Trivium: 'Technology's Allowing Mediocre Musicians to Sound Good'

"Bands can't perform what they recorded," guitarist Corey Beaulieu explains.

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Frontman Matt Heafy and guitarist Corey Beaulieu of Trivium recently discussed the music over-saturation happening in the metal realm, saying that technology allows mediocre players to sound way better than they really are.

Agreeing with the interviewer Andrew Haug's comment that "there used to be a million fans to one band and now it's almost a million bands to one fan," Corey noted:

"Nowadays people can just record at their house and put it online and there's just so much stuff out there ... Anyone can program drums and record with their laptop and put out something and not even be that good and autotune.

"You see a lot of bands that have to have vocals on backing tracks because they can't actually perform what they recorded. Because technology's given people a crutch to sound good when they're actually mediocre," Corey concluded.

During the rest of the chat, the band talked about streaming services, underlining once again that streaming is the future of the music industry. Check out the full interview below.

66 comments sorted by best / new / date

    svelle
    I seriously don't get all the hate this band get's. Sure vengeance falls was mediocre, but only because the songwriting sucked and draiman was written all over it. But In Waves and Shogun were really good albums and both Corey and Matt are damn good guitar players in the studio and live as well.
    DFails91
    Draiman: the reason for the calmness in vengeance falls. If they could switch up the riffs like how they were in the previous albums, Vengeance Falls would've been another good album
    thenextkirk92
    Autotune is cheating but how is programming drums cheating?
    dropdeadjarrett
    They weren't saying that. He said that bands are just doing stuff on the computer and can't play shit live.
    HitmanJenkins
    Agreed, programming drums is actually quite difficult, if you want to have it sound and feel real, you have to put a lot of hard work into it to make it sound convincing.
    telephonebear
    and as i think someone may have already said, if you are a new band starting out drums are expensive
    phidias13
    Anybody can program drums? Mainly because some of them can't afford 1000$ to record real drums (at least), i don't get why they are being arrogant about this.
    SevenTen
    For example, if you're in a band that doesn't have a good drummer who doesn't know how to control his hits and his playing tone is bad, some bands would just program in drums for his parts instead of actually having the drummer sit in the studio and record it. They would be using programmed drums to make up for their bad drummer.
    Dude475
    Maybe they're getting at single people who program drums for their music when all they can do is play guitar. Sometimes it's just one person making music , like myself to bring drums in instead of just a guitar line
    blingstar47
    I guess if you're really passionate about music you'd get a job and save up? You don't need the most advanced microphones or whatever to record.
    BlackLabel5150
    I have to agree, way too much slicing and dicing, auto-tuning, pitch correcting, calling on "Mr. Protools" to clean it up. Plug in, mic it, and let it all hang out. It is what it is.
    HitmanJenkins
    I agree and disagree with you, I disagree because Pro Tools and other DAWs aren't mystical devices that can solve every little flaw of a recording, a polished turd will still sound like a turd. I do agree with the "plug in, mic it, let it all hang out" part though, I think most musicians should be able to, at the very least, be able to play their own parts, even if there's a few, albeit, minor flaws.
    Thekormak
    I don't think some people realise quite how difficult it is to get a good sound out of programmed drums, to get a realistic and natural feel takes just as much effort as recording a real kit, except it's cheap and you can do it on your own. You also need at least some knowledge of how to play drums to make sure the drum track can be played in a live band situation (if that's what you intend to do).
    Maldihr
    Trivium can play their own songs live (and make it sound good), which puts them way ahead of many other bands these days. One of the reasons why I love them!
    Tango616
    How is this a bad thing exactly? So anyone deemed "mediocre" [Ironic coming from clearly the gods of technicality that is Trivium] or less just should never have the ability to make it as easy as possible to record what they want, how they want, and sound however they want, namely better. Oh no, how dare these mediocre musicians want to have an amazing end product that they got much easier with this amazing technology. I just don't see how getting the sound into your head to a recorded track easier with the use of technology is a bad thing. Get your head out of your ass.
    TrilobiteTongue
    The point is that nowadays more and more musicians can't replicate live what they recorded in the studio. If you can't play it live, either don't record it or don't do live shows at all.
    Tango616
    That's stupid as **** though. If you're a live band, yeah don't record as say you can. If you're just recording, be it a mediocre artist or not. IT'S YOU'RE MUSIC. You can do whatever you want.
    DFails91
    but what's the point of being a good musician if you're not a good performer? that's the only way you can make it in music. Why bother making a part of a song you can't play? because if you're a touring artist, which 90% of them are because that's the only way to make money in this generation, you're going to be playing that song for at least 3 months promoting yourself. why would you ant your live songs to sound like shit? I know for a fact I stop paying attention to artists who can't play live what they created in the studio, so this should say something
    dewitt
    Jimmy Page is a bit of a sloppy live performer, and he's considered one of the greatest rock guitarists in history. Never mind that, though, because he records parts that are layered so much, they are physically impossible to reproduce. Add people like Dimenag Darrell to that list, too, because one guitar player can't possibly play 2-3 guitar parts at once.
    LaughingWater2
    "but what's the point of being a good musician if you're not a good performer?" Music is an art form thats about expression not just about the performance. I hate this idea of people telling people what to do musically, the entire point of music is to do what you want.
    HitmanJenkins
    I disagree with that, look at Tubular Bells, Mike Oldfield said that he never intended it to be played live. Sure he eventually took it to a live audience, but the point is that if it sounds good, does it even matter? The whole point of a live performance is to offer something a bit different (and hopefully just as good, if not, even better), not something that's exactly the same as the record.
    sectio.aurea.9
    Beethoven could not perform his compositions live. Does it mean he is a mediocre musician? Idk why people think you can't be a good musician if they can't see you physically playing an instrument. Best instrument for a musician is his mind. It's up to him how he is gonna express himself.
    thebigredjj10
    Not a good example. Beethoven could perform his compositions live. He was a master pianist and equally famous conductor. And yes, being a conductor is a type of musician. If you think it's just waving your arms in beat then you have never played in an orchestra. I don't disagree with the rest of your points, but choosing one of the most famous performers of all time is a little ill advised.
    slush
    Ok, then. How about Queen? Should we be shitting on Queen because they couldn't pull off the 27-part harmonies of Bohemian Rhapsody live?
    sectio.aurea.9
    Oh, I'm not saying about his solo compositions, but orchestral pieces.He couldn't perform them if he is only a conductor. Not without orchestra and other musicians.
    sectio.aurea.9
    Oh, I'm not saying about his solo compositions, but orchestral pieces.He couldn't perform them if he is only a conductor. No without orchestra and other musicians.
    Kemuri_Storm
    it's funny how you'll bash the guys from Trivium for their statement, but then support it when you do come across shiddy bands
    calezebedee
    says the guitar player who played all the sloppy leads on the crusade album
    sickassfoo
    good point but until we hear of your world famous band, you arent allowed to say s h i t
    Nuclearcrayon
    So he can't say that the leads on the crusade were sloppy till he gets famous? Great argument dude.
    Lol Natures
    You don't need to be a sewage worker to know that shıt stinks. Edit: I should have checked for new comments before posting.
    Izzy-Sweet
    Why do people think this is a valid argument? Music critics can't exactly play instruments, but their opinion is allowed. I'm going to (slightly) defend the likes of Simon Cowell with this; every so often, there's a contestant (or a contestant's overly-protective mother) who asks Simon "Can you even sing?" No, he can't, and it's not his f*cking job to do so!
    MetalRock4ever
    They may not play but they (should) have an understanding of the elements of music: instrumentation, timbre, structure of the piece, etc. all the music theory that people learn if they take grades when learning instruments or when they study music. That's how music critics judge music (I bloody well hope so). If not, it's down to bias: whether you like it or no predominates your judgement, which is why many polls made, to the public, arent accurate.
    calezebedee
    i'm just saying you gotta practice what you preach. it just feels to me like they forgot that they where once just trying to make it too.
    Dead_Pleasures
    I hear this from everyone whos really way up there in the industry but who the **** are you talking about exactly? can you give me band names please? i wuld so like to hear these shitty bands since their so shitty.
    skull_king
    In some cases, technology would make a decent band sound like shit as well. Auto tune isn't good kids!
    Slay 'Em
    Is that why their most recent sounded like dick? or did they pick shitty riffs so they CAN play it? I'm a huge fan, but come the **** on.
    DFails91
    Draiman: the reason for the calmness in vengeance falls. If they could switch up the riffs like how they were in the previous albums, Vengeance Falls would've been another good album
    minor7
    What makes a musician mediocre is when they don't learn to play their instrument. What makes them sound better is when they get signed to a record company who promotes the hell out of them. I think Mr. Trivium should take a good look at his record contract and then look in the mirror.
    DFails91
    I'm sorry, but you sound like a really misinformed little high schooler
    strungouthero
    As a fan of the band and a musician myself I agree but Trivium did state during the "in Waves" cycle that they wanted to write simplier music because they had hard time playing the Shogun material live. Interesting they are now critical when they did just they same. I believe in pushing abilities but rehearsal and practice in a preformance environment can not be over stated. As the military often says, Train as you fight. same concept
    SevenTen
    If you've ever played a show live it's kind of boring being confined to your spot staring at your guitar neck making sure you're playing that crazy-technical-all-over-the-place riff correctly and accurately. Like lg187 said, they probably just wanted more freedom on stage and didn't want to be more focused on playing than having fun.
    slush
    Because heaven forbid that the actual music should be the focus of a musician's performance, right?
    lg187
    it's not necessarily to make up for the fact they couldn't play it live. i'm sure they could, but they probably wanted a break from technical playing the whole entire show. plus, it's not like theyve written a simple album before that
    cookinman
    Though he DOES make a valid point, its tough to say that in an interview and not come off sounding like a sanctimonious ****tard. Some things are better left unsaid due to how it makes you sound. ForEVER There have been bands that sucked live, this is nothing new....After Matt gets a few more decades of living under his belt he may realize how sophmoric those comments sounded, no matter if they were true or not.....
    Ondskapet
    I'd like some examples of musicians who program drums they can't play. I mean these guys programmed their drums on their first albums as I recall, I mean they made a big deal about shogun actually having real drums.
    Kueller917
    Not a problem with backing tracks if your songs can't be replicated with the amount of people you actually have to play. Thinking of the middle section of Bohemian Rhapsody live that would be entirely backing tracks. Doesn't make Queen less of a live act.
    DFails91
    but everyone sang in Queen, making all the harmonies possible
    slush
    Have you ever even seen Queen perform BoRap live? They didn't do the middle-section harmonies live.
    ibanez124
    So let's just tell people not to make and share their creations . . . elitist prick
    LazyLatinoRocke
    I disagree. A band is able to sound better than they actually are. If Trivium has a problem with that they can get themselves a 4 track recorder and release their albums like that, without being mixed at all. Not everyone plays live but everybody wants to play music and be heard. what's wrong with that?
    evanfurillo
    "If you can't do it onstage, then don't do it at all!" - clutch (from the song earth rocker). Has nothing to do with Trivium, but that song popped in my head when i read this.
    rounder6957
    Did anyone actually listen to the interview? People listen to what their saying! They are complaining about people who play backtracks so they sound better than they actually are because they don't put in the work. These guys bust their asses to sound as good as they do and I've seen them live 4 times and they are incredible... People that use auto tune are ridiculous and its the norm these days! Nothing better than saying hey i suck at singing but ill run my voice through this computer here and people will think i am a vocal god. ITs nothing but a lie. You know if i can run to save my life im not joining the track team same thing goes for music . Just a bunch of fakes and phonies fooling everyone