Last month we had the privilege to speak to Vinnie Paul from HELLYEAH and now with the boys from HELLYEAH here in Australia for a few shows we were lucky enough to sit down with Vinnie and singer Chad Gray to talk about the Australian tour, work out if and how they can record their next album on an iPhone, watch some golf and just what they get up to when boredom strikes… oh and they told us they’re coming back next year for a festival too…
We give you the men from HELLLLLYEAH…
Vinne Paul: Hey look, you just put it on the microphone setting and it’s ready to go. Next thing you know, next year, next album you just bring in your iPhone into the studio and just ‘Arrrggggggh’ (he gave us his best growl) and just hit U47 on there and it’d have the tone you want ha ha ha
Chad Gray: That’d be amazing ha ha ha
Now the album has been out now for a month in Australia and a couple of weeks elsewhere around the world. What’s the initial reaction been like around the world since its release?
VP: We feel very good about it. The reaction’s been fantastic everywhere, the new songs are going down really, really great live, it was like having a kid that took extra long to be born, we finished this thing back in April so for us to do a month long tour in the States and a month long tour in Europe and for the record to finally come out it was just a big relief for people to finally be able to hear it, so we’re really proud of it. And to come in at Number 8 in the United States and be in the top 50 in Australia and do very well around the rest of the world is pretty amazing.
Every time I listen to it, it grows on me more and more, I love it.
VP: Well good, I gotta be honest, those are my favourite records the ones that take a minute because when they do, that’s a sign that it’s real man. Sometimes you hear something and you love it the first time and it burns out like that you know.
The last time you were here as Hellyeah was 2007. How do you feel in that time away from this glorious country that you’ve grown as a band?
CG: I mean yeah, you’re gonna have a natural progression as you become more comfortable, I think the first record was an experiment and it just kind of worked, we went into this album with a break, I was doing Mudvayne stuff and I think it gave us quite a bit of time to reflect and really get a grip on where we were going. I don’t think we strayed or deviated from where we were heading. We didn’t all sit around and have a big pow wow and be like ‘ok this is who we want to sound like, or this what we wanna be’ we just needed to get together and start working. Once that happens it’s a pretty fuckin magical experience, I mean there’s just shit that comes out of you that’s like, wow, this is great. Every song is the happiest, greatest thing I’d ever done, then we’d write another one and it’d be the greatest thing we’ve ever done and it was like that all the way. But its very diverse, its not like one general road that we’re one, we just write and we’re very true to ourselves as artists, we don’t paint with another band or persons brush, we do our thing, we don’t questions what we do. You’re gonna have snags and its hard work if you give it your attention, it will come to you. Even if you work poorly you have to work. You know, to get it to open up, it was fantastic and I love the record, very very proud of it.
Is it different when you’re writing, you know that these are for Hellyeah and these are for Mudvayne?
CG: No, I’m not that kind of writer, I don’t have notebooks full of lyrics and stuff you know what I mean, I’ll maybe write an idea down or I might want to touch on this subject or whatever. Sometimes I don’t have any idea at all, I hear the music and we just kinda start going and lyrics just start of coming out of me and the song just kind of dictates to me a melody or an emotion, I just kind of run with it and it builds and builds and builds and fuck it.
Your first show in Australia is here in Sydney tomorrow night at the Metro. What can fans expect from this Aussie show opener?
VP: The band. The songs. The fans. And that constant circle of energy that we share with the music back and forth back and forth, we don’t bring laser light shows, there’s not gonna be any magic dragons jumping out there’s not going to be any explosions, its all about that real music between us and the fans and the energy that we transfer back and forth. That’s always good.
I’m coming to see you tomorrow night, and looking forward to it!
CG: Oh cool
So, what are your favourite songs to play live?
CG: All of em.
VP: I’m right there with Chad, all of em ha ha. There’s not ever one on the Hellyeah set list that I’ll look down and go ‘oh that fucking song?’ Every now and then when we throw ‘Waging War’ in the set, I’m like ‘alright get ready to hunk or dunk cause we’ve gotta throw down on the motherfucker’ but you know for the most part they’re fun songs, every thing about them as far as the way they’re structured and everybody’s part that’s part of it, its all about the song and getting that message and that vibe across to the people and they come across well.
And having a second album now gives you that choice…
VP: More songs ha ha
CG: Well the last record we just played the whole record, this time we, I think our goal eventually as this record has more time to sit with people is that’s kind of the goal of the band to be able to play every song that we’ve written which would be great, but it ain’t gonna happen tomorrow ha ha ha. There’s about 15 songs, 14 or 15 in the set so it’s good.
VP: There’ll be a good dose
Now you’ve both been to Australia a number of times with your respective bands, Vinnie you’ve shared a memory with us last time, but Chad can you give us a memory of Australia to share with your Aussie fans?
CG: Shit man, there’s one, if we’re talking about Mudvayne is we were on the Sydney Big Day Out, I think it was 05, and we were in Sydney and the PA blew, it was kind of a cool feeling but it sucked because they never did get it going and our slot was over by the time they got it figured out. It sucked but it was kinda cool, knowing that we blew the PA up ‘That’s some power!’ but I guarantee HELYEAH would’ve blown it up probably a few songs earlier than we did.
Our attention is briefly turned to a magnificent golf shot up on the screen. It was pretty cool. Now Vinnie you’re drinking a Bloody Mary but have you guys tried much Aussie beer, if so what’s your favourite?
CG: I’m in to Cascade, I love it.
VP: What about that one I bought you earlier the ‘Clear and Crisp?’
CG: The Extra Dry? That was alright.
VP: I’m not really a beer dude so I stick to vodka, this about 6 of these.
CG: He’s on number 6 ha ha.
What do you guys get up to whilst on the road to relieve the boredom…or is these never a boring time for HELLYEAH!!!!
VP: Any kind of prankdom that any of us can get in to, I mean, you gotta remember for any band that tours for any length of time, if you’re a headliner or whatever, you spend anywhere from 22 to 22 and a half hours of the day being bored as fuck, so anything you can get in to that just busts up the routine or just to have some fun and to laugh, hell on days off we go and play golf and sometimes on show day. I’ll go fishing if there’s a pond around, anything you can do just to bust it up, go eat some chicken wings, go to a strip bar whatever it is that’s its available, just something that break that routine so you can got a little something there so you go OK I’m not a robot.
Now we have heard a rumour that you’ll be back sooner than most would expect, any truth that we’ll be seeing you back in Australia early next year?
CG: February, yeah, that’s the plan right now and doing Soundwave hopefully, so hopefully after we kick a little ass on the next three nights we’ll earn our way to a decent slot, I mean that’s the one thing I’m concerned about. I mean we’ve done them all, we’ve played festivals at 11:30 in the morning and you’ve gotta earn it, you’ve gotta work your way up to the really good slots.
What will be good is the weather.
CG: Weather is gonna be great, I’m stoked ha ha.
Well apologies for the weather we’ve put on for you today (it was pouring rain).
CG: Oh no dude, trust me, if this is Winter, we’ll take this Winter any day compared to the ones we get ha ha.
Have you heard much in the way of Aussie metal bands/about the Aussie metal scene?
CG: Not really, I was talking to somebody earlier and I was saying how excited I was to check it out because Australia ain’t no slouch man, you’ve turned out some great bands over the years and you’ve really gotta keep an eye on what’s going on here, but yeah I’m stoked, I don’t think I’ve ever played here and saw any local that I just wasn’t like ‘Wow’ you’ve got some really great bands. And your country supports it too right? I mean your Government literally gives people money to play in bands and I think that’s fantastic. Because all you ever hear in America is that they’re cutting this school program or cutting that school program or cutting this or cutting that, it’s just cut cut cut. Here its nice to see the people, especially your Government actually really supports and embraces it, it’s great.
Chad, what are the plans with Mudvayne once this tour is over?
CG: You know what, my only plan right now is to put all my energy in to HELLYEAH, I think HELLYEAH deserves it and if I were playing with Mudvayne, writing, recording, touring, whatever, I would give Mudvayne 100% of my attention. Anything you do you’ve gotta do it to the fullest extent of what you can do. Right now, I’m all about HELLYEAH and that’s all I can say about that.
After finishing up here, I see you head straight back to the States after here for some more shows. How much longer are you out on the road in support of ‘Stampede?’
CG: Man we get a break I think in October for 7 days and then we go to Japan, back to Europe and we’ll be over there for a while, we’re trying to get another like a South East Asia plan somewhere, I mean we’re going man, the frequent flyer miles are going to be going ape shit here in a little bit ha ha.
So in 2014 you can take a break?
VP: 2011 at least, 2 solid years, we want to give this thing a really good opportunity to bloom and to go where we want it to go.
Just lastly, have you got a message for your Australian fans?
CG: Come to the show, experience, if you’ve got the record that’s one experience, I mean HELLYEAH is HELLYEAH for a reason, we call it HELLYEAH because that’s how we deliver it. We didn’t call the band ‘Yeah’ or ‘Yes’ we called it ‘Hellllyeah’ and there’s a reason, so come and check it out.
VP: That’s right
And as Vinnie once told us, ‘Every night’s a Friday night’!
VP: Every night’s a Friday night and we want to say thank you to all our fans for all the year of support for our previous bands and for following us in our endeavour that we do now called HELLYEAH and to continue to follow and we’re looking forward to kicking some ass the next couple of nights. Come on out.
If they miss you this time, check it out in February…
VP: Hellyeah ha ha
CG: Absolutely, but don’t miss us this time, this is going to be a whole different deal. Tomorrow night is one vibe and February is another vibe, experience them both because tomorrow night is going to be off the Goddamn chain.
Well we’ll spread the word and we’re looking forward to tomorrow night.
VP: Any idea whether Mel Gibson is gonna show up or not? Ha ha ha ha ha I was hoping we could get him up on stage and maybe get him to do a little screaming into one of those tunes with Chad. He sounds pretty good on those phone recordings; he’s got some balls ha ha ha ha.
Chad finishes the interview off with his best Mel Gibson impersonation. Not suitable for this time slot ha ha.