HELLYEAH guitarist Tom Maxwell says that Vinnie Paul Abbott was a "brutally kind" and "wonderful human being."
The former PANTERA drummer passed away in June 2018 at the age of 54 in his sleep at his home in Las Vegas. The official cause of death was dilated cardiomyopathy, an enlarged heart, as well as severe coronary artery disease.
Vinnie recorded a total of six albums with HELLYEAH over the past decade, including the upcoming "Welcome Home", for which he laid down his drum tracks before his passing.
Asked in a new interview with Consequence Of Sound what he misses most about Vinnie Paul, Tom said: "Wow. Just him. Just all of it. Him as a whole. There's so much to that guy, and not just his kindness and selflessness. He was in no way narcissistic or self-absorbed. He was about everybody else and making sure everybody was happy and content and taken care of. He was just brutally kind and a wonderful human being. If you can imagine what it would be like to be around Santa Claus, that's what he was like. He brought that kind of joy.
HELLYEAH has just completed a U.S. tour — its first since Vinnie's passing and the debut of STONE SOUR member Roy Mayorga as Vinnie's replacement.
"Roy is awesome," Tom said. "We've been friends for years and toured together back in 2010 with STONE SOUR and HELLYEAH. We wanted to have somebody come in who was a bro and friend, not somebody who we didn't know or weren't comfortable around. It was already a relationship that was established, and he and Vinnie were friends and respected each other, and that was really important for us, that we got somebody that Vinnie liked and knew. And it was somebody fans liked, too, and he's killing it and doing a great job."
HELLYEAH's 18-city headlining summer outing kicked off on July 23 in Atlanta, and culminated in a special celebration on August 17 in Dallas, Texas.
"Welcome Home" will be released on September 27 via Eleven Seven Music.
Like the last two records, 2016's "Unden!able" and 2014's "Blood For Blood", "Welcome Home" was recorded at The Hideout Recording Studio in Las Vegas, Nevada with producer Kevin Churko.