Danielle Hatch of the Journal Star recently conducted an interview with MUDVAYNE/HELLYEAH frontman Chad Gray. A few excerpts from the chat follow:
On performing with HELLYEAH at the East Peoria Convention Center on Wednesday:
"It's kind of where I spread my wings to get into the music business, it's where it all started to happen, so it definitely feels like home to me.
"I'm not on heroin, I've never done heroin, but I assume the road would be a lot like being on heroin. When you're on it, you don't really want to be, when you're off it, you need to get back on it."
On putting everything on the line to be part of MUDVAYNE years ago:
"I had a job that paid good money and I basically wasn't living my life, you know, I wasn't following the dream in my heart. I basically quit a $40,000-a-year factory job and moved to Peoria. In typical kid fashion, I didn't have one dime of savings, spent it on the stupidest crap ever, you know, bubble gum and pinwheels and beer.
"I didn't really know it was going to happen. I mean, I believed in what we were doing, absolutely. The way everything ended up panning out, it was a bit of a Cinderella story. It was kind of cool."
"I've always been an artist, I've always been a creative type of person, and I really needed to try to bring this to fruition. It's been the hardest damn job in my life, and just when I thought it couldn't get any harder, I got another full-time job."
On HELLYEAH's formation:
"It just came from bringing five different people together with five different attitudes and dropping our walls and letting go of our egos and really just trying to write our music. I started playing in HELLYEAH because MUDVAYNE consumed all of my time. (Now, with HELLYEAH) it's been nonstop, just beating it down and grinding. But it's showing in the sales. It's really hard to sell records these days and we're still selling anywhere between 4,700 and 5,500 records a week."
On how he keeps everything straight, switching back and forth between the two projects:
"It's not like I'm Jekyll and Hyde. But MUDVAYNE is a very calculated, very research-oriented math-metal kind of a band. That's how MUDVAYNE's always been and it's gotten more that way in themes and ideas. And that's great, that's fine, there's nothing wrong with that. But HELLYEAH, on the other hand. ... I'll listen to the music as I'm writing the song, and I'm not over-reading the book, and you just write it down and it works. It's just a different kind of thing."
On concerns from fans who are worried that HELLYEAH will cause the demise of MUDVAYNE:
"MUDVAYNE will always be there. Greg and I have been doing these back-to-back records — write, record, tour, take a small break, write, record tour, small break, write, record, tour. And we've been doing that for so many years, we were going to take a break (from MUDVAYNE) regardless. And I was like, you know what, man? We can go home and sit on our ass and watch TV or we can go do this thing. This is a must-needed break, and I think it's going to make MUDVAYNE even better."
HELLYEAH taking part in an interview and acoustic performance of "Alcohaulin' Ass" at 93X WMFS studios in Memphis, TN: