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Trivium: Suited, Booted And Letting The Music Do The Talking

Tuesday, 04 February 2014 Written by Alec Chillingworth

If you like metal and don't like Trivium, then maybe it’s time for us to have a talk. Since their Roadrunner bow, 'Ascendancy', in 2005, the band have enjoyed their share of success and also battled against a dismissive tide from certain sections of the metal crowd.

With last year's 'Vengeance Falls', Trivium proved that they're here to stay. Currently on a monumental co-headline tour with metalcore monsters Killswitch Engage and gearing up for a special commemorative set at Download this summer, they’re poised to enjoy one hell of a year.

We caught up with bassist Paolo Gregoletto before their sold-out show at Brixton Academy to talk revisiting 2005, indifference and shit-kicking shoes in the first part of a double header. Click here to catch up with Killswitch’s Justin Foley in part two.

So, Trivium are playing the tiny Red Bull tent at Download Festival this year.

When we were getting festivals sorted this year, Download said that they'd love to have us play. The only day that we could do was the Sunday, and we just thought, 'We've played Download so many times now – how can we make this one to remember?' We just wrapped our heads around it, and thought, 'We first played Download in 2005, so why don't we go in one of the smaller stages and play the same set?'

We thought about it, we sent it to the Download guys – who thought it was badass. And we've never been on the smaller stages there, so for people to see us in a smaller setting at Donington, which means a lot to us and to the fans, it'll just be celebratory and fun. The energy in the tent stages are incredible – the main stage is amazing and there's just a sea of people in front of you and it's a dream come true - but to have the sort of intimacy that the tent provides will be completely different. No matter how much production we have, there's something about just getting up on stage, bare bones, and just letting the music do the talking.

The set you played in 2005 must have meant a lot to you.

We hold it so highly because that was the start for us, we'd been touring for about a year before that. We'd been in the van over in the States, and we'd just been enjoying being a signed band out on the road. That Download moment was life-changing, and anyone who's ever had a moment like that with a career, with a relationship, with anything – it's something that you always remember.

Every Download that we've done has been so memorable, but 2005 in particular was where it started for us. We did the Roadrunner Roadrage tour before that and there was a real buzz and energy in the clubs, but to be a new band and be put on that main stage, and just have everything work out perfectly, was just amazing. We were lucky to have done that right there and then.

Download is going to be so different to everything else. Every other festival this year, we're on one of the main stages, and we're going to play a mix of all our material. But at Download, we're doing that 2005 set and we might never do that set again and celebrate it in that way. It's a once in a lifetime thing and the vibe's going to be unbelievable. We're going to add some other songs and I'm not sure how long we're supposed to play, but the focus will just be celebrating with the fans.

'In Waves' and 'Vengeance Falls' both built on a sound that strayed significantly away from the progressive edge on 'Shogun'.

That's one thing that we always talk about when we start writing for a new record: what can we do a little differently this time? What have we done in the past that'd be cool to bring back in? I definitely think there'll be more progressive elements in the new music, but we just want to take what we've done on the past few albums – especially on the melodic side – and bring a bit of progression back into it. We've always had so many things at our disposal because we can be very heavy and we can be very melodic, we can be progressive, and when we write new songs we have all of that at our disposal, so we can just mix it up.

We've all been writing again. We had a few weeks off for Christmas which sort of inspired us to start writing again, but personally I've just been more focused on getting the best riffs. The first thing I did was start writing full songs, but then I just concentrating on writing good riffs and good parts. I didn't force myself to finish the songs, I've been leaving it for when we get together and jam like a proper band. We're just collecting ideas and talking about where we want this album to go.

There seem to be some people who unreasonably hate Trivium – they hear with their eyes rather than their ears.

It's kinda weird, and I think it's a generational thing with metal bands. People think that if they like a certain band or era of metal then it's not acceptable for them to like something else. If you genuinely don't like what we do then that's fine. It's not as bad as it was. When we first started out, it was hard for people to accept that we were actually a metal band. People have warmed up to us, and record after record it's gotten better.

With lots of newer bands, I try my best to give them a chance. I might not like what they do, but I try my best to understand it. There's always the bands that are special from any type of music, and if it's rock, metal, whatever – if there's just guys up on stage with guitars, being honest with their lyrics, then I can appreciate it. At the end of the day, I wish it could be more like a community – like metal used to be – but we shot up so quick, there was no way that we weren't going to be a polarising band.

When Trivium first arrived, you were commonly tipped to be 'The Next Metallica'.

It's hard to pick bands out and say 'They're going to be the next Iron Maiden! They're going to be the next Metallica!'. I've thought about it and I've realised that every band is heading on a certain path, and I think the bands that will be left will be the ones who concentrate solely on writing the most honest music and who take it to that next level live. I think there are bands out there and I include Trivium with those. We want to push ourselves on our records, and we want to push ourselves live. The rest of it is just up to people connecting with it.

People can't expect another Iron Maiden or Metallica because those bands built upon what came before them and created their own unique thing. Metallica are a once in a lifetime band, and for anyone to reach that bar is impossible. Everyone just does their own thing, and it'll be those bands that'll succeed.

You're a heavy metal band, yet your boots put models to shame. They're fabulous.

I've only recently started wearing the boots! I was kinda hesitant for a while, but then I just thought, 'Yeah, I'm gonna get on this boot thing that Corey [Beaulieu, guitar] and Matt [Heafy, guitar/vocals] have been doing'. I can't even remember where I got mine. I think Corey has some Harley-Davidson brand boots? They're good shit-kicking shoes.

Trivium UK & Ireland Tour Dates are as follows

Tue February 04 2014 - GLASGOW O2 Academy Glasgow
Thu February 06 2014 - BIRMINGHAM O2 Academy Birmingham
Fri February 07 2014 - SOUTHAMPTON Guildhall

Click Here to Compare & Buy Trivium Tickets at Stereoboard.com.

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