Intervju med Matt Heafy i Trivium!
Första intervjun på Metaltown efter min svettiga felkörning, blev Matt i Trivium som började med hälsningsfraser på ganska klockren svenska. Det blev ett samtal i gassande sol om bl a kommande plattan, mat, Anthony Bourdain och nya tider.
How much longer are you gonna keep touring for this album?
Matt Heafy: Man, we´ve been touring since a couple of months before “In waves” came out and we´ll be on tour till pretty much the end of December. That´s about a year and a half straight essentially for “In waves”, so this year is 10 or 11 months on the road out of 12, but we can see the results of our hard work. We got to the stage about 15 minutes before our set and the crowd was chanting for about 15 minutes. I remember the first time we played Sweden and no one had any idea of who we were and the next couple of times we played with Iron Maiden three night in a row and I remember the crowd just kinda staring at us going “Why are you playing?”. Now days we come out and it´s like our second home. I told the crowd today that this city specifically, Göteborg, has a very legendary name for any metal band outside of Sweden. Some of the greatest metal bands ever have come out of here, In Flames, At the Gates, and if you wanna count the country of Sweden there´s also Meshuggah, Mörk Gryning, Dissection and Dark Tarnquility. The list keeps going on. I was bred off of melodic death metal. Like I got to Metallica and Pantera first and then my obsession was melodic death metal and black metal was also an obsession. I found out that some killer black metal bands came from Sweden as well like Dissection and Dark Funeral and Mörk Gryning and it´s just such a cool place for a metal head to be. And Opeth is another band..
I love Opeth!
MH: Yeah, “Blackwater park” is probably one of my top 10 favorite records ever.
It´ll be interesting to see what they do with their next album. If they´re gonna stay “soft” or…
MH: I love the last album! “Blackwater park” is my favorite, but I love the last one!
Since you´ve toured for so long now, are you already planning new stuff, coming up with riffs for the next album?
MH: We have nine songs pretty much completely recorded as preproduction, recorded on our bass player´s laptop and it actually sounds better than our first record. Paolo´s really good at recording shit. It´s all programmed drums, but programmed in a way that Paolo programmed the bass part, like the underlying drum tracks and Nick would sit with him and rewrite them, but on the computer. We tracked guitars, we tracked bass and we´re gonna track vocals soon, we tracked solos and I´ve got an album title, album arts, song names. We´ve got about 15 songs and everything´s planned out. Video ideas, photo shoot ideas, everything. But we just can´t reveal anything.
Of course. All of this done on the road?
MH: Yes. On the road amidst everything.
I talk to a lot of bands and it´s really funny because a lot of people say that thay can´t really write when they´re on the road and they need their break in between tours.
MH: There´s only like an hour of work a day. We played for 45 minutes today, one interview and that´s an hour and that leaves all this other time where you can be constructive. Festival sites are different obviously, but when we do tours where we´re in cities, my main thing is to eat the food. My main thing is to go out and eat what the locals eat, see what the locals see and drink what the locals drink. I´ve got a food blog now. It´s kiichichaos.com. It´s broken up by the senses, touch, taste, see, smell, hear. Hear is a music blog where I just do random sounds or music, See is my photography and just random photos of stuff I see in the world, Taste is food and the other two are kinda difficult. Smell is pictures of my dog and Touch is just the social networking. There´s guest stars and such. Robb Flynn was in one, Dave Drainman was in one. I´ve got one with Jesse Leech coming out soon and Corey Taylor coming out soon. It´s just like “I love food, let´s go eat!”.
So it´s back to 2112 tonight then?
MH: Last night. I wish we could´ve gone today but we were there last night and had six too many pints of beer.
Is it good?
MH: Yeah, it´s fantastic!
Not just good because you´re friends with them?
MH: No. I´m really constructive and really picky with food. Not that I´m a food snob because I will take grandma food, street car cooking and alleyway cooking over something fancy. What´s awesome about 2112 is… what´s hard for me is naming what genre of restaurant it is since it´s in Sweden, but in America, if that place was American, it would be considered New American, which is one of my favorite genre of food in the US. What that is, is old traditional like European influence traditional in the States, but done with like a modern twist. Essentially I guess you could call it New Swedish. Maybe Swedish classical dishes but done in a modern way.
Seems like you have tons of energy. Where do you get that from?
MH: I have no idea. There are so many bands I wanna see today. I´m so excited. Hypocrisy is playing, which I´m stoked about. I don´t know. Today was just such a good show that I really fed off the crowd today and even though we´ve been out nonstop it´s like… when something like that happens and yesterday at night we had all of Trivium, most of In Flames, our entire crew and a bunch of kids that were coming to the show, all hanging out, so it was really fun.
Still, being on the road for such a long time, isn´t it hard finding constructive things to do, since you come into a new town, you wait, you play…?
MH: On a festival it´s a little bit more difficult than in a city. I guess three days ago, we were in Brno, Czech Republic for two days in a row so I got to eat and sightsee. Every single meal I had was amazing! I just asked locals where to eat, where to drink and go to all of their local sights and the next thing you know, the day is over. Same thing in Poznan, Poland. I love Poland! I love the food there, love the booze there and the people. Some good friends there got to take me to the best restaurants and then we came over here to Gothenburg. I try to make it every single day. Ideally every day, I´ll go out once or twice a day to eat and drink.
Are you a fan of Anthony Bourdain?
MH: Yes! He´s the reason why I do this. He is my Metallica of writing and food. Some day we will bring him on tour or to Florida, that´s my goal.
Yeah, because he just did a show with The Black Keyes.
MH: Yeah, I saw that and was a little bit jealous. (laughs) They´re way, way bigger than us. We´re trying man, we´re trying.
Cool! How was the tour with In Flames and … was that the one with Ghost?
MH: Yeah, in Europe. It was like In Flames, Trivium, Ghost, Incense and Rise to Remain. It was fantastic man! Dude, 8000 + people in Gothenburg. In Flames is such a band like, I wouldn´t be here if I didn´t get into them. I wouldn´t be here right now. I was able to watch from the soundboard and see that metal is alive and well and that 8000 people will show up for what I consider one of the best bands and who are our friends, it was good.
Did you get to see Ghost without the makeup? (laughs)
MH: I won´t reveal what they look like. (laughs) They´re well dressed, good looking men, in a totally platonic way. (laughs)
Next album then, when it comes to producing, same thing as the last one?
MH: We don´t exactly know. We´ve got the plan, but we can´t reveal. It´s also kinda far to tell, but it will be different again. The new stuff sounds amazing and I know every bands says that, but yeah, it´s really great. The fact that we´re all working on it so much already, we know that it´s something really special.
Do you ever write stuff that you feel is not Trivium material, but might fit for something else? Have you ever thought of doing something outside of Trivium just by yourself?
MH: I mean, that´s a little bit of what the blog is. I write about stuff and I write about food and photograph and also do sounds and stuff. The music that is on there… back when I was 16 I was in a tech death metal band called Capharnaum and I was also in Trivium and before that I was in a black metal band called Mindscar. At that time EMO started surfacing and I was like “I can do this with my fucking arms tied behind my back!”, so in an hour I wrote, recorded and played everything and made up a band name, this fake EMO band called Tomorrow is Monday and it´s on that site so it´s that kinda shit and I can take a piss at it. Musically the other stuff that I write that doesn´t work in Trivium, yeah I´ve got a bunch but I don´t know where it´s gonna go to. I don´t know.
Right. Do you ever get writer´s block?
MH: With Trivium, yeah yeah. Luckily we´re not on what needs to be considered writing time. We don´t have to write for the new record but since creativity is popping up anyway we figured we´d take advantage of it. Whenever we´re forced to write, I feel like “Yeah, I can´t write.”, but if I don´t have to write, then I´ll write good stuff.
Releasing a new album and the music industry being what it is, don´t you ever fell like starting up a label of your own?
MH: Our initial contract with Roadrunner is like one with a bunch of options so we´re still bound to them. We´ve always been partners with our label and they´ve always done a great job distributing us and spreading the word of our band. I don´t know where it´s gonna go. Every year that we release a new record, the music industry changes drastically. Every time we release a CD it seems like the CD buying is 30% less. We just had 40 of our friends fired from Roadrunner International and that was a huge drag. I don´t know what the result of it is. I´m sure it´s a domino effect of people not buying music, people not putting value in music anymore, but it´s hard to bring that up because people take a lot of offense of that, but it´s true. Because there is no value in music for some people and they feel like it should be a free commodity, bands are disappearing. People can´t argue that bands aren´t disappearing, that bands aren´t going away because they can´t afford to exist. That´s why we´re so fortunate that we can tour this much. Everything is disposable and instantly accessible and it´s sad that there isn´t value in going to the CD store and waiting for the CD to come out. It´s all about “I need this instantly and if I don´t get if for free, that band´s a dick!”. I don´t know when that sense of entitlement came around and I think it´s mainly due to the internet thing becoming such a huge thing. It´s unfortunate but you have to adapt with the times. I mean, there isn´t really a matter of changing it, but you have to adapt and make it work for you. We´ve learned that cool metal doesn´t sell records, but I think it´s because people weren´t really buying music when we started releasing records and I guess there are 100 times more metal bands than there were back when Testament and Megadeth were selling records. I don´t know, but I know that touring and merchandise is the way for us to be able to stay alive, even though people get cuts of that that we do. I don´t know if the kids know, but there are lots and lots of people getting cuts of every single thing that a band does. Their merchandising, their touring, their endorsements… people get cuts of all that.
I don´t think they see that. They only see all these rappers with the houses and the cars.
MH: Exactly! The kids go “So what´s it like being a millionaire?” and I´m like “Are you kidding me? I´m trying to make my fucking rent, kid!”. (laughs) But what I´ve learned too is that when touring in the US, there´s a huge chunk that doesn´t listen to the internet or that doesn´t download, but listens purely off the radio and still buys CD´s, so there are portions of the world that are not connected to the internet and that´s also weird. There´s no right way and there´s no formula, you just gotta adapt.
True. Ever thought of recording in Gothenburg? At IF studios?
MH: Hhmmm, man. You know, actually when we got signed to Lifeforce, one of the initial people that was presented to produce was Anders Fridén, but it ended not working out. We weren´t able to fund flying over here.
Alright. Well, thank you Matt!
MH: Thank you!