Hell Yeah is a breath of fresh air… not only for music fans but for the members of the band themselves.
Having served in some of the most prominent metal acts of the last 10 years, the 5 men who make up Hell Yeah have only one aim – to make metal dirty, drunk and most importantly, fun again!
We spoke with Chad (vocals)…
Friday June 15th
Interview by Cameron Chambers
w/ Chad (Vocals) of “Hell Yeah”.
Hey man, how are you this evening?
Good man, and yourself?
I’m great thanks
First thing’s first – name, what you do in the band and your drink
I’m Chad. I’m the singer/yeller/screamer
in Hell Yeah and my favourite drink? You’re going to laugh coz Aussie’s
always give this beer shit but Coors Light is the one for me.
Ha ha, Coors Light?
I love it man ha ha. It goes down
easy and comes up hard, you know? Ha ha
I’m sure you’ve probably
answered this question a million times before, but fill Australian fans
in on how “Hell Yeah” came together?
Well, it’s been in the works
for a long time. Greg and I did some touring early on in the Mudvayne
career, I think it was the “Tattoo The Earth” tour actually. Anyway,
we got on really well with the guys in Nothingface and usual story,
we got drunk and said yeah, we’re gonna start a band.
Before we even got together and
jammed we started coming up with bands names. We actually had about
five different band names without writing a note, ha ha. The hard thing
was with every member being in another band, scheduling was a nightmare.
It got to a point where we weren’t even sure if it was going to happen.
But I guess the stars aligned because it’s happening.
At the time we were looking for
a drummer Vinnie had decided that he was ready to play the drums again,
he just wasn’t sure who with. I think what made it really cool for
Vinnie and got him on board was that it was his face band, you know?
It wasn’t like he was joining Mudvayne or Nothingface, he was a part
of something and that made it his. It made it special for him and I
think that made it easier for him to get back into it.
I think just by having an opinion
on everything related to the band made Vinnie feel more of a part of
Given the enormous response
the record has received so far, would it be wrong of us to label
“Hell Yeah” as a side project?
Totally. It’s definitely not
a side project. We know it has a shelf life. At present, the Mudvayne
record is done and being mixed so it’s sitting on the launching pad.
We have an understanding which makes everything work. We’re not out
to jerk people off, you know. We didn’t want to write a record and
then say, “oh, we can’t tour”.
We knew wanted to tour on it so
it was just a case of strategically figuring out when we could do it.
So you’ve had a lot on your
plate then, ha ha?
Ha ha, definitely. We wrote the
Hell Yeah record, and then I went and recorded for the Mudvayne record.
Then back to Hell Yeah to tour. Once the touring cycle is over we’re
mixing the Mudvayne record and then heading out on tour and then I’ll
be back to Hell Yeah for more touring!
Sometimes it all feels like a
bit of a circus show but as long as you’ve got good people trying
to navigate for you and keep your head in the game then we’re going
to be fine.
It’s at the point now where
it’s not even full time any more, it’s like I’ve taken a 2nd
full time job! I guess I chose another job, ha ha.
Do any of the other members
have any musical commitments which may get in the way of
Nothingface have actually written
a new record and they’re recording it now. Once the touring for Hell
yeah is over Vinnie will go back to his label and put his business hat
Vinnie’s a really great businessman
and he loves it. He’s got his label, and his club and putting shows
etc… so Hell yeah is an outlet for him musically but he’s got other
things on the go.
What’s the writing process
like for you guys? Is there a dominant song writer or does your collective
experience means you all have a say in how a song turns out?
We didn’t have a preconceived
ideas of what was going to happen with this band. When it came time
to writing and recording the album I didn’t go down to the studio
with a notebook full of lyrics or anything like that.
Not to sound stupid but I kind
of wanted to go in there empty headed, ha ha. I just wanted to get in
a room and let the songs speak to me. I think we all went in there like
that and that way we could let it be what it is without forcing it.
We didn’t want to put the band
into a box, you know? We just threw riffs out there and wanted to see
what would happen.
Vinnie was the master facilitator
of the whole thing though man. When we first arrived at his place he
was like “hey, how you doing, I’ve built you a house”, ha ha.
The dude built this kabana thing
on his pool deck for all of us with air con, TV, beds so we felt comfortable
while we were doing the record. We used Vinnie’s studio where they
did some of the Pantera records, so that was just amazing and yeah,
Vinnie really just facilitated the whole thing.
He produced it too. It wasn’t
like “produced by some big name” and then co-produced by Vinnie
Paul. He did the whole thing! He definitely knows what he’s doing
when it comes to recording man. He’s got this theory where you just
hit record and start running shit. You just put riffs out and if you
hit a special moment then you’ve got em on tape, go back and listen
to it and arrange it from there.
He’s just a champ man.
You guys are touring right
through until September – what have you got planned after that?
Well, Mudvayne are booked to mix
the record and then hit the road after that but if Hell Yeah blows out
of the box then we might keep going until the end of the year.
I guess we’ll let the band’s
popularity dictate what we do!
What was your motivation to
start a new band? Were you looking for a creative outlet that could
give you something that “Mudvayne” couldn’t, or was the proposed
line-up for this band simply too good to refuse?
When a band reaches a certain
point things start to change. Parts of Mudvayne have become like a job.
You’re watching all these people work for you, and you’re recording,
touring, writing and there’s no space for any other creative channel.
I just wanted to be able to speak from a different headspace than the
Although Mudvayne is applicable
to my personal space, it’s still something of a concept. Not completely,
but it’s not an open door either, you know?
I didn’t want to write about
planets, and monoliths for this band. I just wanted to write about what
I want. Whatever the song dictates is what I should say. That was my
main motivation. Just to kick back and create some art and jam with
some talented people who I’ve admired for years.
You know, I’m Greg’s biggest
fan. We write most of the Mudvayne stuff together and he helps me engineer
my vocals and helps me with melodies as well. He’s just one hell of
Jamming with the guys from Nothingface
is great and Vinnie, well that’s obvious isn’t it!? I wanted to
play with that guy before I even knew him!
I know we’ve covered this
a bit already, but as a band, and as an individual, did you have any
preconceived notion of how you guys wanted to sound? Or did you just
plug in and see what happened?
Well, it’s a cool but at the
same tricky thing to put 5 guys together who’ve been in big bands.
They may be great players but they may not be able to write a song together
for shit. Ego can build a wall which stops that creativity.
Greg and I have no ego. You know,
I’m a guy with a good job, that’s all it is. We chased and caught
our dream and we’re very lucky so there’s no reason to be arrogant.
Vinnie is a great example of how
a rocks star should behave. He’s warm, friendly, hospitable and probably
the nicest guy on the planet. I can’t believe how cool he is for a
dude that’s sold that many records! He has every right to be the biggest
arsehole on the planet but he’s not.
The one thing that was playing
on my mind was that every dude in this band has come from being in a
band that only had 1 guitarist, so I was unsure of it would work with
2 guitarists. You know, it was a case of “how will they figure each
other out”? But they did it and it’s a credit to them. They just
threw a riff out there, and one person takes the riff to another place,
and then someone else adds something to it and then bang, it becomes
killer and you’ve got a song.
Just writing great songs has been
a blast man and I think once you let go of that ego you get some great
Was it intimidating the first
time you set foot in a practice space with Vinnie Paul sitting behind
Yeah dude. To be honest, I’d
only spoken to Vinnie for like, 38 seconds on the phone and then a month
later I was on a plane on my way to meeting him. I was like, “whoa,
I’m meeting Vinnie, you’ve gotta be shitting me”, ha ha. But I
just got on the plane and said fuck it and did it.
When I got down to Vinnie’s
place I was just blown away. It’s like, I don’t fucking know you
and you built me a house so I think it was more emotions than nerves
at that point.
It was an emotional time for Vinnie
as well. He hadn’t been down to the studio since Dime, so it was really
hard for him. I didn’t really know him but he knew that we were his
friends and that we supported him through it.
There was actually one stage where
Vinnie almost called the whole thing off and I understood man. I said
to him, if you can’t do it, don’t feel bad and that I understand
but he pushed through it.
The first few days were definitely
weird but after that, we just kept on keeping on. Vinnie knew that Dime
would’ve wanted him to do it. Vinnie really feels that Dime speaks
to him and says “you can still be alive and I can live through you”
so I think that got him through.
You know, they’re family man,
that’s a huge loss but some positivity can come out of that loss too.
All the members of
“Hell Yeah” have developed a chemistry with their band mates over
the years – was it hard to gel with a new group of people after playing
with the guys in Mudvayne for so long?
We didn’t have any troubles
man, there weren’t any teething problems. Vinnie’s so laid back.
I’ve only ever seen him get pissed off one time and it was at a parking
valet, ha ha ha.
Vinnie just wanted to park his
car in this spot and the valet was like “you can’t park there”,
so Vinnie just gets out and goes “how much fucking money do you want
for me to park here” and throws a $50 bill at him, ha ha.
Ha ha, that’s amazing.
Vinnie doesn’t get pissed man,
he’s just a go with the flow kind of guy.
How quickly did the material
for your self titled record come together?
Probably about a month man, maybe
a little bit over. We did an 8 day session first, then went home. Then
another 14 days and then another 10 day session.
We just used the time between
sessions to re charge the batteries you know. Get a fresh head, hang
out with my wife and our families and then head back down.
A lot of dudes who play in
metal bands seem to listen to a lot of very un-metal music
– who are some heavy bands that you’ve seen or heard lately that
have impressed you?
That’s a good question! Invitro
is Mikey Doling from Snot with some new cats in there. It’s bad ass
man, it’s quirky like Mr Bungle, you should check it out.
Thanks heaps for talking to
us mate, this will make for a really great interview.
No worries man, thanks a lot.
You can catch Hell Yeah on their upcoming tour. Here are the dates:
Jun. 29 – The Arena – Brisbane, AUS
Jun. 30 – UNSW Roundhouse – Sydney, AUS
Jul. 01 – Billboard, The Venue – Melbourne, AUS
Jul. 03 – Metropolis Fremantle – Perth, AUS