Vinnie Paul Talks About Former Bandmates
Band Photo: Damageplan (?)
Andre Mihsin from Canada's Chart Attack has posted this report:
After the murder of his brother, Dimebag Darrell Abbott, Vinnie Paul Abbott took a break from making music. But he has finally returned with HELLYEAH, a band that includes Abbott on drums along with DAMAGEPLAN bassist Bob Zilla, vocalist Chad Gray and guitarist Greg Tribbett from MUDVAYNE and guitarist Tom Maxwell from NOTHINGFACE. After such a long time away from the music scene, there was a lot of catching up to do with Abbott's new project, his Big Vin Records label and the relationship with his former PANTERA band mates.
Chart Attack: Did you guys make a conscious decision to make a more straight-up rock record as opposed to a heavy record like DAMAGEPLAN or PANTERA?
Vinnie Paul: "The two most important things to me for this record were I wanted everything to have a really kick-ass groove to it that you can tap your foot to or bang your head or mosh to or whatever and have really great songs - songs that people will remember."
Chart Attack: You have a lot of friends from Zakk Wylde to David Allan Coe that you could have worked with. Did you approach anyone about forming a band?
Vinnie Paul: "I decided it was something that was going to have to fall in my lap. It wasn't something that I was going to go searching for. I was really content at the time working on my record label. We had just released the Rebel Meets Rebel and the Dimevision when the [MUDVAYNE] guys called me."
Chart Attack: Even back in the PANTERA days you were always involved in the production aspect of the record. Is producing a record without being in the band something you would want to try?
Vinnie Paul: "I've thought about it, but I still love touring and I still love being out on the road. I missed it quite a bit during the time period I was away from it. So I feel like as long as I'm physically able to go do that, playing is always going to be a part of what I do."
Chart Attack: As the most experienced guy in the band you certainly add a level of leadership. However, is there anything you learned from working with the younger guys?
Vinnie Paul: "I think we always complemented each other quite well. It was really cool to see how well Chad and Greg worked together on his vocal performances. Everyone has different ideas and different techniques that they bring to the table so every time you go into the studio it's new and a different experience and you try to remember all the good things that you learned from it and pass on the things that didn't work and the ideas that were time-consuming and just go from there."
Chart Attack: Why did you guys decide to join the Family Values Tour?
Vinnie Paul: "They invited us to be a part of it. We wanted this band to play to as many people as possible. Going out doing a headliner as a brand new band is really tough, you only reach 500, 600, maybe 1,000 people a night, whereas being part of a big package tour like that there's an opportunity to play for anywhere between 10,000 to 20,000 people a night. We really felt like this music was made for the masses and that's what we want to do is bring it to as many people as possible."
Chart Attack: Will you get involved in any other musical projects when the other HELLYEAH guys go back to their bands?
Vinnie Paul: "The main thing is I'm really going to listen to a lot of demos this summer while I'm out because I really am interested in signing a band or two to my label that I really feel has something new and different to offer and putting them out. When those guys get done touring for the MUDVAYNE and NOTHINGFACE records, we'll get back together and do 'Hellyeah II' as soon as we can because everybody is really fired up about it, and they all come from great bands so we'll see where it goes from there."
Chart Attack: I heard that 'Hellyeah II' is already in the works.
Vinnie Paul: "We'll let that rumour fly around, but there's a lot of material there. We're videotaping and collecting everything that we're doing out on the road and we definitely feel like the kind of excitement and fun that goes along with this band that would definitely dictate us having a DVD. So I think that's the next thing you'll see from us."
Chart Attack: You mentioned your label, Big Vin Records. Do you have any upcoming releases?
Vinnie Paul: "The only thing that's really in the works is Dimevision II. We're looking for a fourth quarter release. I also got this comedian that I love called The Chinaman. I'm working on his DVD that we're going to get out pretty soon. That's where it kind of sits right now."
Chart Attack: Any unreleased DAMAGEPLAN, PANTERA or Dimebag material?
Vinnie Paul: "I've got all the demos that me and Dime were working on before everything had happened, and we felt like it was some of the best music we'd ever written and we were really excited about it. We felt like it was going to get us back to a place of recognition like we were with PANTERA. I would think people would definitely want to hear that music and we'll get it out, but right now I'm really focused on HELLYEAH and seeing where this goes. And once this runs its course for this particular record then I'll look at some of those demos."
Chart Attack: What's HELLYEAH doing after Family Values?
Vinnie Paul: "We plan on staying out until the end of the year. The success of the band will dictate that. I'm hoping we finish strong on the Family Values Tour. At that point we'll go out and do another headlining run."
Chart Attack: I don't want to talk too much about the past because what needed to be said has already been said. But what I haven't heard anything about is your relationship with former PANTERA bassist Rex Brown. Do you still have relationship with him?
Vinnie Paul: "Not really. The bridges and the family and everything were destroyed back in 2001. It's kind of hard to have any reason to want to speak to either one of those guys [Rex and former PANTERA vocalist Phil Anselmo]. I just leave it at that. I'm moving on with my life and I'm sure they're moving on with theirs and that's how that's going to be."
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