Trivium Enlist New Drummer, Paul Wandtke Comments on Exit + Being a Session Member
Ever since the departure of Travis Smith in 2009, the drum spot in Trivium has been occupied by three different members, who we recently learned were all employed as session musicians rather than full-time members. The rumors regarding Wandtke's exit were confirmed to be true, which he has since addressed in an interview, and his replacement, the fourth to sit behind the kit since Travis, has been named.
Alex Bent has been tapped to man the sticks as Trivium prepare to embark on their European tour with Sikth starting Feb. 11. Bassist Paolo Gregoletto confirmed the news via Twitter, posting a video of Bent's playing after a drumroll style introduction (post sequence below), also revealing the band had rehearsals with him in November.
Bent has an extensive résumé, currently serving as an active member of death metal outfits Arkaik and Brain Drill as well as the black metal band Dragonlord (featuring Eric Peterson of Testament). The drummer's experience also includes performing on Battlecross' Rise to Power as well as live stints with Decrepit Birth and Testament.
As for Wandtke, he has indicated he learned of his termination with Trivium back in November, though was unaware of who would be drumming in his place. Rock Feed's Brian Storm caught up with the skinsman (video below) to get his thoughts on the situation as well as being called a session member (along with previous drummers Nick Augusto and Mat Madiro).
Upon landing Wandtke as their new drummer in late 2015, Matt Heafy described him to Full Metal Jackie, stating, "He’s an amazing drummer. He’s what we’ve always been missing. We’ve been missing someone who can keep up with us musically and creatively. Someone who already has stage presence. He comes to the table completely prepared, it’s as if he’s been with us the whole time."
Reacting to these comments and his exit, Wandtke said, "I was the first Trivium drummer in over 10 years to get some press in magazines, like Modern Drummer too. And that is a true statement, that Matt Heafy did say that. But bottom line, I did come into it in a work-for-hire situation. It makes sense to me what they were doing. If it was my band, I would have done the same thing, because you're taking on a stranger."
Gregoletto also tweeted another message, commenting on Wandtke's time in the band, adding, "It was a pleasure playing with Paul the last year, but we felt it wasn't the right fit long term, we let him know a week after Orlando show." That show took place on Oct. 21 last year and was the final night of the band's U.S. tour.
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