JAM Magazine's Michael Insuaste recently conducted an interview with HELLYEAH singer Chad Gray. You can now listen to the chat in the YouTube clip below.
Speaking about late PANTERA guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott, the brother of HELLYEAH drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott, Chad said: "Dime was one of my inspirations, [and] I'm not a fucking guitar player. He inspired people to live. And that's what was so exciting about him.
"It's not about the guitar; it's about the quality, the brotherhood of bands, the difference between living and being alive.
"Living is just doing mundane tasks. Being alive is what that dude was. And he has really helped me… And I truly believe… Like a dog lives for the moment. When a fucking dog takes off running after a rabbit, he doesn't remember that five fucking seconds ago, he was sitting there looking at it.
"You have to live in the now, and I think that that's something he always did.
"I'll tell you what: It's a whole lot harder than what it seems. It's really hard to… If you do good things today, and you do the right thing today, that is what affects your future. I could sit here all day on my ass and dream about tomorrow and my future, but if I don't do something right this moment, right now — [like] having this interview with you… This interview with you is gonna determine hopefully something good that comes in my future. And I'm doing something now to expound upon my future. And that's living in the moment."
Chad also spoke about the tendency by some Internet "trolls" — people who intentionally incite discord in online communities — to say negative things about Dimebag despite the fact that the late PANTERA guitarist was universally respected by his peers.
"[Dimebag] was loved," Gray said. "I don't know anybody, and I don't know that I'd wanna know anybody that he didn't consider a friend or that doesn't have respect for him."
He continued: "I've seen fucking just absolute bullshit, people just talking, because every motherfucker's got a platform now, saying fucking rude, mean shit that if they were saying in front of me, I'd probably knock them the fuck out. It's just because they can, not necessarily because they mean it.
"Respect your elders, but fucking you better damn well respect your idols, and I guarantee you if you are a fucking guitar player, or a singer or a drummer, or anything that has to do with any part of music, at some point in time, that dude inspired people."
Abbott was shot onstage during a DAMAGEPLAN concert in December 2004 at the Alrosa Villa club in Columbus, Ohio by a 25-year-old ex-Marine named Nathan Gale. Gale murdered a total of four people and wounded three others before being killed himself by police officer James D. Niggemeyer, who arrived on the scene minutes after Gale began his rampage.