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Trivium: Refining the formula

With Grammy nominations, countless world tours and a worthy legion of supporters under their belt, for Trivium’s ninth studio album, they could be forgiven for resting on their laurels. We the fans, as humble metal monks, will graciously accept whatever we’re offered.

But for What The Dead Men Say, Trivium didn’t see an opportunity to take the path of least resistance. They took the chance to rise to the occasion; the challenge of going beyond their own expectations and those of fans.

As Blunt Magazine would learn speaking with guitarist Corey Beaulieu, What The Dead Men Say had the metal powerhouse crunching the numbers and doing the calculus on their art to look back at their earlier releases in order to plot their future sound.

Before we get into the new album, how have you been handling yourself during these strange, unpleasant times?

I’ve just been hanging out at home, just binge watching the crap out of Netflix, laying around. I’m used to staying at home, playing guitar, watching …only thing that sucks is there’s no sports.

I started watching that Tiger King show and got completely fucking sucked into that. I watched that whole series starting at like 8:30 in the morning…I can’t believe these people are real.

When Trivium announced the new album, there seemed to be a very deliberate and strategic plan with the sound and direction. In theory, that sounds helpful and efficient, but does it work in practice, once you start to shape the album?

When we write, it’s very chill. The only thing that was kind of pre-planned was that this far into our career, we’ve done so many records where we’ll do a record that really connects and does really well. And then the next record we kind of do a 180 and try something different. So we were like, “man, Sin and the Sentence really was a home run for us.” It just kind of seemed like it’s been a while since we felt that across the board with our fans that really connected with the record.

So we’re like, “yeah, we can’t go off this record because the cycle, like touring wise was our biggest headlining stuff we’ve ever done.” So the record really connected and it really kind of brought the band to another level that we were like, “yeah, we just can’t do another go-off-on-a-tangent in a different direction and totally go in a different sound than what The Sin and the Sentence” was because I think that would kind of bum people out that we found a formula that really worked. And we were very self critical of looking back at our catalog and kind of seeing the records and the stuff that really seemed to really encapsule what Trivium is and the elements that really work for our sound that feel really natural for us to play.

“We’re joking that for how fast we’re able to write, like we could probably do another record during break, or just write it.”

It goes on a journey and it’s not one type of song where everything’s fast or everything’s singing or whatnot. So I think it has a good flow that each song kind of stands out, but it’s in its place where it needs to kind of round the record out.

It just feels so very balanced. And from what you’re saying now, it feels like that was a really deliberate move from you guys to make sure it wasn’t too much of anything, but just perfectly balanced. Is that a safe assessment?

Songs we start off with are usually some of them where we’re ripping, like thrashier, faster stuff just because that’s an easy starting point for us to play. ‘Sickness Unto You’ was the first song we did because we wanted a balls to the wall ripper to get the mood going.

We just want it to have a really interesting flow instead of it just being one tempo or one type of thing just nonstop the whole record. So we’re very mindful of feeling out what we feel the record is missing or what needs to make the record feel whole.

Trivium is famed for your quick turnaround of not just content, but whole albums. You have a lot of spare time on your hands now, especially with no tours – what’s on the horizon for Trivium?

We’re joking that for how fast we’re able to write, like we could probably do another record during break, or just write it. But obviously flying is not the best idea. Paolo and Alex don’t live in Florida so…

I have a bunch of stuff; song ideas leftover from writing this record and a bunch of other ideas that I’m just messing around with, But I’ll probably in the next few days just start piecing some stuff together just so get some productivity out of sitting at home instead of just watching Netflix.

After The Sin and The Sentence we kind of took extra time off. We’ll be releasing more music or working on getting more music written and recorded sooner than waiting three years between records.

There might be some fun other things in the works for later this year, so maybe people have to keep an eye out.