Vinnie Paul: European Style Metal Festivals Wouldn't Get the Support in America

"If we could have these kinds of festivals in the United States, it'd be amazing."

Ultimate Guitar

In a new interview, Hellyeah drummer Vinnie Paul has spoken about the strength of the European metal festival scene compared with the US.

Talking with Kerrang! Radio (via Blabbermouth) at this year's Download, the former Pantera drummer was asked how it felt to be playing at the UK festival again:

"It's incredible, dude. I tell people all the time back home, if we could have these kinds of festivals in the United States, it'd be amazing, but people just wouldn't support 'em like they do over here. People over here really love and embrace heavy metal and hard rock music, and they still... It still feels like '80s, the '90s, 2000 over here, because they just love the music, man. And it's so great to come and play for people here."

In the interview, Vinnie Paul also addressed the absence of guitarist Tom Maxwell from the band's European tour. Maxwell, who broke his foot in three places has been unable to participate in recent dates:

"We will carry on, with Chris Brady holding down the guitar force. Tom will rejoin us for [Rockstar Energy DrinkMayhem [Festival this summer]."

Do you agree with Vinnie that you couldn't have Download style metal festivals in the States? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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32 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I'm an American living in Germany and the metal Scene here still amazes me. It's everywhere... we won't even mention "WACKEN OPEN AIR". You walk into a bar and some old farts are on stage kickin ass and kids jumping around in front of the stage, cars driving by on the street with metal being blasted out of factory car speakers, the guy in the next Office with Holy Diver as a ring tone... being a metal fan here is no big deal.
    Lesson you Vinnie (and you should know this since you are so much older than me). USA is only obsessed with whats 'cool' and 'hip'. Once you are no long any of that you are discarded. As for the rest of the world including Europe and Asia, they appreciate music for what it is, just having some good fun and chilling out. Which is why you have crowds that appreciate everything from glam to nu metal. People in those places (I was living in Asia till a few years back so I know) are just so happy to have some of their rock heroes onstage. Doesnt matter how old or grey you are.....
    Vinnie's right, but I think a big part of that reason is that the entire European continent is what, like 1/3rd the size of the US? With twice as many people? And a much more developed public transportation system to boot.Festival attendees in Europe can hop a train from a few countries over and be there in a couple of hours. On the other hand, it would take me 5 hours to drive from Boise, to the next largest city, Salt Lake City. At about 20MPG, that would cost me about $120 in fuel to get there and back. It's 8 hours to drive to Seattle, and about $200 in fuel. That doesn't count for food, drink, or wages lost from missing work, not to mention the concert ticket.
    Sounds like you need some more MPG. Do those cars straight up not exist over there?
    To me sometimes it seems that metal is more a fashion over there instead of a lifestyle, what makes to mee the biggest difference how you look on metal in the european or the american way. If I see these platin-blond-haired silicon pimped girls on tv wearing a motorhead tshirt I always wonder if they knew Hawkwind too or they just put it one cause some one else more famous did it before .... but i could be wrong
    Yep. This is the land of limp wristed hipsters and tight jeans-wearing men for the most part. Just watch the number of down votes I get for saying this...that's pretty much proof. But there is still a small remnant here.
    And this site is the land of elitist closed-minded metal heads. I don't fall into any of the three categories mentioned, but there's no need to be a judgemental dick about people with different taste from your own. I also have very picky taste in music, but that doesn't give me good reason to put my own opinions above other people, because I can actually realize that it's not the popular opinion.
    and even the American metal festivals are a hell of a lot better than anything we have out here in western Canada...
    America is full of people addicted to the shite that comes out of country/western, rap/r&b, pop. The rock/metal crowd is tiny in comparison.
    Baby Joel
    they could probably do it in New York. Get people from the east coast going up, get canadians coming down. California could work. Possibly seattle depending on the bands. Chicago isn't a bad choice. All big enough cities and probably with diehard people that would make a day trip or something
    Can people please stop being delusional? While I happen to live in a country that has rock/metal festivals, we also have pop festivals which has a way bigger audience. Europe/Asia is not some fabled land of heavy metal, and I doubt that USA is only catering to pop acts.
    Just because a country also has pop festivals, doesn't change the fact that metal festivals are VERY well supported in Europe.
    In the U.S. we've been trained for decades to like, listen to and spend money on whatever music that we're told to like, listen to and spend money on through marketing. Most people follow (just look at what bands and artists dominate sales and charts) but a smaller but significant part of the population actually supports the music that they genuinely like. The recording industry controls most of what music fans flock to all over the world but it seems that things are a little bit better in Europe than in the U.S. Here, most of us are just waiting to be told what Taylor Swift or Kanye West single/album to buy next.
    Like it's any different in Europe.. At least, you have the common sense to merely ignore it, right Same as Europeans. Your music business isn't any different from ours.
    The North-American way (because Canada is as guilty as the US) looks at it from a standpoint on whether or not it's profitable for the big corporations before considering its popularity. You wanna bet that a Wacken in the US/Canada will have a billion people? You bet it would, but we'd pay 5 times the amount for tickets. That's the sad reality we live here.
    How about this for a hypothesis... In North America they have rock music on tap... In my area of Europe people have to travel across the country and sleep in a tent to have a full weekend of beer and rock music...
    YOURAPEEIN FANS BOUGHT THE HELLYEAH RECORDS??? I'm glad someone enjoyed it. I bought the first 2 , but wasn't impressed.