HELLYEAH / ex-Pantera drummer Vinnie Paul recently spoke with LRI about the latest HELLYEAH album, Blood For Blood which is officially released today (June 10th, 2014) via Eleven Seven Music. Vinnie discusses the new album, new band members, touring, what he has cookin’up later this year and more. Read on.
LRI: HELLYEAH’s fourth album “Blood for Blood”, on Eleven Seven Music, is about to be released on June 10th. You took a different approach to producing this album than you have on your previous ones. What was done differently?
Vinnie: Ahhh…You know, we wrote the stuff the same way but we decided that after producing the previous records ourselves that it was really time for us to bring in an outside ear, somebody who could get a different handle, different perspective on some things we’ve done in the past. So we brought in Kevin Churko and he was absolutely awesome. We all really loved working with him. I think he gets the very best out of us as songwriters, as performers, everything!!
LRI: Another change with this new album is that you have a few new members. What happened with the other guys?
Vinnie Paul: Yeah man, we finished the Gigantour last year with Megadeth and Black Label Society and really felt like we had developed, quite a bit of momentum: recaptured the heavy fans, the people that followed us from our previous bands and we wanted to get right into the studio and start working, and once we started writing material, it was just really evident to us that Bob and Greg weren’t on the same page as us. They weren’t focused, they were both having some serious personal issues, so we just decided it’s best to part ways with them. So myself, Tom and Chad wrote and recorded the entire record and then we said ‘when we finish the record, we’ll worry about putting a live band together, so right now let’s make the best god damn record we can make’, so that’s what we did. We didn’t want to go through the audition. We really felt like we needed to have some guys in the band that we knew so we would automatically have a bond, be able to get along, and Kyle Sanders is really the only guy who came to mind for us, on bass. We gave Kyle a call and before we could even say “You want the job?” he’s like, “I’m the guy. I wanna do it.” So it’s great to have him on board. As for Chris Brady, who is from Las Vegas, I’ve known him for about 5 or 6 years. Tom and I have gone out to watch Chris play on many occasions with Franky Perez, Camp Freddy, and stuff like that and we really loved his playing and he’s really just an easy going, nice guy. So that was like a no brainer getting him in the band, and the band has never sounded better, man! We’ve been out on the road now for nearly two months with Avenged Sevenfold and some of these shows in between and we’ve been killing it! It’s really fun to feel the positive energy from everybody in the band and everyone being really focused and kicking some ass.
LRI: What are HELLYEAH’s plans after this current leg of the tour?
Vinnie: We have a few headline shows coming up and some festival shows on weekends. Then we go to Europe in August, which is really going to be exciting because the band is doing really well over there. Then we come back, and in September/October, we go out with Five Finger Death Punch and Volbeat. That’s going to be an awesome tour. The first tour we ever did, the Family Values tour in 2007, Five Finger Death Punch was on that and we really got to know each other well. Volbeat took us out two years ago and that was probably one of my favorite tours I’ve ever been a part of. They treated us like gold and they were just an awesome band. Michael Poulsen is one of the most unique singers out there. It’s going to be an awesome tour.
LRI: Since this is the fourth “HELLYEAH” album coming out, are there any plans for a live record in the bands future?
Vinnie- I think a fifth album with the current lineup will come before a live record. I’d like to really bring in the fans this year with this new record. I really think that this is the best record we have ever made.
LRI- Your former band mate, Rex, put out an autobiography last year and Phil has one coming out early next year. Do you have any plans to put one together as well?
Vinnie: I don’t live in the past. I’m not done yet, so I’ve got a long way to go. I feel like if you live in the past, you have no future. I got a cookbook coming out around Christmas time that I am excited as fuck about! It’s called “Drumming Up an Appetite with Vinnie Paul”. It’s got a picture of me sitting behind the drum set and I’m holding two turkey legs, which are known as “drumsticks” (laughs). It’s got a bunch of my homemade recipes that I have done over the years, stuff that I have learned from my mom, TV networks and etc. There is a lot of ‘tongue in cheek’ humor in it; I am nearly done with it. It’s going to have 150 recipes in it and I am really excited about it.
LRI: Lately, there have been a lot of online polls on websites, social media where people vote on “album wars”, “this drummer vs. that drummer”, etc where your name has been mentioned…Personally there are no right/wrong answers on those types of polls. Is there a drummer out there now or in the last 20yrs or so that you think is going to be influential to a future generation of drummers?
Vinnie: Ahhh…. It’s hard to tell man! There’s not a lot out there that hasn’t been done already. I think that most people…still to this day, are gonna go to back to guys that really made us all wanna play drums, ya know? Like John Bonham, who is the greatest drummer ever. Alex Van Halen, Neil Peart, those kind of guys.
LRI: Thanks for taking the time to speak with us. Good luck with the album and tours.
Vinnie: Yeah man, no problem! We are going to keep kicking ass, that’s for sure.
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