I sat down with Chad Gray and Kyle Sanders from Hellyeah after their set at the Welcome To Rockville Festival in Jacksonville, FL, we talked about their upcoming album, the Mitch Lucker memorial show and more. Hellyeah are currently out on tour supporting Avenged Sevenfold, be sure to check out any remaining and future tour dates. Hellyeah’s fourth full length album entitled “Blood For Blood” drops June 10th, be sure to pick it up.
Q – You guys played your set earlier on, how did you feel about it?
Chad – We dug it, it was a good time. Any day we get to get on stage play is a better day.
Kyle – Very hot, short and sweet.
Q – You guys are two weeks into your tour supporting Avenged Sevenfold, how’s it been treating you so far?
Chad – It’s been awesome. The band is great, they’re all pros and great players. They’ve been treating us very well. We’ve been playing for much bigger audiences as well, I think it was around eight thousand in Minneapolis.
Q – The band’s upcoming fourth full length album, “Blood For Blood” will be coming out one June 10. How do you feel the new album differentiates itself from your previous releases?
Chad – I think it’s more focused. Before it was like, if you could imagine taking a camera, you take a picture and just aim it at something and it’s kind of focused but it’s still a little blurry…But I feel like we did about as much as we could do with Hellyeah on our own without bringing in a producer. You have to sort of think of them as another member, he’s in the band for a couple months with you, and it’s in his best interest to make you sound better and bring the full potential of all of the songs. We live for these songs, we check our egos at the door, let the songs be as big as it can be, not worry about radio and shit like that, just let the songs breath and live. Kevin Churko (who has done 5 Finger Death Punch, Ozzy Osbourne, In This Moment etc) is just great, he’s so laid back, and just a really great guy and a hell of a talent. He really brought the best out of this band, we wrote the songs, but as far as him offering input, in the end you got a better Hellyeah record. We can’t wait to play it front to back
Q – You released a music video for the song “Sangre Por Sangre (Blood For Blood)” earlier this month, what was the idea behind it?
Chad – When you do singles, you service them out, and people will come to you and offer all kinds of crazy and outside the wall type ideas. And a couple of the ideas we got gave it more of the darker type imagery, I felt like it really represented what “Sangre Por Sangre (Blood For Blood)” truly means to me.
Q – You(Chad Gray) were one of the vocalists that performed at the Mitch Lucker Memorial Show back in December, 2012. How was it for you personally to be asked to be a part of the show, and how was the overall experience?
Chad – It was great. With Suicide Silence, I really fought for those guys back in my Mudvayne days, I heard and listened and loved what they were doing. I’m a big advocate of taking on younger bands. We were headlining with Black Label Society, I had an opportunity to have them open, and a lot of people were telling me it might not be the best move, and I just tell I don’t give a fuck, I like the band and I like what they do. It was a fresh take and a new vibe, all of the guys were awesome. When i heard about Mitch, I was really hurting and really bummed out, more so obviously for the rest of the band. I know what it’s like being in a band, it’s a brotherhood and they lost one of their brothers. And for me to be personally invited to come and sing “Fuck Everything” with those guys, it was just very cool and I was stoked to do it. It was an honor and a privilege to do it.
Q – What’s the best concert you’ve ever attended that you didn’t play?
Kyle – Metallica on their “Master Of Puppets” tour,
Chad – I’m going to have to agree. Same one.
Q – What are some of your favorite music releases from the past year?
Chad – Avenged Sevenfold’s record, our new record isn’t out yet so I can’t say that(laughs). The new album from Kyng.
Kyle – The new Kyng record.
Q – Once the album is out, what’s next for Hellyeah?
Chad – It’s kind of weird, literally after the record comes out we have a break. We’re going to Europe for sure. The other night we played in Birmingham, Ala-(Kyle – BAMA!), and sometime soon we’ll probably play where in Ala-(Kyle – BAMA!) again(laughs).
Kyle – Yeah we’re going to Europe, we have some big stuff this fall that we can’t talk about yet, but hopefully soon. But we’re definitely coming to fuck shit up.
Chad – We’re going to be bringing everything we’ve got, EVERYTHING.
Q – What’s one band you’ve never toured with that you wish you could tour with/open for?
Kyle – Black Sabbath. We were in Canada for two days, and Sabbath were two days behind us or two days in front of us, and my phone never rang(laughs).
Chad – I toured with Metallica in Mudvayne, but I’d like to do that with Hellyeah. I’m just putting this out for James, Rob, Lars, Kirk, we’re going to be sitting around on our asses for about a month(laughs). Let’s do this! We’re gonna bring it like we’re from Birmingham, Ala(Kyle – BAMA!).
Q – Thanks for taking the time to talk with us. Is there any last thing you’d like to say to any fans or supporters of Hellyeah?
Gray – Support bands, period. I don’t give a shit if you’re into my band or not, I mean it sucks if you’re not but I get it, everyone isn’t into everything, but if you love a band then support them, and let them continue to make music.
Kyle – If you’re as passionate about it as we are, and you know they are, then let them be. People don’t understand, stealing music is easy, I’m broke, and I’m not saying I’ve never done it, but you have to support to keep the ball rolling, come out and see it live, that’s where it all happens.