Interview With Trivium At Mayhem Festival
August 10th, 2009 at 6:10am

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The yearly Mayhem Festival is always a good time you get to see friends and bands you haven’t seen for a while and the vibe of the festival is just an exciting and positive one. This year I didn’t get to see much of the show but I was able to catch up with some bands and friends that I haven’t seen for a while.

Speaking of people I hadn’t seen, the boys in TRIVIUM were on hand to chat with me about the album they are touring for SHOGUN and the future of the music and what it means to be on a huge tour like this.

TRIVIUM story started out back in 2005 (also the year I was introduced to them and met them) with the release of probably the most vibrant and entertaining album to come out then ASCENDANCY (on Roadrunner). From start to finish this band put a twist to the metal world and from that gained honored tours and just the ability to lash out, explore music boundaries inside them and now can say that this could be something they could do for many more years now.

I was able to chat with main man Matt Heafy (Frontman/guitarist) early in the day during Mayhem, so sit back and read up on what is going on in the world of TRIVIUM!

SO I HEARD THAT YOU HAVE STUFF WRITTEN FOR A NEW ALBUM?

Yea, we have some stuff not as a whole band but each individual guy has maybe ten to twenty songs. I have done about fifteen, but I have gotten rid of all but six because I kept the good ones as I kept going on, the newer songs I was writing were stronger and better so I got rid of the ones that weren’t as good. Paolo has a bunch of songs, like twenty or so but he keeps cutting back as well. Everyone keeps writing as many as they can, but then cutting back the weak ones and not worrying about trying to make them better songs.

HAVE YOU ALWAYS DONE THAT, WRITE AS MANY AS YOU CAN THEN CUT BACK?

No, before we used to set a certain amount. I remember before we did SHOGUN, we planned out each guy does this to this many amount of songs and we will pick the best at the end and on this one we said lets just go for it. The way people think about songs these days, I don’t know if everyone does, but songwriting is just like an instrument, the more songs you write the better you will get and the better the songs will get.

I KNOW ON SHOGUN YOU PUT IN A PERSONAL TOUCH WITH YOUR JAPANESE BACKGROUND, DID THAT CHANGE YOUR WAY OF SONGWRITING GOING SO PERSONAL INTO SONGS?

I’ve done it before, but SHOGUN only had a little bit, maybe two of the songs referenced it as in the record title obviously. It’s definitely something I learnt more about myself and heritage and where I came from thanks to being in this band. I was born in Japan and moved away at one and didn’t see my family until our first Japanese tour when we opened up for Arch Enemy in 2004/2005. So, I got to meet them then and thanks to the band I get to go back once a year and learn more every single time and more about the culture and people there, so it’s definitely thanks to the band. I think subconsciously I want to have that in there and pay homage for giving me knowledge of where I come from.

HAVE YOU CONTINUED WITH WHAT YOU LEARN FROM YOUR CULTURE, ARE YOU PUTTING THAT INTO THE NEW RECORD AS WELL?

We have all loose ideas right now, musically it is getting closer to finishing a more realized idea but lyrically and generally with the entire record and not being written and purely in the developmental stages we are thinking of it as something that we want to be recognized by any kind of fan weather you like metal or not, whether you speak English or not cause we are definitely a band that travels internationally around. I have done a style of words that is almost hard to interpret even if you speak English, so I’m not saying we are dumbing ourselves down but I want it to be universally translatable no matter where we are. I don’t know how to make that happen but we definitely want it to sound like TRIVIUM but with the best possible songs. We always try to keep true to what our heart is as a band but we want to diversify, and not diversify for the sake of ourselves but to find where we are going as a band. Now a days we know more of what is right for our sound. If we look across all four records we know what kind of parts should be there for the next thing and what shouldn’t be there.

DOES THE TOURING HELP WITH THAT?

Definitely, we are constantly analyzing what we do. Of course any band can look at any record they have done and say I could have done this better and at times we will do just on the surface value, so we go into the next one knowing a little bit more.

WELL, I STILL LOVE YOUR SECOND ALBUM TO DEATH!!!

ASCENDANCY, yea, I consider that one as a whole a perfect realized idea. I think from start to finish it is the most consistent album we have done. SHOGUN is the best we have ever played as musicians and the best our musicianship as been together and the songwriting. It definitely has ideas strayed away and not in the bad way but strayed away in an instrumental way. Where I think ASCENDANCY is really on a straight line which is great in one way but all your records can’t be that straight of a focus but ASCENDANCY still some days it will go up n down. I just listened to it again the other day and it’s really a bad ass album. But, it’s so funny because when it came out people weren’t that excited about it. But now people look back and say wow that was the best one but when it came out the questions were why are you a metal core band? Why do you just play shitty metal core? Now that genre is dead I know somewhere in the world they still use it but I remind them that it is dead!!

DID YOU GUYS EVER DO THE VIDEO FOR SHOGUN?

No, we were talking about doing that, I mean we might do it at the end of the year but not sure yet.

NO NEW MUSIC UNTIL 2010?

Yea, we will start getting into the studio by April 2010. We finish up this tour in about two weeks and then four weeks off and then two back to back headlining tours. First one is WhiteChapel, Darkest Hour, Dirge Within and us and then the next one will be Chimaira, WhiteChapel, Dirge Within and us. So it’s like a 63 date tour throughout North America. We have a mark off in Australia and maybe South East Asia and other parts of Asia, Australia, UK, Europe and then time for next record

IT IS GOOD TO SEE YOU GUYS BRANCHING OUT TO PLACES USUAL BANDS DON’T TOUR MUCH.

Yea, we try

SO FOR A BAND LIKE YOU AND HAVE DONE FESTIVAL TOURS OVERSEAS AND NOW YOU’RE ON MAYHEM, HOW DO YOU SEE YOUR BAND LOOKING AT THE SUCCESS OF THE BAND IN A DIFFERENT WAY OR GRASPING THAT REALITY OF THE SUCCESS?

Yea, you definitely can see it in a new perspective; we came into this tour not knowing how it was going to be. We just went off other summer tours experience in North America. Some were good, some were really shot. But this one has been the best summer festival we have been on in America, if not the most fun tour we have ever been on period. Just the vibe is so different, everyone on the staff is amazing; everyone is so good to the bands, it is more about the bands then the people running it for the bands. Everyone is in a very good mood all the bands get along very well. Every other day bands throw parties. Behemoth threw a party where everyone wore corpse paint. I think Dahlia is throwing a Karaoke party tonight, we threw a jungle juice party, we had ten gallons of clear liquor and wine punch and fruit in this bucket and we had three or four hundred people from the tour show up

SO DOES MAINSTAGE BANDS HANG OUT ALSO?

I don’t see them all the time. I’ve seen a couple like the Killswitch dudes but like Slayer, Manson, those are big bands, they are probably busy or something

ALSO FOR THIS TOUR DO YOU SEE YOUR BAND GOING IN DIFFERENT DIRECTIONS AS IN A GOAL AFTER PLAYING ON A TOUR WITH SO MANY BANDS IN YOUR GENRE?

We have learned everything we can from some of our favorite bands like Metallica and Maiden. We know what we want to do so I’m not sure, but what is awesome about this tour is like I was saying before I guess I didn’t finish my idea. We knew this tour was going to be good but not this good. Based on the Slipknot tour we just did we are having a better reaction here then we ever could have had. Our signings are incredibly long, the crowd energy we never had before in the States, we have had it overseas, but we have it now here in the States and I really think it is thanks to Slipknot. Fifty per cent of every crowd says I saw you at that Slipknot tour, so the crowd for us is massive on this thing because of that so they come back to get maybe another experience of what they had at the Slipknot show

HOW ABOUT FRIENDSHIPS ON THIS TOUR?

We toured with most of these bands, we did a tour with Slayer in the UK a year and a half ago. We toured with Killswitch before, done festivals with Bullet. God Forbid took us out on our first tour ever. Toured with All That Remains a few times, we did Ozzfest with Dahlia and Behemoth and Cannibal we played with on Sounds.

YOU HAVE BEEN AROUND!!!

(Laughing) Yea, that is what she said!! But Whitechapel was a band I was super stoked to meet and jam with and those guys are buddies and we will be touring with them and finally got to see Job for a Cowboy, so I think that is everyone.

BEING THAT YOU STARTED OUT SO YOUNG DOING THE BAND, IS YOUR PERCEPTION OF WHAT YOU WANTED IN A CAREER THE SAME NOW AS BACK THEN?

The goal as always been different, when I was twelve I wanted to be in a band like Metallica, when I was like eighteen I wanted to be in the biggest band in the world, when I was nineteen or twenty it was always something different. Now a days it is all about just wanting to do it forever. This is all I care to do and this is all I know how to do, so I hope we can continue to play here or anywhere in the world and people will come out to see us.

ANY LAST COMMENTS?

Not really, just everybody better just come out to our double headlining tours, it’s going to be different sets and different bands!!!

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