Games Meet Metal: Blast Beats and Boss Battles with Trivium's Matt Heafy!

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Friday, February 3, 2012

Blast Beats and Boss Battles with Trivium's Matt Heafy!

(Well, how about this? Interviewing Matt Heafy was one of my big goals back when I first started GMM, and I finally accomplished it! Read on as we discuss what's currently going on, Heafy's kinda low royalties, and of course, GAMING!!!)

This is one sweet tour you guys are on. How were you able to land such a good tour?

This is our sixth or seventh tour with In Flames and we've become really good friends with them.  So we thought, "Why not tour with friends?" We just came of a Europeon and U.K. tour with them. They headlined Europe and we headlined the U.K.. We saw anywhere from three to eight thousand people a night, and we feel the U.S. is gonna be awesome as well. We'll also be potentially be playing South America at the end of the year.

I'm really thankful for touring with In Flames as they're one of my favorite bands of all time. Luckily, we befriended them, so we just keep touring with them.

 How's the crowd reaction been to the In Waves songs?

Really great! Even before we put the record out, when we released the In Waves song, people knew the lyrics instantly. We've been playing two new songs each night on this tour that we haven't played on any other tour yet.

 Let's talk about the lovely royalties check that you posted on Twitter. What was your first reaction upon seeing it?

We'll  get all sorts of different things, and I thought it would be funny to show it. I didn't say that "this is because of this or this is because of that" over this check. It developed all sorts of reactions, both positive and negative. I like that. I like that the internet can do that. I like the fact that. whether people like or dislike our band,  they'll still pay attention to what we have to say and still chime in. It's a really great and powerful thing, and since the internet gets our voices out there, I thought it would be a nice little experiment to put it up there. And it really was something when I opened up the envelope and I was really bummed out. I was expecting some money to pay rent! 

But I wasn't swaying any way. It wasn't like, "no mater how much you buy, this is how much we make." Or "no matter how little you buy, this is how much we make." In actuality, when people by tons of records, bands do make money. In Waves is still a relatively new album, and there's still a ton of people out there who've never heard of us, so that's why we're still doing what we're doing.

 A lot of bands have been sharing more of the inner business with the fans. Randy from Lamb of God, Mark Hunter of Chimaira, ect. Do you think it's a good idea to share that much of the numbers with the fans?

Oh yeah, because a lot of kids come up to me and ask me what it's like to be a millionaire. Sadly, I gotta tell them the truth. Being in a metal band is not like being in a pop band. The fact that I can do this and sustain and not have to have a second job when I'm at home is still a new thing. Trivium's been a thing since 1999, and from starting to tour in 2004, it was negative money until  2007 when we started to break even. Then we were able to pay rent and move out of our parent's houses. So it took a long time for that to happen, and by no means are we living in luxury. But we're doing exactly what we wanted to be doing. If we wanted to live in luxury, we'd be backup musicians for pop artists, you know? That's where, if someone was really doing it for the money,  being myself or another musician, I'd be a studio musician. Not this. Thus is what I want to do.

Okay, video game talk time! We're always looking for gamers in the metal community, you'e always been open of your love for gaming. Usually while on stage. How did you get into it in the first place?

I beat Mario before I could fully even speak English. I've been playing games since I was little kid, but that's the stereotypical Japanese kid for ya.  Video games have always been a big part of my life. I didn't really play sports an I didn't really play outdoors at all. So with video games and guitars, I pretty much stayed indoors. I was playing Skyrim for the first time today. I'm a huge Starcraft II online player. Really big into Modern Warfare 3. A lot of people tell me Battlefield 3 is better, but it's not. 

Final Fantasy has been the biggest long time obsession with me. I own to to three copies of every FF game, every toy, every strategy guide and limited editions from Japan. Our outro was from the FF VII movie for a few years. So I'm really big into games. Not so much the rest of the band though.  I don't think Nick plays at all. Paulo doesn't really play at all. Corey tends to play sports games, but not me. I'm not into sports or racing games.

When I'm home, I like something I can squeeze thirty to ninety minutes into, and that's usually online. RPG's is when we're not on tour for a long time so I can invest more time into them.

What's next after this tour? Any summer festival plans yet?

We're always non-stop. After this tour, we're flying to Australia to play the Soundwave show, where every band in the world will be playing that festival. Slipknot to Coal Chamber to System of a Down to Limp Bizkit will be there. Finish that, fly straight to L.A., and start another North American tour. We can't say what it is yet due to cities that we're in, but it's gonna be a very different tour for us. Just as us touring with Dream Theater was different, this will be the same kind of differentness, but the opposite of the spectrum. So again, it'll be a chance for us to play in front of people who have never heard us before. Some of our fans will be perplexed why we'll be on that tour, but they just need to come out there and support us. Tix will be nice and low and we'll be playing songs that we've never played in North America. After that, it's back to Europe for the big summer festivals and that takes up the rest of the year.

New album writing time by then, eh?

Yep, and we're already writing.

(That mysterious tour happens to be with Asking Alexandra and a lot of other different bands for Trivium to tour with. Go check those dates now!)

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