MetalSucks contributor Sammy O'Hagar recently conducted an interview with drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott (HELLYEAH, PANTERA, DAMAGEPLAN). An excerpt follows below.
MetalSucks: What's your opinion on the music climate that's going on right now, especially being a record label owner just as much as being a musician at this point?
Vinnie Paul: I think it's very difficult for all of us in the music business, whether you're an artist or a record company, because of the piracy problem that's going on. When people talk about the economy suffering, shit, look what's happened to the music business. Platinum records used to be a goal for people. Now you're praying to get to 100,000 units for the record. It's that far off from what it used to be. It's very difficult, and I don't know if it's the fact that the fans are so used to getting their music for free that they don't keep up with bands like they used to, or what it is. I'm sure that's a huge part of it, but I remember back in the day when I was a kid, I couldn't wait to get the new KISS or TED NUGENT or whatever and hold the album and look at the cover inside and out, play the record, go to the concerts. I think that's kind of a has-been thing. It doesn't really happen like that anymore. With these kids, somebody tells them that something happened and then they got to go see it live. They can always go to that thing called the Internet and download one or two songs and the band never sees a penny. It's difficult.
MetalSucks: Do you think that that is making music as a whole suffer? Not even financially, just music itself.
Vinnie Paul: You have to look at it as a career. You have to be serious about playing music and that's got to be something that you only want to do. At the same time, if you cannot financially support yourself while you're doing it, at some point in time, you're going to lose interest in it. It would be like being a basketball player or a football player, you love doing it, but if you're not getting paid at the end of the day, you can't really do it anymore.
MetalSucks: Yeah, that kind of puts a kink in things.
Vinnie Paul: It does. It fucks everything up.
MetalSucks: Speaking of playing music, what can you tell us about the new HELLYEAH record?
Vinnie Paul: I think it's going to be an extension of the last one. That was the good thing about that record, we never pigeonholed ourselves into that one certain corner or sound. It's very diverse, very open. From us touring together and playing live and really see the fan reactions, we definitely molded into a real band. It really solidified everything being able to be on tour. Everyone is so super excited about getting back together and doing this thing again. Everyone is really focused. We nearly got a gold record last year. We sold over 400,000 units, and like I said earlier, that's really tough to do in this day and age. We're going to try to push it all the way to the next level this time around. Expect more of the same, a little more intense and a little more fun.
Read the entire interview from MetalSucks.