A Tale of Two Bands
Part I: A Teen Dream Comes True — Hinder Headlines KATTfest
After all the major cities they'd already played, the millions of records they'd sold and all the big-time bands they'd shared stages with, Hinder's success didn't really hit home for Joe “Blower” Garvey until he stood on the hometown stage of the Zoo Amphitheater one warm September night in 2007 and felt the rock love wash over him.
The guitarist remembers: “The last time we played there was the Bad Boys of Rock Tour (which Hinder headlined). When we heard that it was the most tickets sold in that venue ever, and you know we were thinking about how many bands have been through there, and we sold that out, most tickets ever ...
“And then I remember when we were playin' ‘Lips of an Angel' — I think everybody else can remember this, when all those lighters and phones went in the air, I think I got a little teary-eyed a little bit,” Garvey said in a phone interview last week. “I was like, man, this is really cool. Hopefully we can do this forever.”
At the rate this Oklahoma City-based band has been going, that kind of longevity seems almost possible. Since fellow University of Central Oklahoma students Garvey and drummer Cody Hanson first met frontman Austin Winkler singing cover songs at a frat party in 2001 and decided to join musical forces — later recruiting guitarist Mark King and bassist Mike Rodden — they've risen from hometown neighborhood bar circuit obscurity to multi-platinum-selling, international-touring-star status.
Their Universal Records debut, “Extreme Behavior,” went triple platinum and resided on Billboard's Top 200 for more than 70 weeks and spawned three hits with “Get Stoned,” the Top 40 “Better Than Me” and “Lips of an Angel,” their first No. 1 mainstream Top 40 track as well as Active Rock Radio's most popular single of 2006.
After three years of relentless touring, they followed up with “Take It to the Limit” in 2008, which debuted at No. 4 on Billboard Top 200, bowed on iTunes as the No. 1 rock record and No. 2 overall album in the Music Store on the day of its release, and shot two singles — “Use Me” and “Without You” — into the Top 5.
Now Hinder is touring behind their third album, “All American Nightmare,” which brings them home again this time to headline the 2011 edition of KATTfest at the Zoo Amphitheatre with special guests Papa Roach, Buckcherry and Puddle of Mudd, among others.
Garvey admits there's always a little increase in jitters whenever the band plays in front of hometown family and friends and longtime local fans.
“But it's actually just an awesome feeling,” he said. “We've actually been talking about KATTfest for the last couple of days. We were talking about how we've been goin' to that festival since we were all teenagers, and now we get to headline it. So all the excitement definitely builds whenever we play our hometown, especially something like that.”
A Tale of Two Bands
Part II: Puddle of Mudd “Covers” KATTfest
Most musicians start out covering the hits of others until they accumulate a catalog of original tunes that — with any luck — lands them a major label contract and a name for themselves on the charts.
But Puddle of Mudd appears to be doing things backward.
The alt-metal band seemed to bust out of nowhere in 2001 as one of the first acts signed to Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst's new Flawless Records, following up with three more albums on big-time imprints, platinum-plus sales and more than a dozen self-penned radio hits, including “Blurry,” “Drift & Die,” “She Hates Me,” “Away From Me” and “Psycho,” Now, a decade later, the threesome has released a collection of other artists' songs — albeit remade the Mudd way.