VINNIE PAUL On HELLYEAH And DOWN Headlining Michigan's DIRT FEST: It's All 'Media Hype'

VINNIE PAUL On HELLYEAH And DOWN Headlining Michigan's DIRT FEST: It's All 'Media Hype'

MusikUniverse.mu recently conducted an interview with former PANTERA and current HELLYEAH drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott. You can now watch the chat below. A couple of excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).

On HELLYEAH's musical direction for the next album:

"[2014's] 'Blood For Blood' sets the tone of where we're gonna go from now on with HELLYEAH. I think that's the sound we've been looking for. [When] we started off, everything we did was very experimental in the very beginning, and we kind of got back to our roots. And now that we've really settled in, know what we all bring to the table and where we all fit in, I think it's only gonna get better from here on out, man. Working with [producer] Kevin Churko really helped pull the very best out of all of us, and we're really looking forward to the next record, man."

On whether it was a band decision to explore different musical ground on the latest HELLYEAH album, "Blood For Blood":

"You know, it just happened. When we were writing the music… We never wanna write ten songs that have the same vibe or the same feel. We really want, with HELLYEAH in particular, our music to have peaks and valleys. It's like a wild roller coaster ride, man. It's not much of a ride if it all goes fast, it's not much of a ride if it all goes slow. But if you fucking go up and down, you really feel the rush of the highs and the depth and the melody of the lower spots, and they complement each other."

On whether HELLYEAH has a lot of new ideas for the next album:

"We've got a lot of great ideas. We don't ever write on the road, but it doesn't take us long once we get together. We've got about ten more days left on this. And then we take three days off. We have a week-and-a-half headline run that we do in the United States; there's, like, four festivals in there that we're doing. And then we go straight to Australia and New Zealand and Japan, which we haven't been down there in five years. So that's gonna wrap up the 'Blood For Blood' tour. We come back and we've got all of September to write and put all of our ideas together. And then starting October 1, we're right back out in [Las] Vegas with Kevin and going to work."

On the upcoming 20th-anniversary reissue of PANTERA's "The Great Southern Trendkill" album:

"It wouldn't matter if we had anything to do with it or not, the record company's gonna do it. It only benefits us to want to be a part of it, to service the fans and make it the very best package possible. Like I said, whether we wanted to do it or not, the record company's gonna do it, so we all participate, try to make it the very best that we can… I have no idea as of yet [what the bonus tracks are going to be on it], but I guarantee I'll start getting e-mails before long. What do you got? Can you dig in the vault and see what's there? You know, that's the hardest thing about digging into the past of PANTERA, is that we really never did any spare tracks. When we would tour, we would be on tour for two years and then we would go into the studio, and we always believed in quality, not quantity. And we would record the ten or eleven best fucking songs that we could put together, and that's all we did. And so there's not a lot of stuff just laying around. [But] there'll be [recordings of live] shows from that [era], and, like I said, there'll probably be some cool footage, backstage stuff, that people have never seen. And we'll do our best to make it very good."

On next month's Dirt Fest 2015 in Birch Run, Michigan, which is being billed as the first time former PANTERA bandmates Philip Anselmo and Vinnie Paul Abbott have been billed together as headliners (albeit on different days) — with DOWN and HELLYEAH, respectively — since the band's split in 2003:

"Media hype. Media hype. We play Friday night, man. I'm all about HELLYEAH; that's what I do. And we play the very next day in a place called Shiley Acres [in Inwood, West Virginia]. So as soon as we're done with the [Dirt Fest] show, I'm gone, man."

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