Inside Mudvayne's First Tour in 13 Years: See Exclusive, Behind-the-Scenes Photos | Revolver

Inside Mudvayne's First Tour in 13 Years: See Exclusive, Behind-the-Scenes Photos

A revealing look back at the alt-metal aliens' triumphant comeback tour
Mudvayne Chad Gray live 2022 Wombat 1600x900, Wombat Fire
photograph by Wombat Fire

In summer 2022 the inconceivable happened: Mudvayne reunited for their first full-scale tour since they unceremonious split over a decade ago. And it was incredible.

Throughout the 21-date North America co-headlining trek with Rob Zombie, they wowed audiences with time-tested bangers like "Dig" and "Happy?" and coated themselves in the same freaky makeup that solidified their place in the nu-metal lookbook back in the early 2000s. The crowds came out in droves, Mudvayne played their hearts out, and, best of all, the band members didn't even want to kill each other.

"We're getting along probably better than we ever have," frontman Chad Gray enthuses. "Better than ever" is a phrase he and drummer Matt McDonough return to frequently during their mid-August call with Revolver, which marked their first interview as bandmates since the alt-metal weirdos went on hiatus in 2010.

As history tells it, what started as an unspecified break turned into a 12-year absence from all things Mudvayne. During that gap, the four-piece — Gray, McDonough, guitarist Greg Tribbett and bassist Ryan Martinie — weren't in close contact and never harbored any on-the-low schemes to get back together.

But, in late 2019, the unexpected came to fruition: Mudvayne quietly reconnected and began plotting their return. In 2021, they played four U.S. festival dates. Despite a rough start — Gray unknowingly contracted COVID before their first performance, but powered through — the band found their footing and considered these first shows a success. So, they decided to dive into the deep end with a full-scale tour.

The journey went off without a hitch, and — in a crucial dose of reassurance for the band — the fans showed pure, unabashed gratitude for Mudvayne's long-awaited comeback. "People seem genuinely excited about what we're doing and that's a really fucking exciting feeling," Gray tells us.

"We basically missed a generation," McDonough adds of their hiatus. "This opportunity for younger kids and people that never had a chance to see us … [has] been incredible."

That's not to say that preparation didn't come with challenges — especially as the pandemic caused months of delays and moving goalposts. "It was intimidating," McDonough admits. "There's lots of confidence issues: 'Am I really going to be able to do this?'"

Neither member felt particularly comfortable on the stage during last year's sporadic festival gigs, which took place weeks apart from one another. But getting back into the consistent flow of nightly shows has made them feel unstoppable.

"Now [that the tour happened] it's one of the greatest feelings of relief and weight off my shoulders," McDonough says. "And then to be seeing the positive response. Wow, it's better than I ever could have expected."

Mudvayne's tour photographer, Wombat Fire, was there every night to capture the action. Here are some of the trek's standout moments — experiences that the band, who have new music in the works, are promising to bring to even more fans in the not-so-distant future.