Roy Mayorga reflects on the surprise of meeting Vinnie Paul for the first time

Roy Mayorga (Image credit: Dave Simpson/WireImage - Getty)

Last month, Hellyeah reported they had recruited Stone Sour drummer Roy Mayorga to play live with them at their tribute show in honour of the late Vinnie Paul.

It’s likely that Mayorga will be behind the kit with the band when they embark on their summer tour across the US in support of new album Welcome Home.

And in a new interview with Talkin’ Rock On Meltdown, Mayorga says it's been a “bittersweet” situation for him and has also spoken about the first time he met Vinnie – and it came as quite a shock to him.

He says: “It was the 98 Ozzfest at the Milton Keynes Bowl in England. I was playing drums for Soulfly at the time. While I was playing, I turned around to grab a water, and 10ft away from me was Vinnie with his arms crossed, giving me this grin and going, 'Yeah!”

“I was, like, ‘Oh my god. it’s Vinnie.' And next to him was Dave Grohl. So, yeah – no pressure."

Mayorga adds: “I got to meet him afterwards and we were friends ever since. He was a really cool dude. His energy was great. As soon as I saw him behind me, it made me fucking play even better and harder. 

“He was definitely a big influence on me and every drummer that I know. He was a big influence on everybody drumming-wise.”

As for how he approached that first show with Hellyeah at the House Of Blues in Las Vegas in May, Mayorga says: “I'm just here helping – helping him and the band carry the torch. That's it. No filling shoes – none of that stuff. 

“People are saying, 'Those are some big shoes to fill,’ but I keep saying, ‘Look, it's not about filling shoes. No one can fill his shoes. His shoes are with him. And that's it. I'm here just helping the band and honouring him.’ And that's it.”

Welcome Home will feature the final recordings of Vinnie and it’s set to be released on September 27 via Eleven Seven Music.

Vinnie died in June last year at the age of 54

Hellyeah: Welcome Home
1. 333
2. Oh My God
3. Welcome Home
4. I’m The One
5. Black Flag Army
6. At Wick’s End
7. Perfect
8. Bury You
9. Boy
10. Sky and Water
11. Irreplacable

Hellyeah: Welcome Home

Hellyeah: Welcome Home
Hellyeah's brand new album features the final recordings of the late Vinnie Paul and the blistering lead tracks 333 and Welcome Home. Not to be missed.

Hellyeah 2019 US tour dates
Jul 23: Atlanta Buckhead Theatre, GA
Jul 24: Myrtle Beach House of Blues, SC
Jul 26: Silver Springs The Fillmore, MD
Jul 27: Inwood Shiley Acres, WV
Jul 28: Boston House Of Blues, MA
Jul 30: Stroudsburg Sherman Theater, PA
Jul 31: Cleveland House Of Blues, OH
Aug 01: Green Bay The Green Bay Distillery, WI
Aug 03: Denver Summit, CO
Aug 04: Sturgis Iron Horse Saloon, SD
Aug 07: Minneapolis Varsity Theater, MN
Aug 08: Chicago House Of Blues, IL
Aug 10: Detroit The Fillmore, MI
Aug 11: Grand Rapids 20 Monroe Live, MI
Aug 13: Wichita The Cotillion, KS
Aug 14: Oklahoma City Diamond Ballroom, OK
Aug 16: Houston House Of Blues, TX
Aug 17: Dallas House of Blues, TX

Scott Munro
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Scott has spent 35 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott keeps Louder’s buyer’s guides up to date, writes about the best deals for music fans, keeps on top of the latest tech releases and reviews headphones, speakers, earplugs and more. Over the last 10 years, Scott has written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog. He's previously written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald newspapers, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to tech reviews, video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.