On Friday July 6, super-group Hellyeah made its presence known in the City of Trees. Boise, Idaho got its collective bells rung when the guys rolled through town with Volbeat, Iced Earth, and Heart-Set Self-Destruct. Prior to the show The Scene sat down with guitarist Tom Maxwell for a brief chat about his new guitar line, Randy Blythe, his debut album with Knives Out!, and the new Hellyeah record.
Missing from the evening’s festivities was guitarist Greg Tribbett (Mudvayne) who missed the show due to a family emergency. The remainder of the group, Maxwell (Nothing Face, Knives Out!), bassist Bob Zilla (Damageplan), vocalist Chad Gray (Mudvayne), and drummer Vinnie Paul (Pantera, Damageplan) tore the house down just the same.
The band played a set fueled with aggressive energy—like four men possessed. The set was short, but they made it count. After kicking things off with “You Wouldn’t Know”, Gray stepped onto the crowd barrier to connect with the fans for “Cowboy Way”. Maxwell did a gifted job of holding down the fort without Tribbett. On two of the songs where he had to play slide, one of the band’s roadies came out to play rhythm guitar.
Hellyeah hit classics from their first two records like “Matter of Time”, “Alcoholin’ Ass”, and “Hell of a Time”, They also threw in two new tracks, “Band of Brothers” and “War In Me from the forthcoming third album, “Band of Brothers”.
The quintet is set to release the new record on July 17. After sewing some oats on the group’s first two records, this time around the guys decided to get back to the roots of their own individual styles. Maxwell called it “a really honest record.”
“I think vocally, especially, Chad really cut himself open on this one and let his heart bleed out a lot. And we as players we really pushed the envelope a lot and tried to find those hooks and those grooves, and timeless arrangements. Vinnie’s playing like he did on ‘Far Beyond (Driven]’. He’s just killing it. He’s playing like a drummer that has something to prove.”
You can watch the video interview at left, and stay tuned to this column for a more in-depth discussion with Hellyeah in the coming weeks.