Last week provided a truly unique experience for Trivium fans. As we mentioned previously, we had the chance to see frontman Matt Heafy perform an intimate acoustic set in Moscot Eyewear’s NYC gallery (which Metal Injection filmed great footage of). Six days later, we witnessed Trivium performing to an arena crowd during the Trespass America Festival’s stop in Newark, NJ. Seeing Heafy go from baring his soul to a select group of lucky fans and friends to leading thousands of fans in mosh pits and chants was impressive, to say the least.
However, there were still a few questions that were stuck in our heads following Heafy’s acoustic performance (namely about the new side project Mrityu he nonchalantly revealed that evening). That’s why we were fortunate to have the opportunity to follow up with the Trivium frontman right before taking the Prudential Center’s stage this past weekend. In addition to revealing more information about Mrityu (and the role he hopes to have Ihsahn play in it), Heafy also gave us further insight into future acoustic performances and Trivium’s current plans for recording a new album.
I know you were pretty nervous before the acoustic performance at Moscot’s gallery. Now that it’s done, how do you feel the night went?
I think it went really well. I think if I get couple more under my belt, I’ll really have it down, and I’m already starting to plan them out. I guess I can go ahead and say it now, but I’m trying to work on one where I’m playing In Flames’ restaurant, 2112, in Gothenburg. So I should be playing there on our next tour. So it’ll be my second one. I’ll be playing at my sister and sister-in-law’s weddings, but no one will be seeing those.
Make someone film it!
Maybe [laughs], though since it’s their weddings… And then I’m going to be doing something in Orlando at this local farmers market that my friend is going to be opening up. It’s called East End Market, so I’ll be playing that as well. I want to stick to charity/community based things for now with this.
That’s very cool! Now that you already have these things set up or in the works, what do you hope to do differently from the Moscot performance, if anything?
Learn more songs. The more I get it and once I start memorizing songs, because I’m really bad at remembering other people’s songs. I’m great with remembering songs, but other bands or artists I’m terrible at it. So once I really get these down, I won’t have to stare at lyrics. I won’t have to be as nervous. But yeah, it was really nerve racking. The next day when we played the next show, it felt so good not to be nervous for a show again. So it was a piece of cake to what I normally go through.
One of the biggest surprises of night came when you revealed your new side project Mrityu. I know it started off as a 90s black metal inspired group that progressed into something different, but how long have you actually been working on this project?
It’s been… I mean, I was in a black metal band when I was 16. I was in a tech death metal band as well, a band called Capharnaum with the bass player from Monstrosity [Mike Poggione], and the guitarist from Martyr [Daniel Mongrain] and Jason Suecof [who produced the first three Trivium albums]. And I was in a black metal band called Mindscar for about six months where I was just the lead guitar player/back up vocalist. But that singer [Richie Brown] got me into black metal at the time, and a lot of those bands I was really into. So it’s something that I’ve conceptualized of doing, but never had the motivation to sit down and make it happen. It was intended to be the “true” style and was going to be completely under an alias. No one was ever going to know who was in the band, what country they were from, or anything like that. I really wanted to give it its true chance because I knew with that genre people are very elitist, and I knew that if I wanted to get to the “true” people who love that genre, if they saw my name attached they’d never listen.
So it was going to be that, but then I briefly started chatting back and forth with Ihsahn [Emperor] and I got into his solo record, started to get into the stuff he’s musically been influenced by, and it just expanded my palate. Through that record, and when I started revisiting how much I’m into [Opeth’s] Blackwater Park, it made me realize that I can take the ingredients of a genre that I love and further it as if I had done albums with that and turn it into something else.
It’s hard because I was looking online and something said “extreme black metal,” but that’s not the term. It’s derived from genres of extreme metal. But yeah, it’s going to be really hard to name a genre, I tried myself when I listen to it and it’s… What’s nice is that with Trivium there’s a set thing of what we can and can’t do, not saying I feel limited by the band, but there are things that I know that are and aren’t our sound through experimenting. And with this [Mrityu] I can do anything. The songs can go into any direction, any tangent, anything that I feel, and I can be very selfish about the project, which is very nice.
How far along are you with this project?
I’ve got about three songs written right now. I don’t know when it’ll ever be possible to do it because the new Trivium record starts recording in February. So it probably won’t be till well after that. And we’re already planning all of our touring, so it’s going to be a lot to figure out.
Knowing the influence Ihsahn had on this project, will Ihsahn actually make an appearance on this project?
My dream is that he can hopefully produce it because I love his production work. He’s an insane producer. So I’m going to piece this together, try to get this signed, and then approach it from there.
That would be very cool! How did you actually come to meet him?
I met him when I was 18 or 19 at the Metal Hammer Awards. It was super quick, though, and I was like [shaking] “Hey man, nice to meet you!” And I’m friends with the guy who use to work at Candlelight Records since we’ve toured the UK so much. So it was just a quick exchange here and there. And from there I learned so much from such a quick exchange. So it’s my dream with this that hopefully he can produce the record because his work with Leprous is unbelievable, his work on his newest album [Eremita] blew my mind. That’s my hope, that’s my dream.
You mentioned about getting Mrityu signed. So this would definitely be released by a label? DIY wouldn’t be an option?
I guess it would have to be in order to get funding to make… Originally I wanted it to sound crusty, no click and raw production. But now I want to go out with really pristine production where you can truly here everything. Not pristine in the sense of anything I heard so far, but I think with the intricacies and all the different instruments that will be on it, you need to be able to hear everything that’s going on.
You also just mentioned about the new Trivium album. So the plan is to start recording in February?
Yes. We have like 13 songs demoed and probably another five or ten to record. So we’re going to keep filtering and get rid of the ones that aren’t as strong.
Do you already know who is going to produce the album?
Yes, that one’s totally secret! I can’t say it, but we got it all set and it’s going to blow some minds.
What can fans expect from the new material then?
It’s the best ingredients of everything we’ve ever done as a band. It’s really hard to describe, though, with just metal adjectives like “heavy,” “fast” and “brutal.” It’s so hard to describe it with those words. Plus, it’s so early in the game that things can always change, as they always do in our band.
Going back to Moscot for a second, you’ve been a big advocate of the eyewear company (having even appeared in their “metal” ad campaign). How did you first come to learn about Moscot?
One of my friends who works at Roadrunner International has always been told that she looks like me. She’s half Asian, I’m half Asian, pretty much the same height and build, and wear the same type of glasses. Before we met, she kept getting told that, and when we met she told me about the joke. Then she said “There’s this company I’m working with for Myles Kennedy [Alter Bridge, Slash], I think they’re really interested in working with you.” And I was like “Awesome!” Simple as that!
So I guess after Trespass America, Trivium will just be working on the new album?
No, after Trespass is the South American tour, then a UK/European headlining tour that takes us into the end of November, and then we finally have some time off.
Wow, you’ve been out on the road well before Mayhem Fest 2011. I remember talking to Paolo [Gregoletto, bassist] back in February and hearing him say how the original plan was to do some more touring abroad and then get back to recording.
Yeah, it’s just that all of these good tours kept coming up. So we just took all of them. It’s been a very long year.
[picture via HadLo Studio]