But now, after three albums, Hellyeah has established itself as a melodic force, fusing dirty grooves with sludgey metal, with each album easily surpassing the last. While their debut CD Hellyeah wasn't exactly what fans wanted to hear--the members turned away from the sounds they were comfortable with on purpose--their latest effort Band of Brothers seems to make everyone happy. It's a straight up barrage of grinding, machine gun-rifffing, jack-hammer doublebass, and gutteral vocals
Hellyeah is not only playing on Uproar/Desert Uprising at Ashley Furniture HomeStore Pavilion this weekend, but is also kicking off a tour with Lamb of God at the end of October.
Up On The Sun talked with drummer Vinnie Paul about the evolution of Hellyeah's records, the legend of Pantera, and opening a strip club in Phoenix.
Up On The Sun: How are you doing today?
Vinnie Paul: I'm all good. Coming off a big Cowboys win last night and I am excited! [Cheers and whistles.]
Congratulations on all the success you guys have had with the new album, Band of Brothers. It's much heavier than Hellyeah and Stampede. I feel like this new one still maintains that charm of friends getting together to have a good time, but is just heavy as hell. What's the story behind that?
You know, the first two records were a great way for us to do something outside of the box -- different from what we've done with our previous bands. Once we got that out of our system, we wanted to get back to our roots and really bring the elements from our previous bands into what we do with Hellyeah, so obviously that made a much more focused, different record. We recorded it at my house, just like the other records, and it was a great working situation. We all lived together, wrote the songs together, drank together, barbecued together. It just made a cohesive band and it really hints behind the title. We really felt like a solid band this time around, and I think we've really excited our fanbase with what we've done and we feel good about it.
How was it recording with producer Jeremy Parker on Band of Brothers? Was anything he brought to the table a major influence in the direction of the album?
No man, he's just a really amazing engineer. He's probably the best engineer I've ever worked with. He has his stuff together, knows exactly what he's doing, and sometimes before you even finish your sentence he'll be like, "Is that what you're talking about?" He's spot on and one of those kind of producers that we appreciate as artists, because he really doesn't step in and try to write the songs for us, or change the musical direction or style. He's just there to help us get the picture that we're looking for.
I saw your last show here in Phoenix, and am stoked you're on Desert Uprising as well. Is there a band on that bill you're excited to watch?
I'm just excited to be on it period, you know. I wish we could be on the entire tour with those bands, but to be able to be a part of the show in Phoenix is really exciting for us. Phoenix is one of the best rock and roll towns in the entire United States of America and it's always a blast to play there. It's gonna be a great time to kick back, see a bunch of familiar faces and kick some ass.