Last updated: 12/02/2009 11:00:00 AM
Hellyeah's beginnings can be traced back to 2003, when Chad Gray and Tom Maxwell began discussing the possibility of a supergroup with Greg Tribbett and Jerry Montano. They couldn't decide on who to bring in on drums, but kept Vinnie Paul Abbott in mind (not only was he a friend of the members, Pantera had broken up in 2003, leaving Abbott without a band). The idea of Hellyeah brewed, even when Abbott joined Damageplan
After the 2004 onstage murder of Vinnie's brother Dimebag Darrell, it became unlikely that Vinnie would ever want to play live again. After some much-needed time to recuperate, Vinnie decided in 2006 that it was time to pick up the drumsticks again. He got back in touch with Gray, Maxwell, Tribbett and Montano, and Hellyeah officially formed in 2006, and spent that summer writing and recording material along with producer Dylan Cole from underground metal band Black Water Park.
Revolver Magazine was one of the first print publications to feature the band. The self-titled track, "Hellyeah", started gaining satellite radio airplay in February 2007.
According to Rockdetector, the band finished recording their debut album in January 2007, and the lead single "You Wouldn't Know" hit American radio airwaves by late February. Their self-titled effort Hellyeah was released on April 10, 2007 via Epic Records. The album debuted at #9 on the Billboard 200 album charts, with sales of just under 45,000.
On the evening of April 10th, 2007, the band was throwing a release party for their debut album when Montano became drunk. He became violent and punched Maxwell in the face, and was escorted out of the club by security, and outside threatened to come back with a gun and shoot everybody. He was later dismissed from the band.
For a new bassist, Hellyeah was at a cross roads and considered getting Dylan Cole (producer) to tour with them. He declined the offer because of contract obligations to Black Water Park, to resolve this problem they brought in Vinnie Paul's former bandmate in Damageplan, Bob Zilla. He will be on tour with them all year in 2007.
The first major tour announced for Hellyeah was the "Fire It Up" tour, followed by the Family Values Tour, which begins on July 20 and is to be headlined by Korn and Evanescence. Hellyeah have also played on the main stage at Download Festival on Saturday June 9.
On August 7, 2007, they were interviewed on The Sauce on Fuse. They said they will release a DVD sometime in 2007.