HELLYEAH guitarist Tom Maxwell says that Vinnie Paul Abbott was "always worried" that his life would end prematurely in the years prior to his untimely death.
Vinnie Paul 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.
In a brand new interview with "Midwest Beatdown", Maxwell said that Vinnie Paul was concerned that he would not get to live a long life, especially in the wake of some of the other high-profile deaths that have rocked the music world.
"Every time there was a death from one of our peers — the Cornells and everybody — he was always pretty taken aback by it; he was always worried that it was gonna happen to him," the guitarist said (hear audio below). "And he was always constantly checking his blood pressure. I just wish he would have went to the doctor sooner. Maybe they would have caught something. I don't know. 'Cause he was always really afraid that this kind of a thing was gonna happen, and it did. It's bizarre."
According to Maxwell, he and the rest of his surviving bandmates are honoring Vinnie Paul by continuing HELLYEAH after the legendary drummer's passing.
"The only thing we can do is keep [HELLYEAH] and this music going, man, because it took a lot for him to will himself after Dime got shot and killed," he said, referring to Vinnie Paul's brother, PANTERA guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott, who was shot dead onstage in December 2004 by a deranged gunman as he and Vinnie Paul performed with DAMAGEPLAN in Columbus, Ohio. "[Vinnie] was on a downward spiral — he was on a mission to join his brother. And we came along and kind of… He used to say we saved his life. And so I think if we were just to be weak and go, 'We can't do this anymore,' he would be pretty disappointed in us. Because he did it. And he was happy. He came out of it. So we have to kind of use that as an example. And there's one thing, too, about Vince. He had such a positive impact and positive energy. It was like being around Santa Claus. You were happy to be around him. You felt good. He made you feel good. So there's that big part of it that's missing. But we're doing our best, man."
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.
HELLYEAH's 18-city headlining summer outing kicked off on July 23 in Atlanta, and culminated in a special celebration on Saturday, 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.