A few hours prior to Trivium’s second stage headline appearance at Download 2014, Rock Sins was lucky enough to catch up with Trivium bassist and Metal Hammer’s official King Of The Internet Paolo Gregoletto, who was happy to talk touring, frontman Matt Heafy’s health issues, the band’s drummer situation and of course Mr Brown. Read on for the good stuff…
So this is Jamie from Rock Sins & I’m here with Paolo from Trivium, welcome back to Donington!
Paolo Gregoletto: Thanks very much.
Jamie: So…your plans for this event have changed just a little bit since they were first announced haven’t they…
Paolo: Yeah! I mean that’s the story of being in a band, everytime you say one thing, things change to be completely opposite the next. It’s good though, it’s an upgrade! It’d be worse if we were going from the second stage to the fourth stage! So always moving up. That definitely was not the intention at first, but these things happen.
What did you guys think to the reaction when so many people were going “we really want to see them, how the hell is everyone going to fit in this tent”?
Paolo: Yeah…a lot of things changed. I think the spot pretty much for whatever reason opened up and after we did the tour with Killswitch I think everyone was thinking it made more sense to do it that way and change things up. We thought doing the ’05 set would be cool even though it was only about 25 minutes long but we decided if we were going to do the headline spot we wanted to do it right and have some of our bigger songs that would have been taken out back in. I think it’s worked out for the best and I think for people who would be seeing us for the first time it’s better to have those things in there than not.
One of the most important questions is quite simply, how’s Matt and how is his voice?
Paolo: He’s doing great, it was really like a stress thing. Just talking too much, singing too much. We had an eight week tour and we had a hectic travel day where we had to cross the border from Canada and play an early show and we’d played the night before and there just wasn’t enough time. If you don’t get enough sleep it really wears you down but Matt’s really been working at it. He’s actually with a new vocal coach that Matt from Avenged is working with and a bunch of other singers work with.
Jamie: I spoke to him on the Killswitch tour about his vocal regime and I know it’s pretty hardcore.
Paolo: Yeah now it’s gotten even crazier. But it’s worth it. He takes it so seriously and it killed him to have to cancel those shows. We don’t like to disappoint our fans but there’s nothing you can do, you can’t force it.
Of course, I have to bring up something from the Killswitch tour, what was it like getting blasted by a CO2 cannon?
Paolo: Well, I’m usually the one who usually has the Spinal Tap moments on stage, like I fell over and it’s on the DVD, for Ascendancy at the Astoria, forever immortalised on YouTube. It was definitely shocking, I’m glad it wasn’t pyro! Something happened where it wasn’t working and for whatever reason they can do it manually from the side of the stage but they didn’t let us know that was going to happen. I thought it was just off, so I wouldn’t have gone by it if I’d known that was going to happen but they just blasted it. When it happened it was at a really random point so I was totally not expecting it, but it was funny. We have a good video of it. You have to laugh at that shit you know? So long as it’s nothing serious or crazy, that shit’s funny man.
As a whole it seemed like the tour with Killswitch in February went very well, the Brixton show was pretty awesome.
Paolo: Yeah, that was great, and it’s awesome to be out with those guys, I know they played here yesterday and I’m sure it was phenomenal. They’re just one of the best modern metal bands so we’re always very happy when we can do a tour with them. Every couple of years we seem to line up and do something but it’s great that we got to do it over here finally. They’re just one of those bands we mesh well with on stage, our music is similar enough but different enough to be unique and off stage is just great, they’re really nice guys.
I know due to Matt’s voice situation Andy Copping posted on Twitter recently about the set list you guys were likely to play today, is that still pretty accurate?
Paolo: Yeah I think it’s all the same, we maybe added one more…We just wanted to assure people that by changing the set up we weren’t just gonna do the entire new album or something. I think it’s a pretty good mix so everyone should be able to have a good time, we actually brought a couple old songs back that we haven’t done in awhile so that’s been good fun, it’s a good range of what we do.
Have you got the stage production that you had in February?
Paolo: Yeah, that and some more actually!
Paolo: Yeah, I think it’ll be a real fun one tonight. This is our last UK show for the album (Vengeance Falls) so this is the best way we could end it.
Trivium’s production going full blast during their Download headline set
When I spoke to Matt back in February he said you were hoping to get into the studio in September / October time, is that still the case?
Paolo: Actually we’re gonna take (some time) off after Mayhem, actually Mayhem probably wasn’t announced at that point so we didn’t know what we were doing. After Mayhem we’re gonna take like two or three months off, we’re going to finish up touring at the end of the year and then maybe February, give or take, we’ll start. We gotta get things lined up, we have some ideas about producers and schedules need to be worked out.
At what point did your four legged feline friend (Paolo’s cat Mr Brown for the uniniated) end up becoming such a superstar?
Paolo: You know, it started on instagram and the momentum just kept rolling you know? I’m pretty sure if he had a signing at Download they’d be wrapping around the field – people ask more about how he’s doing than how I’m doing! When I see them the first thing they’ll say is “oh how’s Mr Brown?” and it’s like yeah, he’s good, and I’m also alive…it’s funny though. Making the shirt was kinda a silly idea, like it came out of the opportunity of making my own design. There were a bunch of artists making it and I was like “well I don’t think my face will sell a lot of shirts but maybe my cat will”. I liked the idea behind it and it’s just snowballed from there.
Jamie: Has it sold well?
Paolo: It’s actually their highest selling shirt I believe…
Jamie: That’s fantastic.
Paolo: That’s pretty humorous in it’s own right.
Jamie: That has to be pretty surreal.
Paolo: Yeah, I think it proves that cats will trump anything, online….anywhere. You put a cat on a book and it’ll be a bestseller because it crosses all borders, crosses over everything. People love animals. We were saying we want to do a Trivium shirt where it’s Matt’s dog and my cat featured on it and it’d probably be our highest selling shirt of all time.
Jamie: Now you just need the others to get pets as well and you could have a Trivium animal tribute band.
Paolo: Yeah, set up like the Queen Bohemian Rhapsody video with all the different animals!
If you don’t mind my asking what is the deal with your current drummer situation? Is Mat (Madiro) properly in the band or is it a trial period?
Paolo: Obviously he’s officially playing with us now. He’s going to be playing with us up until the end of the year. It was kinda a crazy situation that we threw him into so we didn’t want to put anymore pressure on him like “if you don’t do well now you’ll lose this”. It was just like “hey man have some fun with it”, see how it goes, no pressure on you. I think that’s just the way we’re going with it now because it’s a big decision obviously to replace a member and to do it mid-tour is even crazier and we didn’t want to add any more pressure or stress to it, and he’s been phenomenal.
Jamie: Was it just a culmination of stuff that led to you guys and Nick parting?
Paolo: Yeah, it wasn’t like a fist fight or any one thing happening. Just over time, Nick had been in the band for four years and…we had a lot of great times together but there comes a point where you can see things aren’t meshing well and we learnt that you can’t let things fester and you can’t let things happen and instead of ending it on a really bad note lets part ways and stay friends.
Jamie: Well yeah you guys I guess have been there and done that once already…
Paolo: Yeah, we don’t want it to be like that. Like I said there was no one thing like his drumming or his personality, things just don’t work out sometimes and it was better to just end it. We feel really good, everything has been great in our camp and the shows (with Mat) have been fun so we’ve just been enjoying ourselves and that’s all you can really do.
A review of Trivium’s fantastic headline performance at Download 2014 was included in our Download Festival coverage and can be read on this link right here. You can also check out our huge interview with Trivium vocalist Matt Heafy from back in February here. Trivium are currently on the road in the US as part of the Rockstar Mayhem touring festival. Any further news and updates from the Trivium camp or from Paolo Gregoletto himself will be brought to our readers as and when we have then. You can also follow Paolo on Twitter at @TriviumPaolo.