may
be purchased online at www.groundzeroonline.com or by calling