Interviews : Trivium – “Australia is one of our favourite territories to play” (An interview with Paolo Gregoletto and Corey Beaulieu)
Trivium – Paolo Gregoletto and Corey Beaulieu
There is no doubt that Florida’s Trivium are one of the most talented metal bands of today. Blending their signature brand of metalcore with influence taken mainly from thrash and death metal, the band have surely experimented with their sound ever since their first album Ember to Inferno in 2003. Their most recent album, In Waves saw a maturing point for the band, while still sticking to their normal metalcore roots, the album showed a completely new image of the band. In the midst of their Australian tour for the massive Soundwave Festival (which is now finished), just hours before they opened up a sideshow for Slipknot, Metal Obsession caught up with bassist Paolo Gregoletto and guitarist Corey Beaulieu to chat about the tour, rumours floating around the net, preparing for shows and misheard lyrics.
Metal Obsession: How has your second time playing Soundwave Festival been for you so far?
Paolo Gregoletto: It’s been pretty killer dude. The festivals have grown, the crowds have gotten way bigger, and it’s our first time down since we’ve had the new album out, so it’s very fun. People are really digging the new stuff, and our set on the Slipknot tour is even longer than the Soundwave one, which is crazy. So we’re really getting into a whole new audience of people.
Metal Obsession: So what bands have you checked out while you haven’t been playing shows?
Pa0lo: Um, Coal Chamber, a little bit of Mastodon, I went up on the main stage one day randomly and saw Lost Prophets and Alter Bridge. I didn’t really have any agenda; I just kinda popped by whatever stages were close, just to see what was on. But the festival line-up this year is really unreal. Whether you like just heavy metal, or just pop-punk, or whatever it is you want to see, it’s on this festival.
Metal Obsession: And who have you seen, Corey?
Corey Beaulieu: I’ve seen Chimaira, Times of Grace, Coal Chamber, some of Gojira. Also, the last couple of days I’ve gone to the sidewave shows. We went and saw System of a Down in Sydney, and then last night I went to Steel Panther and Alter Bridge at The Palace Theatre.
Metal Obsession: I heard you were there. Someone downstairs was telling me that they saw you at the Cherry Bar afterwards, but you left shortly.
Corey: Yeah, I popped in for a beer and then left. [laughs]
Metal Obsession: In Waves seemed to be quite a maturing point for Trivium. How was it received by long-time fans?
Paolo: The long-time fans have been into it. I mean, if you go by record sales, I guess we’re going alright. But what it really comes down to is the live show. When kids come up to me and ask “Hey, are you playing Caustic Are The Ties That Bind?” or you know, a random song off the album that’s not even a single, that means that I think it’s connecting to people. You can’t really plan for that, you just have to try writing the best album that you can, and we really took a long time with this.
We really worked hard with Nick (Augusto, new drummer) to fit him into what the Trivium thing is, and In Waves was the result. So to me, it’s just a starting point to where we’re going to take this band now.
Metal Obsession: By the looks of your Facebook updates at the time, you spent a long time in the studio recording In Waves. How difficult was it to record?
Corey: It wasn’t really that hard. Most of it was time-consuming because we had to change studios which kind of added on time, and it’s just the attention of detail that we had in the studio with Colin Richardson and all the guys that worked on the record. We’re very particular in what we’re looking for with drum sounds, guitar sounds, so we spent a lot more time than we have on previous records just getting the tones before we even recorded.
[Editors note: “In Waves” by Trivium off their 2011 album of the same name]
That kind of added time on, just because we were trying to get the tones in the studio before we did anything, instead of just tracking it and trying to fix it in the mixing process. We spent a lot of time tinkering with 20-30 different guitar amps, matching it with different cabs, microphone placements and trying all different sorts of drum variations in the drum room. We spent a lot of time on that, which a lot of people nowadays don’t do because it costs a lot of money in the studio.
Paolo: We were very well rehearsed. You combine all the time we rehearsed and there would’ve been at least 2-3 months of rehearsal alone, and not even counting all the time setting up in the studio. It was us in the warehouse doing it just like bands do when they’re just in the garage playing for fun, and that really helped us getting into the studio. Even with all the delays, and with the switching studio stuff, we were so prepared that we made up the lost time.
Metal Obsession: There’s a rumour floating around on the net that Trivium lost a bet in a game of table soccer with a band called Ghost, which caused you to open up a tour for Asking Alexandria. Can you please clear up this rumour?
Paolo: Well I guess the summary of that is, it wasn’t an actual bet, it was just a blog that a site called Metal Sucks made up. The story said that going out on a tour with Asking Alexandria is a bad thing, but to us it isn’t. It’s a potential for us to get to a whole new audience who may not know anything outside of going to the Warped Tour, or reading specific magazines or certain websites. They don’t know about the other side of the heavy spectrum, and for us that’s pretty much doing what our buddies at As I Lay Dying and Killswitch Engage has done.
They’ve gone out with bands like Underoath, or go on the Warped Tour and Taste the Chaos, it’s all about widening your fanbase. Anyone that’s too cool or elitist to do that now is gonna have a really a potentially limiting career. I don’t want to say that all bands are going to be limited by it, because some stuff just won’t cross over to that, but for us, we can take our music to anything. We can go tour with Dream Theater or we can go tour with Asking Alexandria, or we can go tour with all the bands that are on an Ozzfest or Mayhem like festival and fit in pretty well.
Metal Obsession: We’re here about 2-3 hours before you open up a show for Slipknot. What do you do to prepare for shows?
Corey: Not that much really, we just stretch, warm up, play our instruments for a little bit and get ready for the show. We don’t just stand on stage and play our instruments; we’re pretty physical when it comes to playing a show, so we make sure we’re always stretched out and ready to go. We also have our fan club meet and greet, but everything is pretty easy, there’s not a whole lot involved in it.
Matt does his thing; he does a lot of yoga and stuff. I just stretch my neck; make sure we play our instruments well. But we don’t do any too crazy; we just make sure we’re loose and ready to play the show.
Metal Obsession: Trivium has toured Australia at least 5 times over the past couple of years, while a lot of international bands tour here once every 2-3 years. What brings Trivium back to this country so often?
Corey: We have a fantastic fan base, and the opportunities are there to come down here often. We have a consistent fan base that is just getting bigger and bigger. We’ve sold more records down here after every new release, the shows are getting bigger, it just seems that every time we come down, we’ll play, and every time we come back, people who saw us at the last Soundwave and didn’t know us before or weren’t too familiar with us over the previous time, they’re a diehard big fan now. So it just keeps growing every time we play here, and there are more opportunities to play because there’s a big demand here.
It’s a great territory, matter of fact Australia one of our favourite territories to play, so we’re always excited to come down every time we get a chance to.
Metal Obsession: Paolo, before you joined Trivium, you said you have no intention on staying with the band, but you just wanted touring experience. What was it that changed your mind and convinced you to stay as the permanent bass player?
Paolo: Well I mean, the tour we did with Machine Head and Chimaira was pretty convincing. But for me, I’ve always been a dude who goes into situations with no set role or idea of what’s going to come about. Because I think, if you go into it saying “Oh, I’m gonna do that, for sure,” you never know. It’s all about personalities, it’s not always about the music, and it really just comes down to the personalities and how well you fit in with people.
But yeah, we had a good time on that tour, and everything just worked out perfectly. It’s hard to say if it wasn’t for that tour whether it would have worked out the same, but it was just the right circumstance, and I think we all agreed it that it was the best choice moving forward.
Metal Obsession: Do you ever check out some of your songs on YouTube and read the jokes about misheard lyrics in the comments?
Paolo: Yeah, I like a couple of them.
Metal Obsession: What’s your favourite?
Paolo: The ones that are done well are awesome. The new one is for the song Dusk Dismantled, and someone said “toast-is-better”. [laughs]
Corey: Sometimes when you check those out, you think that people have way too much time on their hands.
Paolo: It’s funny though. I mean, the Pull Harder on the Strings of Your Martyr one was a fucking viral hit pretty much. I’ve been thinking lately that I really want to make it into a shirt, it’d be really funny. At least I’d like to make it for our fan club, because they would know what it is. A lot of this stuff is funny, and whether it’s meant to be negative or not, the way I look at it is funny, because I have a pretty open sense of humour.
It would take a lot to really offend me, I mean, misheard lyrics? You can do that with anything that’s screaming. I don’t even know half the lyrics Matt sings so, when I’m singing my heads just fucking bullshit. [laughs]
Metal Obsession: Tell me a bit about Matt’s Japanese heritage and how it had an influence on your album Shogun.
Corey: Um, there was actually only two songs on that record that had anything to do with Japanese but…
Paolo: I guess the aesthetic of it is more Japanese than the actual songs.
Corey: Yeah, what he said. But I guess that Kirisute Gomen, we were on tour in Japan, and Matt did one of those travels around the city, and the people were telling some stories about samurais, how they could do whatever they want, and how they had the right to take your head if you offended them. Matt heard that on the tour and it inspired him to write a song about it.
Then the song Shogun, I’m not really sure lyrically where that came from, but Matt had that in his head for a while, and Shogun just seemed like a great way to tie everything together, and it was a cool title. A lot of the Japanese stuff such as the artwork just tied in but, the other songs that are on that record aren’t Japanese influenced. [laughs]
[Editors note: “Kirisute Gomen” by Trivium off their 2008 album Shogun]
Metal Obsession: Well I better wrap this up early as we’re running late on time. Do you have any famous last words?
Paolo: If you miss us on Soundwave or the Slipknot shows, we’re coming back for a headlining tour soon, so keep an eye out on it.
Metal Obsession: How soon?
Paolo: Probably at the end of the year. We’re going to announce that soon, in a few months.
Interviewer: Patrick Emmett Interviewees: Corey Beaulieu and Paulo Gregoletto Band: Trivium Date: 1/3/2012