Hellyeah Tom: How young bands can save album format

Hellyeah guitarist Tom Maxwell has challenging rising-star bands to make stronger albums instead of concentrating on a handful of radio-friendly singles.

And he thinks many young musicians don’t try hard enough to establish their own sonic identity – which is one reason why record sales continue to plummet.

Maxwell tells KJAG: “I listen to radio and I’m hearing bands, and I can’t differentiate who they are. There’s a thousand Nickelback bands. There’s a new Slipknot band showing up every once in a while. And it’s just shit – unfocused with no passion.”

He believes the problem is: “Most of these new bands are writing for that single. They want to chart.” But he warns: “There’s a lot of competition out there. Unless you have something that really speaks volumes and can separate you from the rest of the pack, you’re just going to follow the sheep.”

Maxwell thinks the solution is for up-and-coming artists to “so some soul-searching musically.” He adds: “Bands need to dig deep and reinvent themselves. They need to make records from song one to the last song – not just a couple of tracks and the rest of it is shit.

“That’s why people don’t buy records. They go onto iTunes and they’re like, ‘Well, I only like this song, I only like that song,’ and the rest of the record can fuck itself. They don’t care it’s a body of work.”

Hellyeah split with Greg Tribbett and Bob Zilla before the launch of fourth album Blood For Blood earlier this year, after mainman Vinny Paul accused them of “lacking drive.”