It's been three long years since alterna-metal outfit Mudvayne
released their last studio outing titled Lost and Found. Its follow-up finally surfaces in November, 2007. Titled By the People, For the People
, it's a compilation album that the band hope will tide fans over while their craft their next studio opus due in 2008.
Formed in 1996, Mudvayne
exploded upon the scene in 2000 with the release of the MTV2-award-winning video "Dig
" taken from the band's major label debut L.D. 50. Since then, the band has gone on from strength to strength band and even been nominated for Best Metal Performance at the 2005 Grammy Awards.
Aside from their Mudvayne roles, guitarist Greg Tribbett
and vocalist Chad Gray
are also paid up members of Hellyeah, the Vinnie Paul led metal band with whom both are currently on the road with. During a stopover on Hellyeah's current tour, Joe Matera spoke to Tribbett to discuss the new Mudvayne compilation, their upcoming new studio album and of course, Hellyeah.
Ultimate-Guitar.Com: Mudvayne has a new compilation about to be released soon. One of the most interesting things about this compilation though, is the fact that it has actually been put together with total input from all of your fans?
Yeah everything from the artwork right through to the track listing is all fan generated and also the reason why we decided to call it, By The People, For The People. Even the cover of the record is fan art along with all the work on the inserts and stuff like that.
You're obviously utilizing the benefits of the internet?
Yeah, we believe it is definitely heading where music, I think will be in a few years time going to be free.
There is one track on the compilation that is called Dull Boy and is a sneak preview of the forth coming new Mudvayne studio album. Why did you decide to include this song on the compilation?
Aside from giving the fans a preview we also wanted to give them something new that they hadn't heard from us. You see the fans haven't heard anything from Mudvayne in almost three years now so we wanted to put a new track on the new record especially for them.
I've heard that the studio album will be a concept album of sorts?
UmI can't give that sort of information out right now (laughs) All I'm going to say is that we are working on certain stuff and that we're going to see what sort of feel we get before deciding on that matter.
So it has already been recorded? It was stated recently that the band was planning to start the recording process in January, 2008?
Yes. Most of the new album has been written and recorded. All we need to do now is that we just have to go back in the studio and do a couple more songs. We plan to finish it all up sometime early next year and probably we will have it out by summer time. So yes it has actually been recorded and like I said we're just going to go in and write a couple more songs for the record.
Going back to the compilation record, there is a cover of The Police' King Of Pain included?
Yes. It is a track that we did like eight or nine years ago and we always wanted to do a cover of it but never got around to recording it properly. We only had it recorded as a demo but for this record we decided to go in and record it properly this time round.
In regards to the evolution of your playing, the last record showed an emphasis on chord progressions while its predecessor was heavy on riff oriented material. Will the next record be a natural progression from those elements?
|"Everything from the artwork right through to the track listing is all fan generated."|
For the next record I'm still going to be concentrating on chord progressions first up but also there will definitely a lot of riffs happening too. It is going to be a lot more of a metal riffage record.
How do you feel about Mudvayne being constantly labeled a math metal band?
I don't mind it. I think it was some magazine, it might have been Kerrang! or something like that and one writer mentioned that name in an article about us. And it kind of took off from there.
You are also playing guitar in Hellyeah. How does the approach differ for you between both bands?
I think that Mudvayne there is a lot more attention given to details due to its complexity. It is a lot longer process too when it come in writing songs. Like, we write four different versions of a song all the time. But with Hellyeah, when we made that record, we just went in and wrote this hard rocking record and it was very laid back in approach.
Do you find it a source of inspiration towards each respective outfit?
It is totally different, man. With Hellyeah it is definitely a party band, a party rock and roll band. We have a few drinks before we go onstage and after show there is always a party going on, it is that kind of thing. But with Mudvayne it is very different. No body drinks before we go onstage because the is stuff we do is very hard to play and you have to have your full attention on it. It is only after the show that then the party can start.
Since Pantera were one of your major musical influences, how does it feel to be in Hellyeah playing with one of your heroes, Vinnie Paul?
It is pretty incredible. I'm a huge Pantera fan so for this to come along was great. They were a great band with great guys. And Vinnie is a great drummer and great guy to be around with. I'm just so lucky.
What about working with another guitarist in Hellyeah considering in Mudvayne you're the sole guitarist?
Tom and I will feed off each other and I really think we actually sound a lot of like too. It is fortunate that it is that way because Tom and I gel together really well. It's great to have another guitarist like Tom. When it comes to the songwriting process, it is pretty off the cuff, we just go in start with some riffs, I make up a riff and Tom will make up a chorus riff or vis versa and we just go from there and record as we go along. And Tom really inspires me in coming up with riffs.
Let's talk about gear, starting with what you're currently using?
|"We plan to finish a new album sometime early next year."|
With guitars, because I have a deal with Washburn, I'm using all Washburn V guitars with Hellyeah. I have also been using those for Mudvayne too. When it comes to amps, I'm using Randall X2s with cabinets. I don't like using many effects but when I do it is basically a Morley Wah pedal and a couple of Line 6 effects.
Can you detail your sound chain live?
I usually have the guitar going through my chord tuner through one of the effects pedals I just mentioned. From that, it all goes into my pedal board, and from that, it goes into the back of my amp and then into my Shure wireless.
Do you prefer the live environment over the studio?
I like both really. In the studio it is a different environment to playing live. In the studio I experiment a lot more and I will use a lot of different stuff and try out different guitars. For me it is whatever sounds good for the song. I love the studio as we can be creative while we are recording and I enjoy writing in the studio. It is really great and is a totally different thing from being in a live environment.
Would it be a fair assessment to say that Mudvayne are heavily influenced a lot by their interest in the occult?
No, the band isn't really influenced by witchcraft or whatnot
But one look at the album artwork of The End Of All Things To Come shows for example numerous references to astrology and eastern mysticism?
No. That is different man. That album's art work was more about the tree of life [Kabbalah] and that sort of thing. It is not like witchery or spells or that kind of shit.
So you are saying the band's philosophy is more heavily inspired by The Kabbalah?
Yes. We've been into that for a long time man. And we do use that kind of philosophy in our artwork even if we aren't singing about it on the actual record. Either way, it will always be there somewhere.
Looking to the future, where do you see the band to be musically in say five years time?
I can't really say. I think the band will be whatever it will be in that kind of moment in time.
Last question, in what ways, do you think, both the band and yourself have evolved from the band's early days to now?
We've been touring for nine years man and I think in that period the band has definitely learned to play in a live setting. Everybody has matured as well and we have learned a lot about each other and because of that, our musicianship has come a long way. Overall having recorded a bunch of albums and having been on the road for so long has really been beneficial to the band in many ways.
2007 Joe Matera