Trivium Frontman: 'Nu Metal's Making a Comeback, It's Weird'

"You can see a lot of hardcore and deathcore bands playing nu metal riffs," says Matt Heafy.

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Discussing the impact of the nu metal genre, Trivium frontman Matt Heafy noted that the style is making a comeback these days, resulting in frequent use of nu metal riffs among modern metal acts.

Chatting with Honda inside the company's latest Civic car, Matt was asked on whether nu metal proved as a good or a bad thing for metal. "What's really weird is that nu metal's making a comeback right now. You can see a lot of hardcore bands and deathcore bands all playing nu metal riffs," he replied.

"And now there are DJs making their ways back into hardcore bands and metal bands, it's strange," the frontman continued. "You'll start to notice it more and more at festivals that there's a lot more bands that are making comebacks from the '90s. So nu metal's making its way back. It's not making it's way into our sound by any means, but it's making its way back."

The interview revolved around Matt being played a certain tune to get the ball rolling towards a certain topic. Check out the clip below to see Heafy discussing his early pop punk days, giving support to his "fellow yellows" and more.

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105 comments sorted by best / new / date

    AlexGreat123
    I don't know. Maybe because it's catchy while still retaining a rebellious attitude and is a great cross over genre. But hey I guess because it's not 'true metal' people will shit on the idea.
    sykest70
    technical 80s progressive obscure garage recorded demo black death metal ftw everything else is just a toy
    Izzy-Sweet
    You missed out the preceding "proto", if it's not proto, it's not original enough.
    rockstar256
    Totally agreed, i pretty much love Deftones,Korn,Tool,Drowning Pool,Mudvayne,Disturbed,Stone Sour.
    twiggy3634
    Tool is definitely not nu metal and I think Deftones did a good job distancing themselves from that genre and have their own sound now. I do love some old Mudvayne and Korn as well
    guitarpro15
    Deftones definitely have their own sound going from them, and it's ****ing awesome.
    BjarnedeGraaf
    I didn't really think of it that way, but now that he mentions it... he's right. Even linkin parks new song is more in the direction of the older days when nu-metal was the shit.
    HardRock369
    I'm not ashamed to say I loved Mudvayne, Ryan Martinie's bass parts were pretty awesome, and I listened to Korn, Godsmack, Disturbed, etc. I'll still listen to them occasionally, but it's pretty safe to say I've just grown out of the genre. It's funny now how many people shit on nu-metal when I know for a fact they used to love listening to it when they were younger. Now that it's considered uncool everyone pretends they always hated all nu-metal, meanwhile they can still recite the lyrics to Freak on a Leash
    MetalRock4ever
    Ryan Martinie is one of the greatest bassists around =p And don't be ashamed to say it, the majority of nu-metal bands are very influential and important in their own rights. I've heard many band memebers say that they have been influenced by Slipknot, Korn, etc. And those bands have written classic tunes, the hate for the genre just confuses me..
    Human371
    I totally agree! It's strange how people hate on nu-metal or deathcore or other ostensibly heavy genres but yet totally understand if you like say, indie, or techno
    thebigredjj10
    Say what you want about KoRn, their 90s output came straight from the heart. A person doesn't actually have to like the sound, but they can't deny that their 90s music was honest as it gets.
    megaslaythrax
    You know what? I really hate this elitist view that somehow nu metal isn't metal. It's got the crunchy riffing and the heavy beats and-- depending on the vocalist-- there can be so much fury and passion expressed that can match any "true" metal song. I got my start in metal by listening to bands like Drowning Pool and Godsmack. From there, I branched out into other genres. I may not listen to nu metal near as much now, but I still love it. Otep might currently be my favorite band in the genre.
    Izzy-Sweet
    Of course it's metal. I don't particularly like the genre, but what the hell else are we supposed to call it? This "I don't like it, so it's not metal" mentality is stupid. I don't like Slayer either, you don't hear me saying they're not metal, lest a fan carves their name into my chest.
    crazysam23_Atax
    NuMetal is metal. It's just that, like all movements, there tended to be a lot of really, really bad copycat bands. NuMetal had that a bit more than movements like Black Metal or Thrash, though.
    Emenius Sleepus
    But the song structure and the actual riffs aren't metal riffs, for most part - with some exceptions. "Fury" and "passion" aren't exclusively metal attributes either Most nu-metal is a heavier take on hard rock, plus whatever electronic and/or urban beats, textures and so on they incorporate into the music. And to top it off - how is the fact that most of it isn't metal suddenly relevant to whether you like it or not? Unless you just feel bad that your music taste is not as 'tough' as you thought it was?
    Izzy-Sweet
    Black Sabbath was a heavier take on hard rock, guess what we decided to call it?
    Second Rate
    You know Sabbath are not the originators of Heavy Metal, correct? They may have had an influence on the lyrical imagery, but in terms of the overall sound of Heavy Metal.... it owes many more stylistic debts to Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, and even the heavier end of Progressive Rock than it does to Black Sabbath. As for Nu Metal.... Nu Metal is the combination of the heavier side of 90s alternative rock with the more commercial end of hip hop. I've said it before, I'll say it again, the only stylistic similarity Nu Metal has to Heavy Metal or "true" Metal is distorted guitar sounds. That's not enough to make it Metal. If distorted guitars are the only standard, then such bands as Yes, Supertramp, The Cars, Mahavishnu Orchestra, and Sex Pistols would also be metal.
    fromzero
    So you're saying that bands like Godsmack and Slipknot aren't metal? What about Machine Head?
    thrashriff90
    If theres any band out there that should be credited for influencing the overall sound of metal, its Black Sabbath. Sure, Deep Purple and Zeppelin were big infuences as well, but Sabbath was the band that really pushed the boundaries of hard rock into what became heavy metal. Also, distorted guitars are not the only common characteristic nu metal and other metal genres share. Nu metal utilizes palm muting, power chords, melodic singing, syncopated riffs, death growls, minor key signitures, screaming, tremolo picking, double bass drum, alternate tunings, as well as note structures that are typically found in metal. Sure, it has influences from hip-hop, funk, and alternative rock, but it is a genre of metal dude. I don't like the majority of nu metal bands either, other than deftones, mudvayne, and SOAD, but it is still metal.
    Patrijz
    Cool interview format by the way. Enjoyed it!
    Kinslaya
    Absolutely. It was kind of relaxing. And as a German I didn't have to cringe as much as when other Germans speak English. Heafy is a cool guy. Seems very down to earth.
    Archer250
    Some of the riffs are catchy, I give you that... but the breakdowns are BAAAD
    Autoftune
    Aren't they usually on a single note?
    deathofagod
    Matt Heafy seems super dull - in this interview anyway. As for nu metal, very fond memories for me, so I'm not bothered if those kind of riffs are making a comeback! I like the percussive style. I like how he avoided sharing any kind of opinion on nu metal as the question asked though, very tactful.
    cyclonus
    Loved Nu Metal for the most part. Deathcore not so much
    MetalRock4ever
    I don't know why so many people hate nu-metal. Like you, I love it, it's got the mixture between heavy and melancholic (Slipknot: Nearly any song from Iowa - Vermillion part 2, etc. Mudvayne: Dig - Scarlet Letters) etc. I do however like deathcore (or death metal, I can't see the difference), though it's more or less the same as in it's nearly always heavy without an acoustic piece with singing.
    Wobbey363
    Well look at a band like Cannibal Corpse (death metal) and then someone like Thy Art Is Murder (deathcore) then you will see a difference.
    Joss_Frusciante
    I liked Nu Metal. Also Deathcore. The genre gets a lot of hate, but I honestly don't get it. That's not to say I'm some scene kid saying "bmth 4 the win lol". In fact, I would also give the genre a lot of hate, I thought it was "metal" for 14-year-old girls with side-ponies but honestly, after exploring it somewhat, I actually do enjoy it.
    GenerationKILL
    Its nice to see Trivium articles now where it's not filled with dickhead kids shitting all over them. I've listened to them since they released their first album and always felt they were a cut above most other metal bands because of their writing skills and yet kids every shit all over them for some stupid reason. I remember when ""nu metal" WAS a thing and all the headbangers were like "where's the guitar solos and musicianship." So then bands like Trivium finally started showing up and almost immediately kids shit on them too. I've always liked Trivium a lot and feel as though they are sincerely UNDERrated.
    Sir Stoney
    I honestly used to hate on Trivium just because of the bandwagon of people hating on them. One of my friends was listening to "Torn Between Scylla and Charybdis" and I couldn't believe it was Trivium. I listen to all of Shogun and I realized that they are terrific song writers. So if you happen to hate on a band just because everyone else does, you might be missing out on a killer band like me.
    Gilez15
    If this is true, it would make complete sense. Think of it this way: the kids that were aged 7-10 when Nu Metal was getting big with Linkin Park and Papa Roach and Limp Bizkit and all them are now the young, newly or close to being newly 21 year olds going to and drinking at shows. Further, the kids that grew up listening to that stuff are now in a position to bring in that crowd. Maybe it's just a nostalgia crowd, but it's there.
    Edika
    It depends on the genre you grew up with. People that have grown up with nu metal will have fond memories of it. I don't think I have liked most of what is considered nu metal but I will recognize that thanks to them (and Vai) 7 strings became popular. Let's see what the new wave of nu metal will bring.
    link no1
    I don't understand how people can hate an entire genre of music. Sure, I don't really like certain genres of music and dislike certain subgeneres of metal but even among these genres I can usually find a few bands that I do like. Would sort of be like listening to Slipknot and enjoying them, then finding out what nu-metal is and disliking it in general, then disliking Slipknot just because it's nu-metal.
    Random9000
    That's the thing though, people do EXACTLY that. I don't get it either, but certain genres have such a bad rep either publicly or personally that someone just can't like something of said genre. They'd be a l0l fag then.
    TJWhonley
    He's right. Of mice and men's new album sounds pretty nu-metal to me, and IMO it's an awesome album.
    inlpwetrust
    Teenage nostalgia making a comeback? Count me in. Also, can't wait to see Encyclopedia Metallum explode.
    t7v7s
    It's the evolution of music. In the 70's, overly complex riffs and LONG guitar solos were the norm and overdone. Then came Punk, with it's simplistic riffs and short songs, and 70's metal died. Then Punk died, bringing the age of NWOBHM, Thrash and Hair Metal, which also brought back the complex riffs and long solos. This died when Grunge hit, once again simpling up the riffs and solos. Then came Nu-Metal, which made songs even simpler by eliminating solos altogether. It died and Death Metal arose, bringing back the complex riffs and long solos again. With the oversaturation of these bands, it's starting to die as well, so it's only fitting that Metal reverts back to a style that simplifies everything again. It's just the way it goes.
    AC/DCnut
    Death metal has never had an impact on a large amount of the music buying population in the way the other genres you've mentioned have.
    Van Guff
    I saw Stray From The Path playing last night supporting Architects, and I could really feel the nu metal vibe from them, which was really refreshing. They're like a heavier version of Limp Bizkit, which I really dig!
    Random9000
    Maybe it's just because it was the era I was growing up in, but I really didn't mind Nu Metal. It was very rhythmic metal that in my opinion seemed more focused on chunking and heavy rhythms than a ripping solo. It wasn't a plague that everyone thought it was.
    kramer242
    Did anyone else notice he seemed to talk around this question, rather than actually answer it. It leads me to believe he does not like nu metal, but does not want to piss off any of his fans who may. Personally I do like quite a few nu metal bands, and bands who incorporate that style. If what I say is correct, I would still prefer a straight answer. Answering straight should offend no one, and for me, it's not going to take away my opinion, that Trivium have put out some very good music over the years.
    Abacus11
    I couldn't stand nu-metal in the 90's and I won't like the recycled version of it either.
    bradd101
    Whereas Linkin Park's new song sounds more metalcore-y... Well that's ironic 0.o
    50fitty
    So are they going back to more of their older sound? Because I loved that shit. New stuff, not so much.
    bradd101
    People keep saying they are, but to me it just sounds like watered-down metalcore with some different time signatures. The only "return" to their older stuff sound wise is that they distort their guitars
    Iommianity
    acMy only problem with nu-metal is the heavy parts are dumb, and the catchy parts wouldn't pass as actual pop or rock songs. I'm sorry if I like my metal to have riffs, any riffs, and maybe it's too much to ask that a band does something actually interesting with all those outside influences. Nu-metal bands are too scared to go in either direction. They want to be smarter than metal, by actually being dumbing down the riffs (!), but they pussy out on the pop/catchy stuff by using the same safe chord progressions every radio rock band uses already. It's half and half music, and it's not even the good halves. Deftones are awesome though, and they kept getting awesome the less and less 'bro' riffing they had in their music. They found a way to be heavy without 'tough guy' stop-start riffing, and they found a way to be catchy/ambient without sounding wimpy. That's how it's done.
    Iommianity
    And the hip hop parts flat out suck. Not because they're not 'metal' but because they're not 'good'. So that's actually three half assed genres in one.
    Emenius Sleepus
    Yeah; it's like putting a Toyota cargo van engine into a Ferrari. It might still look professional, but will drive like shit.
    deathofagod
    Try saying it aloud - now what word does it sound like? Go on, you can do it... no, not "nooh", try it with a bit more of a twang... nyuu - say nyuu. "Nyuu?" *claps* well done! Gold star! So, have you figured it out yet? "Is it like, new? New metal?" Yeah it is! Well done!! Now guess who gets a cookie?! Me, because I have a superior IQ to yourself, clearly.
    Cenotaph159
    I like how the top post shits on black metal. Sorry we're not playing trendy groove wannabe fake shit. Fuck off. Nu-metal AND hardcore need to stay ****ing dead. Fuck the UG community. Bandwagon *****s.
    AlexGreat123
    I never said black metal I said 'true metal' aka the ones certain people feel are 'real' metal. Getting defensive of a genre you like (that I never mentioned) while moaning about a genre you don't like proves my point. Idiot
    Jacksabbath_44
    I think is funny because when Trivium came out, it literally killed Nu Metal
    Abacus11
    Trivium didn't kill nu-metal... Terrible nu-metal bands killed nu-metal. As soon as mainstream radio started playing bands like Papa Roach, Disturbed, Crazy Town (lol), etc. it was pretty clear that nu-metal was on it's way out. There were a few decent bands that got lumped into that category in the beginning (Deftones, early Korn) but it turned into frat boy idiot jock rock real fast.
    NorCalLos
    Papa Roach actually turned into a really good band. They are obviously very poppy; but they have some really well-written songs--to the point I suspect they don't write them anymore. Also, as much as I hate to admit it, their sound really opened up when they got a new drummer.
    KerNeL_KLuTcH
    Papa Roach went from being an ok nu metal band to one of the shitiest alt-metal bands in existence.
    deathofagod
    Amen to that. Their vocalist also went from looking like himself to... Eighteen Visions' vocalist. Literally, I swear they're actually the same dude.
    JoeHuman35
    the title of this article could very well have been:: "Kids ARE Dumb.. As Evident Of Lame Nu-Metal Revival" ~ the problem with this sound is the motive. it is NOT edgy. it is NOT rebellious. it is people copying a previously successful sound in order to garner an already existing fan base. a fan base that, offense intended, just isn't very deep emotionally or creatively. ~ and that's all i have to say about that.. commence trolling.