|Audio-only version of the interview|
(WHITE NOISE METAL) – Agree or disagree, when you listen to a Trivium song, you’re going to get a message with a strong viewpoint. The band’s lead singer and guitarist Matt Heafy makes no apologies for that.
In a wide-ranging discussion about the lyrics on all four Trivium studio albums, Heafy tells White Noise Metal’s “That BS Dude” Brian Shields he wants fans to know what he’s thinking about the world. One example comes on the song “Detonation” off the album “The Crusade”
“I wanted to go into socio-politics, what people are going through,” Heafy says. “I wanted to make it angry. Sometimes it is a little easier to make it a little more eloquent, a little more thought out and people respect it more. I wanted to make something that was pissed off. This country was supposed to be a place that was founded on living a different belief outside everyone else’s. I wanted to show my views. Sometimes we might have fans that disagree with mine and might not like what I have to say, and maybe some people come from the school of thought that you don’t discuss what your beliefs are but my thing is if we’re not completely honest in this, then what’s the point? So I wanted it to be very overtly what I’m for.”
From the band’s start with “Ember to Inferno”, Heafy says Trivium has been very clear about where it wants to go.
“Every record we’ve had, the album titles have been directly reflective of what we’ve had going on as a band at that time,” Heafy adds. “The idea was to go from that nothingness to something special. We didn’t know when or how or if but we knew we wanted it. It was our goal. That’s what the song was about. It was about creating that vision of ourselves and to really go for it.”
On Trivium’s breakout album “Ascendancy, “ Heafy tackled the issue of domestic violence on the song “A Gunshot to the Head of Trepidation”, a song he hopes will make some people feel less alone.
“I’ve actually had a lot of people who said, ‘Thanks to that song, I was able to read it and realize I’m not the only one and it helped me get through this.’ I’ve always preferred that people I cared about could put the burden off on me.”
On “The Crusade”, Heafy tells White Noise Metal he allowed his social viewpoints free rein with songs focusing on bigotry, homophobia, sexism, racism, and more, not your typical subjects for a heavy metal song.
“I never hear it so that’s why I do it,” Heafy tells Shields. “I did get criticized by some of the people, not in our band but in our team, the industry people, saying you don’t need to come out this much about it but I said, ‘Why not?’ Everyone else gets to say how they’re so against it whether it be religions or political groups or whatever it is. I wanted to tackle everything.”
Heafy says true Trivium fans appreciate that strong viewpoint.
“I think what that record did was weed out the people who were only into us because we were one of those trendy bands,” he adds. “It showed the people early that we’re going to do anything, that we’re not afraid to do the opposite of what we normally do. I think we definitely lost some people and I don’t know if they ever came back. But if you’re going to hate our band just because we try something musically, you were never really in to us in the first place. What people should want from their bands is a band that’s always being true to themselves and that record was as true as it could get.”
On the most recent release, “Shogun”, Trivium steps away from current politics and looks at history. Heafy says he gets inspiration from his personal life, what’s going on in the band, what’s going on in the world, or anything that speaks to him. He tells Shields you can often find him spending a lot of time on the road going to art museums.
“Lately I’ve been getting into modern and contemporary art,” he tells White Noise Metal. “I got to go to the Tate Modern in London. It’s this old factory converted into modern and contemporary art. I really like that because it’s their interpretation of what art should be. They don’t follow the rules they just do what they like and I really like that a lot. That’s the way I like to do music. I don’t have formal training. I don’t know music theory. I can’t read music on guitar. I’ve thought about teaching myself but then I thought I might be giving myself too many rules. So I would rather just make my own rules and go with it.”
Trivium has a new song coming out on the “Gods of War III” video game with 30 songs already written for the next studio album.
“It’s really great, the lyrics, the song title, the brutality, and you can really see what we’ve learned from every single record going into the next one.”
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