Trivium: 'We've Always Been a Controversial Band'

Frontman Matt Heafy also talks metal fans, saying that "elitism is killing music."

Ultimate Guitar

Trivium mainman Matt Heafy recently described his band as a controversial one, also giving a portion of metal fans a slight bashing for their elitist attitude. During a chat with Metal Injection, Matt reached the matter of controversy while discussing the band's decision to hire Disturbed's David Draiman as the producer of their upcoming new album "Vengeance Falls." "If he's a controversial choice - we've always been a controversial band ourselves, so we feel hand to hand together," Heafy said, also noting that Trivium figured Draiman as a perfect match when they heard some of his production work with Device. The frontman then switched to the subject of ever-present elitism among the metal fans, naming it as one of the top reasons for the genre's decay. "It's that whole attitude that is killing music," Matt commented. "That's why turnouts for all these tours in the States are bad right now. Every single tour now has bad turnouts, every single tour has bad pre-sales because of this weird elitism." He continued, "Music's supposed to be an escape for people. It's supposed to be where people can turn to when they're sick of everyday life - for some people, for me that's what it was, that's why I flocked to metal, 'cause it was an escape from normalcy, an escape from something I didn't wanna be around. And that way I can be enveloped in something great and something where there are other people I can share that interest with."

"But nowadays, it's weird - whenever people talk about our band they kind of bring up the negative stuff. It's like - why isn't it about positivity? Why isn't it about the fact that we all get to bond through this amazing style of music and find all these new bands through other great bands?

"And if it was more supportive I think more bands would be able to exist," Heafy explained. "People aren't supporting music, they're not going to the shows, they're not really buying the records, everyone's ripping on everything all the time - not everyone, but a small, very vocal minority." "Vengeance Falls" is scheduled for an October 15 release through Roadrunner Records as the band's sixth studio effort. Back in August, the album was announced with lead single "Strife."

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32 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Trivium write great songs, they're technically sound yet because they have clean choruses or hooks they're considered fake metal or they aren't trve enough, causing people to try avoid being known to listen to them. In a genre that used to be considered a "I don't give a **** what you think" style, it's massively hypocritical that apparently it's not "true metal" to listen to them.
    And then when they write almost all clean vocals and really a very good record everyone says they're ripping off metallica
    Gotta say, I got to meet the band a couple weeks ago. These guys are some of the most humble people I've ever met. I went in expecting them to not make me feel like part of the group but was greeted like I was family. Mostly I just talked to Matt and he wrote his favourite Metal albums on a paper plate for me. Haha, what a beauty.
    mmm imo that's because they have screamo parts, that metal fans bash em
    In my eyes the metal community seems to be stuck in an endless Paradox. Say for instance Megadeth write an album such as Rust In Piece, the metal community will say "yeah that's great we want more of that" then the bands next effort is the same and the fans are like "aww its just more of the same generic riffs, solo's, lyrics etc... they never do anything new and creative" and then when they do release something that is different the fans are like "aww man this is sh*t they should go back and make another Rust in Piece" and so the viscous circle repeats itself all over again.
    Also in the sense that when bands make a really good album any albums after that every album will be compared to that album with comments like "Hmm doesn't sounds like *insert album", I wish they would go back to that sound". In fact Trivium is a pretty good example with almost every article on them there's the same "I wish they would make a copy of Shogun so I can complain about them not doing anything different".
    You hit the nail on the head man... We're a brotherhood thats so splintered in a way.
    Trivium have never released a "bad" album. A friend of mine who isn't even into metal thinks they're underrated, which I thought was a VERY unique perspective on the band, and one that sounded weird. Then, I realized the only reason why I thought that was because I've always been surrounded by metal-*******s who have nothing good to say about them. Which is actually really sad, because they ARE everything that IS a great band... They're great at their musical instruments, they write interesting material and they've worked hard to get what they have. Thats all a good band is. Everyone else with a negative opinion is just being an *******. I am 30 years old and have been playing the guitar since I was 15. I started being a fan of old Metallica and learnt their music at a time when "metal" bands sounded like Limp Bizkit and Korn. Everyone always cried "where are the young guys who are making REAL metal?" Well bands like Trivium have finally come along and everyone bitched about them too. i have been a fan of their stuff since I got my hands on their first album and think they're great. Everyone will always hate you when you do a good job and have lots of fans. Metallica taught me about that ages ago.
    Never understood the hate surrounding this band, apart from being labelled a Metallica-ripoff. I think they really proved themselves with Shogun. If that doesn't silence the haters quite frankly nothing will.
    I've never understood why they've been labelled a Metallica rip off??? Ok very rarely Matt sounds a bit like James, but other than that their music style is completely different from Metallica's.
    since someone compared their sound to maiden on steriods (thank you guitar world) they are lumped into that metallica/iron maiden ripoff band category.
    Mr Winters
    Shogun was an amazing album, but In Waves wasn't so great and Vengeance Falls is...let's just say it's quite disappointing.
    I'll flat out admit that Ascendency was a decent album in places (Declaration in particular was very well written) but ultimately, I never bought into the Trivium hype much. They may never have been outright DREADFUL but I certainly wouldn't say that they're the saviours of metal that the media made them out to be last decade. As for elitism killing music.... Heafy, you high?
    "Every single tour now has bad turnouts, every single tour has bad pre-sales because of this weird elitism." Umm am I the only person who thinks this is a ridiculous thing to say? The economy is in recession and the average joe or teenager doesn't have money to spend on tickets to bands that aren't really worth it. It's not elitism. Also, the fact that Heafy equates criticism with elitism is pretty funny. There are plenty of bands like Periphery who shrug off the criticism and go out and do their thing for their fans like professionals, but apparently Heafy didn't get that memo.
    I know this is off topic from the video, but has anyone heard the new album yet? Just finished listening. Terribly average. Worst album from them. A bit too many Disturbed influences on this.
    Some songs are good, but not Trivium quality. ;To Believe' is a complete Disturbed song, with riff composition and vocals.
    I'm not the hugest Trivium fan - there are a few songs off every album so far that have caught my attention and that I like, but I agree with Heafy in that metal elitism is the worst thing. I long for the day that I can talk about any number of really legitimately talented bands without being laughed off because they're not cool, or not metal.
    Just because a band changes over time, don't try and tell me I have to like their new sound. Trivium suck now.
    I actually listened to some of the new songs and didn't like them as much as the old songs i listened to (which i haven't listened to since i was about 14). I went back and listened to those, still liked them, then noticed that they still sounded pretty similar. Tbh i think people just grow out of bands sometimes, it doesn't mean the band stopped making good music.
    [i]But nowadays, it's weird - whenever people talk about our band they kind of bring up the negative stuff. It's like - why isn't it about positivity? Why isn't it about the fact that we all get to bond through this amazing style of music and find all these new bands through other great bands? Because, Matt, I don't live a "metal lifestyle", so I'm apparently not a true metal fan.
    It's rich Heafy speaks of Metal Elitism because I believe he was the very person who infamously came out with the comment in 2008 that his only competition in regards to releasing an album that year was Metallica, like every other band was beneath Trivium
    It still baffles me to this day of why Matt's clean singing voice is being compared to Hetfield's. And Matt's right, by the way. I was also an uptight elitist but the years waned off my elitism and Trivium were one of the bands I used to hate and now I found found them actually awesome.
    I agree with everything he say's, he's very good with words. Metal is a form of escape, it's real music. Everyone who likes it should really get along not bash each other.
    Why don't people realize that this article goes hand in hand with what Gene Simmons said in that article?
    It's funny that people are trying to scold him instead of dealing with the message of what he said. How many time have you seen endless debates if some band is just meetal or also hardcore, or if a band is considered metal or prog, I mean common, who gives a damn? If it sounds good, it sounds good. Will someone here really diss something he might like, just because of classification? You see those arguments every time here on UG, the man has a strong point in general, not specifically about his band.
    I've never really understood the need for bands to full-on change aspects of their sound. I mean, sure, progress and expand your genre's limits, but don't most people get into this business for the sake of making the music they love? Why then do so many bands do complete 180's and claim "We needed a change to continue making music"? If a band truly loves what they do, they won't change drastically and will rely on their song writing abilities to freshen up their set list. Look at Metallica and Megadeth, both bands whose first 3-4 records stayed distinctly within the realm of their genre and are classics. If you look at a band such as Trivium, they've flip flopped between styles and aspects to their sound simply for the sake of fan outcry since Ascendancy. I love the first four Trivium albums, but In Waves and what I've heard of VF seems likely purely watered down Trivium, aiming at album sales. Personally, I've always thought that if I want a different sound... I'll listen to a different band! Shocking, right!?