TRIVIUM Frontman: ‘Japan Is My Favorite Place In The World’

U.K.’s Primal Noise recently conducted an interview with guitarist/vocalist Matt Heafy of Florida metallers TRIVIUM. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Primal Noise: First of all, we’d like to talk a little about “In Waves”. How did it come about and what were your expectations with this album?

Matt: The big thing for us with “In Waves” was to make the kind of music we wanted to hear as metal fans; we weren’t thinking of writing for something. With “Ember” and “Ascendancy”, we made just the music that we wanted to hear. With “The Crusade”, we made the kind of music that was still TRIVIUM, but we felt that maybe non-“Ascendancy” fans could appreciate. That was the big thing with “The Crusade”. “Shogun” was a conscious effort of, “Let’s make something that’s very progressive for us.” With “In Waves”, it was none of that… It was, let’s make what we want to hear, back to the basics… I’m trying to think of the most eloquent way to say we were just pleasing ourselves [laughs], but that’s the only way I can say it, so yeah.

Primal Noise: Speaking of touring, do you have a favourite country to play?

Matt: Japan! Japan is my favorite place in the world. It has the best food, the best people… You can leave your laptop on the subway and go back the next day and it’ll still be there. There is great food everywhere. Everywhere is amazing, people are super nice, super respectful. Although South America has some of the most rabid metal fans I’ve ever seen in my entire life! We’ve just come back from touring there. We played Buenos Aires, and they sang every single guitar solo! In between songs, they wouldn’t just chant “TRIVIUM” or be quiet or just clap, they would sing us their football chants with TRIVIUM in place of their football team name. It’s hard to come back from that. That was really good. The thing that I love about England is they were the first country to ever recognize us as a real band. The U.S. didn’t even show us love until, I guess, maybe, a year or two ago. I mean, they showed us some love, but not like the way the U.K. did. It’s the only place where we have a couple of gold records.

Primal Noise: Earlier this year you toured with ASKING ALEXANDRIA, I SEE STARS, MOTIONLESS IN WHITE and THE AMITY AFFLICTION. We understand DIR EN GREY were due to join you there but unfortunately had to pull out… That’s an interesting mix of bands. How did that go?

Matt: It was great! We played in front of, like, 65% of people there every single night, who had never even heard of our band name; these were kids that were there for the other four bands on the bill, that knew every song of all these other bands, but us, we were their first exposure to our kind of metal. It was really good for us. “In Waves” has been long for us, we’ve been on tour since the middle of last year. In North America alone, we’ve supported ASKING ALEXANDRIA, IN FLAMES, DREAM THEATER and FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH — four polar opposite bands. So our whole thing was tackling everything we could in North America. In the end, we walked away with a lot of new fans. Every night I think from minimum to maximum we’d get 90% to 100% of the crowd into it every single night. But there’d be a lot of kids there that, they’re not ready for us yet. They’re maybe too young for our sort of band. Even though we’ve seen eight-year-olds in TRIVIUM shirts that are amazingly metal, but I mean, in the U.S.… they have to be ready for it. Maybe we’ll be the gateway for a lot of those people who’ll come around in a year or so when they’re out of… what they’re into. But a lot of the bands, I mean, we met UPON A BURNING BODY on that tour, and we brought them over here. And ASKING ALEXANDRIA were great people. We found that they were all TRIVIUM fans, which, I was blown away by. It was really cool. It’s cool for me to meet bands that like our band. When we first came, all the other bands were like, who the hell is this young band full of assholes? Nowadays things are going a little better. I was super bummed when DIR EN GREY had to pull out, because I love those guys. I love the band, I love their videos, I love seeing them live. I keep in touch with a couple of the guys sometimes.

Read the entire interview from Primal Noise.