TRIVIUM's MATT HEAFY: If You're Relying On Backing Tracks, You're Doing Something Wrong
October 27, 2017
TRIVIUM frontman Matt Heafy and bassist Paolo Gregoletto were recently interviewed by Germany's Pitcam.tv. The full chat can be seen below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET):
On including more screaming vocals on the group's new album, "The Sin And The Sentence":
Matt: "[2015's] 'Silence [In The Snow]' didn't have it because we felt like it didn't quite need it. We could have put it on there from Corey [Beaulieu, guitars] or something because at the time, I hadn't been able to scream again. I blew my voice out two and a half, three years ago at the end of the 'Vengeance Falls' cycle. I had to rebuild it, and re-work at it, but thankfully it's back. It's a piece of cake [now]. It's great. It sounds great on the record — we're happy about it.
"The thing with TRIVIUM is we've always done the kind of music we felt like we needed to do at that time. We never are trying to write to a quota or to a person or to a fan base of any kind of specific thing; we're always trying to make what we want to hear as fans of music and fans of metal, and that's what we did with 'The Sin And The Sentence'. I think 'The Sin And The Sentence' has ingredients of everything that TRIVIUM is and everything that's great about TRIVIUM, while 'Silence...' I think has some of the biggest and best hooks and some of the best singing we've ever had. We have done records like that before. 'The Crusade' had pretty much no screaming whatsoever – I think maybe two words were screamed on that record. With 'The Sin and The Sentence', we just made what we felt like we wanted to make."
Paolo: "There's really not that much screaming. I think it's a little deceptive just because we had an album that didn't have any, and then it kind of made a return on this record, but we made a conscious effort not to just overdo it. I think just to throw screaming into parts would have been, kind of, I don't know... it would have made it feel very forced. We can put it into our music again and use it when we need to. 'The Heart From Your Hate' has no screaming; one of the other singles that will come out eventually has no screaming. I think we've really accomplished being able to do both and we can kind of pick and choose which tools we want to use."
On how Heafy recovered from blowing out his voice:
Matt: "What we determined — what my vocal teacher, Ron Anderson, and I determined was that I was definitely screaming incorrectly for about fifteen or sixteen years, and singing incorrectly for fifteen-sixteen years, and that's something that any vocal teacher I would have went to didn't really notice. I've seen other vocal teachers over the years, and that's something we didn't even really determine until my voice blew out. When it blew out, there's only a handful of things you can do, and the only option for me was to rebuild it, and to re-work at it. When we're off tour, we all practice religiously, and something that I really do is I sing all the time, five days a week, like, two to four hours a day of singing no matter what. That's something that we all really take seriously with our craft, is we put the time into our band. When I knew it wasn't right and that we had to take time off, I never wanted to have that feeling again, so that's why we put so much time into everything. That's why I make sure when we're off tour, I practice so much for singing and screaming so when it's time to go on tour, it's easy. That's why we put the time into it. I've been a really dedicated student to my teacher Ron Anderson, who Matt [M. Shadows] from AVENGED SEVENFOLD actually put me in touch with. That's who he's been training with since he had his vocal issues back in, like, 2003-2004."
On advice the band would give young acts just starting out:
Matt: "You have to practice. You have to take your craft seriously. You have to be good at what you do first and foremost. You can have fun on tour and you can party and all that stuff, but if you're not performing as well as you can for your fans, and you're relying on backing tracks or there's multiple laptops set up behind your drum riser because you can't sing or you can't play as well as your records, then you're doing something wrong. It's all about being a great musician first and a great band first."
On Heafy's recent cover of LINKIN PARK's "One More Light":
Matt: "The biggest thing with depression or with anything of the mind is people need to realize that it's not just in their head. It's not fake — it is okay to have those feelings, but you have to work at those things, you have to be willing to first recognize it, and then be willing to do something about it. I feel like a lot of people are always pushing how much they take care of their bodies — like, all these people on Instagram always post about their workouts — and it's just as important to take care of your body as it is to take care of your mind. The first couple steps is recognizing that it's okay to feel like that and then trying to find help, whether that's therapy or friends or finding a creative outlet and definitely not just sitting there and sulking in it. For us, we're thankful that we all have the outlet of music and that we get to be with our bandmates and do that and share that with fans. That's the most important thing and the most important message about this band — that even though topically the songs can be dark or intense, or seem or just flat out be angry, it's always about getting those emotions out of yourself and putting it into something positive, putting it into something creative. When that happened with Chester [Bennington], I still have no words to really describe it, so the only way was to do that song. It was actually Corey's idea — he texted me, he's like, 'Hey, this would be the perfect song for you to the cover. You should listen to this and read these lyrics.' It was perfect."
On the band's remaining goals:
Matt: "Ever since the beginning, I feel like when we were all thirteen years old and decided to start music, we all had dreams of being the kind of band that can play gigantic shows. It still is a goal of all of ours to become a band that can make a significant dent on music. I still would like to be a band that can headline stadiums some day on our own, have more pyro than RAMMSTEIN, have more lights than NINE INCH NAILS and have a plane or two like IRON MAIDEN. If that doesn't happen, at least I'll know that we all put everything that we could to hope to make that happen, that we definitely put the work into it. I think even just be able to play music for the rest of our lives is an achievement and a goal, but hopefully we can headline stadiums some day. That'd be nice."
TRIVIUM's eighth album, "The Sin And The Sentence", arrived October 20 via Roadrunner Records. Recorded with producer Josh Wilbur (LAMB OF GOD, GOJIRA) at Santa Ana, California's Hybrid Studios, the album is the group's first with new drummer Alex Bent, who joined the band last year.
TRIVIUM will return to the road in North America this weekend on a co-headline tour with ARCH ENEMY, featuring support from WHILE SHE SLEEPS and FIT FOR AN AUTOPSY. The tour will kick off on October 27 in Orlando, Florida and make its way across the U.S. and Canada before finishing on December 6 in Houston, Texas.
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