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» From "Can I make a suggestion?" // June 16, 2009 8:05:46 PM UTC
Not a great idea in my opinion. Trivium are Trivium, not Iron Maiden.
[shrugs] just my two cents.
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Trivium has been one of the fast rising bands in metal, and hope to continue that rise with their new CD Shogun. It was produced by Nick Raskulinecz (Foo Fighters, Stone Sour, Rush, Velvet Revolver) and features the return of screaming vocals. Trivium is currently on tour with All That Remains, and I caught up with vocalist/guitarist Matt Heafy, who fills us in on the new CD, working with a new producer, TV shows he wonâ€™t miss and many other subjects.
Chad Bowar: How would you describe the musical direction of Shogun?
Matt Heafy: I would say Shogun combines everything that Trivium, that the four of us in the band feel like are the key ingredients of our band. Tie that in with the next evolutionary step of what the album would have been on its own, and combine all those aspects. So itâ€™s really the past, present and future of Trivium all on one CD.
The return of the screaming vocals are what people are talking about. Was that something you had planned coming in, or did it evolve as you were writing the songs for the CD?
Itâ€™s the kind of thing that happened naturally. When it came time for The Crusade, we were done with screaming. When we started doing this next one, we started listening to riffs, and some of the parts were incredibly heavy. I had been singing over them, and it didnâ€™t really have that intensity. Travis (Smith, the bandâ€™s drummer) said to scream over them and see what happens. So I did it, and it was perfect. It fit that heaviness. It was exactly what those parts needed to take it to the next level. With this album itâ€™s got just as much singing as The Crusade did, and just as much screaming as Ascendancy.
How did you hook up with Nick Raskulinecz to produce the CD?
Weâ€™ve always been a fan of his stuff, but we never really thought to ask him to do our record. When it went out that we were looking for a producer for our next record, he got in touch with us. He was into it, and we were really into his stuff. Iâ€™m a huge fan of the Foo Fighters In Your Honor. I think itâ€™s amazing. So it was as simple as that. He was a fan of our stuff, and we were fans of his. We flew him out to see a couple of shows on the Black Crusade tour with Machine Head in the UK. He flew down and hung out with us for two days. From there we all knew immediately he was the guy for our record.
How did his producing style compare to Jason Suecof, who you had worked with on your previous albums?
It was totally different, because with Jason, heâ€™s a buddy of ours. Heâ€™s been a buddy since before we were signed. Iâ€™ve done about 15 different projects with Jason, including Trivium and non-Trivium stuff. With Nick, he came in with a whole new set of ideas that we never would have thought of. There were so many different things he would bring to the table, whether it was trying something different musically, or different recording-wise. All these techniques were about getting the best performance from us. We came to him completely prepared. We had been writing for a year or year and a half, and also came to him with six months of demoing. So when he came in we had these fully completed songs he was able to help take to the next level.
How did you narrow down all the songs you wrote to the ones that ended up being on the record?
We started off with 27 songs and worked from there. Some of the songs were a matter of combining different things. It became a matter of picking which ones we thought were the strongest. We went from 27 down to 20, and then whittled down to 15, and then got to the amount for the album.
You recorded three extra tracks for the special edition of the CD. One of those is â€œIron Maidenâ€ by Iron Maiden. How did you choose that song to cover?
With Maiden, we really wanted to do a cover of them. And we knew if we did a Dickinson song Iâ€™d be completely (screwed). So we wanted to pick something that not only showed our love for the band, but was a song we really loved. That song was perfect. It fits exactly what Maiden has been doing since they started until this day. It showed our love for the band.
You were also recently on Bruce Dickinsonâ€™s radio show in the U.K. Was that in person or over the phone?
The first one was in person. We did a full six or seven week tour with them in Europe last year. Those guys are super cool. Theyâ€™re really down to earth, amazing people. They really took great care of us, and it was a blast.
What inspired the CD title?
The reason we picked that word is because when you think of a word like shogun, it sparks all this vivid imagery and storytelling, especially when you look into the definition. Itâ€™s the highest ranking military general in Japanese times. We really dug it. We felt it was an appropriate name for the album.
What are your expectations for the CD?
I think our fans are going to absolutely love it. For us, itâ€™s the best record weâ€™ve ever done, without a doubt. I think the next record will be even better, and the next record after that even better.
Chad Bowar: Do you think Trivium is now in the so called elite or upper echelon of metal bands?
Matt Heafy: Itâ€™s all relative. The most important thing is that since we were all kids, before we even met each other, we all said I want to be in a metal band that plays arenas when Iâ€™m older. And on The Crusade cycle we were able to do that co-headlining arena tour with Machine Head, and we did a co-headlining arena tour with Slayer in the U.K. So stuff is going great. As long as there are people coming out to see us, things are going right.
Trivium has always been a very polarizing band. Is that just something that comes with commercial success?
I donâ€™t know what it is. Weâ€™re just four normal guys who happen to be able to play in a band and make cool music for cool people around the world. I think itâ€™s the right music for the right people, and weâ€™re living proof that this is all very possible to do for anybody.
You shot a video for â€œDown From The Sky.â€ How much input and involvement do you have when it comes to videos?
Everything. With our original set of videos, we always let the label take care of it. But nowadays we know what we want and how weâ€™re doing it. We started doing that on â€œBecoming The Dragonâ€ (from The Crusade) when we fully funded the video ourselves and worked with a friend of ours and had one camera. After that experience, we knew that we should do what we do, regardless of what anyone else wants. Itâ€™s the same concept behind the album. We donâ€™t have someone push us and pull us in weird ways.
Youâ€™re in the midst of a co-headlining tour with All That Remains. How is that going?
Itâ€™s going great. The shows have been amazing.
How much new material are you playing live?
Weâ€™re doing three songs off Shogun, two songs off The Crusade, three songs off Ascendancy, and the Iron Maiden cover.
Whatâ€™s the biggest misconception people have about you?
I donâ€™t know exactly, but itâ€™s a complete misinterpretation of who I am or what Iâ€™m like. Iâ€™m just a normal kid, a geeky kid who doesnâ€™t really do anything nuts. I like video games and cartoons and play guitar in a metal band I donâ€™t have superhuman strength, Iâ€™m not a druggie rock star cockhead, Iâ€™m a normal guy like everyone else.
Who is your current celebrity crush?
Iâ€™d have to say Scarlett Johansson.
Who was a key mentor or motivator in your life?
Definitely my dad. He still is. Heâ€™s been managing the band since I joined when I was 13. Without his support and his advice we wouldnâ€™t be where we are.
What TV show wonâ€™t you miss or always record?
Thereâ€™s a huge list. Prison Break, Family Guy, South Park, Greyâ€™s Anatomy. Prison Break is a big one for me. Iâ€™ve been following it from the beginning. Iâ€™m really excited to see Lost. Thatâ€™s what I do when Iâ€™m off tour is watch TV.
When you got your first big paycheck, what was the first thing you spent money on?
I think it was a new wardrobe. We were wearing the same stuff every day when we first started touring. I finally got some new socks and underwear.
After a 3 week hiatus...life has been...less than cool without this site...my dads credit card was null and void, so I was in limbo for a bit...BUT! I got myself a check card and renewed my membership today.
So cheers, everyone! I'm glad to be back!
I'll be a bit more active on the forums from now on. I have a lot more free time now that I'm in college.
I personally am a huge ATR fan, and I can't wait to hear their next release. I hope it's a continuation of The Fall Of Ideals with even more emphasis on powerful heavy riffs and Phil Labonte's awesome clean vocals.
from triviums 'pull harder', i used 'its our curse that makes this world so hopeless'. by far one of my favorite lyrics. just thought id share that with you all. me and my love for my favorite band lol. anyone else do something similar? sorry if the format of this message looks bad. silly cell phone.