During an appearance on “That Jamieson Show,” Roy Mayorga discussed what it was like joining HELLYEAH as the replacement for PANTERA drum legend Vinnie Paul Abbott, who died nearly three years ago at his home in Las Vegas.
“I’m happy I was there to help the guys get through it and carry the torch for Vinnie,” Roy said. “He was a great guy. We love him and miss him. It’s pretty heavy. Definitely honored to be the guy that they called to help them do that.”
“I’ve known all the guys for a long time. I’ve known Chad [Gray, HELLYEAH singer] even before he was in HELLYEAH and Tom [Maxwell, HELLYEAH guitarist] when he was in NOTHINGFACE. Kyle [Sanders, HELLYEAH bassist] I was in a band with, so I think that all made sense to them, I guess, to give me a call. And I was really good friends with Vinnie.”
Elaborating what it’s like to sit on a chair previously occupied by his longtime friend and drumming idol, he said: “While I’m playing the show, I’m not thinking about it, but it dawns on me every now and then, while I’m playing, that I’m, like, in his seat right now [and] there’s his band [in front of me]. And it’s just, like, a ‘holy s**t’ moment. I get really upset just thinking about it — ‘Oh my God. I can’t believe this is reality.’ And then the video montage comes on with Vinnie, and that’s when it really hits.
“There’s definitely some pressure there, man, ’cause I really wanna get his parts as close as possible,” Roy added. “‘Cause his parts, they’re not easy to play, especially the way he plays. He leads a lot with his left. That’s kind of what I’ve realized when I was learning his parts. A lot of his footwork, he starts with his left foot, which I don’t — I start with my right. He leads drum rolls with his left — some. It’s weird how he plays. It’s amazing. His style is just unbelievable. To me, he was like the John Bonham of metal — thrash metal, for sure.”