Amy Harris recently conducted an interview with guitarist/vocalist Matt Heafy of Florida metallers TRIVIUM. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Amy: What was the process to put the [new TRIVIUM album, "In Waves"] together? I know you guys have been working on it a while.
Matt: Basically, we have been working on this record for two years now. We had about eight or nine months on pre-production demoing between all of us in the band. We just did it with the four of us. The record took about three months of tracking. I believe the mix process took about a month or six weeks or so. The visual process spanned about a year as well. We have been working on the visuals with five visual artists on this record and we have been working closely with some of them for about a year. We are working on the new treatments for the new video. But we really wanted to make something that wasn’t just about the music anymore and it was completely unveiling the entire package. So you weren’t just getting the soundtrack to the movie, you are getting the entire movie with this record and we wanted to break the mold of what metal has looked like for the past 30 years. Essentially metal has stuck with the exact same formula since [BLACK] SABBATH and [JUDAS] PRIEST did it. We wanted to do something completely different this time.
Amy: What’s your favorite track on the album and what is the story behind it?
Matt: My personal favorite track of this month of our record, it changes a lot, is probably “Caustic Are The Ties That Bind”. With this entire record with the really deep visuals and all the song titles and lyrics, we really want to leave the interpretation with the viewing listener and put the power back with the person enjoying the music and what they feel like the interpretation of everything should be. I can tell you about the premise of that song. I remember we were in L.A. one day and we were in the dressing room prepping for this show we had. It was a co-headlining show with us and COHEED and a bunch of other bands. We had just gotten back from eating Peruvian food nearby and it was amazing, and Paolo [Gregoletto, bass] said, “Check this riff out,” and it started out like “Duh duh du duh duh dun nuh,” and I said, “That’s really cool.” I was really into it and said, “Hey, pass me the guitar,” so I learned that riff and added some things onto it and started playing around with it and next thing I recorded the demo and the song went through about five to ten revisions between demos until we came to the right thing. The reason why we kept coming up with different revisions was the middle section was definitely a challenge to come up with. That didn’t come up the first time. I don’t think we had the final vocal arrangement with everything until about two weeks or so before going into the studio. A lot of these songs have been through tons and tons of revisions and some of them were quick, like “What’s This World Coming To”, that song was written for the record and pretty much you hear it on the record was the way it was in demo form and “Caustic Are The Ties That Bind” went through, like, ten revisions.
Amy: So you have been together for 12 years basically. Where do you see yourselves in ten more years?
Matt: What’s so great about us starting out so young is something our label, our booking agents, and our management always talk about is us starting so young is that even ten years from now we’ll be the average age of the bands that are out right now. So we always have so much time to do anything and everything. So it’s onward and upward really. There are no performances anymore; they are all like mini movies. I have this whole grand scale idea of where I would like to go with our videos, and our live performances, and our live setups. Those type of things aren’t really possible for a band our size. We aren’t a big band by any means. We are a medium-to-small-size band. If you are big enough that you can put the revenue you generate back into the band, back into the art, back into the show, and back into the videos, that’s when you can do things like RAMMSTEIN and LADY GAGA do who are heroes of mine when it comes down to bands who are musically and visually creative, that do something different from what everyone else does. When you see what those two bands, what GAGA and what RAMMSTEIN do live, it is completely different than what any other band does, what any other band would think to do. And so I have my own ideas of where I would like to see our stuff go.
Amy: I’m always amazed at how many metal people love LADY GAGA. It’s really funny to me.
Matt: I heard with her new record, she wanted to make a new record that all her metal friends would like. The first one didn’t really take with me. It was cool and all, our bass player was into the first one. But with this new one, I really, really dig it. The music is simpler, it is darker imagery. I found that she is really artistic. All these other pop stars do the same old thing. It is really nothing visually striking or visually creative. She has always injected in the occasional modern art into some of her stuff and in her music videos there will be moments where it will be performance art kind of stuff, and I’m not even talking about the dance scenes, I’m talking about those weird sections where she’s being pelted by waves in a tour dress or something. I think that is bringing a new artistic level into something that typically with pop music is not about art, it’s usually about turning something out, but with her it is something so much more.
Read the entire interview from Amy Harris.