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MUDVAYNE's CHAD GREY Laments All New Rock & Metal Bands Sounding The Same

"All new music reminds me of the same f*cking thing. There's nothing separating it, one band from another."

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Mudvayne vocalist Chad Gray pulled no punches in a recent interview with The Underground Australia. According to Gray, too many rock and metal bands all take from the same influences and pretty much sound the same.

Which I'd argue would be true in any era where streaming services and the Internet exists – a specific style can reach the masses within days, and everyone's off to the races. Especially now when there's so much new music going around any given day, and how difficult it is to rise to the top of that pile. Something's popular and it's inevitably going to have drove of imitators.

"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 gonna 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. There's nothing separating it, 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.

"I was on Ozzfest 2001. So you had Slipknot, 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. We were more progressive than a lot of our counterparts from that era.

"So we were doing our own thing. Just a lot of really good fucking music and a lot of people really digging into what they were. Nobody was fucking following somebody else. We just didn't see a lot of that. A couple bands here and there, maybe, you know what I mean? But for the most part, bands were doing their own thing and really pushing the boundaries, really challenging the listener. And that's what music's all about, right? It's individuality."

Gray then talks about his influences and how they were from generations before him. Or in his own words, "I wasn't ripping off a band from 1999 and releasing my album in 2001." Which again, today's world move a hell of a lost faster than it did 25 years ago. I'm not sure everyone's as unimaginative as Gray is making them out to be, so much as it is that the world in 2024 is simply not the same as it was in 1999.

"I am Chad Gray and what I do is me. But 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 so much to want to do what I do and I've processed that inside of myself. And now all those people that I'm talking about, they come out as Chad Gray from me. You know what I mean? I feel like that's what everybody was doing. I mean, the only way you can have it be music, be that pure and true is if people are drawing from their influence. All these influences create who they are and what they contribute to the musical equation.

"I did what I did and I contributed what I contributed, but I couldn't have contributed what I contributed without the people that influenced me. And I couldn't have contributed what I contributed if I didn't learn and sing along with every single one of those fucking people that I mentioned. So I think there was a lot of that going on. I think there was a lot of people that weren't looking like… What bands do when they look at this new band and everybody follows that new band, it's not even an influence really because they're current. My influences, even when I came out in 2001, with L.D. 50, my influences were from 1981, 1983 — like 20 years, almost 20 years prior of me dropping my first album.

"I wasn't ripping off a band from 1999 and releasing my album in 2001. My influences were long — my influences were 18, 19, 20 years. The people that inspired me — James Hetfield with his 'yellody', the way that James — he basically yelled in key, which I do a lot in my music. And my scream. I definitely think of all the screamer people — Philip Anselmo. It's my scream now, but it started being his scream. I just took it and twisted it and made it something else."

"I think that that's what was happening then. I think that everything that was happening in the late '90s, 2000 was coming from a very pure place with all the musicians that were creating it at that time. I think it all came from old influence that over time had been cultivated and nurtured turned into something completely different. And it takes time in order to do that. I can't be influenced by somebody that just came out with an album that's brand new last year. I don't have time to process that to be something different than probably what it was a year ago. But over 20 years, I can 100 percent absolutely process that and turn it into something that just now belongs to me, that's Chad Gray's, what he offers the music world, which I think is very important.

"Music is truth. It should be truth. It is for me. That's where I get my fulfillment from music, is the honesty and the love that I put into it. So whether people like it or not, it doesn't fucking matter to me. It is what it is. I do what I do. I'm honest about what I do. I love what I do. I care about it. I protect it. I nurture it. I cultivate it. And then I put it out. And if you like it, cool. If you don't, eh, whatever."

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