Interview with Matt Heafy (Trivium)

Trivium frontman Matt Heafy kindly took some time out to answer a couple of my questions about his band’s highly anticipated fifth studio album, love and hatred from the metal masses, and whether he would’ve done Trivium’s past albums differently or not.

MusicReview: Shogun featured several mythological themes. Is the new album going to be a continuation of this?

Matt Heafy: Shogun‘s mythological themes were something that felt called for by the music. Every CD has been so different with its lyrical inspiration that this next album will definitely be its own thing. So, it won’t be carrying the mythological feel of Shogun.

MusicReview: Musically, what can we expect? Is it a combination of everything Trivium has already done?

Matt Heafy: It’s tricky to describe. We want it to be that this next album just sounds like “Trivium”. We may have – probably have – said that every record’s goal is that, and it has been, but this time it’s without question. There have always been experimental songs, since Ascendancy, on our albums, and this time the CD will only have what it is meant to have.

MusicReview: Trivium’s previous albums have included longer instrumental-only tracks. Can we expect the same this time around?

Matt Heafy: Unfortunately, as of right now, there doesn’t seem to be an instrumental song that will be on the album. However, there will be songs that do things we have never had as a song formula before.

MusicReview: In retrospect, have you ever looked back at your past albums and wished you had re-recorded or done it differently?

Matt Heafy: Of course. I can say for a lot of our stuff that nowadays I would have done “like this” or “like that”. But what is so good about things I may change now is that they were already done in a different way in the past. It’s how we grow and learn new things about ourselves.

MusicReview: You’ve mentioned before that your favourite bands are those who cross in and out of metal’s rules. So, can we expect a side-project from Matt Heafy crossing the borders of heaviness?

Matt Heafy: I did have the side project Capharnaum with Jason Suecof (producer of Ember to Inferno, Ascendancy and The Crusade), and at times had many ideas for either an electronic band, a folk band, a black metal band…all those things were due to an imaginary mental block that I couldn’t always do what I wanted with Trivium. That feeling is gone now, and, as of right now, all my time is for Trivium.

MusicReview: It seems like the moment a metal band achieves moderate commercial success, such as Trivium, Bullet For My Valentine and Avenged Sevenfold, suddenly they become hated by elitists and, especially, internet trolls. How do you handle this negativity and abuse? Do you just switch off after a while?

Matt Heafy: Honestly, nowadays, the hate feels less than it’s ever been. In actuality, there are probably far more people that DON’T like us, but our population of people who love us is so much bigger than it used to be; so it’s a much smaller percentage of negativity, even though it’s technically more of a voice. I feel that any band that has some sort of mainstream success – not calling us a mainstream band, [but] meaning being in magazines, radio, etc. – will have haters out of principle. But you can’t think of that; there is too much good.

MusicReview: Are there any places you haven’t toured, which you’d love to visit in 2011?

Matt Heafy: There are so many places in the world that we’ve never been to, and a goal of our band is to be able to hang with Trivium friends everywhere in the world at anytime, so we will bust our butts to make that happen as soon as we can.

MusicReview: Thank you for your time, Matt. We wish you all the best with the new record and subsequent tours.

- Sergio Pereira

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Written by Sergio Pereira