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Trivium’s Matt Heafy on Trespass America Tour, Growing Up In the Public Eye + More

Matt Heafy of Trivium
Liz Ramanand, Loudwire

Trivium frontman Matt Heafy was the guest on Full Metal Jackie’s radio show this past weekend. Heafy spoke all about touring with Five Finger Death Punch and Killswitch Engage on the Trespass America Festival this summer, joining Trivium at the age of 12 and much more. If you missed Full Metal Jackie’s show, check out her interview with Matt Heafy below:

We had a great time at the press conference in Los Angeles which you took part in, did you enjoy being handcuffed and hooded for the big reveal?

Yeah I found out about 20 minutes before the thing was going on that I was being handcuffed and everything was water boarded onstage, so I was like “Alright, this is a good introduction to the tour.”

So there are several festival tours that are our this summer, what is it about Trespass and the bands on it that makes this the best place for Trivium?

It’s fantastic, if you look at a lot of the festivals that are going around in North America it’s a lot more scattered. In too many of the festivals there are so many bands playing that it might be harder for them to see who they want to see. What’s great about this is each band – it’s lined up as if it were a show but it’s a festival, you can see all these bands in a row.

It’s bands that are unbelievable at what they do; Five Finger Death Punch is absolutely crushing it in the U.S. and North America, having just done some dates with them a few months ago, they’re amazing live, their fans know every single word. We did a festival run with Killswitch Engage and that was my first time seeing Jesse [Leach] sing the Howard [Jones] songs and I gotta tell you, they’re even better than the originals now. I get chills thinking about it, like right now I’m getting chills thinking about how great it was.

It’s definitely really exciting to have Jesse back in the band; I know a lot of people are psyched to see him sing those Killswitch tunes again.

Yeah, he is destroying it, it sounds so good. Then, we’re tighter than ever this year it’s ten, eleven months on the road. We just headlined in Bulgaria in front of 20,000 people which I can’t believe we just did that, it was the same place Big 4 happened. We weren’t suppose to headline but the headliner canceled and they were like “Trivium is actually the same size of the band that was suppose to be headlining anyway so why do you just play for two hours” it was ridiculous. It’s probably top three, one of the coolest things to ever happen in my life.

Something similar happened, I don’t know if it happened because of a cancellation but I know you played with Iron Maiden last year right?

No, in 2006 we played with them, oh wait actually we flew to play with them again. We were on Mayhem in the middle of a North American tour and we flew to Germany for a one 80,000 person show, to England for one 25,000 person show and we flew back to America to finish the tour we were on. Then the next tour, we were on a U.S. tour again, flew to Japan for one show and flew back and finished the U.S. tour. This tour is going to be a piece of cake we’re not going to fly anywhere, we’re staying, one tour, one territory.

Festival tours like Trespass America introduce Trivium to fans of other bands; what does the reaction from people who don’t know Trivium tell you about what you’re doing?

We’ve been opening with ‘In Waves’ since before the record came out that we can come in straight in with a statement like that, that begins with a scream before the music even kicks in and people instantly start going insane whether they know our band or not is a sign that something is going right. We’ve been doing tons of different tours and if we just talk about North America and exclude the world, just North America, we’ve been touring with Dream Theater, Asking Alexandria, In Flames and now Five Finger Death Punch all in the same record cycle.

We’re changing the set but we’re not tailoring it to specifically what we feel the crowd wants but playing what we want to play and we’re still finding that the fans are completely digging it, fans of other bands. We’ve been doing incredibly well with Five Dinger Death Punch, their fans know exactly what to do every single one of our songs. We share similarities to Five Finger — we’re both metal bands, we both have high aggression, intense sets.

On a tour like Tresspass America is their like a realization that you’ll get a pretty good read on the direction of metal, from both bands and fans, that will affect your own development?

Definitely, I think the fact that Five Finger Death Punch is doing so well in the U.S. right now both with metal and doing well on rock radio — and still being a metal band and bringing out fans that don’t get that coverage.

The fact that they can do so well with such intense music and basically do what they want to do and be successful at it, I think it gives all other metal bands hope that there is an audience for it. There are people that want heavy music, that isn’t country, that isn’t rap, that isn’t pop, that isn’t manufactured hot topic, scream emo stuff. People actually want heavy metal and they want aggressive rock that just gives so much hope for a band like us.

Matt let’s talk a little bit about Trivium, you joined the band when you were really young, like 12 right?

It was like the first band, first job.

And you’re 26 now right?

Yeah.

What’s the best advice you ever got from a headlining band when you were younger? What would you tell your younger self were you to cross paths on a tour like Tresspass?

I think it would be something I would say to myself now. We’ve toured with so many of our heroes and we’ve learned so much from them purely by watching. When we ask stuff it’s stuff that we already learned from interview but we wanted to reaffirm from some of our heroes in person. Something I would say to myself that I’ve learned is, “You need to buck up, you need to let bad stuff happen, you need to go up and down and drop on your ass and feel like a fool and f— up lives.”

I think every single mistake that we make makes us stronger into what we are in the end and I’m fortunate that every terrible thing – I know it sounds very grim – but every terrible thing that ever happened to me personally back when we were starting up like I mean having to grow up in the public eye that’s something that most bands don’t have to do, they’re usually in their mid 20s when they come out with their first record. Having to do all that and making missteps with image or things that I may have said I wouldn’t change any of it and I’m sure there will be more things that I’ll mess up but it only makes me learn from mistakes to become a better and stronger person.

I can say from sort of watching you grow up and watching the progression of this band that I’m proud of you and I think you’ve done a great job Matt.

Thank you Jackie, you’ve been with us for the long haul. We appreciate it.

Well I’m psyched for you to be a part of Tresspass and I’ll be out a few of those dates. I will see you soon and thanks again for being on the show for the 955th time I appreciate it.

Definitely, you need to bring a yoga mat out though because we were talking about showing you yoga stuff.

I will, I thought you brought the yoga mat.

I have mine but you need to bring one you like. I’ll show you some cool stuff, I’ve been practicing teaching people yoga, been practicing teaching people guitar and vocals but yoga is my favorite thing to teach.

Awesome, so I am going to be doing yoga with Matt from Trivium on the Tresspass America Festival.

Damn right.

This coming weekend, Full Metal Jackie will welcome Testament frontman Chuck Billy on her show. Full Metal Jackie can be heard on radio stations around the country — for a full list of stations, go to fullmetaljackieradio.com.

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