Trivium: The Ascendency

This interview was conducted in person at the House of Blues in downtown Disney during the Roadrunner "Road Rage" tour featuring Chimaira, Machine Head, and Orlando’s very own Trivium! We sat down with Matt and Travis to discuss the tour, the upcoming album and the great expectations surrounding Trivium’s future.

Quick 10 questions:

image of matt heafy of triviumMW: What is your favorite Beer?
Travis: Coors Light
MW: Iron Maiden or Judas Priest?
Everyone: Iron Maiden!
MW: Aliens or Predator?
Travis: Aliens
Matt: Predator
MW: Pam Anderson or Carmen Electra?
Matt: Carmen Electra
Travis: Carmen Electra
MW: What up & coming bands would you recommend checking out?
Matt: Seamless, 5 Billion Dead
MW: What is in your CD player these days?
Matt: Taking back Sunday, Underoath, Dead Poetic, Dissection, Emperor, Just Black Metal & Emo
MW: What was your first concert?
Travis: Megadeth right here at House of Blues
Matt: My first Metal concert was actually Machine Head here at House of Blues
MW: What band would you most like to share the stage with and haven’t?

Matt: Metallica
Travis: Metallica
MW: What was your first instrument, and what age were you?
Travis: Pots & Pans – Age 5
Matt: Saxophone – Age 12
MW: What is your personal favorite song from the band?
Travis: Suffocating Sight
Matt: Ascendancy

Just then a very large Black dude makes us move from our booth we’ve taken over, to an even noisier spot in the HOB restaurant.

The Interview

MW: As one of Roadrunner’s latest signings, what kind of expectations does the label have for Trivium, and vice versa, what expectations do you have for Roadrunner?
Matt: Our goal from day one has always been to be like the Next Metallica. I think the expectations are about the same. We told them what our expectations are, and they said "Let’s Do It!"
MW: How does if feel to be on the same label as so many of your heroes? Machine Head, Chimaira, Fear Factory, Slipknot, ect.
Travis: I think at first it’s quite Mind boggling, but now that we are meeting some of our favorite bands, and hanging out with them, it’s almost kind of like a norm now. It just kinda cool, just like hanging out with your friends.
MW: As I understand it, the first album for you guys on Roadrunner is going to be titled "Ascendancy", can you give us a little insight as to the meaning behind the title, and what can fans expect from the new album?
Matt: Just like "Ember into Inferno" was like a personal statement from the band, "Ascendancy" is too. The term Ascendancy means "Higher Power over something", but the way I use is to overcome all the obstacles of life. The songs on the CD have a lot darker vibe without being really negative, throughout the album "Ascendancy" really just means to rise above.
MW: Any word on who Trivium has lined up to produce and record the new record?
Matt: Jason Suecof
MW: Does that mean you’ll be recording at Audiohammer Studios then?
Matt: Morrisound for the drums, Audiohammer for everything else, then we’re mixing with Andy Steep in the U.K., and mastering somewhere in New York.
MW: Your website ( explains that the new material is almost done, and that you guys will be playing mostly the new material on this tour. How has the crowd reaction been to the new songs?
Matt: Very good, on the tour we’re doing 3 sets to try and get all the new songs out. Last night we played the same set as tonight which has a couple of dual harmony solos for the jaw drop aspect, and a lot of the songs we have almost like "post-breakdown" which is insane pitting, moshing, and we’ve had a lot of action each and every night.
MW: How much of an influence has Roadrunner been while writing the new material? Has your songwriting approach changed?
Matt: We expected them to have an influence, but Roadrunner basically told us, "We signed you because you are Trivium." There was nothing else to it.
Travis: They just told us to write the best album that we could, and we think that we’ve done that so far.
Matt: They said to just do it Trivium style, long songs, solos!
MW: Have you felt a lot of pressure while putting together the new material?
Matt: No pressure from any powers that be, just a lot of pressure we put on ourselves.
MW: Paolo Gregoletto (Metal Militia) is on tour with you guys on bass, can you tell us how you got together with him, and why Brent’s sudden departure from the band?
Travis: Brent’s departure came really because he just wanted to have a normal life, so he chose to part ways, which we were all kinda bummed about, but we realize that this life isn’t cut out for everyone.
Matt: We brought up Mike from Monstrosity to do our bass work for the Iced Earth tour, and when we got back from tour, there were a few people that we wanted to try out. We heard about Paulo and his band Metal Militia, and when we checked out his stuff, we realized that this was the same sort of stuff we were writing, although it was a little more thrashy, and old school. So we met with him, and instantly had a good vibe with him, and now we’re on tour with him.
Travis: He’s definitely bringing in a new element.
MW: Is there any chance that Paulo will become a permanent member, or is he going to press on doing the Metal Militia stuff?
Matt: We feel like there’s a good chance he’s going to become permanent.
Travis: It’s a chance well taken.
MW: So how has the touring gone for you guys so far? Is it everything you thought it would be, or way different than you could have imagined?
Matt: I always handle everything as it comes, so it hasn’t been anything I hadn’t expected, or anything mind-blowing. We just played Massachusetts and the entire crowd there knew all the words to our old songs. There were kids "Ninja Pitting", like hardcore kids, stage diving, and circle pits all at the same time. It was just insane! At one point I just had to put down my guitar and jump on top of the crowd to sing with them.
Travis: Norfolk Virginia was an incredible show too.
Matt: It’s like our 2nd hometown now!
Travis: How many kids were there? Like 800
Matt: 800 maybe 900
Travis: They were soooo loud, and energetic, it was amazing!
Matt: A lot of the fans saw us on the Iced Earth tour and remembered us.
MW: How has this tour been in comparison to your tour with Iced Earth?
Matt: With Iced Earth I think that people just didn’t expect us at all, because Iced Earth is more of like a head banging band, so we really took the audience by surprise. But this time we are touring with two bands that are very, very action packed, we again take the crowd by surprise, but the crowd knows what to do this time.
MW: Has there been any particular show, or city that has been the most memorable?
Matt: The Paladium in Western Massachusetts, definitely.
Travis: And that Norfolk show was absolutely amazing.
Matt: Yeah, the Norfolk show was amazing because they had like 3 full course meals throughout the day like Grouper, and Stuffed Crab which was really good, whereas some clubs whine and cry about giving you a slice of pizza.
MW: So what is next for Trivium after this tour is finished?
Matt: Our video comes out in about 2 weeks on Headbangers ball, and Uranium, and when we get back in town we’re going to start recording the album for 5 to 6 weeks, and then we’re talking about another tour, which we can’t talk about with some really big names!
MW: How has the reaction been to you in Europe vs. America?
Matt: It’s the same. Germany had just as many insane kids at our show when we played there, maybe even a little crazier. We played in front of a strictly "Metalcore" audience so kids were stage diving and doing back flips.

Fan Questions

Alex "the Beanie Guy" asks: How would you compare the Orlando crowds and scene to the other cities you been to so far?
Travis: We haven’t really had a really big Orlando crowd since our show with Noir and 5 Billion Dead, and that was a good crowd. So in that sense, it’s about the same! A good crowd is a good crowd.
Thor asks: Do people give you crap for playing solos?
Matt: No! We get sooo much praise for that because nobody really does it.
Travis: We hear that people love the guitar solos coming back so much, that they (Matt and Corey) get praise for it.
MW: So is "Ninja Pitting" more of a "Hardcore" thing? And what exactly IS "Hardcore" these days, because I’m confused as hell? To me "Hardcore" is always going to be CRO-MAGS and BIOHAZARD, like strict NY Hardcore.
Matt: It’s really not about the style of music anymore, it’s really more about the bands, and what they classify themselves as being. Hardcore these days really is more like AS I LAY DYING, UNEARTH, but it’s really more about what the bands want to call themselves. Like from day one we always called TRIVIUM a METAL band.
Beauweevil asks: Who involved in the Orlando music scene would you like to thank the most? What Orlando band are you best buds with?
Matt: Iron Cross, 5 Billion Dead, Hand to Hand
FClef asks: Have any of the parents had a chance to go on any part of the tour and "live the dream" with the band, or have they been on their own?
Matt: My dad got to got to Europe with us, he got to go to Amsterdam!
MW: Any final thoughts for the fans?
Travis: We’re here! At House of Blues!
Matt: You better come out to see us live! We never thought we’d be here on a tour, but here we are! Ready to kick your asses!
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