Nick Augusto on bringing blastbeats to Trivium
When we first spoke to then Trivium drummer Nick Augusto he was still getting his feet under the kit, having only recently replaced Travis Smith. Almost 18 months on and he is well and truly part of the band. As they prepare to drop their already critically-lauded new album In Waves, Joel McIver sat down with Nick to get the lowdown.
Tell us about the drums on In Waves.
"I'm with Pearl, but we used DW on the album, because Colin [Richardson, producer] and the other guys were really happy with that sound. We used three different drum sets, actually: we went out to the store and went through all the drums and cymbals that they had there. I used a single kick, a 10" and 12" rack tom, an 18" floor tom, one ride, two crashes, a china, a hi-hat and that's it. It was a really simple setup. I use a double kick live, but just a single kick for the album. I've always used a single kick with a double pedal all my life, but we've added a second kick drum for the live show to make it more visual. Otherwise the stage looks kinda empty, especially when you're playing big arenas. "
"It's funny hearing a blastbeat on Trivium's stuff: whenever anybody hears it, they're like 'Yes! Finally! A blast!'
Your thrash beats are different to your predecessor Travis Smith's: you hit the snare on the off-beat.
"Yes, he did a downbeat. That's the way I know how to play them. I was in a band with Paolo [Gregoletto, bassist] called Metal Militia, which was straight-up thrash, and I learned how to do that beat when I was young. I actually learned it from Pantera's 'Heresy'. I heard that and I was like, 'Whoa, that's f***in' sick'. Pantera and Slayer is where I learned that beat from. Travis did the reverse thrash beat, that was just his style. Slayer's thrash beat makes you wanna go crazy. It took Matt [Heafy, singer] a little while to get used to it, but now it's the only way we know how to do the thrash beat."
There's the odd blastbeat as well.
"It's funny hearing a blastbeat on Trivium's stuff: whenever anybody hears it, they're like 'Yes! Finally! A blast!' because I think they've all wanted a blast occasionally here and there. It's funny, because when I was their drum tech, Travis knew I was into that style and he came up to me and he was like, 'Blastbeats are gay'."
Talk us through how you joined the band.
"I didn't see it coming at all. When Paolo asked me 'Do you think you can play these songs? Travis is gonna sit out the tour' I was like 'Are you kidding me? F*** yeah!' and immediately quit my job right then and there. I was a chef at a bowling alley. I was cooking bar food. No, I haven't got a signature dish – maybe chicken wings, ha ha! I've been through so many jobs, because all of my other bands would go on tour, and work wouldn't give me a couple of weeks or a month off. So I was always quitting and getting new ones. Anyway, I learned 15 songs in two weeks, just from listening to them over and over again. When I walked into practice, I knew them all and everybody was like 'All right, this is good!' Everybody had been worried at first: they were calling me and saying 'Are you learning the stuff?' and I was like '*F** yes, of course!'
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