TRIVIUM released its fifth studio-album on August 8th. Titled « In Waves », it was produced and mixed by Colin Richardson. The band is currently touring Europe alongside IN FLAMES to promote it. Upon their visiting Paris (France) at legendary venue l’Olympia, guitarist Corey Beaulieu granted us an interview.
Your fifth studio-album, « In Waves », was released early August. With insight, how would you say your music has evolved over time ?
Corey : Hum. I think we have, individually, improved ourselves as musicians. Over time, our sound has definitely matured and evolved for the better. Our songwriting has become sharper and more complex as our skills developed. When we were making the new record, we had a new drummer, so things were a lot more positive. Plus Nick’s drumming skills are phenomenal. He comes from a death metal and grindcore background, so he can play all the super-fast double bass patterns, all the blast beats. We knew that he could play anything, that we’d be limitless in our creativity. The boundaries of what we could do just went away. Having him in the band is definitely a plus. We had so much fun making the new record. And usually, the more fun we’re having – the better our moods are – the darker and heavier the music comes out (laughs). I think, « In Waves » is an intense, agressive and energetic record. I feel like we defined our sound – the Trivium sound – with this record.
You said that from the music to the lyrics, from the videos to the album art, there is a unifying theme. Can you tell us more about it ?
Corey : You are right, this time around we wanted something cohesive. We wanted to create a vibe, an atmosphere. We wanted all the visuals to make sense with the music. Even though it’s not a ‘concept’ record, there’s definitely a theme. But there is no precise meaning behind the whole thing, everyone’s interpretation is true. When it comes to the album art, the music videos, the song titles, the lyrics and anything else involed in this record, there’s no right nor wrong answer as for what it means. You know, Matt doesn’t even know where his lyrics come from (laughs). Music – and art in general – is something that should be able to be appreciated from within, it has to be felt, nobody should tell you what you’re supposed to think or how you’re supposed to feel. It has to let people create their own emotions. We wanna go to that direction, we want people to be able to have their own idea.
As being the most complete project you have ever done, what should we expect from the live-shows and how’s the tour going so far with the guys of In Flames ?
Corey : For this tour, we’re the supporting act so we can’t do everything we’d like to. But we are doing our best to create the world of « In Waves » on stage with the budget and the means available. For exemples, we got the artwork on a backdrop, we wear the same outfits as we do on the videos and some other things like that. We’d like to go further though. Live-performances are very important to us. Our goal is to be able to play in bigger venues and more places across the world. We definitely have a lot of ideas but it costs money. Hopefully, later on, we’d be able to headline and take the whole imagery out of the record and bring it into the live-show. That put aside, it’s been an awesome tour so far. We’ve also done some shows on our own before we met-up with In Flames, it was great too. Their crowd over Europe seems to be very different from the one of the US. In the US, we kind of share the same type of audience. In Europe however, especially in Scandinavia, their fan-base is very young and mainstream. I don’t think they even knew who we were. It was cool though because the main point of touring is to make yourself known and reach other listeners.
You have been working with Colin Richardson for some time now. How is he like to work with as a producer ?
Corey : Working with Colin Richardson was great. He knew how the record should sound, he knew how to push us creatively. He’s the kind of producer that you really need to come to him fully prepared. He’s very good at making a band sound better but he’s not there to help you find one. You can’t be a band that doesn’t really know what’s going on, you really have to have all your ducks in a row. We’re very proud of the new record. Looking back, we’ve felt like the last two records didn’t come out and sound exactly the way we pictured them. With « In Waves », we’ve been working with Colin from the very begining to the end, so it’s very different. He knew from the start what we wanted to get. He’s very patient and painstaking. We’ve sent three day tuning the guitars and drums… Jesus Christ, tuning drums, I was losing my mind (laughs). Details are very important to him but he never complains. It’s mind-blowing. It’s our best-sounding record so far.
With the new album, you wanted to bring back the old-school approach of releasing CD’s. How did you feel when it has been leaked ?
Corey : I must say that I was kind of surprised it got leaked a week before it came out. The reason is that, it came-out a week before in Japan before it came-out in the US (laughs). So technically, when the record was released in Japan, it wasn’t yet leaked which is a little victory (laughs). Some bands get leaked a month before… It sucks. Some of them asked us how we did (laughs) ! But yeah, that’s true, we really wanted to keep everything a surprise, we wanted to go back to that old-school feel where you have to wait the release date to discover the songs. That is the reason why we did’nt reveal much about it while we were in the studio. When it got leaked, it wasn’t a surprise at all, we were like « it’s old-news guys ». Perhaps, the less you tell about the album, the later it gets leaked… Usually, bands just throw everything piece by piece : « here’s the album-cover », « here’s the tracklisting » and so on. There’s no excitement behind it. It’s way more fun to wait, this is how anticipation grows. It makes people talk.
What would you say was the biggest challenge on this new record, and why ?
Corey : It was a pretty easy record to make. The more challenging thing was to be patient. We got off of tour on March, we worked on demos and songs from April to September, but another band (coughs) – Rise to Remain – (coughs) took longer than expected in the studio. They were supposed to be done on Summer, but they stopped working at the end of the year. So, we had to push-back and push-back the recording process. It got pushed-back to September, it got pushed-back to November, it got pushed back to December (laughs), and we’ve been told that we’d be starting recording in the next year. Jesus Christ ! That was so frustrating ! Out of that, we’ve kept writing new songs and re-writing others. So looking-back, it was kind of cool. The extra-time we had, definitely helped us make the songs better. It was painful but worth it.
What’s your favorite riff to play off of In Waves ?
Corey : Hum, it’s a tough one. I would say « Forsake not the Dream ». We haven’t got the chance to play it yet though. There’s a lot of other riffs on the record that are fun to play, but if I had to pick one right now, that would be it because it’s a guitar-challenging song. I’d love to play it on the next tour.
In your career so far, what has been your greatest achievement ?
Corey : Argh ! You only have hard questions (laughs). I would say, playing with my favorite bands, my heroes. Hum… I also have some pretty cool platinum records on the walls. Having gold records… stuff like that. We played the Madison Square Garden with Slipknot too. There is a lot of cool things I have been able to do, so it’s really hard to pick one. Hum… Actually, being able to play music – doing what I want to do in life – is definitely my greatest achievement.
Is there anything left you want to achieve ?
Corey : Yeah, sure ! There’s a lot of places we haven’t toured yet. We’d like to play everywhere ! We want to continue to build our fan-base for sure. There’s always something more to achieve. We are never content. I cannot deny the fact that we’ve been successful so far but we wanna be bigger ! We want more (laughs) !