The terms “super-group” and “short-lived” are invariably synonymous. Here’s the all-too-familiar tale: talented individuals from different bands join forces to a huge fanfare of hype and all is well. But then, a mere album/tour cycle or two later, the so-called “super-group” implodes and disappears. History has proven this irrefutable truth time and time again…
Thankfully, every rule has an exception, and HELLYEAH is a truly remarkable one – to the tune of 12 years, six albums, tireless touring, and a genuine brotherhood that’s as palpable off-stage as it is on. Unfortunately, as we are all acutely aware, the band’s story took a tragic twist on June 22, 2018, when world-renowned drummer Vinnie Paul left this mortal coil to be reunited with his beloved brother, Dimebag Darrell. Dauntless, the heartbroken HELLYEAH bravely soldiered on to complete the album Vinnie had already recorded his drum parts for – the outfit’s sixth offering, the brand new Welcome Home. “The world deserves to hear Vinnie’s last piece of work,” lead guitarist Christian Brady states. “He was so proud of it. There was definitely a huge sense of responsibility to honor his legacy.”
HELLYEAH is the brainchild of Mudvayne frontman Chad Gray and Nothingface founder Tom Maxwell. It became a reality in 2006, when the pair successfully convinced Vinnie Paul, the legendary drummer of Pantera and Damageplan, to pick up his sticks again after the tragic loss of his equally legendary brother. The first few times Chad and Tom asked Vinnie to join HELLYEAH, his answer was no. Years later, says Chad, Vinnie — sporting his trademark grin — told him that the two had been “’real persistent, and also had a really infectious, positive attitude,’ so he eventually decided to give it a go.” Hard rock and metal fans all over the globe joyously celebrated Vinnie’s return, and HELLYEAH was immediately dubbed “a heavy metal super-group” by press and public alike.
The band’s self-titled debut hit the streets in 2007, entering the Billboard 200 album chart at No. 9.
In 2010, Stampede hit No. 8 on the same prestigious chart, and 2012’s Band of Brothers proved that HELLYEAH was in it for the long haul. “I honestly feel that Vinnie found something with us that gave him that passion again,” Tom states. “HELLYEAH reignited his fire and made him love getting back on stage again. That’s what’s kept us all going for so long – our genuine love for what we do.”
For the band’s ever-growing legion of fans, 2014’s Blood for Blood was the “bar-setting” release they’d been anxiously anticipating since day one. This critically acclaimed album deservedly debuted at
No.1 on the Billboard Hard Rock Albums chart. It also saw the group’s membership stabilize in rock-solid fashion with the introduction of Christian Brady on lead guitar and Kyle Sanders on bass.
As a result of the burgeoning success of Blood for Blood, HELLYEAH toured the globe for 18 grueling yet glorious months. Then, after a mere two-week break, the boys started working on album #5.
The resulting release, 2016’s metal masterpiece UNDEN!ABLE, continued the brutal bombast of its predecessor.
“As well as being one of the best drummers of all time, Vinnie also knew his way around songs really well,” Maxwell reveals. “His input was always really positive and he taught me how to harness hooks and really focus on riffs, while not being busy or disjointed. His philosophy, especially since Blood for Blood, was to write songs that were so musically good that you could listen to them without vocals and they’d still take you for a ride. We really reigned in on that art on this new album, Welcome Home.”
In late 2017, after another successful bout of touring, HELLYEAH started work on album six with their producer from Blood for Blood, Kevin Churko. “Kevin is a huge part of the HELLYEAH family,” Christian Brady states. “He’s brought a lot of things out of this band.” All was going well – really well – until Friday, June 22, 2018, when the heart-wrenching news of Vinnie Paul’s sudden and unexpected passing quite literally stunned the hard rock world into silence. He was 54 years young…
“We were so far ahead with the music that we decided to take a little breather, to give Chad some time to work on his melody lines and lyrics,” Sanders states. “We all left the studio that Thursday evening, Tom and myself flew home on Friday, and Vinnie passed that night.”
The fact that Vinnie had not only completed recording his drums on HELLYEAH’s new Welcome Home album, but was truly delighted with both his performance and the material, is perhaps the only slight glimmer of possible solace regarding his tragic passing. “Once a song was completed to Vinnie’s satisfaction, he’d put his stamp of approval on it and move on to the next one,” Vinnie’s bass playing partner, Kyle, recounts. “He did that for every single song on this album.”
Despite their unimaginable feelings of loss and pain, the four remaining HELLYEAH members regrouped to do what they knew Vinnie would want them to do: finish what he’d started. And driven by their love, loyalty, reverence, and respect for their fallen brother, they did exactly that. The result is Welcome Home – a truly stunning album that does both Vinnie’s memory and groundbreaking legacy proud.
“I was in the studio working with Kevin [Churko] when I got the call…and everything just went blank,” Chad reveals. “It was as if something just reached in and ripped out my soul, my life, my motor-skills, my everything. But, the day after Vinnie passed, I was sitting on a bed and I had a conversation with him just like I’m talking to you now – out loud. And I said, ‘Brother, it would be so easy for me to open my hand, blow, and just walk away from this – but I will not do that. I’m gonna make you a promise right now: I’m gonna finish this because I love you, I respect you, and this is your last work. I have to finish this. As hard as it’s gonna be, I’m gonna finish this.’ At that point, Vinnie became my muse – he was my fire. He was my sun. He was my everything to get me through this.”
“We all felt Vinnie’s presence and energy in the studio,” Maxwell confirms. “His spirit was definitely there, and it gave us the fire to finish Welcome Home in the way we felt was right and also honorable to him. Chad’s vocals and lyrics speak volumes too – he really dug deep on this one.”
In addition to the nine cuts Vinnie played on, an extra song, “Skyy and Water,” was added. “I wrote the music the day after Vinnie died,” Maxwell reveals. “It’s a very bitter, emotionally draining piece for me. I wanted the sorrow and loss I was feeling to come out in the music, and Chad’s lyrics said exactly what I was feeling. The first time I heard them, it broke me in half. That song is our heartfelt ‘Goodbye and Thank You’ note to Vinnie.”
“My biggest regret is him not being with us to hear the finished album,” Tom concludes. “I can picture it now: Vinnie Paul cruising down Las Vegas Boulevard in his Escalade, cranking Welcome Home to 11 with that famous smile on his face.”
All That Remains suffered a tragic and incredibly painful loss when their globally renowned, highly respected, and immeasurably talented lead guitarist and founding member Oli Herbert, who played on all nine albums in the band’s discography, unexpectedly passed away. Herbert was especially proud of the band’s new album, Victim of the New Disease, which arrived in stores and at DSPs today, November 9, via Razor & Tie. The album is both a tour de force and a testament to Herbert’s legacy.
All That Remains — Philip Labonte [lead vocals], Mike Martin [guitar], Jason Costa [drums], and Aaron Patrick [bass, backing vocals] — plan to further honor the passion that Herbert felt for both the album and the band by continuing on.
The band will embark on its previously scheduled European tour with Sevendust this December. Guitar virtuoso and YouTube personality Jason Richardson (All Shall Perish, Chelsea Grin, Born of Osiris) has come on board and will fill in on the upcoming trek. All current tour dates are below, with more touring plans in North America being announced soon.
“Losing Oli has been a tremendous blow to the core of ATR,” says vocalist Phil Labonte, “but I know he wouldn’t want anything other than for us to continue. He loved this record so much – it’s some of our best work. We look forward to sharing the music with everyone – seeing our fans from the stage. From where Oli loved most. It’ll be cathartic. We’ll need it to be.”
Prior to the album’s release, the band shared an epic trifecta of new tracks “Fuck Love,” “Wasteland” “Everything’s Wrong.” The songs were met with near-universal acclaim and genuine excitement from the rock and metal communities.
Critical gatekeepers like MetalSucks enthused that “Fuck Love” was “easily the heaviest thing they’ve released in years (maybe ever??)” while Loudwire proclaimed that the track is a “straight-forward brutalizer centered around a beefy pendular rhythm, making it an instant pit-starter when it eventually sees the stage.” Anti-Hero weighed in, calling tracks “pit perfect.”
Labonte offered this insight into the album, saying, “We decided to throw a curveball… and do the heaviest record since For We Are Many in 2010! It was the perfect way to follow-up Madness, where we did some different styles and songs and even covered a country song. People might’ve expected something more experimental, but throwing curveballs is what we do.”
Victim of the New Disease also features a vocal cameo from Asking Alexandria’s Danny Worsnop.
For nearly a decade, Butcher Babies have been crushing stages worldwide with their vicious live performance and explosive energy. Their stage presence is a hypnotic spectacle that leaves audiences hungry for more. Frontwomen Heidi Shepherd and Carla Harvey, guitarist Henry Flury, bassist Jason Klein and drummer Chase Brickenden juxtapose brutal, aggressive riffs with beautiful melodies that wail with emotional redemption.
Hailing from the City Of Angels, Butcher Babies aided in the jubilant revival of the Metal scene on the Sunset Strip. While gaining attention from several record labels the band signed a worldwide deal with Century Media Records in December 2012. Less than a year later, July 2013, they released their debut album GOLIATH, produced by Josh Wilbur (Gojira, Lamb of God, Hatebreed). Followed by their highly anticipated sophomore headbanger, TAKE IT LIKE A MAN, August 2015, produced by Logan Mader (FFDP, Gojira, Soulfly).
The evolution continues as the band is set to release their third full studio album, October 27, 2017, LILITH, produced by Steve Evetts (Suicide Silence, Dillinger Escape Plan, The Cure). With three albums and two EPs under their belt, Butcher Babies have reached a new level of maturity solidifying a triumphant return after a brief creative hiatus to write and rebuild. LILITH opens with a kick right to the teeth with the aggressive Burn the Straw Man, then drips with sensuality on tracks like Headspin and The Huntsman, pairing riveting guitars with velvet vocal harmonies. This album runs the gamut between exploring the dark roots of lust and the high energy thrash hijinks that Butcher Babies have become known and loved for.
Butcher Babies have toured relentlessly among the likes of Megadeth, Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson, Five Finger Death Punch, Danzig, In This Moment, Cradle of Filth, Black Label Society, etc; played music fests including Mayhem, Download (UK), Hellfest (France), Knotfest (US & Japan), Hell and Heaven(Mexico), Rock on The Range, Louder Than Life, Aftershock, Welcome to Rockville, etc. and appeared in the film Alleluia! : The Devils Carnival.
No difference exists between us. We all live, breathe, and survive as best we can. SAUL boil hard rock down to its human core. The Iowa quartet – brothers Blake Bedsaul [lead vocals] and Zach Bedsaul [lead guitar, backup vocals], William McIlravy [bass, backup vocals], and Joe Nichols [drums] – encase undeniable melodies inside of mind-numbing polyrhythmic riffs. Above that unpredictable backdrop, emotionally-charged and identifiable lyrics abound. This approach resonates on impact as evidenced by the group’s rapid rise. Within six months, they transformed from a Midwest favorite into a national powerhouse, cumulatively streamed upwards of 2 million times, and were pegged by Revolver among the “5 Bands Most Likely To Breakout In 2019.”
For as much as this success arises from the four men onstage, they truly credit a devout and diehard fan base, appropriately dubbed, “Equals.” “If you don’t have fans, you’re not a band, so we treat them like family,” exclaims Blake. “They’re our equals. They are just as powerful as we are.” “We ultimately rise as equals,” agrees Zach. “It shows we’re all in this together.”
The group quietly attracted a palpable level of adoration. Iowa natives Blake and Zach forged a musical partnership as kids before cementing the lineup of Saul in late 2017 by welcoming Joe and William into the fold. They performed alongside a diverse swath of artists, ranging from Bush, Fuel, 10 Years, to Hellyeah and Nonpoint. In early 2019, the single “Brother” organically vaulted from regional radio airwaves to #1 on Sirius/XM Octane. Recognizing the group’s talent first, Octane championed them, taking a risk that paid off with a #1 smash. Moreover, countless other stations nationwide followed suit as the band impacted airwaves everywhere as a testament to their growing influence. Soon, it crossed 1.6 million Spotify streams and nearly a million YouTube views as they signed to Spinefarm Records and unleashed their debut Aeons EP. Dedicated to the co-founders’ late brother Caleb Bedsaul who abruptly died due to the H1N1 virus in 2009, “Brother” earned acclaim from the likes of Loudwire and paved the way for much more.
The new single “Trial By Fire” ignites the next chapter. On the track, airtight palm-muted guitar gallops forward with mechanized thrash intensity before culminating on a hypnotic hook. The song spirals out on a hummable lead, reflecting yet another dimension of harmony. “During this whole period, our mother was dealing with lung cancer,” sighs Blake. “She was put in hospice. We were trying to get home and take care of her – while getting the album done on time. When we got in the studio, she was really sick, which inspired the lyrics. She recently passed away. It was a trial by fire. The song is about the inner struggle of how we felt and the pressure when it came to following up ‘Brother’ in the middle of…everything. It was like we were walking through fire to make it right. We went home enough to see her though. We actually got to say goodbye, at least.”
In the end, Saul deliver a bold body of work for themselves and, of course, for the Equals. “When people hear this, I want them to know they are Equals,” Blake leaves off. “The songs come from a really personal place.” “That’s the way it will always be with us,” Zach concludes. “We hope that they feel heard through our music.”
DEEPFALL conjures an enveloping storm of carefully crafted hard rock that strikes the soul with stinging honesty.
Cutting to the bone with soaring instrumental passages, spirited choruses, and precisely placed breakdowns, the band thrives in the expanse of rock ’n’ roll’s vast sub-genres.
Masterfully capturing thematic darkness, the band leaves a sonic trail of scorched post-apocalyptic earth behind its musical machine, blazing a path through the heaviness of life with an equally heavy response.
Situated in Greenville, Michigan, the group’s current lineup, which began to take shape in 2015, is comprised of Rich Hopkins (vocals/guitar), James Sullivan (drums), Tim King (keyboards), Anthony Schnobel (lead guitar), and Taylor Brandt (bass).
In a short time, DEEPFALL has carved its place in the American rock scene with broad, muscular soundscapes forged in the studio and resurrected onstage. The band’s latest release, “Awaken” employs a signature brand of soulful songwriting rounded out by an unapologetic combination of surging guitars, rattling bass, mesmerizing keyboards, heavy drums and Hopkins’ roaring lead vocals.
Behind the veil of these ferocious soundscapes, DEEPFALL emerges as an outfit of determined musicians with a deep love for their craft and a hope to connect with listeners through engaging story-driven rock.
DEEPFALL has supported national acts such as Hinder, SOiL, Tantric, Smile Empty Soul, Saving Abel, The Iron Maidens, Texas Hippie Coalition, and Wayland, while having performed at venues such as The Intersection, The Stache, and The Music Factory. The band continues to play regionally, write new music, and keep its collective foot pressed down on the gas pedal towards endless possibility.