Interview with Matt Heafy the front man of Trivium

Matt Heafy - Lead singer of Trivium
Brandon Harris: What got you into music?

Matt Heafy: As a young kid, my dad always had good music playing. Whether it be Van Halen, Boston, Zeppelin, or The Beatles, music was always playing in the house or car. My dad was a hobby guitar player, so there were always guitars around the house. At 11, I had gotten into Pop Punk and Ska, and decided to try out for a local Pop Punk band. My tryout song was "Dammit" by Blink 182; and unfortunately I did not get the call back. Let down, I carried on outside of a band. A little under a year later, a classmate lent me "The Black Album" by Metallica - I was hooked. I would play hours upon hours attempting to get as good as the music I heard on the stereo. I played my middle school talent show in 8th grade, performing "No Leaf Clover." The original singer of Trivium was in the audience and asked me to tryout for the band. My tryout song was "For Whom The Bell Tolls." I nailed the audition and have been in the band ever since. 

Brandon Harris: How was tour? Any favorite moments?

Matt Heafy: The last tour was fantastic. One of the most memorable moments would be the final show in Orlando. It was the biggest and best show of the entire run, and 2 songs before the end of the set Sabaton wheeled out a mobile Swedish bar on stage and made us all do shots with them. It was freakin hilarious and brutal at the same time. Haha. 

How did Trivium forum?

Matt Heafy Question 1 was the very beginning of the story; but after making it into the band, I played the local high school's battle of the bands (I was in middle school, the rest of the guys in high school) and we were then established as a local band.  A few months into joining the band, our original singer left, and after searching with no results, I was made the lead singer of the band. I tried out for the band in 1999, the first show was in 2000. 

Brandon Harris: Seeing you all live at Northern Invasion this year was a blast! I have to say even sitting at outskirts of the stage you all put on a great show! How did you decided to play the fest and what is the most memorable experience you had at Northern Invasion?

Matt Heafy: Northern Invasion was amazing! It was our first time hitting that festival, and we can wait to get back to shred it again. DWP invited Trivium to play, and after having nothing but amazing experiences at the rest of the amazing DWP festivals, we said of course to playing it.  What is most memorable is how early our set was, and how insane it still was. I recall hearing back later on that our crowd was the most insane of the entire festival. We can't wait to get back. 

Brandon HarrisWhat over the past 17 years as a band have been some of the good and bad challenges you have faced,with your careers being so travel based?

Matt Heafy: We have experienced a lifetime of events in 17 years. So much good, bad, ugly, and amazing. I wouldn't change any misstep, mistake, or disaster in any of that time. All the bad is as essential as the good in forming a person or a unit into who they are. Obviously, we've had numerous drummer changes, but what people don't know is in the early years our lineup was constantly shifting. Outside of the drummers as of the last 12 years, I am so lucky to have Corey and Paolo as my long-standing teammates in this incredible journey called Trivium. 

Brandon Harris: What in your opinion has changed since entering the industry in 1999?

Matt Heafy:Every year, the music industry shifts; bands come and go, scenes meld and dissipate, the very format the masses use to listen to music evolves while pushing away its distant relatives. The key is evolving and adapting while staying on top of your game. The dinosaurs and newbies who refuse to learn to strategize in the constant shifting of times are those who will be left behind. We have always worked to be on top of our individual and collective game, all while being cognizant and prepared for whatever the shifting of times may throw at us.  

Brandon Harris: I have to ask what is your opinion of this year's election?

Matt Heafy: Trivium is the escape from everything going on in the outside world; we are the outlet and solace for everything everyone is forced to face on a daily basis. Music is where we all unite and treat everyone as one. 

Brandon Harris:With the release of “Silence in The Snow” last year, how did the response turn out from the fans?

Matt Heafy: Silence is a beloved album worldwide across the board for all our fans; but the biggest and best thing we saw from our seventh record is how well the USA responded to the album. "Until The World Goes Cold" was our first top ten radio single; we gained countless new, amazing Trivium fans across our home country; and we now feel more at home, at home than ever.

Brandon Harris: You as a band have won 3 music awards and have dominated your field, what goals have you yet to accomplish?

Matt Heafy: Since day one, the goal has been to become the kind of band that can make a serious impact on the music world as a whole; to be the kind of band who can play to countless thousands and thousands of people anywhere in the world. We've had an amazing run, but there is so much more work to do and goals to be accomplished. We're just getting started. 

Lead Singer of Trivium - Matt Heafy
Brandon Harris: Who inspired you in your youth?

Matt Heafy: If it weren't for hearing Metallica back in eighth grade, and being inspired to tryout for Trivium - I would not be here today. In our formative years, it was all about Metallica, Megadeth, Pantera, Slayer, Testament; later on getting into melodic death metal bands like In Flames, At The Gates, Soilwork, and Dark Tranquillity really evolved our sound. Right before tracking Ember, getting into Metalcore is what brought it all together; bands like Heaven Shall Burn, Caliban, Between The Buried and Me, and Poison The Well helped expand our influences even further.

Brandon Harris: Where outside of the US have you played?

Matt Heafy: We have performed in every continent except for Antarctica. We have been touring internationally since 2003. 

Brandon Harris: How do you all handle struggles as a band? How do you come out of your lows?

Matt Heafy: With the goals and dreams being around essentially for the majority of our lives, that's always in our minds. "Until The World Goes Cold" is the mission statement about Trivium and our goals and striving to work towards your biggest dreams despite everything trying to hold you down. It is also meant to be the anthem for whoever is listening, and for them to be able to apply it to their life. I can say that without Paolo, Corey, and our manager Justin, I wouldn't be able to do this as well as I do. I am so lucky to have these impassioned, inspiring, incredible people alongside of me. 

Brandon Harris:Your video for “ Strife” was intense, what kind of work went into making suck a great video? Also how does it feel to know that that video alone has 11.2 Million plays?

Matt Heafy: Ever since the beginning, we've always wanted our videos to be as great as the music. In the In Waves era, I feel we truly hit our stride for our visual style. Thanks to the lead of Jon Paul Douglass, we really discovered what we can be visually as Trivium. It's great to know people dig that video; we will always push to have great visuals alongside great audio. 

The lead singer of Trivium - Matt Heafy
Brandon Harris: Artistically do you all see eye to eye, or is it a give and take relationship?

Matt Heafy: Trivium is a team. We all have strengths and weaknesses; one's weakness is another's strength, and that is when the team pulls together and lends their expertise in times of need. The trio of Trivium is strong from all the years of good and bad we have shared together; I would like to say again, how truly lucky I am to have Corey and Paolo in my life. 

Brandon Harris: When you first got signed by Lifeforce in Germany, what was that experience like for you as a band?

Matt Heafy: We were absolutely elated. It's a band's biggest early goal to get signed to a record label. Thanks to the Lifeforce signing, we were discovered shortly afterward's by Roadrunner - our home since 2004. 

 Brandon Harris: What was it like going from being signed, straight to working on “Ember to Inferno”? Were the creative juices flowing more do to all the excitement?

Matt Heafy: It seems everything with Trivium has always moved at a quick speed; thankfully since everything has always moved that way, it's all we've ever known. We recorded the Blue Album in 2002, released that in 2003; then got signed to Lifeforce, released ETI in 2003; then got signed to Roadrunner, recorded Ascendancy in 2004, released that in 2005; and have been touring ever since 2004. It's been a whirlwind; but thankfully we started early, so time is on our side for the future.

Brandon Harris: What are your plans as a band for 2017?

Matt Heafy: The only plan right now for 2017 is to deliver an impeccable final European run for the Silence record. The only thing we will be doing aside from that is constantly working on our craft as individuals and as a unit. 

Brandon Harris: Where are you all headed to next?

Matt Heafy: Multiple countries in Europe. 

Brandon Harris: What are your goals for 2017?

Matt Heafy: Being the absolute best individual musicians as well as a cohesive, tightly-knit collective group of people as possible. We pride ourselves on being a great live band, and that requires constant practice on and off tour. 

Brandon Harris: Anything you want to say to your fans?

Matt Heafy: Thank you for all the years of support, we will always be here for all of you as you are for us.

Thank you Shoguns!