At the time of his unexpected death in June 2018, Pantera drummer and co-founder Vinnie Paul had already laid down several tracks for his band Hellyeah's upcoming sixth album. Now, nearly 10 months later, the group — which also features Mudvayne's Chad Gray on vocals and Kyle Sanders, younger brother of Mastodon's Troy Sanders, on bass — has unleashed a new single, titled "333," on Sirius-XM's Liquid Metal and Octane, and via the music video above. The clip was filmed in part on March 1st at iconic metal bar Duff's Brooklyn in NYC.
"Vinnie originally came up with the idea for '333'," Gray said of the song, as reported by Blabbermouth. "A lot of people may think Vinnie was just a drummer, but he was much more than just a badass, slamming, smashing drummer. He understood production and composition and he was very much a contributor to the writing process. This song was his baby; it belonged to and came from him. Unfortunately, by the time I was ready to actually write the lyrics, it was after Vinnie had passed. The lyrics embrace and recognize the feelings that most metal fans have. Being treated like outcasts and being judged for the way we look or dress. It's a reminder to all the metal fans that no matter what, you will always have a place in our worldwide metal community. With that said ... Welcome to the family! We're all the root of half-evil-reppin' 333!"
"I love '333' and what it represents — being half evil," he continued. "It was a part of Dime[Darrell Abbott] and Vinnie before Hellyeah was formed and very much became a part of Hellyeah as we carried the torch for Dimebag. They were both so accepting of me and many others, and they taught us to treat people with respect, dignity and humility."
Hellyeah's upcoming as-yet-untitled album is now available for pre-order via the band's official webstore. A tentative release date is set for June 28th, but according to the site, that's "subject to change." In the meantime, the band is scheduled to play a one-night-only special concert, dubbed "Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Vinnie Paul," at Las Vegas' House of Blues on May 11th. In honor of Vinnie Paul, a portion of each ticket sale will be donated to the American Heart Association.