Hellyeah’s Roy Mayorga Dives Into Vinnie Paul’s Drum Technique
Roy Mayorga—the Stone Sour drummer who's filling in for the late Vinnie Paul on Hellyeah's 2019 "Welcome Home" tour—recently discussed the challenges he faced in learning the musician's drum parts. It was part of a conversation Mayorga had with WRIF Detroit host Meltdown on the Talkin' Rock with Meltdown episode aired last Wednesday (May 29). Listen to the full podcast below.
In the interview, Mayorga illustrated his Hellyeah practice routine as he dove headfirst into material shaped by the Pantera co-founder who who died last year, aged 54. The quick-learning musician first subbed in for Paul at a memorial concert held last month. But the drummer told Meltdown that Paul's technique is difficult to duplicate.
"He's got such a way of playing—it's just hard to really imitate," Mayorga said in the conversation transcribed by Blabbermouth. "There are nuances that he has that only he can do. The best I can do it is just try to channel what he's done and marry it to, obviously, how I play."
That said, the musician jumped at the chance to cover for the fallen rocker. Once he accepted the job, however, Mayorga entered an intense learning period where he studied not only Paul's skills, but the drummer's influences.
"As soon as I got the phone call, there was no wasting time," the drummer laid out. "I went into it headfirst and just learned as many songs as I can from the Hellyeah catalog. I was doing, like, six hours a day five days a week between the hours my kids were at school — from, like, 10 [in the morning] to, like, four in the afternoon. I lived and breathed Hellyeah. And [I got] to the point I was even listening to all the Pantera stuff to really get Vinnie's character of playing, and then listening to his favorite drummers and getting into that. [I was] listening to guys like Alex Van Halen even more, 'cause I know that was his favorite drummer. And John Bonham, obviously — that's our common bond, I think, with every drummer. That's his favorite drummer, that's my favorite drummer, so trying to keep all of that in mind and keep him in mind, that's what really helped me to get this going."
Elsewhere in the interview, Mayorga remembered the first time he met Paul over 20 years ago. In fact, it was at an Ozzfest show that the future Stone Sour member—then performing with Soulfly—first met the drummer alongside another big name in rock music.
"The first time I met Vinnie was the '98 Ozzfest at Milton Keynes Bowl in England," Mayorga recalled. "Actually, I was playing drums for Soulfly at the time. And I can remember, while I was playing the show, I turned around to grab a water, and 10 feet away from me was Vinnie with his arms crossed, giving me this grin and going, 'Yeah!'. I was, like, 'Oh my god. It's Vinnie.' And next to him was Dave Grohl. So, yeah—no pressure."
Not only that, but it looks like Mayorga even got Corey Taylor's blessing for the gig. The drummer called to mind the initial conversations that happened as the wheels began turning on Mayorga's latest undertaking.
"Basically, [Taylor and Hellyeah frontman Chad Gray] had a conversation about a conversation," the Stone Sour drummer explained, "and then we had a conversation about a conversation, and here we are. It's pretty cool. It was cool how it worked out. I'm happy to be there to help the guys and honor our brother, our friend, Vinnie. It's an honor, man. It's bittersweet. It's horrible even thinking about it. He's not here anymore. It's... Fuck! It's mind-blowing to me."
Listen to the rest of the interview below.
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