Claire Frays got the chance to have a chat with Trivium’s lead guitarist, Corey Beaulieu, just before their gig at Birmingham’s HMV Institute about what it was like to play South America for the first time, the next Trivium album, possible celebrations to mark the 10th Anniversary for ‘Ember To Inferno’ and why we won’t be seeing any glow sticks at Trivium concerts any time soon!
MR: Okay, so you started this UK leg two days ago in Manchester. It’s a bit early on, but how have the shows been so far, has the UK set the standard for Mainland Europe to try and follow?!
Corey: You know it’s been great. We’ve obviously toured here quite a lot over the years so yeah it’s always fun coming back, we always know that the shows are going to be great. Manchester – every time we’ve played here has been one of the crazier places. Glasgow last night was pretty wild, so far both shows have been a lot of fun and the crowds have been great, so it’s a good way to kick off the tour. Then for the Europe shows; we haven’t done a headlining tour in Mainland Europe since 2007, so all the tickets and the shows over there are doing really well, so it’s going to be a fun tour, so it’s a good way to end off the album.
Trivium has been on tour pretty much non-stop this past year. You did the shows with In Flames, Asking Alexandria, and the Trespass America Festival with Five Finger Death Punch. But what I wanted to talk about most was that Trivium played South America for the very first time. A lot of bands say that, that is one of the best continents to play because the fans are literally crazy and really love their live music out there. How did you find the whole experience?
Ah it was a lot of fun, throughout the years we’ve always had a really big presence of fans from South America, Mexico, so you know we always knew we had a lot of fans down there. Just for some reason, timing wise nothing had really lined up right and then when finally things worked out we were really looking forward to it ‘cause we’ve heard a lot of really good things to say about South America.
So playing down there was pretty intense, crowds everywhere we played were amazing. Argentina was probably one of the coolest shows we’ve ever had, ever, and Mexico was pretty cool because they’re really into the music, really very die hard. If they’re into your band then they’re super into the band, so you know there’s always people meeting you at the airport or at the hotel to get something signed or a picture.
They take the time to really show you some appreciation which was pretty cool and then the shows… Down in South America they, besides singing the lyrics, do all these chants, like Soccer chants in between songs and then they sing all the guitar parts which is very unique, so you’re kind of on stage and you’re like “I can’t believe this is going down!” but it was a lot of fun and now that we’ve gotten a chance to go down there it’s definitely gonna be, that we make it down there every tour. Now that we’ve been down there and got a taste of it, it’s definitely a place we look forward to always going back every time we’re promoting a record.
Yeah, we’ve heard from a few people who’ve come to concerts here from Brazil who say that the concerts here are really mild compared to over there. Did you find that the mosh pits were a little crazier or anything like that?
They’re very… physical. Over here, there’s the floor, there’s a lot of people moshing and doing all that stuff but then you also have the balconies or people at the back that just watch the show, but over there even the people at the back or on the balcony they’re doing something either they’re waving their arms or pumping their fists, so like the overall energy throughout the whole crowd, there’s always something going on and they’re very loud as far as all the chanting, singing, singing guitar parts or doing their in between songs chants – we just kinda like stopped for a while, they just chant and do like some “O lay, o lay, o lay” type stuff, it was kind of like, it wasn’t just a concert, it was more like an event, there was just so much incorporated into the show. It was kinda like they somehow co-ordinated amongst themselves to do all this stuff. It sounded like it was planned because everyone just knew what was going on, so it was a lot of fun!
It sounds like it was awesome! So after this run of dates do you guys plan to start recording for a new album?
One of the rumours I’ve heard on the Internet is that the next album is going to be the heaviest Trivium album yet. Can you shed any light?
It’s coming along. We’ve been writing since after Ascendancy when we started becoming a touring band. We’ve always written while we’re touring either writing ideas in the dressing room or in breaks in between tours. We don’t wait. “Oh we’re done touring for the record, now let’s start another one.”
By the time we’re done touring for an album we’re pretty much have all the songs ready for the next one ‘cause we don’t like to sit around and do nothing or have to start from scratch, so we have a lot of stuff. You know Matt, Paolo and I all write songs, so between the three of us there are about twenty-something songs, but I think for this one, it’s more cohesive. When we first started writing everyone was kind of on the same page as far as what the goal was, what we wanted to achieve with the record, so everything’s… very intense. It’s still got all the elements that make up our sound, it’s still got the big melodic hooks and all the catchy stuff, but I think overall it’s just got an angrier sound.
It’s a lot more groove orientated, a lot of the drums and the guitars are being locked in, kind of like ‘Black’ and ‘In Waves’ where there’s the syncopated guitars and drums. We wanted to have more groove and not all fast all the time, so it’s got a lot more rhythmic stuff going on that gives it a really cool, catchy vibe. It’s still the early stages of vocals and everything like that, but it’s very intense, angry sounding. It’s definitely gonna have its own vibe and uniqueness to it that sets it apart from the other records, but as everyone’s come to know from us, every record has a different feel and sound to make that record its own thing so, it’ll be like this is the next evolutionary step for what we’re doing. We’re really excited about the record and how everything is turning out, so I think our fans are going to be pretty stoked when they get a chance to hear it.
One of the things I like most about you guys is that some bands pick a sound and they stay with it and it kind of gets a bit boring. But with each Trivium album there’s always something different which I think keeps people interested.
We just always write what is interesting to us. We never really set out to go like “Oh we’re gonna make this record sound like this”. It’s just each record is a couple of years apart and you know as a musician you’re always progressing and learning new things or coming up with new ideas to keep things fresh. If you did the same album over and over again it’s like you kind of start ripping yourself off. We’re always trying to keep things sounding fresh and new and not try to like sound too much like something else. And we always learn new things and we try to incorporate that in the music.
It’s more fun to challenge yourself to go into different places than stay in a safe zone. If you’re a painter, you don’t want to paint the same picture a hundred times, you want to challenge yourself and do different things and create different stuff and try to be more creative.
The next question that I wanted to ask was that next year it will be the 10th anniversary for Trivium’s debut album ‘Ember To Inferno’. Do you have any plans for playing the entire album live to celebrate that?
You must have been eavesdropping in the dressing room yesterday! (Laughs)
I think it was yesterday or the day before, Paolo mentioned and was like oh yeah it’s the 10 year anniversary of Ember next year. One thing is, we wouldn’t do like a whole tour like some bands do ‘cause that record’s not as well-known as it came out on such a small label. But we’ve talked about possibly doing some small dates like during Festivals, or play just a small club, something small and intimate. Maybe just do a couple of ‘em here and there just for fun, ‘cause a lot of people really like that record.
It’s a really cool record that just compared to when we came out with Ascendancy on a bigger label, most people thought that, that was the first thing we put out, but I think it would be fun… those songs now, sound heavier and it’s more intense than the record, cause Matt did that record when he was like sixteen, so he was like a little baby on vocals. So now everything sounds just a little more mature and manlier since we’ve gotten so much better than from that time.
So we’re definitely in talks. I think we’ll probably end up doing something. It would definitely be fun to do something here; perhaps we’ll do a show in London or something like that in a small place and film it. I think it would be cool to film it because we talked about re-releasing the record. But we can’t re-mix it or re-master it ‘cause the original recordings are lost, but if we did put it out it would be cool to have the record and then as a bonus disk have the whole record played live – it would have to have something really unique and special that would make someone really want to buy it again.
With Matt doing his Black Metal side-project, do you think that in the future you might like to do a side-project too?
I don’t really know because everything that I tend to write sounds like Trivium or is written for Trivium. I don’t really have any songs. I’ve written songs that we haven’t used but they’re written for Trivium so if I used old stuff that I’ve already written, it would just sound like Trivium songs with different people on it. But I don’t really write anything that particularly that is like a different genre of Metal or anything like that. I’m sure if I sat down and wanted to do something different I could but… Matt (Heafy) always says I should do an instrumental shred guitar album, but I’ve never actually tried to write instrumental kind of shred guitar stuff, so I’m not really sure how good I would be at it yet. (Laughs)
But if I did do something I would go more the Joe Satriani route of more, not heavy, but more kind of ‘rock’. I always liked the Satriani stuff because it was always more melody based instead of shred stuff. He wrote a normal song but instead of having vocals you would do the melodies on the guitar instead of just shredding the whole time.
I like writing guitar melody stuff so I think that doing a more vocal approach to the guitar songs would be more up my alley as far as getting out of the Trivium kind of heavy sounding stuff and just do a more melodic type thing. It’s always fun playing lead guitar over piano – it sounds really cool, so it’d have to be something completely off the wall to make it interesting enough to get me to try and experiment with that.
But we stay really busy with the band so I don’t think anything like that would happen for quite a while. (Laughs)
What kind of bands or albums are you rating at the moment that we maybe haven’t heard of yet over here?
Nothing ‘new’, as in a new band that has just come out. I haven’t really heard anything in a while. Upon A Burning Body was the last band – after we played some shows with them in the States earlier in the year, it was the first time I’d heard of them so I picked up their records and I was really into what they were doing. Other than that, new CDs that have come out from the likes of Testament and Overkill and the old school bands that I’m into. I always pick up their albums, but that’s about it, there’s really not a whole lot of new Metal bands. Everything else is kind of a the more “sceney” stuff, you know, a lot of heavy stuff and then they have fuckin’ dance beats and shit.
Yeah, I’ve noticed that is quite a popular style with bands like Motionless In White…
Yeah that’s kind of like the new thing. You know they do heavy stuff and they have breakdowns and they have dance stuff and pop music and everything, which is to each their own but it’s definitely not something that I’m interested in. I’m a Traditionalist for how I like my Metal so, yeah I’m not into that, so that’s probably why! It seems that the younger kids that are in these bands getting signed, they do that and so that’s the latest thing that younger people starting bands are gravitating towards, rather than wanting to play just straight up metal. (Laughs)
So we won’t be seeing glow sticks at Trivium concerts any time soon then!
Many thanks for taking time out for this interview. Do you have anything you’d like to say to our readers?
We got a new music video coming out pretty soon…
Is that for ‘Dusk Dismantled’, or ‘Black’?
In the UK, the single for this tour is ‘Black’ and then we have a video that the label in Germany wanted to use – ‘Watch The World Burn’. So we have a video for ‘Watch The World Burn’ coming out which doesn’t have anything to do with the storyline for the record that we had in the other videos. It kind of takes footage from the whole year from when we first started touring the record until up to even last night (Glasgow). It’s just a footage video of everything we’ve done, kind of like a time capsule of the album cycle which shows a lot of fan footage and footage from Download and even that Asylum show with everyone jumping on stage!
And then ‘Black’, I’m not actually sure if there’s a video or not for that song, but it’s mostly stock footage of what we already have because we have no time to actually properly shoot an actual music video. So there will be some video stuff coming out that you can check out on our websites. Other that just stay tuned for the updates and information regarding the new record that we’re recording at the beginning of next year.