Trivium's Paolo Gregoletto: Nothing Trivial

"You can’t rest and just accept one great album; you have to keep climbing"

Trivium came out of nowhere, and its massive appetite followed. Swiftly making their way to the top of the Roadrunner castle, it has been a decade of opulence for the Floridian natives; getting their mitts on the bills of some of the finest festivals and headline shows imagineable; Paolo Gregoletto reflects on the last decade with Metal As Fuck....

The band's current album; Vengeance Falls, sold 17,000 copies in the US in its first week; looks as if you guys are onto a winning formula... “Yeah, we’ve been lucky, I mean I can’t say exactly what it is that has people keep coming back, I think a part of it is the fact that we try to do things a little differently with each album, always grow as a band. Trying different things, keep out front of a new audience”.

Speaking of your career – Trivium practically exploded onto the scene and built such a momentum in your first few years; do you often look back and reflect on this wild ride? “I think maybe a week ago I managed my tenth year in the band, so that’s a bit crazy, it’s weird because it doesn’t seem like the time has gone by as fast but then it has. I mean we were very lucky, we came out at a great time in metal – there were so many awesome bands and awesome albums and I think we made the right album at the right time and it just happened to propel us onto the scene and gave us a really great momentum. We realised we had to keep building on that, you can’t rest and just accept one great album; you have to keep climbing and finding ways to reach more people. There are so many great bands coming out all the time so you have to be mindful of that; you have to stay with it, stay relevant, keep coming out with great ideas for your band. It’s crazy, we really appreciate that and reflect on that part but we don’t get to hung up on it, we have to be thinking of the next year and the year after that”.

Speaking of ‘future’ Trivium; the band have a decade of albums, basically all of which have received critical acclaim by fans and critics the world over; how far do you like to push the boundaries when it comes to the music of Trivium? “The balance of ‘how far is too far’ is nothing to dismiss when writing, especially when you’re writing an album and one track you want to go completely different – if you have the idea and the time to see it through; have the confidence about it, then there is no reason to not try something out of left field. When we work with our producers we really keep our ears open, reading and watching documentaries about the song writing process. You have to just be willing to try new things, learn new things and step outside your comfort zone”.

A pro-active approach; so taking all this onboard when you do write – what would say are the most crucial elements when writing to a Trivium album? “Um... Hmmm, well I guess the most important factor is the riffs, it’s what drew a lot of people to the band, which is a very guitar driven band, it’s undeniable – it’s one thing we always said like no matter what we want to write, the riffs are always a big part – if you take that away from Trivium, well we’d lose what we are. I mean Mat (Heafy), vocally is also an identity for the band but when it comes to writing, everything is out on the table and we learnt through the last record not to leave the lyrics until the last two weeks of recording”. [Laughs]

Do you question yourselves a lot after an album is recorded? The ‘what ifs’ that drive you crazy “Well, there are certain things that you would have done differently but then it comes to not doing it that way on the next album; but it’s hard to pick because certain aspects of a song that I don’t like, other people will love it. Variations, there is no A and B version of a song. If we really hate something we’d play it differently live [Laughs] but there hasn’t been anything that glaring as yet”.  

Touring monsters; your schedule makes me sleepy just reading it. How has touring the album over the last 12 months been? “It’s been pretty gruelling and that’s coming from someone who doesn’t really get tired with our schedule [Laughs]. We’ve been doing this since 2004 and it’s been pretty intense. This last seven months has been exhausting but when you’re in a rhythm it works. Jumping from Europe to Australia, to being in a bus through the states to heading back to Europe - it comes to a point where you’re not tired of touring, you’re just tired in general and I mean we’ve had so many great opportunities throughout this tour that we just HAD to take. Yeah we’re tired but we can’t pass this up! It’s one of those things going forward – you hope you have more control over your schedule yet when you’re not the headliner of a tour; if you’re supporting on a tour you don’t really dictate the time in between but it comes with the territory. It was crucial for us to do these tours over the past seven months though, it’s paying off, we have reached so many new people and the album has had more momentum this year than it did on its release in 2013, six months into it the album sales have gone up which is fantastic”.

And I understand the band have brought In a new drummer [Mat Madiro] how is that all working out? “Yeah around May 2013, Mat; we’ve known him for about two years, he was ‘drum teching’ and a phenomenal drummer himself, it’s the whole Megadeth thing you know; displaying the drum techs [Laughs] he was under the gun, having to learn a whole set in 24 hours. It’s only gotten better and better – we’re the tidiest we’ve ever been. We want to make sure we are even more so for Australia that we have a really great set”.

Better and better, you’ve gone into the dynamic of the band, how it is at its highest strength now and the band have gone from strength to strength with each year - do you feel you have hit your peak? Or is the best still yet to come? “I still think, like in the live sense you can always get better and I think we’ve gotten to a new level as a live band, two albums ago we had a big reboot on our live show to really enhance the sound and quality, from a writing aspect, if you keep pushing boundaries within your band and are willing to try a few different things that keep people coming back – with Trivium its continuing to push and experiment, as long as we keep those elements, people will dig it”.  

So is the band currently writing material for a new album? “Yeah we’ve been writing a lot of stuff actually – we generally write a lot on tour but we’ve given ourselves a break from that for a while, but on the Mayhem tour we caught up a little bit and recorded some older stuff we had, re-tracking a few bits and pieces, trying again on some new ideas. I was in Orlando the other day and we were working on some vocals, just starting to get the ideas going and working on a solid vision before we start anything”.

Australia is coming up and the end of this insane touring cycle for the band. What are you anticipations for the Australian tour? “We started this tour in Australia and we will be finishing this tour in Australia! The last time we were there we were headlining, I actually have a hard drive full of footage and it was one of the craziest tours we’ve done – the vibe was amazing. It’s a crazy thing though, we did that show as a headliner and then went from that to not doing a headliner in five years, Man, it’s been torture [Laughs] the festival atmosphere is great though, you reach such a wider audience. We love doing Soundwave”.   

 

Tickets for Trivium's Australian tour go on sale today (September 18).