TRIVIUM's MATT HEAFY: 'We've Only Had Four Drummers'

October 19, 2021

TRIVIUM's Matt Heafy says that Alex Bent is an "insane drummer" who finds the band's material "very easy" to play.

In December 2016, TRIVIUM parted ways with Paul Wandtke and welcomed Bent, a former member of BATTLECROSS and DECREPIT BIRTH who had previously played with TESTAMENT as a fill-in for that band's longtime drummer Gene Hoglan.

Heafy discussed Bent's addition to TRIVIUM during a recent appearance on "Drinks With Johnny", the Internet TV show hosted by AVENGED SEVENFOLD bassist Johnny Christ.

Matt said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "[Alex is] studio drummer [number] four. People, for some reason, they say we've had like a million lineup changes. We've only had four drummers, but everyone acts like it's a lot — they always act like it's ten. We've had another live guy [before Alex joined]. But luckily, every time we switched, someone's, like, 'Why did you switch? Why did you switch?' Finally we switched to Alex, and they said, 'Now we get what you're looking for.

"He's, like, 28," Matt continued. "He's super young, He comes from tech-death and slam and stuff like that. We call him 'Modesto Monster,' but he's just this super-sweet, insane drummer. Our stuff is very easy for him [to play]. But he's also played with, like, gospel stuff and Latin stuff, so it's really cool to have a guy that can do black metal, death metal, gospel, Latin, country…"

Four years ago, Heafy admitted to the That's Not Metal Podcast that it had been difficult for the band's core trio — Heafy, bassist Paolo Gregoletto and guitarist Corey Beaulieu — to keep a drummer prior to Bent's addition in 2016.

"The drumming is what the band is built upon, it's the foundation for which all the music is built upon, and if you don't have a strong foundation for a house or a building, it eventually collapses," Matt explained. "And I'm so thankful that the stars finally aligned, after eight records, to find the guy that we needed to find. And I think that when people hear Alex, it's not a question of 'Why?' It's more like an observation, like, 'Oh, I see you did it again, but I know why.' Because he's that freakin' good."

In October 2019, Gregoletto told Silver Tiger Media that Alex is "not only a great drummer but a really good dude. After years of playing with people who have not been the right fit, it feels good to just have everything settle into place. If there's any testament to that relationship working, it's [TRIVIUM's 2017] record ['The Sin And The Sentence']. I feel like our abilities to translate our ideas on to a record have just improved ten-fold. It seems like now, with Alex, he writes on our level already. He's now been with us for only two years or so, but he's just a phenomenal drummer and it makes our jobs easier, 'cause we just write the cool riffs and he's ready to go with drums. That's what we needed."

As a bass player and one half of TRIVIUM's rhythm section, Paolo said that it was "tough to have had" all the drummer changes over the years. But "I never minded playing with different people, 'cause I feel like you kind of learn new ways to play," he explained. "Everyone has their own style, and I feel like every drummer we played with had a different take on playing with TRIVIUM. If anything, I got to learn a lot more playing with different people and kind of tailoring my bass playing to whoever the drummer was in the band."

TRIVIUM's tenth album, "In The Court Of The Dragon", was released on October 8 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.

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