Who Created Heavy Metal? MUDVAYNE's CHAD GRAY Weighs In

May 9, 2024

In a new interview with the I-95 WRKI radio station, MUDVAYNE and HELLYEAH singer Chad Gray was asked which artists he would credit with the creation of heavy metal. He responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Man, you go back, you've gotta go back to Lemmy [MOTÖRHEAD], you've gotta go back to Ozzy [Osbourne], [BLACK] SABBATH. It's so funny, because Vinnie [Paul Abbott, late PANTERA and HELLYEAH drummer] told me a story one time. I guess it would have been in the '70s. And they were young — him and Dime [Vinnie Paul's brother and late PANTERA guitarist 'Dimebag' Darrell Abbott] were young; they were like in high school or something. And he said they went to a party at somebody's house, and I think he was, like, 17, Dime was, like, 15, or whatever, they go to a party at somebody's house. And he's, like, 'Dude, we walk in there, man, everybody's hanging out and people are smoking weed, people are drinking, da da da.' He's, like, 'Man, somebody put on BLACK SABBATH, man.' He's, like, 'Me and my brother looked at each other.' He's, like, 'That shit was scary.' He's, like, 'We left,' because he said it just sounded like fucking devil music. And that was his first [exposure to] SABBATH. I just thought it was so funny. 'Cause when he told me the story, he had this fear in his eyes. He's, like, 'Man, dude, me and my brother just looked at each other,' and he's, like, 'Man, this is fucking scary.' He's, like, 'This is straight-up devil music.' And I just thought that was so funny."

Circling back to the original question, Chad said: "So, I mean, you've gotta credit SABBATH and you've gotta, obviously, credit Lemmy and Ozzy and early, early, early METALLICA. That was a big part of it. [IRON] MAIDEN, obviously, [JUDAS] PRIEST. And we could go on and on. The list goes on and on."

MUDVAYNE will support MEGADETH on a North American tour this summer. The 33-city, nationwide trek, "Destroy All Enemies", produced by Live Nation, includes stops in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Boston, St. Louis and many more. With additional support from ALL THAT REMAINS, the tour begins in Rogers, Arkansas on August 2 and runs throughout the month before wrapping in Nashville, Tennessee on September 28.

MUDVAYNE completed its first headlining tour in over 14 years, "The Psychotherapy Sessions", last summer. Support on the 26-city trek, which was produced by Live Nation, came from COAL CHAMBER, along with GWAR, NONPOINT and BUTCHER BABIES.

Previously, MUDVAYNE made waves in 2022 when they embarked on the "Freaks On Parade" tour co-headlined with ROB ZOMBIE. This 2023 tour, however, marked MUDVAYNE's first headlining endeavor since 2009.

Gray told The Oakland Press that his "main motivation for putting [MUDVAYNE] back together and coming back was our fans", including those who discovered the band during its absence. "There's so many younger kids that are coming up and coming into our world, the metal world, and they're learning about MUDVAYNE," he said. "So you have this, like, the ground's kind of rumbling and it goes out and touches more and more people, but we weren't out there to scratch that itch. You still have your actual fan base but you're accumulating new people. So when we came back it was very exciting for us. It was about our fans and giving those new fans the experience."

MUDVAYNE formed in 1996 and has sold over six million records worldwide, earning gold certification for three albums ("L.D. 50", "The End Of All Things To Come", "Lost And Found"). The band is known for its sonic experimentation, innovative album art, face and body paint, masks and uniforms. MUDVAYNE is Gray, Greg Tribbett (guitar, backing vocals),Matthew McDonough (drums, synthesizer) and Ryan Martinie (bass).

Gray spent 15 years fronting HELLYEAH, which released its sixth studio album, "Welcome Home", in September 2019 via Eleven Seven Music. The disc marked the group's final effort with drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott, who passed away six years ago.

MUDVAYNE did not tour behind its fifth album, which was barely promoted and sold weakly upon release.

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