In 2018, the metal world lost a legend when Pantera and Hellyeah drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott passed away from heart disease. Vinnie’s legacy both as a musician and a good-natured party animal who was in it for the love of metal continues to live on after his death — but there’s a chance not all of his projects will outlive him. In a recent interview, Hellyeah guitarist Tom Maxwell revealed that he’s not sure he wants to continue recording albums with the band without their drummer.
Speaking to Bad Wolves guitarist Doc Coyle on his Ex-Man Podcast, Maxwell reveals that Vinnie’s death took a lot out of him. Though he’s proud of what the band did and will always remember his time in Hellyeah fondly, he’s also ready to admit that he might just want to let the project rest in peace alongside Vinnie.
“When he died — I’m not gonna lie — my passion, my love affair died as well with him,” said Tom. “I don’t even know if there’s gonna ever be another Hellyeah record. I don’t even know if I wanna make another Hellyeah record without him.
“I’m at a point right now where I’ve done some amazing shit with some amazing people and I’ve released a lot of great records. And I’ve found success in those — more elsewhere than others,” he continued. Like I said, my love affair has kind of been cockblocked a little bit. I don’t find a need or a necessity to continue without Vince.”
Listen to the full interview below.
Maxwell’s a veteran of heavy music — his past projects include Nothinface, Knives Out!, and Skrape, all of whom knew major tours with huge bands like Slayer and, interestingly enough, Pantera — so he’s trustworthy in terms of knowing where his heart lies. He, vocalist Chad Gray (formerly of Mudvayne), and Vinnie Paul were the only three members to perform on every Hellyeah release.
Words by Chris Krovatin