Like Metal? Hellyeah. Like Mudvayne, Pantera, Danzig and Damageplan. Hellyeah. Done. Well, maybe it's not that simple.
Hellyeah, with members from the aforementioned bands, certainly qualifies as a supergroup. But it likely wouldn't be with drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott, if not for a tragedy three years earlier.
Post-Pantera, Vinnie Paul and guitarist brother, Dimebag Darrell, launched Damageplan. The group had released their debut album and launched a club tour. During gig in Columbus, OH (of all places), a Pantera fan with more mental and emotional problems than can be listed here, fatally shot Dimebag and other club patrons. That effectively ended Damageplan.
Mudvayne's singer Chad Gray and guitarist Greg Tribbett were looking for another creative outlet. So the idea of forming an entity separate from Mudvayne made sense. And because every self-respecting Metal band needs a first class bassist, Danzig vet, Jerry Montano was added.
The name Hellyeah conjures all sorts of hard-partying images. And that was just what it was suppose to do. "(The name) means late teens, keggers and chicks and AC/DC and Metallica," said Gray. "(Our album is) a very youthful, making-bad-decisions-and-learning-from-them record. To me, it's summertime when I was 19 years old."
The group's self-titled debut album was recorded in Dallas at Darrell's studio. It featured "Hellyeah," "Matter Of Time" and the single, "You Wouldn't Know."
"It's cool to have both Mudvayne and Hellyeah as creative outlets now," said Gray, during a recording session, "even though the approach, subject matter and attitudes between the two projects are completely different."
Hellyeah barely got out of the gate before they hit a snag. Following the album's release the announcement came that Montano had decided to move on. He was replaced by Bob Zilla (Robert Kakaha), formerly of Damageplan.
Hellyeah unleashed their next set, "Stampede," in July, '10. The album sold 28,000 copies in its first week of release to debut at #8 on the Billboard 200 - the group's highest charting album to date.
'12 release, "Band Of Brothers," had a strong debut - though not as impressive as its predecessor - going to #19 after its first week. Produced by Jeremy Parker (Godsmack, Evanescence), the album was recorded at Paul's home studio in Dallas.
Making the best use of their time, Hellyeah distributed a couple major announcements simultaneously in early '14. First came news that Tribbett and Zilla had left, and that Zilla's replacement was Kyle Sanders. Later, former Magna-Fi guitarist Christian Brady was added to the line-up.
Then Hellyeah discussed the late spring release of their fourth album "Blood For Blood." Rather than using Paul's home studio again, "Blood For Blood" was recorded in Las Vegas. Also, the high profile Parker was replaced by another producer with an impressive resume, Kevin Churko (Ozzy Osbourne, Five Finger Death Punch).
While supporting the album with a '15 European tour, Maxwell had to sit out the final shows after breaking his foot in three places. Brady handled all the guitar duties.
Hellyeah's '16 album "Unden!able" was notable for containing a Dimebag Darrell performance. Years earlier, Dimebag and Paul recorded a cover of Phil Collins' "I Don't Care Anymore," which had remained in Paul's archive.
The album also marked the first time guitarist Christian Brady and bassist Kyle Sanders appeared on a Hellyeah album. "Human" was the lead single.
2012 Band Of Brothers
2014 Blood For Blood
The band sounds like Pantera crossed with Mudvayne vocals. Hellyeah!
Operating against the stereotype, Hellyeah also has an excellent feel for acoustic Country Blues as "Alcohaulin' Ass" (from "Hellyeah") demonstrates.