The Circle Pit recently conducted an interview with HELLYEAH and MUDVAYNE singer Chad Gray. You can now watch the chat below.
Asked about HELLYEAH’s plans to record the follow-up to 2014’s “Blood For Blood” album, Chad said: “We’re to Australia, New Zealand and Japan. We’re doing three USO shows in Japan, which is awesome… We’re gonna come back, we’re gonna take, like, literally two weeks off and we’re gonna start laying down music beds and start to get into the studio.”
He continued: “When HELLYEAH started, it was an experiment; I was doing MUDVAYNE and HELLYEAH, so they had to be very different, you know what I mean? And still, the [second HELLYEAH] record, ‘Stampede’, I was still doing MUDVAYNE and HELLYEAH, so it’s, like, I really needed to keep them separate. And then ‘Band Of Brothers’ started setting the tone of where we’re at, or whatever. And then we feel like ‘Blood For Blood’ was the record that really kind of… It’s like having a camera that’s slightly out of focus and just [adjusting it] and everything becomes sharp and clear and stuff like that.
“In order to be what you are, I think you have to define it. And I think it’s taken us ’till ‘Blood For Blood’ to really define what HELLYEAH means to us.
“Vinnie’s [Paul Abbott, former PANTERA and current HELLYEAH drummer] got a legacy that’s forever and a day long. He can still bring it like a motherfucker. He loves to bring it like a motherfucker. I love to scream and yell and sing and be helpless and be fucking aggressive, and ‘fuck you!’ You know what I mean? I still have all those things inside of me that I think true metal was built on. Metal’s always been that music that runs the gamut of all human emotion.”
Gray added: “I’m excited. I was a little [nervous] coming off ‘Blood For Blood’, ‘cause I feel like that’s absolutely, without a doubt, our most complete A-to-Z body of work that HELLYEAH has done, and in my top of what I’ve done — even with MUDVAYNE. I’m getting back to being me. I’m writing like Chad Gray writes. I’m not wearing a HELLYEAH hat or a MUDVAYNE hat. So I’m just being fucking me. And Vinnie’s just being Vinnie. And Tom’s [Maxwell, guitar] just being Tom. We brought Kyle [Sanders, bass] and Christian [Brady, guitar] in, and we’re excited to see what they bring to the table, but we’re not gonna fix what isn’t broken. We’re gonna start with Vinnie and Tom laying down the music beds, and I’ll wrap my head around that, start building melody ideas, lyrical ideas. I have fucking tons of lyrics that are just in a folder in my phone that I just literally… I’m writing shit now probably five or six times a day, you know what I mean? So I have a ton of shit to start, but I need the music beds to start laying it down to.
“So, yeah, we’re ready to go. Hopefully by the beginning of next year we’ll have a new record out. And we’ll see what happens from there.”
“Blood For Blood”, was HELLYEAH’s first release since parting ways with guitarist Greg Tribbett and bassist Bob “Zilla” Kahaha in 2013.
The CD sold around 17,000 copies in its first week of release to land at No. 18 on the Billboard chart.