Mudvayne Frontman Using Downtime to Expand His Horizons
Singer Chad Gray has found that perfect balance of working with two bands: his regular gig with Mudvayne and his side project Hellyeah, featuring Vinnie Paul, formerly of Pantera. With Mudvayne staying home on their self-titled fifth album, Gray and Mudvayne guitarist Greg Tribbett are writing the new Hellyeah record.
"It's great," Gray told Noisecreep via telephone from Sony Music's New York City offices. "It's doing great. It's awesome. I love being in two bands. I really do. You get to explore both sides of yourself. I think everybody has this severed half. The kind [that] co-exists outside of your work. I was able to kind of climb into that skin."
However, on this day, Gray was promoting 'Mudvayne,' which features the first single 'Scream With Me.' The album, due in stores Dec. 22, was produced by Jeremy Parker, who is known as knob-turner Dave Fortman's 'first assistant.' The duo also went behind the desk for 2005's 'Lost and Found' and 2008's 'The New Game.' "Basically, Dave was just tied up doing stuff, [but said he would] arm-chair produce it and let Jeremy be there," Gray said. "Dave would come in and get tones, and then Jeremy actually recorded it. It's kind of produced by Jeremy, Mudvayne and Dave.
"Jeremy is amazing. We've done three records with him. He's phenomenal. He's great. One of the initial reasons why I wanted Dave to do 'Lost and Found' is because Dave doesn't -- like a lot of producers -- hear their sound crossing over into a lot of different bands. With Dave and now Jeremy I think they allow the band to sound like the band. We were instrumental in part of getting our own tones. I think tones are a big part of segregating yourself from other stuff, and kind of giving yourself your own stamp, which is great. Producers -- think of the definition of producing -- are helping you create something. They try to get the best performance out of the artist. You have to have that starting in production. You have to treat every artist [differently]. You have to know their personality, cater to their personality. They're different people. It takes different strokes for different folks. It takes different things to move different people, and allow them to raise their potential."
Gray and Tribbett know it so well that the duo has gone head first into producing other bands, namely Florida's Nonpoint. "It's great," Gray said. "It's a great record. It was awesome. We're bros. We go back 10 years. We did some of our earliest touring with them."