Hellyeah guitarist Tom Maxwell says they had no option but to fire Greg Tribbett and Bob 'Zilla' Kakaha because the situation in the band had become "toxic."
Touring guitarist Christian Brady has taken Tribbett’s place on stage, while Kyle Sanders has become their full-time bassist, ahead of the launch of fourth record Blood For Blood next month.
Maxwell tells Rock 105.5 of the album: “It was very liberating. We went through some drama to make it. We parted ways with our other guitar player and our bass player, but it was a much-needed change.
“It was just a toxic situation and it turned into a cancer – so we had to cut it out.
“We didn’t want to do an audition process. We knew who we wanted in Kyle and I’d got to know Brady before I asked him.”
And he believes the new men have brought more than just fresh air to the band: “I wanted to bring guys in who could run in pace with us. Not only do they do that, they’re bringing things we never had before. Serious talent.”
Brady’s relative inexperience has brought its own rewards too, says Maxwell: “He’s so green – he’s so new to everything. Looking through his eyes is so exciting.”
Hellyeah frontman Chad Gray recently warned fans not to expect Hellyeah’s usual collection of party songs in Blood For Blood, saying: “I wanted to be heavy both musically and emotionally.”
The album hits shelves on June 9 via Eleven Seven Music. Hellyeah play Bloodstock at Catton Park, Derbyshire, on August 9; and the Underworld, London, on August 17.