Stone Sour drummer Roy Mayorga will be out on tour this summer, but he'll be behind the kit for HELLYEAH sitting in for late drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott.
Mayorga recently appeared on Talkin' Rock with Meltdown and he touched on when the band reached out to him and how he's honoring the legacy of Vinnie Paul and now "filling shoes":
"I got the call for HELLYEAH about a month and a half ago...It was cool how it worked out. I'm happy to be there to help the guys and honor our brother, our friend, Vinnie...I'm just here borrowing a hat and helping him and the band carry the torch. That's it. No 'filling shoes,' none of that stuff. A lot of people are saying, 'Those are some big shoes to fill,' but I keep saying, 'No, it's not about filling shoes. No one can fill his shoes. His shoes are with him, and that's it. And I'm here helping the band in honoring him."
Mayorga and Vinnie Paul have been friends for a number of years, and Mayorga recalled the first time the two drummers met:
"The first time I met Vinnie was in '98 [at] Ozzfest in England. I was playing drums for Soulfly at the time, and I can remember while I was playing the show I turned around to grab a water, and ten feet away from me was Vinnie with his arms crossed giving me this grin and going, 'Yeah!' And I was like, 'Oh my God! It's Vinnie!' And next to him was Dave Grohl, so no pressure. I got to meet him afterwards and hung out with him, and we've been friends ever since. He was just a really cool dude. His energy was great. As soon as I saw him behind me, it made me f-cking play better and harder. He was definitely a big influence on me and every drummer I know."
Mayorga went on to detail what he's been doing in order to properly prepare to tour with HELLYEAH, and to say he's being thorough with his preparation is an understatement:
"The challenge is to just learn his parts. He had such a way of playing that it's just really hard to imitate. There's nuances he had that only he could do. The best I could do is to just try and channel what he's done and marry it to obviously how I play and just make it work...As soon as I got the phone call, there was no wasting time. I went into it head-first and learned as many songs as I could from the HELLYEAH catalog. I was [practicing] six hours a day, five days a week between the hours when my kids were at school...I lived and breathed HELLYEAH to the point where I was listening to all of the Pantera stuff to really get Vinnie's character of playing and then listening to his favorite drummers and getting into that. I was listening to guys like Alex Van Halen even more, because I know that was his favorite drummer, and John Bonham, obviously, because that was our common bond and that's my favorite drummer. So trying to keep all of that in mind and keep him in mind, that's what helped me really get this going."
HELLYEAH's tour kicks off July 23 in Atlanta. Complete ticket information can be found at HELLYEAHband.com. To honor the memory of Vinnie Paul, whose death was ruled as a result of heart disease, HELLYEAH will donate $1 of every ticket sold to the American Heart Association.
HELLYEAH's sixth studio album and Vinnie Paul's final recorded work, Welcome Home, will be released on September 27 and is currently available for pre-order here.
HELLYEAH - 2019 U.S. Tour Dates
July 23, 2019 – Atlanta, GA – Buckhead Theatre
July 24, 2019 – Myrtle Beach, SC – House of Blues
July 26, 2019 – Silver Springs, MD – The Fillmore
July 27, 2019 – Inwood, WV – Shiley Acres
July 28, 2019 – Boston, MA – House of Blues
July 30, 2019 – Stroudsburg, PA – Sherman Theater
July 31, 2019 – Cleveland, OH – House of Blues
August 1, 2019 – Green Bay, WI – The Green Bay Distillery
August 3, 2019 – Denver, CO – Summit
August 4, 2019 – Sturgis, SD – Iron Horse Saloon
August 7, 2019 – Minneapolis, MN – Varsity Theater
August 8, 2019 – Chicago, IL – House of Blues
August 10, 2019 – Detroit, MI – The Fillmore
August 11, 2019 – Grand Rapids, MI – 20 Monroe Live
August 13, 2019 – Wichita, KS – The Cotillion
August 14, 2019 – Oklahoma City, OK – Diamond Ballroom
August 16, 2019 – Houston, TX – House of Blues
August 17, 2019 – Dallas, TX – House of Blues
Erica Banas is rock/classic rock news blogger that loves the smell of old vinyl in the morning.