Steven Rosen of Ultimate-Guitar.com recently conducted an interview with HELLYEAH guitarists Tom Maxwell and Greg Tribbett. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Ultimate-Guitar.com: When you first played with Vinnie [Paul Abbott, drums], was he as great as you thought he’d be?
Maxwell: Absolutely. I think it took a couple days for us to get into our groove, but we started writing right away and his insight and his ears are incredible. He would go in there and he’d hear things that we’re not hearing. Whether it’s sound or whether it’s just arrangement parts. Look, him and his brother wrote all those great songs and some of the most defining music in metal history. So he definitely brought that aspect into it and still does.
Ultimate-Guitar.com: The “Band Of Brothers” album is where it all came together musically?
Maxwell: We were fuckin’ focused coming into this record. We came off the tour of the last cycle and I remember having a conversation with Greg, just saying, “This next fuckin’ record, let’s just get fuckin’ balls out and bring what we are as individuals. Who you are and who I am, who Chad [Gray, vocals] is, who Vinnie is and who Bob [Zilla; bass] is and bring it in and be that. No more experimenting. Let’s just do what we fuckin’ do without thinking. Just go.” And that’s what we did and you hear it.
Tribbett: You can hear all the influences from all the bands and Vinnie‘s crushing it on the drums.
Maxwell: I read a review and the guy said Vinnie hasn’t sounded this fierce since [PANTERA‘s] “Great Southern” or “Far Beyond”. He broke out his old fucking sounds and his tones. He said, “You wanna hear fuckin’ Vinnie Paul? You’re gonna get it. Here it is.” Totally rad.
Ultimate-Guitar.com: Were you able to get all your excesses out on “Band Of Brothers”?
Maxwell: Me personally, I got everything I wanted out of this record. It’s all there for me. I listen to it and I don’t have any dead spots in the way I feel. Like, “This song shoulda, coulda had this or should not have that.” It all came out and I’m fuckin’ beyond proud of this record. Part of the cool thing about it is at the end of the day the insecurities of when we were first finished doing it are gone. I’m like, “Man, is this fuckin’ song good enough? Is this record good enough?” There’s always that hunger to know you did a good job. Then after we hear the mix and the master and the reaction from people, it’s kinda like a sigh of, “Yeah man, I fuckin’ did it. We fuckin’ did it.”
Ultimate-Guitar.com: Without trying to sound maudlin or corny, do you think [late PANTERA guitarist and Vinnie Paul‘s brother] Dime [“Dimebag” Darrell Abbott] is looking down and digging “Band Of Brothers”?
Maxwell: All the time. The funny thing is his big number is 333 and we see it everywhere we go. We were in Tokyo taking the bullet train and the train number was 333. Vinnie took a picture of it and posted it on Facebook.
Maxwell: Vinnie said something really fuckin’ deep. He said, “My brother would have loved this band and he’s with this band.” He feels it. Listen, he might be gone, but the essence of his life is running through the very veins of Vinnie still to this day and so is his spirit. And Vince brings that and in a way he kind of took the reins from a lot of things that Dime was and just continued on with it. Like Dime and like Vinnie said, and I can apply it to Vince, Vince gets off on making people happy and making sure everybody is having a good time and loving it. So yeah, I definitely feel that his spirit and all that lives through with us. And with anybody that was a real true fan of PANTERA and Dime — they know what I’m talkin’ about. Every time you put on that record, he’s alive.
Read the entire interview from Ultimate-Guitar.com.