HELLYEAH drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott spoke to Lithium Magazine about the band's cover of Phil Collins's "I Don't Care Anymore". The song is taken from HELLYEAH's new album, "Unden!able", which arrived on June 3.
"I Don't Care Anymore" features a guitar track from late PANTERA guitarist and Vinnie Paul's brother "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott, which Vinnie and Dimebag first recorded 14 years ago. Dimebag was shot to death in 2004 in a nightclub.
"Man, it was so special for that to happen," Vinnie said about unearthing Dimebag's guitar track for "I Don't Care Anymore". "It was an accident, which is amazing. We were basically done recording and we were sitting around in the control room talking about songs that we liked. Christian Brady [guitar] said that he loved that song 'I Don't Care Anymore' by Phil Collins. And I can remember thinking, 'Bingo.' I started laughing and said, 'You've got to be kidding me, man. Me and Dime covered that fourteen years ago when we were in DAMAGEPLAN and we just never put it out.' And then [producer] Kevin Churko chimed in that he'd worked with Phil Collins before, and how cool would it be if we did this? So we immediately just hopped in the studio and started working on a version."
He continued: "We took an old song with a really familiar sound and really brought it up to date for 2016. We totally made it HELLYEAH. And as we were doing this, it came up that it would be cool if we could get Dime's tracks and make them part of this, you know? We went through the rigors of extracting his guitar tracks from the old RADAR [audio recording] system to get them into what we were doing now, Pro Tools [digital audio workstation], and got it on there.
"Man, everyone in the room had goose bumps the first time we heard it right through. I think it's truly amazing that in the year 2016 that people get to hear Dimebag again — and blazing across the radio, because PANTERA never was on the radio back in the day. For fans to be able to hear him again and for him to be a part of HELLYEAH is incredible.
"From day one, Dime has been a part of our driving force, pushing us to create. We are really ecstatic about that, really proud of it. And also for me as a drummer, [I was] always a big fan of Phil Collins. I've loved everything he's ever done. Awesome drummer. Great singer. It's just a cool track all the way around."
Asked if he ever gets to do any interviews and not talk about PANTERA, Vinnie said: "Ah, you know, it's getting less and less. I just got back from South America. It was our first time with HELLYEAH down there, and I really expected to get a ton of that. It was really limited. And the audiences, I could believe how well they received the band. They just treated us like we are exactly who we are: a new band to them. They were into it, and it was a powerhouse thing to them.
"They are two different bands. They are completely different from each other."
Vinnie continued: "The thing that people have to realize is that I don't live in the past. I did a lot of great things in the past, but I live for today and for the future. If you live in the past, you have no future.
"I'm really proud of what I do with HELLYEAH and I'm focused on it.
"I will never take anything away from PANTERA. It was great, we had fourteen amazing years together. But it's no longer here. My brother is no longer here. So we have to carry on, you know?"
"Unden!able" marks the first time that HELLYEAH's current lineup — which includes Vinnie, Christian, guitarist Tom Maxwell, singer Chad Gray and bassist Kyle Sanders — has recorded together as a unit.
HELLYEAH recorded "Unden!able" at The Hideout Recording Studio in Las Vegas, where it was produced by Churko, who co-wrote all the songs.