Latest release: Silence in the Snow (Roadrunner)
Florida road dogs Trivium will be Down Under once more in April to repay Aussie fans for again putting one of their albums into the Top Ten. With Silence in the Snow again redefining Trivium’s sound and style, we caught up with guitarist Corey Beaulieu to discuss the influence that classic rock had on them this time.
Silence in the Snow has been getting some of the best press that I think I have seen to a Trivium album. You must be pretty pleased with that.
I guess we’re pretty numb to criticism now. With every record that we’ve put out we’re doing something different or we at least try some new things. We never settle for repeating ourselves. Whatever you put up, people are going to rip on it for whatever reason. People are gonna love it for their reasons. We don’t really pay much attention to that. Long term, when you put out new stuff, you’re gonna get reactions on both sides of the fence. Now that the record’s been out for a while, a lot of people are like ‘I don’t like this’ ‘This isn’t what I expected’ We’ve never gonna give people exactly what they’re expecting, whatever they’ve built up in their brain of what they think the record’s gonna be.
The single on the radio is almost breaching the Top Ten Radio charts, so it’s reaching a lot of people who are just discovering us. That’s exciting, because even though we’ve been around for ten plus years and seven records, there’s still a shitload of people who have never even heard of us!
Do you put that down to working with Michael Baskette? He has a reputation as something of a ‘commercial’ producer. I know Trivium likes to use different producers on every record. What was it like working with Michael?
We wanted to do the record at home in Orlando this time. We always knew about Michael as he’s kind of a friend of mine that I would hang out with when I went out to bars and stuff. He’s part of my group of friends. We really liked his stuff, the Alter Bridge record he produced, the Slash record is killer, and he’s here in Orlando so it was pretty good fit. He’s working here and he has a studio here so we hit him up and he was interested as he’s always been a fan of the band. So we got together to see what the vibe was like and then we played him some of the demos that we had, and he that where we were coming from and what we were looking at doing with the record had the some kind of influences as far as fans and as musicians that he was inspired by when he was growing up. There was a little common ground with what we were inspired by and he seemed like the best fit.
Since the early days, with every record, once we’ve figured out what we’re trying to achieve sonically and the vision of the record, we’ve tried to find a producer that seems to be the best fit for that particular album. So it was really fun. He’s a guitar guy and a song writer as well, and a great singer. He’s just a really good fun. We had a lot of fun tracking guitar solos and working on guitar stuff with him.
Trivium has always been a band that’s never shy about acknowledging their influences. You’ve talked a lot this time about how SIlence in the Snow was inspired by heavier bands from the 70s.
Well our influences while we were growing up were a lot of the early 80s – and I’m sure people have this a bunch of times – Metallica, Iron Maiden, Megadeth, that movement of metal. That’s what we grew up with that influenced us as players. When we got older and we went back in time to try and discover new music, just as music fans, I was always into Dio and now more recently I’ve got more into Sabbath, Rainbow… a lot of the stuff that created the Metallicas, the Megadeths of the world. A lot of this 70s stuff – like Kansas! Music that has all this great vocal melodies and guitar parts. Even the songs were considered radio songs, there was just a lot more musicianship and song writing in a lot of that music. There wasn’t this fabricated pop bullshit where there’s one chord progression in a song, and that’s it. All of us kind of got inside that era of music that paved the way for the bands that followed. They didn’t have a rule book about how to do it. They just kind of created their own destiny with their own sounds and making new sounds that no one had heard before. THat kind of expanded the music scene. We were trying to channel the way that effected us and bring some of that energy into our music so that when people hear our record it has some level of effect on them! That the music that inspired had on us.
It’s great to see that spirit being revived through bands like Trivium, because we’re in real danger of losing a lot of that stuff for good now. A lot of those guys are gone from us.
Yep, it sucks. You know once I heard… and I’m sure like everyone else, once I heard that Lemmy passed away I was like Argh! Jesus, fuck! I though that guy was gonna live forever! I just went onto Spotify and I was just cranking through Motörhead records and there was songs that I wasn’t really familiar with. Amazing fucking rock n roll tunes that I never knew about. Even though I had seen Motörhead live and knew a lot of their music, they just had so many goddamn albums there’s always a song or two there that you missed. How many great rock and roll songs was that guy able to write? It’s astonishing. Pretty much throughout his whole career, he never stopped touring and recording. He never took a break from it. It’s truly inspiring what those guys that recently passed away have given to the world. It’s inspiring, but it’s also a bummer when you think about that there’s never gonna be another Motörhead record or anything about Lemmy or anything like that. Who’s going to… Well, there’s never gonna be anyone like him, but somebody has to step up to the table and bring something to the world of rock and metal that has some kind of substance and lasting power. Those guys from that era – it sucks that a lot of them are passing away, but even though they’re gone, that music will always be an influence to future generations to live off of and be inspired by. So their legacies will always be there to kick someone in the ass.
You brought the seven strings back for the latest album too.
The last time was used those was on Shogun. The last couple of albums we just stuck to the drop tuning, and we did two records in a row and then we thought, “Well what can we do to give this record its own vibe and sound?” Once we started jamming on ‘Silence in the Snow’ which was written back in 2007 for Shogun, that was written on a seven-string, so once we decided to bring that back that kind of opened the door to us and we found that seven-strings are kind of fun to write on again. We went with it and then we introduced a new tuning on them that we’d never used before on two of the songs.
The title track is ten years old, and you brought it back for this album. Are there other songs that you have put away for later that you haven’t had the chance to bring back?
Well with ‘Silence in the Snow’, we kinda liked the idea for the song but it didn’t really fit with the idea for Shogun and we had a lot of stuff that we’d wrote and we didn’t have enough time to put into it to get to its full potential. We always had that song on the back-burner, and once we started thinking about this record and what we wanted to do, that song just popped up again as something we wanted to do musically. We rewrote it. It’s still the some basic song but the middle section’s completely new and we added a few little details to it. It’s actually pretty different to the original version, but the core idea is still there. That’s probably the first full song – there’s been riffs – that’s survived for that long. ‘Rise Above the Tides’ from the new record, the intro and the chorus, I had that since before In Waves but it didn’t work. Sometimes a good idea just needs to find its match so you just wait for the riff or the part to fit with what you’re doing musically. A good idea never goes to waste. Sometimes it just needs time.
You must consider yourselves lucky that you have the time to be able to get around to these ideas, simply because you’ve been able to stick it out for so long.
We’re lucky that we have fans that come out to shows, buy the CDs and a record label and management so that we’ve been able to survive and prosper all these years and keep making music. The new record is definitely opening up new doors. If we hadn’t been able to stick around this long, we probably wouldn’t have had the opportunity to expand to the level that we could possibility get to. It’s like the old school thing of creativity letting a band carve their own journey. You always hear those stories of Rush or Pink Floyd when they made a bunch of records and they’re almost about ready to be dropped and then they’ve finally had enough time to develop as a group and as musicians that they finally made the record that turned them into musical legends and the biggest bands on the planet. A lot of bands don’t have the luxury of being about to carve their way as an artist. If you’re not an instant success then you’re garbage. You never get the chance to see what your potential could possibly be. We’re just fortunate enough that we made good albums early on in our career and we were able to build a fanbase that enabled us to grow and develop and to see what, creatively see what we can do. We get better as musician as time goes on and with each record we’re just trying to see what we can achieve next as artists.
Trivium while be here for a headlining tour again soon. It doesn’t seem like very long since you were here last.
For the Vengeance Falls touring cycle we ended in Australia in November 2014, so I guess that’s pretty quick turn around for us! We generally tour for two or three years and we had a gap in our US schedule and had an opportunity to go to a few other places earlier than expected so we jumped at it. We always wanna come down there. The crowds are great, the fans gave us another Top Ten. The last couple of records have got great support and if they’re die hard for Trivium then let’s get down there and give ’em a show sooner rather than later. The last tour there was a lot of fun and if Matt were here to answer this question, he’d be talking about how great the food is down there. He’s pumped to be going to his favourite restaurant in Melbourne, and we’re touring in the brutality cold weather here in America right now so it will be nice to come down to Australia for some summer time.
Catch Trivium in Australia in April:
10/4: Metropolis, Fremantle WA
11/4: HQ, Adelaide SA
13/4: 170 Russell, Melbourne VIC
15/4: Max Watts, Brisbane QLD
16/4: UNSW Roundhouse, Sydney NSW