Former Pantera drummer Vinnie Paul has been keeping extremely busy with his new label, Big Vin Records, releasing the debut from Seventh Void (featuring Johnny Kelly from Type-O Negative) and getting to work on the sophomore album from his band HELLYEAH with members of Mudvayne and Nothingface. We caught up with Vin to discuss running his own label, breaking into the industry and Pantera’s legacy.
You’ve played in bands your whole life and been on a few major labels via Pantera and HELLYEAH. Why would you want to form your own label?
It’s something me and Dime always wanted to do. We had completed a very unique country/metal crossover record with David Allan Coe called Rebel Meets Rebel. When I shopped it with major labels, they all kinda had the same answer: “What do we do with this?” So I said, “I know what to do with it, put it out!” And I started my own label.
What led you to sign Seventh Void?
I love the music! I think that it’s a [mix of] fresh sounds with old school roots!
Seventh Void is a side project featuring members of an established band. Do you plan on signing up and coming artists, or will the label focus on bands with a built-in audience?
I hope so. We’re about to be knee deep in HELLYEAH World, so that will definitely slow things down at the label for a while.
How many acts do you envision being on the label?
No particular goal, I just want good acts that I am proud to be a part of!
What’s your advice to someone starting out in the industry?
Don’t do it! Ha, it’s rough these days. Just remember, it’s a business and you must learn that side if you want to exist!
So HELLYEAH started out almost like a side project. Did the success of the band lead you to make a second album, or was it always going to be an ongoing thing?
We had planned on it being a real band from day one. We all knew we had other commitments, but we’re looking forward to record #2.
Can you tell us what the new HELLYEAH album is going to sound like?
We recorded six songs already, and our chemistry is better than ever! It’s gonna go to another level for sure, and once again be very diverse.
The music industry is often characterized as being filled with scummy and shady characters. You must have dealt with your fair share over the years. How do you know who you can and cant’ trust with your art and businesses?
That’s a tough one. You just need to develop a business savvy and don’t trust anyone! Always keep your eyes open.
Have your non-music ventures like owning a club helped give you insight into how to conduct business on the music end?
Business is business, of course they help. I try to tie all of them together as my own entertainment industry, and have them interact with each other to maximize their visibility.
You’ve been doing the advice column in Revolver for a few years now. How seriously do you take yourself as an advice columnist, and do people often come up to you asking for advice?
That’s nothing but pure comedy for me and the readers! It’s all about a good time with a bit of common sense thrown in there. I really love doing it.
OK, so we know you like Seventh Void. What other bands are you digging these days?
Still love the old school stuff best!
What are you doing to keep Pantera’s legacy going?
Pantera amazingly continues to grow in popularity, even though it only exists in spirit! It’s like we’re a new band on the radio. Back in the day, you couldn’t hear us on the radio. Now it’s like “Here is the new song from Pantera, ‘Walk’!” Comedy, but that’s the way it goes!