By Kris Peters
“I think Matt (Heafy) as a singer has pushed himself into a whole new level. The situation was scary with Matt, not hurting his voice, but getting worn out on tour to the point we had to cancel a few shows about two years ago and that scared us. It was scary thinking about how his voice could be damaged, which thankfully it wasn’t. There were so many things to process. Is screaming now off the table for us a live band, for Matt at least?
“If it was, then that was something we could never have on a record and it was a situation of, we are this far into it and we’re breaking new barriers and here is something that by no fault of our own could sideline us. Is this gonna be the thing that stops our momentum? But thankfully out of that we were able to make a record that was a big statement for us to prove that we didn’t have to rely on the screaming to make good songs. Luckily it’s one of those things where we can do it again now and thankfully Matt has learned a new technique that doesn’t hurt his voice so now we are able to bring back a lot of songs from our back catalogue that we had had to shelve for a while,” mused bass player for Trivium, Paolo Gregoletto, describing the turn of events approximately two years ago that had the potential to be the one force on earth that could ground the band.
Trivium are a band that has not taken the world by storm but rather a band who have released consistent enough material to gradually propel them through the ranks of the metal world. Debut, Ember to Inferno, showed enough promise in raw, natural ability that belied the unwanted comparisons to other big name bands and the band set about building their own sound with a twin guitar assault and ever changing structure that saw Trivium slowly carve their own niche.
Out of the turmoil that surrounded the troubles with Matt’s voice, the band produced Vengeance Falls, probably the defining point in a promising career that saw Trivium finally beak free of labeling and comparisons and propelled them in to a force unto themselves.
A band that were no longer followers but more so innovators.
“I think it’s always evolving,” Paolo said of the band’s sound.
“It’s hard to pinpoint what is the exact Trivium sound. There are certain things that have always stayed with us, certain styles of riffs and definitely Matt’s voice and his screaming, but even those things evolve. They change, they improve, they get different with age, so there’s definitely a Trivium sound but I feel like with each record we’re not trying to bring up a template of what the Trivium sound has to be. We like to start things fresh with what I think the sound of Trivium naturally evolved out of which is what makes each of us tick when we are together and what can we go towards with our songs and that’s what the Trivium sound usually is.”
Trivium’s latest album, Silence in the Snow, was considered another defining moment in the band’s career, and now, some seven months after its release, Paolo says the band themselves can finally start appreciating it for the slab of music that it is rather than another stepping stone in their musical quest.
“I actually listened to the album in my truck the other day because I usually give myself a little beak right after we do a CD,” he explained.
“I don’t usually rip straight into our albums unless we are rehearsing and stuff to get my mind back in to the songs but to listen to the album and hear it six or seven months after its release I feel really proud of it. We went in to it with a lot of big goals; a lot of ideas and the biggest challenge was staying the course and sticking to it no matter any kinds of doubts we had with what we were trying to do and achieve. I feel like all of us a group really stepped up and stayed committed to our goals which were to let the vocals and melody be in the forefront, retain all of the riffs and the power and everything that made Trivium what we are and made us a metal band but let’s take it a little further and see what we can do and how we can push ourselves and our boundaries so it was cool to listen to after months away from it.
“When you’re listening to mixes and you’re right in the thick of making the record, your mind is going a million miles an hour and you get to the point where you can be sick of the songs because you’ve heard them so much. Or you’re just tired and you are doubting things so when you take a break and listen to it later you appreciate it more. We have film clips and singles out now and … it’s cool. It’s just cool to see how it grows on people and that’s really the best feeling as a musician is that the music continues to grow and keeps new fans, as well as the old ones, happy. It’s good to see the fans that have been there since the beginning react to it after it has been out for those few months.”
Rather than just get in a room and write the record, Paolo says that Trivium have learnt that there is more to an album than just then basics. It has become more of a process than an order, and he says that as a result each album sees the band getting stronger and stronger.
“We’re definitely a lot more forward thinking with the idea of the record than we have ever been,” he admitted.
“I think with each record, you learn what you want to do in advance and need to know what you want to do in advance, because you have a real finite time to get the record together and it goes real fast. Even when you have weeks and months the time just goes. You run out of time and you still have all these ideas that you want to get on to the record and into the writing and there’s so much to do. The challenge is just getting a clear vision of things. I try to hear in my head what the record is going to be a year from now, before we’ve even written a note and it’s hard. When the album is done people think you just got together to write but to really have a clear goal of this is what the record needs to go towards and writing towards that takes a bit of time. We think about the record before we write it; things like what we want to do, how we feel about the band, how we feel about the music and I guess that’s how we work now. We’re always thinking about what we’re going to do next and talking about it before eventually putting it into action.”
Trivium 2016 Tour Dates
10 April – Metroppolis, Fremantle
11 April – HQ, Adelaide
13 April – 170 Russell, Melbourne
15 April – Max Watts, Brisbane
16 April – UNI Roundhouse, Sydney