VINNIE PAUL: 'I Like To Not Have To Depend On Music To Support Myself'

VINNIE PAUL: 'I Like To Not Have To Depend On Music To Support Myself' recently conducted an interview with former PANTERA and current HELLYEAH drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below. You've talked about challenging yourself, and in order to move forward to change as well. How do you challenge yourself as a drummer and a band? Trying ideas for the sake of trying new ideas?

Vinnie: That's kind of what [producer] Kevin [Churko] did [on the new HELLYEAH album "Blood For Blood"]; he brought a few more ideas. I've produced for a long time. I hear things in my head, I know how I want them to go, but there were some places where he would go, "I really like that drum lick, but let's try something different, see if it's better, or if it's not better," whereas if I do something and I'm producing on my own, I'm, like, "That's the drum lick. I like it." My philosophy on drumming has always been to play enough to keep other drummers interested in what you're doing, and be excited about it, but not play so much as in it goes over the average listener's head. It just turns into noise at some point, and there so many bands that forget that, especially drummers, that are all over the place. They are just drumming the whole song, and if it doesn't add to the song, it almost takes away from it; it's just too busy. There's too much. There are places where a drummer should shine, and the rest of the places you're just the backbone. You've got to lay it down and be that solid foundation for the music, and that's my philosophy. One of the things I didn't know about you is that you're a pretty prolific businessman; you own stuff and invest. You hear most rock stars and famous people have trouble with their money, but you bought your own tour bus outright, you own some strip clubs… I've never met someone who owns strip clubs. What's the deal? Is it, "Great, it's free tits?" then it's like a nightmare, because this girl didn't show? I imagine you're not that hands-on?

Vinnie: I don't get hands-on, no, but for the longest period of time, I spent a lot of time in strip clubs when I was on tour. When we would get done playing, I would take my entourage and we'd go down the strip bar and have a good time. It's a great place to go to where you're not surrounded by people that are always fans, signing autographs, taking pictures. There's beautiful girls there, there's good rock and roll music, there's drinks, and I figured I'd spent enough money in them, the only way I was going to get any of it back was to own my own. So I got involved in the ownership thing. I've always been a down-to-earth business guy. That was the beautiful thing about me and my brother as we worked together, is that I could be the business guy, and he could be the party-all-night-rock-and-roll-all-day guy, and he would be the life of the party and I would be able to make sure we were all getting paid and things were getting done right. I like being able to own things, to not have to depend on music to support myself. Music hadn't supported me since 2000. I mean, it really hasn't. I just do it because I love doing it. Is that something you learned over time, being exposed to the business, or something you picked up from your old man?

Vinnie: My dad, he was a really business-orientated person. I picked a lot of that up from him, like you said. I own four strip bars, a sports bar, I own a music complex now, three of my own tour buses. I can't even remember everything.

Read the entire interview at


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