In a new interview, Mudvyane‘s Chad Gray tackled the current state of heavy music, stating his belief that new bands “sound the same” while suggesting modern rock and metal artists’ influences don’t run as deep as they did when he was coming up.
The Mudvayne vocalist’s remarks came in a chat with The Underground Australia, as Blabbermouth pointed out — Gray was answering a question about the nu-metal revival that’s cropped up in pop culture, and nu-metal’s influence on today’s bands.
Listen to the full interview down below.
Not holding any punches, Gray responds, “Dude, maybe I shouldn’t say this, but I don’t give a fuck. Because I’m me, and I’ve got stuff to say, and I’m going to say it. Music now to me — God bless them, new bands — but they sound the same. All new music reminds me of the same fucking thing.”
He continues, “[Nothing separates] one band from another. It’s like, one band kinda does something, a hundred bands follow that band, then another band does something, then a hundred bands follow that band and sound just like that fucking band.”
Nu-Metal Now + Then
By way of illustration, and harkening back to the golden age of nu-metal, Gray referenced Mudvayne’s assortment of tourmates on the 2001 Ozzfest, asserting that between his band and the others on that bill, they all were noticeably different in sound.
“I was on Ozzfest 2001,” Gray says. “So you had Slipknot, [Marilyn] Manson, Papa Roach, Disturbed, Mudvayne, Drowning Pool… Every fucking band, every band I just named, none of them sound the same. None of them. And I think that’s why it was such a special time in music because everybody was bringing what they were bringing to the table. You had System of a Down and shit-tons of bands, man. And all very original and all doing their own thing. We were part of that.”
The Mudvayne figurehead distilled the idea even further, holding that the influences fueling him in the early 2000s came from further back in the rock and metal continuum. Now, he said, bands take more from contemporary music than they do the classics.
Difference in Influences
Explaining the difference, he continued, “The things that make me Chad Gray are James Hetfield, Layne Staley, Phil Anselmo, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. I could fucking go down the list and name you probably 50 different singers that I — Chris Cornell —that I used to sing every fucking thing that they ever put out in their songs and on their albums. And I’ve taken all that influence that inspired me … to want to do what I do, and I’ve processed that.”
However, these days, “What bands do when they look at this new band, and everybody follows that new band,” Gray adds. “It’s not even an influence really because they’re current. … Even when I came out in 2001 … my influences were from 1981 [or] 1983. Like 20 years, almost 20 years prior [to] me dropping my first album. I wasn’t ripping off a band from 1999 and releasing my album in 2001.”
Mudvanye’s Chad Gray Talks to The Underground Australia – Jan. 12, 2024
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Gallery Credit: Philip Trapp