Hellyeah’s Chad Gray ‘Was Livid’ at Vinnie Paul Grammys Snub – Interview
Just about two weeks ago, Hellyeah played a show in honor of the late Vinnie Paul, who sadly passed away last summer. Days before the show, it was announced that Stone Sour drummer Roy Mayorga would be filling in on the drums in place of Paul. "He was such a perfect fit," frontman Chad Gray tells Toni Gonzalez in a new and very deep Loudwire Nights interview. To hear more about how Hellyeah recruited Mayorga, the new album Welcome Home and how Gray felt about Paul being snubbed by The Grammys - read the interview highlights below.
Back in February, the rock and metal community were furious when the Grammys left Vinnie Paul out of their In Memoriam segment. "I was livid, I thought it was ridiculous," Gray grunts. "To be nominated four times and then not to be recognized in your passing, when you contributed so much to music, it makes me question what the Grammys are really all about. It's about music, right?" he laughs.
Hellyeah played their first show without Paul on May 11, and Gray didn't feel as "paralyzed from fear and anxiety" as he thought he would when he woke up that morning. The frontman, who had spent the months following Paul's passing in a consistent cycle of mourning, admits he was able to relieve a lot of his grief when he celebrated his late friend's birthday in March. "I'm always gonna miss him and I'm always gonna love him. But it was trying to put the grieving and mourning away and start celebrating the great memories that he left me, and all the wonderful things he did for all of us in music," he says.
Mayorga was recruited by the band to play drums at the celebration show. Gray praises the Stone Sour drummer's dedication to carrying Paul's torch, citing that he spent six hours a day rehearsing their songs for a month and a half. He even requested Go-Pro footage of Paul's drumming, which was filmed from his perspective, so he could physically see how the songs were played in addition to hearing them.
"Nobody wants to replace Vinnie, we don't want to replace him - it's impossible," Gray acknowledges. "[Mayorga] took it very, very seriously and he played incredible. He's one of the most wonderful human beings you'll ever meet in your life. So he was such a perfect fit."
Welcome Home is Hellyeah's upcoming album, which will be out in September. It's the band's first record to be released after Paul's passing, but only six songs were written after the fact. Gray says that although it would have been easy to give up on the band after a member had fallen, but he made a promise to Paul that he would finish the record and release it. "Vinnie was my muse. He was my light and my fire," the vocalist reflects. "This is probably the most versatile we've ever been as a band."
To hear more of the interview, listen to the audio above.
Hellyeah are heading out on tour, with Mayorga on drums, starting in July. See the dates here.
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