Trivium is a heavy metal band from Orlando, Florida that specializes in the aggressive, in your face style that is more brutal than your father’s metal. They have released four albums, and the first three are perfect prologue for their current release, “Shogun”. Each record has ramped up anticipation for the next, and their popularity has other metal bands envious of Trivium’s fan base, timing and most importantly, songs.
On the eve of the album’s release, guitarist Corey Beaulieu is handling press and preparing for a fresh batch of tour dates to help promote the CD.
Q. You’re originally from Maine. Can you give a sense of your childhood there?
A. I lived there until I was eighteen. It is your typical small town with two traffic lights.
My graduating high school class only had eighty students. Since it was so small, although I did play sports, I spent the majority of my time playing guitar and listening to music. Being in that environment gave me plenty of time to jam and concentrate on getting better. As far as school goes, we’ll just say I did well enough to pass.
Q. What music did you and your friends listen to?
A. A lot of it was whatever my parents and older sister were listening to. But when I heard Guns N Roses, it all just clicked for me. That got me into Metallica and Megadeth.
So I didn’t listen to a lot until I heard metal. Then I just became obsessed with it.
Q. Why did the band choose the name Trivium?
A. It’s old school Latin that means ”three schools of learning”. Those areas are grammar, rhetoric and logic. The name doesn’t have any significance to what we do, it was the name they chose when they first got started. We try to loosely tie it into the artwork and some of the songs.
Q. Can you describe the earlier Trivium shows?
A. The first time I saw them, they were a three piece. The band has always been a tight live act, and when I joined them, it was really comfortable. In the beginning, the band was always a step ahead of other bands that were at the same stage of their careers. We rehearsed a lot so that we wouldn’t have to concentrate on every note being right when we played live.
Q. How does it feel being on the stage instead of in the crowd and also taking part in metal’s resurgence?
A. The technicality of the music went away for a while, and there was no substance, nothing to latch onto. It wasn’t very interesting. Now fans get newer bands that are interested in musicianship and craft. There is a lot more technique in band’s repertoire, and ultimately, the songs are better. It’s very reminiscent of bands in the ‘80s, who were all monster players.
Q. Who were some of your favorites?
A. I loved thrash metal. Testament, Megadeth, Slayer, Metallica were great. I loved Iron Maiden, Priest, Dokken, I really liked Malmsteen and Paul Gilbert. All those bands could really play, but then music got to the point where no one even knew what a scale was. But once the new millennium hit, new players began to emerge. All of the new guys now look to the older guys as masters, and that’s because the songs and music were so tight. Metal has made a comeback, where people actually know how to write a riff that’s longer than two notes.
Q. The new album, “Shogun” is out now. Tell us about that album.
A. The name Shogun is something we’ve had on the back burner for a while now. When we were on tour in Japan, Matt went on a Tokyo bus tour, and learned about olden traditions when shoguns were the highest ranking military officers and had absolute power that they wielded. We thought it was a cool name for just a song that could lend itself to a lot of cool imagery, and conveyed a powerful, dominating theme. When you see the old armor, they looked very scary and brutal. When we were writing the early demos, and heard how aggressive and epic they were, we felt like we needed a title that suggested how we felt about the new songs. The name Shogun really tied it together in a perfect sense for us. It also gives a whole new visual aspect to work with, and would offer something different from the other typical stuff metal bands usually stick to.
Q. It seems as if you guys have put a lot of hard work and thought into this album. After spending that much time creating it, how does the band feel when fans break an album up by downloading a couple of songs early and not experiencing it the way you had intended?
A. It’s not a concept album, so that you might be missing out on a bigger thought process by grabbing a leaked version. We like to think that they might just be checking it out so that they aren’t wasting their money on a bad album. Our last album got leaked a month before release, and we’ve tried to hold onto this one a little longer. From what we’ve heard, fans who have gotten it early have been pleased and have pre-ordered it before it came out. The reality is that all records got leaked, and you can’t be too bummed out when it happens. We look at downloading as an early chance to preview, and if the record is good, people are still going to buy it.
Q. What happens next for Trivium?
A. We’re going to go overseas with Slayer. We’re going to Russia for the first time, and also to Ireland and the UK to headline with Haunted opening up. We’re going to be on the road until almost 2011. We plan to play in the States more than last time, so that fans get more chances to see us. That’s exactly what we will be doing.