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May 15, 2007

Meet Mont de Sundua (again); Hell Yeah arrives

Hell YeahMont de Sundua, née Month of Sundays, is issuing a set of previously unreleased material via the Think Indie label, and to celebrate its release, Jim James (of you-know-who) and drummer David Givan will DJ at Main Street Lounge on Saturday night.The material sat for about 10 years until the three decided it was time to release it to the world.“We are really proud of the songs, and we felt they deserved to see the breath of air,” James said. “We had all listened to these songs from time to time over the years, hoping for a little better mix, etc. Luckily we had the master reels to almost all the songs and the tape machine.”Originally recorded at Above the Cadillac Studios in Shelbyville, where My Morning Jacket recorded the bulk of their first three albums, Mont de Sundua’s release sat “collecting dust in a vault for almost 10 years,” Givan said.“All three of us have always kept a special place for this band,” he said. “We always intended to put it out; it just took a little longer than we thought.”Bassist Ben Blandford lives in Lexington, where he’s pursuing a doctorate in geography at the University of Kentucky, while Givan manages a bar in Baltimore. “I’ve done my part in teaching most of the urbanites that every white bearded man from Kentucky is not in the Klan,” he said, adding that he’ll be moving back to the Bluegrass in about a month.Doors open at 9, with an album listening party from 11 p.m.-midnight. The album will not get an official release until May 22, but you can buy a copy Saturday.Any plans for a Mont de Sundua reunion show?“Maybe,” James said.•••Former Pantera and Damageplan drummer Vinnie Paul is a no-nonsense pummeler when it comes to metal. But in recent years, he had only played sporadically while concentrating on his Texas label, Big Vin Records. Thanks to a decent amount of nagging, he has wound up in a new project, Hell Yeah. The band, featuring members of MudVayne and Nothingface, pestered Paul to get behind the drum kit again, and the group hammered out a self-titled record that debuted this year on the Billboard Top 200 at No. 9 and Billboard’s Rock Chart at No. 3.Not bad, considering the band wrote the bulk of the material in a mere eight days. “It felt right and awesome,” Paul said in a phoner last week. “Ideas are flowing out of all of us.”Rather than boot up as a metal supergroup, Hell Yeah chose a hard rock ethic, emphasizing rhythms and, strange as this might seem, even a sing-along chorus here and there. The style shift comes amid changes in the metal genre Paul said he has seen over time.“Metal has gotten so complicated,” he said. “We just wanted to go in the total opposite direction.”Hell Yeah joins Korn, Evanescence and Flyleaf on the Family Values tour in July, and Paul has invited all unsigned bands to occupy his downtime by sending him demos.“I’ll have a lot of time on the tour bus.”  Contact the writer at mherron@leoweekly.com