Puddle of Mudd’s Wes Scantlin Calls People Who Dissed His Nirvana Cover “Toxic” and “Jealous”

  • Axl Rosenberg

Look. I’m pretty much dead inside, but the itsy bitsy teenie weenie part of me that still feels things has some sympathy for Wes Scantlin. The Puddle of Mudd frontman has been plagued by scandal for years, and it’s been pretty clear those scandals were the result of him having some sort of substance abuse problem. Now the dude has finally gotten sober — which is great! — only to find himself ripped apart by the Internet for a less-than-stellar cover of Nirvana’s “About a Girl.” This poor dude just can’t catch a break.

Having said that… the “About a Girl” cover was truly atrocious, and hilariously so, and dealing with Internet bullshit comes part and parcel with being a performer in the modern world. So yeah I feel some sympathy for him, but not that much sympathy.

Which brings us up to speed: Scantlin has responded to the criticism via Puddle of Mudd’s Instagram account, and he kinda-sorta handled it pretty well. Said the singer/guitarist in his statement:

“Rise above others who try and take you down… I’m at my BEST NOW… and that’s all that matters. I pray for all of you because we care. Jealousy is toxic, and toxic people are a waste of time. We walk away with nothing but a SMILE.”

The message accompanied a photo of the Puddle of Mudd dudes all huddled together with the words “Praying for you today” superimposed over the image.

On the one hand, this is a fairly mature response on Scantlin’s part. I dunno that he needed to bring prayer into it, but I get that coming to believe in “a Power greater than ourselves” (i.e., God) might be part of his recovery program, so, sure, fine, pray for us, cool, whatever.

On the other hand, I think calling the haters jealous is pretty dumb. It has a real “My mommy told me the other kids make fun of me because I’m so handsome and they’re envious” vibe to it. You can certainly argue that the Internet is toxic, and a portion of that toxicity may, indeed, come from jealousy. But I don’t get the sense that many people would wanna trade places with Scantlin right now. I think people who dream about being a celebrity, even if it means they have to put up with the shit that Scantlin puts up with, probably dream about being an A-list celebrity, not a guy who had a few hits nineteen years ago and is now mostly known for being a punchline. Maybe I’m wrong, but that’s what my gut tells me.

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