Hellyeah — the metal supergroup led by ex-Mudvayne singer Chad Gray and former Nothingface guitarist Tom Maxwell — are gearing up for the September 27th release of their new album, Welcome Home. The LP, which includes the recently issued single "333," features the final studio recordings of the band's longtime drummer and Pantera icon Vinnie Paul's final studio recordings. Stone Sour's Roy Mayorga has joined Hellyeah in Paul's place, and as the group looks ahead to Welcome Home's release and touring in support of the record, Maxwell has shared an emotional open letter to the late drummer on the one-year anniversary of his passing.
"Vince, in the blink of an eye, everything changed. I'm writing you this letter to tell you how much I miss and love you. Never could I have imagined you not being here with us anymore," Maxwell wrote in the letter, posted to Hellyeah's social accounts.
"There's so much all of us lost when you left us. Your smile, your infectious laugh, your always steadfast care of all those around you. Everything has changed now. Our family is just shards of what it used to be. It seemed like every day was harder than the one before it. It's hard just knowing that you're not here to lift everyone up and make everything better with just the simplest things you always used to do. It's hard waking up and trying to navigate through such murky waters. We're doing our best, some better than others, some not so much. Grief is just love with no place to go and that's how I feel sometimes.
"Our record is coming out soon and I know you would be hella proud of it. We've committed to represent the record and honor your memory and what you would have wanted us to do. But it's not easy. Passions have been diluted and almost lost to certain degrees, but in the end, I just think about how disappointed you would be if we didn't move on. To what eventual extent, I do not know.
"I go for days/weeks sometimes without even looking at a guitar. My desire and hunger for all of it suffers greatly, but I know that it's temporary. Or at least I hope so. Maybe going back on the road and surrounding myself with the Hellyeah family will help resurrect my love affair with music and playing. I know you would want that from me and everyone else. You were always so positive and not one to dwell in negativity. I'm trying; we're all trying.
"We love you, Vince, and we miss you terribly. I'm going to put my hat back on, lace up my Chucks, put on my guitar and deliver/destroy and represent Hellyeah the best best way I can.
"Thank you for always being there for me. Thank you for encouraging me, letting me into your life and most of all, being my dear friend. I miss you and hope that we get to see each other again someday on the other side. Until then. Your friend, Maxwell"