According to The Pulse Of Radio, HELLYEAH singer Chad Gray has told England's TeamRock that a song on the band's upcoming album called "Black December" is a tribute to late PANTERA guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott, brother of HELLYEAH drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott. Gray explained, "I didn't really know Dime, but he inspired me and his band inspired me. A lot of people I have a brotherhood with were really close to him. I've heard just about every story you can hear about him. He lived in the moment and that how I strive to be. He very much lived for right now and it was awesome, he loved to put smiles on people's faces."
Vinnie Paul told The Pulse Of Radio more about the inspiration for the song. "Obviously my brother was taken on December 8th, Lennon was on December 8th, Pearl Harbor was December 7th... so much stuff, and people think of December generally as this happy, happy, happy month, you know," he said. "Here it is, Christmas, the holidays, friends, family, New Year. Well, for a lot of people, it's not."
"Black December" appears on HELLYEAH's fourth studio album, "Blood For Blood", which will be released on June 10 via Eleven Seven Music. The CD was helmed by producer Kevin Churko at his The Hideout Recording Studio in Las Vegas, Nevada. Churko is the Canadian musician, sound engineer, songwriter and record producer who has previously worked with OZZY OSBOURNE, FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH and IN THIS MOMENT, among other acts.
HELLYEAH parted ways with guitarist Greg Tribbett and bassist Bob "Zilla" Kahaha before making the new album, with Vinnie saying that the split became necessary after HELLYEAH finished its last tour.
He explained, "We felt like we had really got some momentum and the fans were really into where we were going and what we were doing musically and we got into the studio about three weeks after that tour was over and it just really became obvious to us that Greg and Zilla, they weren't really in the same head space as us."
HELLYEAH has recruited new bassist Kyle Sanders, a former member of BLOODSIMPLE and the brother of MASTODON's Troy Sanders. Also in the current lineup is touring guitarist Christian Brady. who has previously played with MAGNA-FI and FRANKY PEREZ & THE TRUTH.
A press release describes "Blood For Blood" as a "welcome return to form" for the band, adding that it "sounds like a recharged HELLYEAH, taken up many notches."