Hindsight being what it is, Cartel singer/guitarist Will Pugh tells Billboard.com he stands behind the band's recent decision to write, record and produce its self-titled Epic debut album in 20 days a

Hindsight being what it is, Cartel singer/guitarist Will Pugh tells Billboard.com he stands behind the band's recent decision to write, record and produce its self-titled Epic debut album in 20 days as part of the MTV reality show "Band in a Bubble."

"I think what we did was, we made the best decision we could, and should have made at the time, and it turned out fine," Pugh says. "It wasn't a failure by any means, but I think knowing what we know now, there would have been things we would have done differently or requested were different.

"I think they tried to make us have all of this drama and all of these things that we're just not," he continues. "We told them we're not a drama band. They wanted to turn it into 'Real World' rather than 'Jackass.' We told them 'Jackass' is way more popular and funnier than the 'Real World' could ever be. I think if we'd known that from the beginning, we'd told them to go f*ck themselves pretty quick."

However, Pugh does feel the confined space forced the Georgia-based band to concentrate 24/7 on its new music without any distractions. More importantly, the 15-track album, due Aug. 21, finds the group leaving behind its Vans Warped-tour image for more of a rock approach that even includes the bluesy number "If I Were To Write this Song." Cartel is scheduled to begin its first of many touring legs Aug. 17 at the Missouri State Fair.

"I feel way more confident in everything that's going on around us than last time, and it may not be the huge, 'OK, everybody is anticipating Cartel to be No. 1,'" Pugh says. "I don't care about that. It's not about the first or third week -- it's about six months down the line if you're selling out shows and people are liking your music. It doesn't matter how many you've sold, at least to us.

"Obviously to Epic it does," he adds. "But as long as we keep progressing and keep the next step the next step, even how small it is, we'll always be good. So, I think this record is setting up to be something really special. We'll see."