ENVOYEZ VOS INFOS :

CONTACT [at] RADIOMETAL [dot] FR

Interviews   

Trivium doesn’t want to catch the wave


If the previous album Shogun (2008) was a great success by the way it would stick into your head (is it even humanly possible to get bored from “Throes Of Perdition”?), Trivium’s new album, which just came out on Tuesday via Roadrunner Records, In Waves, isn’t an album full of singles. If some songs do have catchy choruses, like “Built To Fall” which will probably drive a few people completely insane, this album is less accessible, but by no means is it not as good.

Matt Heafy insists on that: this album goes beyond the music, to being a full piece of visual art with both the artwork and the music videos, but also the way the musicians are going to look on stage. The whole thing is darker than what Trivium has done in the past, but there’s no way they are going to explain why. As a huge fan of David Lynch, Matt sees art as something very personal, and will not even force his own interpretation on anyone, meaning there will be as many interpretations as there will be listeners.

Matt is very proud and sure of himself when it comes to the alternative approach they have with this In Waves album, compared to most of the metal scene which is, according to him, in a rut.

His opinions are further developed in this interview. Among the discussed topics are the departure of former drummer Travis Smith and the contribution of newcomer Nick Augusto, the way the band communicates about their art and also, of course, today’s favorite topic in the metal scene: Lady Gaga.

Interview.

« When I was a kid, and when I was into a song, it would mean something to me, and later on, I would hear or I would read an interview from that artist and find out the song means something completely different, and it completely killed the meaning for me. »

Radio Metal : Musically, this album is darker than the previous one. Lyrically as well, since a lot of the songs seem to be about the end of the world, like “Built To Fall”, “Leaving This World Behind”, “Watch The World Burn”, “Inception Of The End”. The cover, which is entirely grey, isn’t any more cheerful. Where does all this desperation come from?

Matt Heafy (guitar/vocals) : We had the idea for this record about three years before we started the recording process, and we knew we wanted something that was completely cohesive; a record where all the visuals made sense with all the music and that everything chimed in to make one world. With this album, he had five different visual artists working with us (doing the album cover, the creative design, the photography, the documentary, the custom clothing…). With all those people working with everything, it took a while to get all the props done, and we knew we wanted to rebrand ourselves. We wanted to do something completely different than what we’ve ever done, and something completely different than what we’ve seen in metal. We are definitely not a band that’s just a metal band, or a band that just draws from metal; we draw from everything. So when it comes down to the album art, the song titles, the lyrics, everything that’s in this record, we want to leave it purely up to the interpretation of the listener of the viewer, so there’s technically no right or wrong answer about what any of this means, but we’re not coming up and telling anyone what they should think that it means.

In most of the interviews promoting these albums, the band remained vague when it came to the meaning of the title and of the lyrics. Is this because there isn’t one specific meaning, or is it just because you want to keep that meaning for yourself?

For me, I remember back to when I was a kid, and when I was into a song, it would mean something to me, and later on, I would hear or I would read an interview from that artist and find out the song means something completely different, and it completely killed the meaning for me. And I think with all great art, things should be able to be appreciated from within, without being told what you’re supposed to think or how you’re supposed to feel, but allowing people to create their own emotions themselves. I’ve had some people tell me they think the music is very dark and negative whereas some people tell me they think it’s very positive. So that’s the kind of thing that I want to keep going, I want people to be able to have their own idea. And one of my big inspirations for this record artistically and even motivationally is David Lynch, the film maker. His big thing is that he never explains what any of his movies are supposed to mean, or what you’re supposed to take from it. He just allows people to create their own imagination and their own imagery of what they believe that it is. So I wanted to go in line with that.

« I’ve looked at metal, and I’ve seen that metal has stuck with the same look and the same form and the same feel for the last 30 years, and we want to take it in a new direction for our band and do something completely different. I’m very much influenced by visual art, I’m influenced more so by visual art than auditory art, that’s really what inspires me. »

« In our eyes, that this is the most complete project we’ve ever done », that’s how you’ve described In Waves. Indeed, the combination of the songs, the cover, the lyrics and the music video is coherent. Should we expect something special in the live performances as well?

Yeah, in the live shows, we are bringing the art of the record to the staging, and our goal is – every bands goal should be – to be able to play in more places in the world and in bigger places, in order to be able to put more of the money into the show, and create the world of In Waves more so on stage. If you look at the photos and the videos from the Mayhem tour, you can definitely see that on stage we have the outfits from the music videos, the artwork from the album, and we are doing everything we can to create the world of In Waves on stage.

Since you seem to be very proud of this album, do you intend to play it in its entirety in a special show?

I would love to, it’s really a matter of if that’s what the fans want. I would love to do it, I’m 100% up for it, so I guess we’ll know soon, once the album’s out, depending on how many people pick it up.

Since In Waves is more than just a music album, being a complete form of art, with the visual and the lyrical aspect to it as well, do you plan to go even further in the future and explore other forms of art?

Definitely. The next video we’re about to shoot is going to be for “Built to Fall”, and it’s going to be the next part of the In Waves videos. If you’re to picture the saga as being ten parts long, the first video you saw for In Waves was part four, Built to Fall will be part five, so obviously, we’re going to jump all around the place, and take it in different directions. And I’ve looked at metal, and I’ve seen that metal has stuck with the same look and the same form and the same feel for the last 30 years, and we want to take it in a new direction for our band and do something completely different. I’m very much influenced by visual art, I’m influenced more so by visual art than auditory art, that’s really what inspires me. So hopefully someday I can take that up to the next level.

And maybe for the next album, do you intend to go even further and maybe make a movie like Nightwish are doing, or write a book or a video game?

Yeah, whatever comes out of it. I would really enjoy to push the limits and to do different things. So there’s many different things that we can do, we’ll always try.

« Colin Richardson is the kind of producer that you really need to come to him prepared.[…]three years before the recording process, we had the idea of the record, two years before the recording process, we had started the music, and at that point, we had done about eight months of demoing ourselves and eight months of preparing ourselves before even meeting Colin. »

You have stated that Travis Smith (drums) has saved the band; that his departure was bad but it had to happen. Were you aware of this before he left or is it something you realized after he left?

Obviously, we wouldn’t have decided to make the change if things weren’t going badly, and it’s not just because of him, but the chemistry between the four of us just didn’t work anymore, and without the chemistry between the four of us, we’re not able to be creative. And if you’re in a band where you can’t be creative and you can’t make something great then there’s no point. And we were on the course of potentially breaking up and being over, so we had to make that change to take the band to the next level.

What did the new drummer, Nick Augusto, bring to the writing process in this album?

Nick comes from technical death metal and grindcore, so we knew that he could play anything. We knew we’d be limitless in our creativity. We knew it would be easy for him to do. So when it came time for being able to write the music, that was very freeing.

The double bass drum is very present on this album. Is that just Nick’s playing style or did he play that way to adapt himself the songs?

He definitely had to adapt. You know, we all had to adapt. All of our styles outside of the band are a little bit different, so when it comes time for Trivium style, we’re all finding our sound, and I think with this record we all really found who we are as players in Trivium. I feel like we really defined the Trivium sound completely with this record.

You have stated that your producer Colin Richardson starts the recording only when the band plays everything perfectly and already sounds great before the production stage. Corey (guitar) has stated that he doesn’t take a crappy band to make it sound like an awesome band. Do you feel that too many bands count on the producer’s work?

Oh yeah, definitely. I mean, Colin Richardson is the kind of producer that you really need to come to him prepared. You can’t be a band that doesn’t really know what’s going on, you really have to have all your ducks in a row. I think what he’s good at is making a band with an already pre-established sound better. He’s not there to help find a sound. When a band comes to Colin fully prepared, it’s definitely the way to go, that way he can help display what you do better.

Were Colin Richardson’s requirements hard to meet? Did you have playing or sound deficiencies that you needed to work on?

When Colin came to us, we were so prepared with the music. I mean, three years before the recording process, we had the idea of the record, two years before the recording process, we had started the music, and at that point, we had done about eight months of demoing ourselves and eight months of preparing ourselves before even meeting Colin. So by the time Colin came to us, everything was really, really solid. So it was just a matter of him throwing in a couple of tweaks here and there, and him really guiding us to bring out the best performance of the music that we had created.

So do you plan on approaching the work for the live performances the same way, as in playing without lights or other stage effects just to improve your performance as a band?

Well, when it came down to the record, there was so much preparation going into it, and there was so much playing between the four of us in the band that we were so well rehearsed that by the time we came out live. Nowadays, we’re the kind of band where you can just call out a song that we have rehearsed in the past. And even if it’s been two months since we’ve played it together, we’ll play it as if we had always been super tight on it. So we’re definitely a really well-oiled machine now, due to all the work we’ve put into In Waves.

« Metal is a very unforgiving genre. If you step outside of what you’re supposed to look like as a metal band, or supposed to sound like as a metal band, you get into serious trouble. That’s why we do it. We’re influenced by the fact that we like to rebel against what we’re supposed to do. And I think that’s the same philosophy that she [Lady Gaga] has »

You have expressed your admiration for Rammstein’s or Lady Gaga’s shows. If Trivium had the means, would you like to do the same kind of very visual shows?

You know, what I actually love about those two is that they don’t ever adhere to what people tell them to do, they don’t adhere to what people think they should do. They just do exactly what they want to do, the way they want to do it. And they’ve both been able to achieve success, become bigger bands, they’re able to put their money into the show. And that’s the same kind of thing I would do. I don’t want to do it like them, but I like the idea of how they do it. And it really feels like Rammstein, Gaga, and ourselves all share the same influences. I can definitely see some David Lynch-esque moments in some of both of their work and the same kind of modern art spin in some of their videos and some of their live shows, that I’m a fan of.

A lot of heavy metal artists praise Lady Gaga in the press. In your opinion, why does she touch heavy metal artists that much?

I’m not sure. I’ve read that she’s really into metal, so maybe we pick up on that. I’m not sure. She’s like a visual icon, a person that really displays something special. Someone that never does what she’s told to do, she does it the way she wants to, and that’s definitely the way we are. Metal is a very unforgiving genre. If you step outside of what you’re supposed to look like as a metal band, or supposed to sound like as a metal band, you get into serious trouble. That’s why we do it. We’re influenced by the fact that we like to rebel against what we’re supposed to do. And I think that’s the same philosophy that she has, and I think that deep down maybe people recognize that as well, but they don’t really take it in as an influence, but we do.

While you were in the studio, you haven’t revealed anything; not one song title or studio report of the band. Do you feel most bands communicate too much and ruin the mystery and the surprise?

Definitely. I really feel that with this record we wanted to keep everything a surprise. We wanted to go back to that old school feel where you have to wait for when the album is supposed to come out. I just heard today that the album was leaked, but that’s okay with us, because we know that the people that love our band are still going to pick it up. But yeah, we weren’t happy, we’re sad they released it and allowed things to come out slowly. We want to keep that mystique and mystery and that specialness of the record, and that’s really what it was all about with this one, bringing back that old school approach of releasing stuff in a proper timing.

The limited edition of the album has five bonus tracks. Those five tracks aren’t just at the end of the record like normal bonus tracks. Does this mean that those five tracks weren’t meant to be bonus tracks, and if so, why aren’t they on the standard edition?

Yeah, it was all meant to be appreciated as a whole, and what we did was, when we knew we should only have a certain amount of tracks for the standard edition, we just pulled a couple of songs off. So Shattering the Skies Above, and Slave New World are the traditional B-sides at the end of the album, but “Ensare The Sun”, “A Grey So Dark” and “Drowning In Slow Motion” were meant to be on the album.

Dream Theater and Trivium are going to tour together in the US. Both bands have lost their drummer, is this a coincidence, or have you been brought together by the circumstances?

I think it’s a coincidence, but it’s funny because they’re both Italian drummers (NDLR : Mike Mangini in Dream Theater and Nick Augusto in Trivium) as well. It seems like a lot of bands that have all of a sudden changed their drummer. It’s coincidence, but maybe we’ll bond over it, you never know.

Interview réalisée on august the 2, 2011, by phone.
Transcription: Stan

Trivium’s Website: www.trivium.org



Laisser un commentaire

  • Arrow
    Arrow
    Alice Cooper @ Paris
    Slider
  • 1/3