As hard as it may be for those first introduced to the band courtesy of their breakthrough second full-length ascendancy to believe, Floridian metal titans Trivium are somewhat of scene elders these days.
Having spent the majority of the last thirteen years, carrying the metal message to a generation of ‘MySpace metal-heads’ via their seven studio records and tireless touring schedule, the Orlando natives felt that it was time to give back to the scene that raised them in the best way they knew how; by bringing the classic metal sound back to the masses in the form of their seventh long player Silence in the Snow.
A modern update on the classic metal and thrash sounds of the late 70’s and early 80’s, Silence in the Snow features a rejuvenated sounding Trivium rocking a ton of monster riffs and thunderous grooves, that has had legion of fans barking at the moon since its release.
In the lead up to their first Australian tour since 2014, chief riffer and self-confessed pro-wrester lookalike Corey Beaulieu put his guitar to one side and picked up the phone for an extensive and engaging chat about life as a (still shockingly youthful) metal veteran.
MF: Trivium are heading back to Australia for the first time since 2014 in support of your new record Silence in The Snow are you hyped to finally be heading down under for a headline run?
CB: It’s really cool that we get to head out so early in the record’s touring cycle. Usually, Japan and Australia get pushed to later in the album cycle, but we had a gap in our US tour so we just decided to make it happen.
With the last album, that was the last thing we did for the record. It’s nice to actually make it down there to do a tour near the beginning of the album cycle instead of the end. We’re really looking forward to getting back to one of our favourite places to play in the entire world.
MF: You’ve stated many times elsewhere that your live show is the best it has ever been, what can Australian fans expect to see from Trivium in 2016, they might not have seen in 2014?
CB: We’re doing a tighter show, with our new drummer coming in, he is fantastic behind the kit. For the first time in our career we have been playing to a click track, so all the songs are perfect like they are on the record, nothing fluctuates. It makes everything a lot easier to play and makes the whole band tighter. You’ll get to hear a big difference on the performance side, with everyone in the band firing on all cylinders.
We also don’t have any limitations on what we can play, for the first time in years, as the new drummer has learned ALL of our stuff. So people are going to see a lot of our songs that they might not have seen before because we’ve been rehearsing and we will be playing songs that we haven’t played from anywhere from five to seven years.
We’re definitely diving into our back catalogue more than on our last album cycle, and we’ve made it our goal to not play the same set twice, two nights in a row on this tour.
MF: That new drummer that you speak of is Paul Wandtke, do you think you’ve found ‘the one’ in him, so to speak?
CB: Definitely man. All of the other times we’ve been put in a situation where we had to make a decision and it’s always been within a moment where we didn’t have the luxury of time to spend our time researching and looking around for somebody. We’ve just had to get somebody immediately so that we didn’t have to cancel shows or screw up our schedule and everything.
This time around we were able to spend six or seven months talking to multiple people and letting nature take its course until we found Paul who was recommended to us through Mike Mangini of Dream Theater and he’s being doing great.He plays the songs amazingly well, he’s great in the studio and he’s got good showmanship and energy. This our first full tour with him so he’s still getting acclimated to touring with a band of our level, but on the playing side of things he’s killing it, and I know he’ll settle into the groove of touring life by touring, which is really the only way to do it.
MF: One thing that’s remained consistent throughout Trivium’s career is your stellar lead guitar work, which has it’s own signature feel. Growing up did you have any particular influences that you borrowed from to establish your playing style?
CB: Definitely growing up when I first started playing guitar I learned a lot of Iron Maiden, Megadeath, Metallica, Iced Earth, Slayer, a lot of those bands. I would just jam along to the CD. There was also George Lynch from Dokken. Pretty much when I was getting into guitar, metal music was just attacking guitar playing and guitar solos and I just thought it was cool as hell.
So a lot of the early thrash metal and heavy metal stuff inspired me. I’ve just kind of Frankenstein’d all of my favourite things and created a style of playing that I feel comfortable with and love the sound of. I’ve learned licks from all of those other players, and adapted some of those ideas into my playing, but I’ve found a way to make sure it doesn’t sound like I’m obviously just jacking people’s ideas or styles.
MF: Picking up from that early thrash influence, Silence in the Snow has a definitive classic metal sound with a bit of a modern kick, was that the intention going into the record?
CB: That idea for the kind of more classic metal sound on Silence in The Snow, kind of evolved naturally over the touring cycle for Vengeance Falls. When we were on the tour bus, we were listening to a lot of Maiden and Priest, Rainbow, Dio, a lot of the pre-’80s thrash heavy metal movement. A lot of the ’70s, early ’80s traditional classic metal stuff and listening to those albums and just analysing them and a lot of these records have such a cool feeling and a big kind of sound that compliments the quality of the songs and still holds up today.
It’s like those records made us feel a certain way about listening to music as a fan and it’s an inspirational moment or inspirational time, so going into Silence in the Snow we were just trying to capture the essence of how those records made us feel and put that into our music.
The whole starting point of Silence in the Snow was the title track, which we had written years ago right after we had toured with Heaven and Hell in Japan. We had watched a lot of shows and were really blown away by everyone in the band’s performance and watching them do this thing, giving their all just to try and thrill the audience.
That inspired Silence in the Snow’s Sabbath-y kind of groove which we thought was a great sound for us, so we played the song back and used that as the foundation of what the record was going to be, and you can hear how that influence bled into the other tracks that make up the record.
MF: One thing you have in common with the metal lords of yesteryear is longevity, now that you’re 7 albums and 16 years into your career, you’re kind of the “elder statesman of the new school” how do you feel about your legacy at this point?
CB: We were talking about it the other day, there’s not a whole lot of other bands that sign a 7 or 8 album record deal when they start their career and actually finish the contract. It’s great that the label is always behind us and have welcomed the band, for the last 11 years.
It’s funny because we’ve been a known band since 2003, but we’re still younger than like 80% of the bands out there. We are fortunate enough that we got our break at such an early age that after 13 years of consistent recording and touring we’re all just turning 30.
MF: Is it getting harder to piece together set-lists?
CB: You know, over the years you get to know which songs are staples of the set that would cause a riot if you didn’t play them. We recently relearned a bunch of our songs, so that we can mix the setlist up on this next tour, which is kind of nice because we have so many songs and it’s like “Man, I really want to play this, but we’d have to take something else out,”.
That’s a big part of why we’re trying to do less of the support runs and focus on headlining our own tours, then you can play more songs and it eases the struggle of picking a set list because we have so many songs that are great live and that we want to play and having a 40 minute set, that’s harder to pick a set list for such limited time. When we’re headlining we can pretty much dictate how long we can play, so that really helps.
MF: You’ve been able to play with most of your metal idols, are there any left to rock the stage with that you have yet to?
CB: We’ve done festivals and shows with pretty much everybody, but we’ve never done a full tour with Metallica, we’ve done some shows and festivals, but we’ve never done a full tour. That would be fun. We’ve never done a tour with Megadeth either, we’ve done festivals and Mayhem, which is like a festival tour but never like a package tour.
Another big band that we haven’t done a normal tour with, we’re really good friends with them so hopefully someday we’ll be able to do it, is Avenged Sevenfold. We’ve been wanting to that for such a long time, so hopefully if we have things work out the way we want, we’ll be able to do a run of shows with them in the near future.
MF: Obviously you’re all huge fans of 80’s metal including the big four of thrash and beyond, if you had to put together a bill of a ‘big four’ of modern metal, who would be in it, and do you make the cut? Or would you be the first support?
CB: If I was going to do this, I’d keep it in the spirit of the original big four and select a time period because like Avenged Sevenfold, Us, and Bullet for My Valentine all came out almost around the exact same time. Obviously, I think that Killswitch Engage would also have to be on there. Another good one that would have to be in the conversation would have to be Lamb of God as well, so it’d have to be expanded out to five or so bands to fit us all in!
MF: That’d be a pretty sweet package tour!
CB: Yeah man, maybe we can make that happen sometime. With the big four, if I didn’t have to include ourselves in it, or wasn’t allowed to, those would probably be the four bands that I would put in there because they all came out around the same time period and all had really big impacts on the metal scene and it would be a giant show.
Lamb of God kind of started a new period coming out of nu-metal got everyone’s musical tastes back into more traditional thrash metal like it was in the 80’s. They restored the popularity of real metal, rescued it from the nu-metal phase it had slipped into for 10 years, so kudos to them, they’d definitely have to be on there.
MF: You’re all massive foodies, is there anything in particular cuisine wise down under that you’re looking forward to eating again or trying?
CB: This question would be better answered by Matt, he’s the real foodie of the group, Captain of the food team, if you will I just like to tag along! He researches all the cities and finds the best spots. There’s heaps of good food in Australia, we always eat really well over there, especially in Melbourne we specifically asked for a day off this time around because Matt goes crazy with the food options there.
There’s one restaurant that we go to, every time we’re in town, this lunch spot. We know the owner, we get hooked up. We went there the last time we were on tour, on my birthday, and it was really great, and then we did dinner with the band, crew, and In Flames, so that was a good little birthday party. There are great places all over Australia, so I’m sure Matt has already got a list of restaurants in each city we’re playing.
MF: Keeping with the culinary theme, if you were to host a dream dinner party, but could only invite around five guests, who’d be on your guest list and what would the cuisine be?
CB: It will definitely be everyone in the band, and I’d have to make it, at least, six because I’d have to, at least, bring some of the crew because our band has traveled together and we all get along so well. It’s just like a bunch of best buddies just fucking off around the world.
My dinner party, I’d, at least, have to bring our crew guys with us too, because whenever we go out for dinners, we call it family dinners, where everyone in the band and crew all goes out for a big break and get some food. My dinner party, I’d have to make it, at least, nine, and Matt would be in charge of cuisine and making the booking.
MF: A bit of a fun one, before you get back to the business of ripping metal riffs, if you were a pro-wrestler or MMA fighter and you had a song play every time you entered the room, what would you want it to be?
CB: That’s kind of funny that you should ask me that, because I get asked if I’m a wrestler, more often than I get asked if I’m a musician. If I was going into the ring, I would pick Cannibal Corpse – Hammer Smashed Face or something.
MF: You’ve absolutely nailed it with that choice man, very fitting, much more fitting than what Craig from Escape The Fate said, he chose It’s Gonna Be Me for some reason.
CB: Well, I guess there’s different ways you can take it, if you were in a like a WWE wrestler, based off of the song, it would have to correlate with like what kind of character you’re being, because there have been some wrestlers in the WWE throughout history that have some kind of flamboyance, you know strange wrestlers.
Then there is the scary darker side of wrestling, the more metal side. So you would think it would probably have to correlate with the kind of character that person is playing. I guess that would be a lot easier, but if it was UFC, it would be kind of weird to come out to something so unmanly!
Trivium’s Australian tour kicks off April 10th, grab all the dates and deets below!
Trivium 2016 Australian Tour
Sunday, 10th April
Monday, 11th April
Wednesday, 13th April
170 Russell, Melbourne
Friday, 15th April
Max Watts, Brisbane
Saturday, 16th April