Exclusive: Talking Fear Flicks with Puddle of Mudd's Paul Phillips

Unless you've been living under a rock or something for the past couple of decades, you've probably heard at least few tunes from platinum-selling rockers Puddle of Mudd, whose hit singles have found their way into movies, TV episodes and video games... but they didn't really appear on the FEARnet horror radar until they found the perfect location to shoot the video for their 2007 single Psycho – where else but the actual Bates Motel and Norman's house on the hill from the Hitchcock classic of the same name? They also managed to throw in a few funny nods to flicks like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Poltergeist and Halloween.

It's ironic that Mudd guitarist Paul Phillips was on leave from the band that year (he would return two years later for Volume 4: Songs in the Key of Love and Hate), because it turns out Paul's a horror movie fanatic just like us. Needless to say, I jumped at the opportunity to chat with him about our favorite pastime. When I reached him recently, he and the band were busy gearing up for the summer “Carnival of Madness” tour with Sevendust, Shinedown and Chevelle, which starts next month...  but horror fans never miss an opportunity to chat about their cinematic obsessions, and Paul was happy to engage in a little Q&A. Check it out below the fold!

FEARnet: Thanks for taking the time to chat with us... I know you've been busy as hell on the road. Looking forward to the Carnival Tour?

PAUL: Yeah, I'm super excited about it! We're great friends with all these bands and they're all good bands, so I think it is a win-win. It's gonna be a rock & roll summer camp!

As I write this, I'm listening to the new Stoned EP... it's a cool track, with a great video too: I bet a lot of frustrated wage-slaves out there are watching that one over and over. What kind of response has it been getting?

It's been positive so far – I think a lot of people are connecting with the “F-U-to-the-man” message... a lot of people who would like to take out their aggression and trash their offices. 

I think just about everyone reading this has felt that at some point or another... so how did it feel to trash the office set and just tear shit up?

It was a blast! I got to wield the sledgehammer and just smash shit. If that's not fun, I don't know what is!

You looked like you were really getting into it...

I think a few of the extras were actually frightened by me!

Speaking of frightening folks... I hear you're a big-time horror movie fan, so you've got a lot of kindred spirits here. Do your horror interests cover mainly movies, or other media too?

Mainly movies... and lots of them. I love the horror genre.

I bet you were disappointed that you couldn't be involved in the Psycho video.

Yeah... that would've been a blast. I mean, the whole shower scene is such a classic!

You covered horror classics in that video, then you did a sci-fi riff for Spaceship... have you discussed any other genre ideas for future videos?

Not at this point... Stoned is still doing it's thing, but we'll be discussing concepts soon for our next single.

I'm looking forward to that. So, what tops your short list of all-time favorite horror movies, and what makes them special for you?

The original Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I love me some Leatherface!

Me too... what's not to love?

I also thought the use of a chainsaw was way cooler than a knife or machete...

A professional chooses the right tool for the job, you know...

...and I love the creativity that goes into killing people! [laughs] Recently, I've been into the Saw movies... I would love to be at a writer's meeting for that one; just sitting around thinking of crazy devices and killing machines.

Pretty much a typical weekend at my house.

I’m also a big fan of Michael Myers in the Halloween movies... he's definitely my all-time favorite. Just his whole lack of expression with that mask, and how he'll be there and then disappear so quickly... creepy!

What do you think of Rob Zombie's take on Michael?

I actually really liked the remake that Rob did of the first Halloween. He did great with the whole backstory.

What's your view of the whole remake trend in general? Are you cool with the reinvention of all the horror icons?

I am if it's done well... I wasn't that big into the Friday the 13th remake though. I guess I'll base my decisions on this subject on a per-movie basis.

I'm the same way. How about the new A Nightmare on Elm Street?

I'm looking forward to it, and hoping it doesn't disappoint.

I'm sure you don't have time to catch too many new flicks in the theater while you're touring.

I get behind, but I try to rent some when I'm home and catch up.

What's the last really good horror movie you've seen? 

I really liked Funny  Games. I don't know if it was really horror...

I'd say it qualifies.

It wasn't gory, but it was pretty demented... and there's that one scene in there that's completely taboo.

I know the one... it's the same in the original and the remake.

I love that they went there... the more demented, the better for me!

I agree completely. So what kind of fears push your envelope?

Heights... or drowning!