Comin’ in Hot! with this new album, Blind Man Death Stare are reshaping modern punk …
After releasing their sixth studio album Vengeance Falls in October 2013, Florida metal outfit TRIVIUM found themselves amid a world tour. Bassist Paolo Gregoletto concedes it’s a little more than hard work that got him to where he is today. “I’d say it was also quite a bit of luck,” he laughs. “I’d known the guys from school, they were about to record Ascendancy. They had just lost their bass player. I had graduated maybe three months earlier and they asked if I’d join them on a tour with Machine Head and Chimaira. I just thought … may as well. I didn’t realise things were going to blow up like they did. We were 18 and 19 years old at the time, none of us could of really know what was going to happen next.”
The band exploded from relative obscurity prior to releasing their first major album, Ascendancy. The band found themselves likened to such heavy metal gods as Iron Maiden and Metallica by fans and critics alike. As with all bands finding success so quickly, they ran the risk of burning out just as fast. “Going from Ascendancy to [follow up album] The Crusade we definitely took a sharp left turn musically,” Paolo says, reflectively. “While it wasn’t received as well as we’d hoped, we learnt a lot from that album, both good and bad.
“We realised the bands which burn out are those that stay stagnant; they have a sound they try to replicate that over and over again. We have never been ones to shy away from trying something new. That’s the artistic side of it, going up to the canvas blind, throwing something new up there, and seeing what happens.”
Their recent album is definitely something new from them. Heavily influenced by producer David Draiman, best known as vocalist for metal band Disturbed, Paolo found the whole experience very eye opening.
“We came into the studio with 14 songs basically finished and he sat us down and told us we had to be fluid, we had to be open to tracks changing in the studio. He was very vocally focused and pushed Matt [Heafy] hard. Metal bands tend to get so wrapped up in writing riffs and solos that the vocals tend to get lost in the wash. Dave ensured that didn’t happen.”
The Disturbed influence on the album is very apparent, as it can be when bands work with big-name producers such as Fredrik Nordstrom (In Flames, Bring Me The Horizon) or Kurt Ballou (Converge, Every Time I Die). On this album, Draiman encouraged vocalist Matt Heafy to extend his vocal range four octaves higher than he ever knew he could. Paolo stresses this is a vitally important part of the recording process. “We always have an idea of where we want to go, and we seek to work with a producer who can not only get us there but help us to break down our own self imposed barriers.”
“We’re about to sit down to set out the set list. Trying to find that balance between the songs people expect us to play and the songs that we really want to play.”
On 2013’s Vengeance Falls documentary, Heafy opened up about a violent mugging also involving Paolo and their manager. The trio were attacked outside a restaurant during the writing process a couple of tours ago. Lyrically, a lot of that experience is heard on the album. Paolo was a lot more zen on how the assault affected his songwriting.
“I look back at that experience and think ‘Ahhhh that sucks, but hey that’s life,'” Paolo says. “Sometimes those experiences can seep into the music, but you can’t wait for things like that to write music. I think for Matt that definitely came through a lot in his lyrics. It was good for him to get that out. Music is important as a release for us, but then the other side of that is fans coming up to us and thanking us for a song, saying it got them through a hard time because they knew they weren’t alone. That feels really good to hear.”
Trivium is about to embark on a run of headlining shows across Australia with Swedish death metal outfit, In Flames. Their last few visits have been for festival performances, and Paolo feels excited to perform in a more intimate environment.
“At a festival there are so many bands, so it’s very fast paced. In a headlining show it’s so much more personal, it’s just you and your fans. We’re about to sit down to [write] the set list. Trying to find that balance between the songs people expect us to play and the songs that we really want to play. It’s good to be able to give the die hard fans a chance to hear those songs live. Our fan base in Australia has grown dramatically since our previous album ‘In Waves’, so we know there’s going to be a lot of fans out there that haven’t seen us play, or haven’t seen us headline our own shows before. I’m really excited to meet them all.”
Trivium will be hitting Australia with In Flames this November courtesy of Soundwave Touring.
WEDNESDAY 19 NOVEMBER – BRISBANE, THE TIVOLI – 18+ www.ticketmaster.com.au
FRIDAY 21 NOVEMBER – SYDNEY, UNSW ROUNDHOUSE – Lic A/A www.ticketek.com.au
SUNDAY 23 NOVEMBER – MELBOURNE, 170 RUSSELL – 18+ SOLD OUT
TUESDAY 25 NOVEMBER – ADELAIDE, HQ – 18+ www.oztix.com.au