TRIVIUM's MATT HEAFY Says He's Already Had COVID-19 Twice
February 9, 2022
TRIVIUM frontman Matt Heafy spoke to Tucson, Arizona's Rock 102.1 KFMA radio station about the overwhelming success of his Twitch channel, which boasts a follower count of 238,000.
Matt, who streams everything from video games, guitar clinics to TRIVIUM and acoustic song covers, all while he's off the road and awaiting the next TRIVIUM tour, said: "The main consistency is five days a week when I'm off tour, two times a day — 8:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. — is when I do my streams on my channel. And the majority of it — 75 to 90 percent of the time — is me playing TRIVIUM songs by request to TRIVIUM supporters. It's me staying in shape."
He continued: "I never take time off vocally ever; I never take time off. I had COVID last year [and] I had COVID again this year — I still didn't stop singing and screaming and streaming to make sure that if I get the flu on tour, if I get food poisoning on tour, I'm gonna make sure I don't have to cancel shows. So I'll need to train through every single element.
"When my kids were newborns, I was not getting sleep, still making sure I'm here, providing entertainment, providing community, providing all that stuff, and still keeping myself in shape year round — more like an athlete than a musician, is the way I treat it."
Last fall, Heafy told HardDrive Radio that he and his bandmates, as well as their "entire crew," were fully vaccinated the 2021 leg of their U.S. tour with MEGADETH, LAMB OF GOD and HATEBREED. "The Metal Tour Of The Year" marked the four groups' first run of concerts since the start of the pandemic.
"I had breakthrough COVID as well, so I was about as immune as you can possibly get and I was still adhering to every single rule," he said. "And I know that maybe some people, unfortunately, are rolling their eyes when they hear about this stuff, but the way I think about it, I don't think anything other than this is a virus; it's a sickness. I've had tons of freakin' shots. Every time you go to South America, you have to get boosters and immunity, if you're gonna be near the jungle. My kids are almost three. When they were little, they got polio and smallpox and measles vaccinations, hepatitis vaccinations. That's the only way I thought of this: 'You know what? I wanna play shows, and I'm gonna do everything I can to make sure not one person misses our set for one freakin' show.' So, we had the vaccine, still wore masks everywhere except for dressing room, stage and bus. You know how much I love food. We made sure every single meal we had on every single day off was outdoors — outdoors, no friends. 'Cause we wanted the shows to happen."
In October, TRIVIUM bassist Paolo Gregoletto told Mankato, Minnesota's "Midwest Beatdown" radio show that the band's tour manager was diagnosed with COVID-19 after the third show of "The Metal Tour Of The Year". "We had a bunch of [COVID-19] tests with us," he said. "We got a couple of extras. Everyone tested. No one else was positive. We caught up our manager. We caught up the tour. We pretty much said, 'Look, we're not gonna cancel a show. Everyone's good. We're all isolated from our tour manager. We'll test tomorrow and as many days in a row as you want.' And no one ever got sick on our bus except for our tour manager. And we kept going. That was basically it.
"There was really no rule kind of set up how that was gonna work," Paolo continued. "But what we've been seeing people do is, okay, someone on a [tour] package will get sick, and they'll be, like, 'well, everyone's gonna take 10 days' or something to quarantine — whatever people are doing. And we were, like, it's not possible. There's too much at stake for a tour this size, or any tour, really. 'Cause if you start canceling shows, the margin is very, very thin with that kind of stuff; it's not sustainable. So we were just, like, 'Look, if no one is sick, the show must go on.' So that's what we did. HATEBREED's sound guy helped us out big time by filling in on monitors. Our assistant tour manager picked up the slack for the shows, and then our tour manager was just e-mailing — Zooming in; [sending] e-mails, doing all the stuff he had to do. And he came back when he was fine, and that was it. And we kept rolling."
Gregoletto added: "It was scary, obviously, but I was also kind of relieved to have that happen right away, 'cause it's, like, once you kind of know what it could be once it happens… It's kind of like Matt when he got sick [with COVID-19] way before the tour, it's scary 'cause you've been trying to avoid it the whole time, but then, when you get through it, you're, like, 'All right. I felt bad for a few days and now I'm good.' It felt good to just have that happen, and we dealt with it, and the show went on. And we didn't publicize it 'cause we didn't wanna [create] any sort of doubt that the tour was gonna get canceled, that shows would get canceled. 'Cause it's crazy times right now. I'm sure a lot of people have seen bands are dropping from tours and stuff, and we just didn't wanna do that. So we chose this way instead."
TRIVIUM's tenth album, "In The Court Of The Dragon", was released in October via longtime label Roadrunner Records. The record was produced and mixed by Josh Wilbur and recorded in the fall of 2020 at Full Sail University in Orlando. The album cover is an original oil painting by French artist Mathieu Nozieres.