Vinnie Paul and Tom Maxwell Talk New Hellyeah Album, Pantera Reunion, Potential Tour, and More!
HELLYEAH’s new album Band of Brothers was released this past week! If you like heavy and hard driving metal, well, Band of Brothers may be for you! The guy’s of HellYeah have gone back to their roots and brought back some of the sounds of the bands they have been inspired by or have played in. Basically meaning you get a record full of Mudvayne, Damage Plan, Pantera, and NothingFace. Not a bad combo! I chatted with drummer Vinnie Paul and Tom Maxwell, and they want you to know how this record goes! HELLYEAH!
It’s your first album on Eleven Seven Records, first 2 albums on Epic Records, now why the change to the different labels?
“With our first 2 records, we didn’t get into any kind of long term contracts. I think our previous label kinda gave up on Rock and Roll, so we went to another label that is all about rock and roll and metal music and that is Eleven Seven Records. It’s great to be at a home that backs the music and the band as well.”
When you guys were writing for the album, you said you were going back to your roots as a band. Bringing in sounds from bands you have played in or inspired you. What got you into that mind set?
“Just because the first 2 records were so diverse and really different for us. At that time, we really wanted to do something different and step outside what was comfortable for us. That’s what HELLYEAH started out to be, was to be really diverse and cover a lot of ground. Once we got that out of our system, we got together and looked at each other and said ‘Let’s get back to our roots man. Get back to what we do best and make a metal record.’ Honestly I think it’s the record that people expected from us. We love our other ones, we’ll play the heck out of them, but the new stuff is defiantly much more aggressive and heavier and more of what people expected of us from the start.
Yea man, you gotta do it for yourself, I mean if your not having a good time writing the songs, then the fans are not going to have a good time either.
“And that’s kinda what we did. We wrote for each other on this record, we wanted an honest record and we didn’t care about (no offense) radio or if anyone was going to like it or not, we just wanted an honest record, and here it is man.”
You guys are currently close to wrapping up a tour with Volbeat right now right?
“Yup, wrapping it up soon with Volbeat, then we have about a week left of our own tour dates. I can’t tell you what’s coming up next but we’ll let the announcers, promoters, and radio stations do that. You’ll be one of the first to know and I am sure we’ll be blarin’ and playing in Grand Rapids (MI)!”
When you guys are on the road, does the writing process stop? What do you kinda do on the road?
“Oh well….lot of drinkin’ ya know? Black Tooths, Coors light, Tommy’s on the Rum, Sweet Tea Vodka, little bit of everything, We have never written music on the road though. It’s just not a real writing environment.”
Vinnie, since I have you on the phone man, I gotta clarify awhile back you said that if there was to ever be a Pantera reunion, Zakk Wylde would fill in on guitar for Dime, would you still back that?
Vinnie: “See there was a lot more said before that, from a station I did an interview in Dallas, TX, while I was in Australia doin’ some shows with Black Label Society (fronted by Zakk Wylde). Bottom line though is, Zakk is a really great friend of mine and especially a great friend of Dime’s. Truth of the matter is, Dime WAS Pantera! He was such a huge part of it, and I think it would just tarnish the legacy of the band and everything he was all about to try and have somebody else up there and play man. That’s how I feel about it. I love what I am doing now, it’s called movin’ on in life and that’s what I am trying to do.”
Tom: “As a fan of Pantera, I would love to see it happen but you just can’t fill those shoes man. It would not be the same for a fan. You would get some sort of nostalgic thing out of it, but your not getting Dime.”
I recently had an interview Vinnie with a fellow band mate of yours, Phil (lead vocalist of Pantera), and I asked him, “If Pantera were to ever be inducted into the Rock Hall of Fame, would you attend knowing that Vinnie and Rex were there?” He responded, that he would be there with the best intentions.” Let’s turn the tables, if that was to happen, would you go knowing that Phil and Rex were there?
“Well until that day comes along, I won’t be able to answer that question for you.” (laughs)
Check out the full interview below, and pick up HellYeah’s NEW album, BAND OF BROTHERS TODAY!