For 2016, Trivium's goal is to bring metal to the masses. The Florida thrashers are hitting the road throughout the year, but you won't find the usual big-hitting cities on their tour itinerary. So they'll be stopping off at Lincoln and Leicester, but not London, while Birmingham and Manchester are skipped in favour of York and Middlesbrough.
“We decided this whole year to play places that typically don't get our shows or maybe won't even get rock or metal shows,” frontman Matt Heafy explains. “We want to bring out music to the people that don't usually get to see us. We've hit the major markets a million times. The UK has always been a home to us, so we wanted to come back and recreate the first time we came over, where we would play every city we could and we'd play the outskirts.”
As he prepares to take Trivium's shows to towns that usually get skipped past, Matt dug out some of the records that inspired him to pick up a guitar and make music in the first place.
Trivium tour the UK in March/April 2016 – full dates are below.
Sun 20 Mar - NORWICH UEA
Mon 21 Mar - IPSWICH Corn Exchange
Tue 22 Mar - PORTSMOUTH Pyramids
Wed 23 Mar - BRISTOL O2 Academy
Fri 25 Mar - OXFORD O2 Academy
Sat 26 Mar - LINCOLN Engine Shed Sun
27 Mar - LEICESTER O2 Academy
Tue 29 Mar - YORK Barbican
Wed 30 Mar - MIDDLESBROUGH Empire
Thu 31 Mar - ABERDEEN Beach Ballroom
Fri 1 Apr - KILMARNOCK Grand Hall
1. Metallica - The Black Album (1991)
“That was the most significant record I've ever heard in my life. Before that, I did not know what metal was. I was about 11 and I had just tried out for a pop-punk band. I played Dammit by Blink-182 for the audition and then I never got a call back, and I was pretty depressed about it.
“A kid lent me The Black Album at school and it changed my life. I had never heard anything like it before, and I started playing guitar all the time. A year later, I tried out for Trivium and made it into the band. I wouldn't have done that without The Black Album; The Black Album showed me what metal was.
“I loved Sad But True; it was so heavy. Although, at the time, I thought James was singing 'Sad Patrol', so I'd be singing along saying 'sad patrol' instead of 'sad but true'!
“It is the best-sounding metal record production-wise, and that is something we have tried to emulate on our latest album. That album isn't mixed real loud, which means when you crank it up it retains the dynamic headroom. On a lot of modern records, everything is so loud that when you turn it up it sounds like shit.”
2. In Flames - Whoracle (1997)
“That was at the time of Napster, and I was into the classic great metal bands. I was on Napster and I found In Flames. I had never heard melodic death metal before, and it changed my ear on what kind of music I wanted to play.
“In Flames took all of these things that you never thought about combining and they combined them – it's traditional Swedish folk music, death metal and New Wave of British Heavy Metal.
“I downloaded the record on Napster and at the same time ordered it on Amazon. As soon as that CD arrived, I deleted the files and threw away my CDR!”
3. Queen - A Night At The Opera (1975)
“What I've always loved about Queen is that they've never released the same thing twice. Everything is drastically different while still sounding like Queen. Every song on A Night At The Opera sounds different to the next one and they all stand up as fantastic.
“My favourite Queen songs aren't always the rock 'n' roll songs; my favourites are the grandiose, dramatic Freddie Mercury songs. Look at Bohemian Rhapsody – it's one of the greatest songs of all time.
“The production on that album is light years beyond when it was recorded. Freddie, Ronnie James Dio and Bruce Dickinson are the singers I will spend the rest of my life trying to be like, even though I know it will never happen, but I will always work at it.”
4. Iron Maiden - Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son (1988)
“With Iron Maiden it's hard, because I love so many of their records. They're all so important. Seventh Son, though, is the one that really got me into Iron Maiden. It's one of their more epic records; there's vivid storytelling going on.
“Getting into Iron Maiden helped me trace the roots of the music that I love. I could see where so many metal, death metal and black metal bands had taken things from.
“I consider Bruce to be the greatest living singer on earth. I just saw them two days ago and he sounds better now than he did in the 80s. That is crazy. He sounds better and runs around more than singers half his age. He continues to inspire me.”
5. Ihsahn - Eremita (2012)
“Ihsahn is someone I have looked up to for a long time. I think he is one of the greatest songwriters.
“Emperor changed my life, and Ihsahn changed my life again with this album. He spun the idea of black metal on its head by incorporating jazz chords, interesting production and clean singing. That record taught me to never be afraid of making whatever I want to make. We've always done that, but this album drove that home for me.
“I've always wanted to have a black metal side project. It was always going to be by-the-numbers 90s black metal. I became friends with Ihsahn and listened to Eremita and decided to completely change what I wanted to do.”
6. Boston - Boston (1976)
“I believe this record was recorded in the guitar player's basement, yet somehow it sounds better than anything else released for decades after. The vocal production is insane. Everything about this record epitomises the best things of rock 'n' roll.
“I've got a small vinyl collection, and this Christmas I got a player. My mother-in-law still had her entire vinyl collection, so now I have an original pressing of this album. I put it on and it sounded like the guitar player was right in front of me. It was like hearing it for the first time. That was life-changing.”
7. The Beatles - Abbey Road (1969)
“The Beatles started bringing in all of these different elements, and I think it was Abbey Road where they really hit their stride with all of these different things going on. Every song sounds like a different band, and yet it is so interesting and cohesive.
“The Beatles blow my mind in the same way that Queen do in that every song and record is so different to the last. Both of those bands have incredible songwriters as well. It's not like nowadays where you might have one songwriter in a band.”
8. Emperor - Anthems To The Welkin At Dusk (1997)
“This is where Emperor really changed the dynamic of where black metal was going. Black metal was the rebellion to rock and metal, and was supposed to be different.
“When there's a movement like that, a lot of bands come out playing semi-similar music. That record opened up with clean guitar and there's this classical singing; it has chaotic moments and beautiful moments all in one. Emperor makes such interesting black metal with these big dramatic moments.”
9. Depeche Mode - Violator (1990)
“Listening to Depeche Mode, you can hear that Rammstein is a combination of Depeche Mode and Metallica. Violator is one of the darkest, scariest records I've ever heard. It has this different kind of sadness that you feel in the music.
“Depeche Mode have songs that are so perfect and boiled down to the simplest element while using instruments that other bands might not use; they have set the basis for so many genres and bands.
“At the root, it is just great music, but the way that they texturise it it becomes so unique. Depeche Mode always sounds like Depeche Mode; no matter how many bands try to imitate them, you can always pick them out.”
10. The London Symphony Orchestra - Mozart's Requiem (1791)
“I've always been into classical music, but this was the record that really got me into it. Since hearing this, I have been collecting classical vinyl, and I listen to classical all the time when I'm doing yoga or just in the house. I realise that that is very American Psycho.
“The gothic artwork of that record is incredible, and this version for me is just the best. Listening to this, you can hear that out of all contemporary music, metal is the closest living relative to classical. It is the most epic moments of music that have always drawn me in, and I feel that with Mozart's Requiem that is where you're getting into the blueprint for everything that was to come.”