Rustyn Rose of Metal Nation recently conducted an interview with HELLYEAH guitarist Tom Maxwell. You can listen to the entire chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On the status of his hand after undergoing surgery to repair "trigger finger," which is caused when the tendon becomes stuck as it passes through a pulley in the palm of the hand:
Tom: "It's feeling great. It's about 90 percent there as far as flexibility and stuff. The surface of it and the palm of it is closed up and healed up and the color is back. I started playing a little bit. My doctor told me that the best therapy I could do and rehabilitation is just to play my guitar, just play, play, play. That's kind of what I've been doing. I'll be ready to go by November. One hundred percent."
On releasing HELLYEAH's new studio album, "Welcome Home", which was recorded before the June 2018 passing of drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott:
Tom: "You really had to swallow and get yourself out of your own emotions. We all were having a lot of anxiety, and personally, I was just having panic attacks. It was hard. There was so much uncertainty when we went back in. We knew we had to finish the record, but at the same time, we were just, like, 'How are we going to continue with this record and get back out and the grind of the tour and all that stuff?' I think in the long run, it really pulled us together and helped us shake off a lot of the apprehension that we had and break the ice a little bit emotionally. It was good for us to get together and finish this record. I think we accomplished it in a way that I know Vince would be really proud of us. He would be really proud of the songs. I'm excited for everybody to hear it tomorrow as a whole piece. [Editor's note: This interview was conducted a day before the release of 'Welcome Home'] That's a cool thing about this record: It's really a journey. It starts off really heavy and it takes you on this mountainous kind of journey up and down. It's awesome. I'm really excited about it. We took some chances on some songs. We went outside our comfort zone and tried some things. It wasn't like we tried; it was stuff that we longed to do but never came to fruition. On this record, we really wanted to feel a sense of uncertainty with certain things, like, because it's a little bit outside of our comfort zone. To me, that really just shows that we're just growing still. We're still developing. I think this record is kind of a period at the end of a sentence in some ways, but there's also hope there. We'll see what we do in the future. Right now, it's just kind of focusing in on honoring the record, honoring Vince and his memory, his brother Dime ['Dimebag' Darrell Abbott] as well, and carrying his torch and support this record as much as we can, and honestly. After that, we're not really thinking too far ahead after that."
On the early fan response to "Welcome Home":
Tom: "I think it's just the sign of the times. As far as releasing so much music out front, the physical sales are drastically lower than what they were just a couple of years ago. There are very few outlets left that sell them. So it's all about the streaming and instant gratification. Yeah, the response has been killer. I've been really eager for everyone to hear this record and the songs that have been released so far are going over great and it feels great. I know that the rest of the band feels the same way. We released that song 'Perfect', for example, which was like a gratis to throw out there. I didn't know what people were going to think of it. It was one of those songs that I was talking about before that was kind of outside our comfort zone. There's different elements. There's slight elements of pop in it, maybe, like in the music. I didn't know what people were going to respond to. It's been great. I'm really thrilled."
"Welcome Home" was released on September 27 via Eleven Seven Music.
HELLYEAH recently completed a U.S. tour — its first since Vinnie Paul's passing and the debut of STONE SOUR member Roy Mayorga as Vinnie's replacement.