Interview: Trivium on Vengeance Falls, set lists, album artwork and hang outs in Florida

Interview with bassist/vocalist Paolo Gregoletto | By Alex Gilbert

Consistently giving us solid metal releases since 2000, Trivium return with one of their strongest efforts yet, entitled Vengeance Falls, which is out right now via Roadrunner Records.

Let’s start off with your new single “Strife.” It’s very radio friendly, yet it is also a great metal tune. Did you aim for an accessible ‘hit’?

I am glad you enjoy it! I was actually thinking about metal “singles” from some of the classic bands the other day, and just how important it is for a band to have at least one on an album. I love that those albums could go from a three and half minute metallic anthem to a long epic that takes you on a musical journey. The dynamics really make those albums what they are. Even on Ascendancy, we had set this precedent for ourselves with a single like “Dying in Your Arms” and a longer track like “Declaration.”

The music video is great as well. Any plans for additional music videos in support of Vengeance Falls?

Our idea for the first video this time around was to get back to the basics, but take the “band playing in a black room” further than anything we have seen before. The video definitely captures the energy throughout the song; they very much complement each other. If all goes well we will have a few videos in support of this album!

Trivium is out on the road right now with Devildriver and After The Burial (tour dates). Must be a fun one! What does the Trivium set list look like on this tour? A good mix of the old and new? Have any fun tour stories you’d like to share?

Everyone on this tour is killing it in their own unique way. DevilDriver is a very visceral set, straight for the throat. ATB is probably one of the best technical bands I’ve seen – killer chops as players and very interesting song structures. For our set we are playing two songs and the rest are a mix of everything from our albums, except Ember To Inferno, which is solely because we just had no more time to add in another song. We wanted to let people become familiar with the new material before we add in more songs to the set. When I go see bands I love I want a good mix, so that’s the idea when going into each tour and writing up the set list, try and make the ultimate set in 60-70 minutes, which is tough for us at this point. On a regular headliner we play 90 minutes at least.

Any future tours in the pipeline you can let our readers in on?

The first half of next year we turn our attention overseas, first a massive co-headline in the UK with our friends Killswitch Engage, then we swing through Europe for a few headline dates, Sound Wave in Australia, Ramfest in South Africa (a first for us), and from what I’ve heard, a festival in Mexico City. We will be hitting the US once again in late March/April/May for the radio festivals and I am sure plenty of tour dates in between.

Getting back to Vengeance Falls, the album contains some of the strongest Trivium material to date. And I love the fact that you guys have not forgotten the art of the guitar solo. You guys must be proud of the overall outcome?

Thank you. On the way home from Japan the other day I popped the album on the iPod. To be able to listen through the ten songs and still feel the excitement we had when recording is a great feeling. I think because we really approached this album with such a clear vision, creating a “bigger” sounding Trivium with all the elements that have made up our previous albums – like the guitar solos – we made the album that in our eyes is a definitive statement as a band.

Vengeance Falls is also a pretty diverse Trivium album. “No Way To Heal” is quite vicious and has a great balance, while “To Believe” has some very heavy riffing within, as well as some very catchy melody. What are some of your favorite tracks to play off of Vengeance Falls?

Since we have only played “Strife” and “Brave This Storm” off the album, those are the ones by default [laughs]. Honestly, when I try to pick the top three I want to play it changes constantly. There are definitely songs on our past albums that I consider great album songs, but not ones that would translate live as well as others. I can hear all of these songs being played live at some point, and I really think that is where they shine the most. When I hear “Strife” live on YouTube I even get chills hearing the huge melody in the vocals and the music. It’s a different experience actually playing it and watching it back after the fact.

The album art for Vengeance Falls is quite gnarly. Care you give some insight on the artist in charge?

Brent White was the mastermind behind this beast of an album cover. When we started talking about the next album cover we decided to return to the hand-drawn style. Brent White has been making many of our shirt designs for a few years and we have always felt they were some of our best, so it was of those moments where it became clear who needed to do this one.

We gave Brent some early demos, lyrics, and Matt gave him a Polish painter named Zdzislaw Beksinki as a reference. We had no idea what he would turn Vengeance Falls into visually, but when I opened the email and saw one of our logo “T” figures turned into an invading mechanical alien I was so blown away. Totally out of left field in the best possible way. It has inspired us to really focus on bringing the album art to life on stage the best we can.

Trivium are a band who are consistently busy and on the road. When you finally get home to Orlando, is there still no place like home? Where are some good places in Orlando to grab a bite to eat, catch a show, hang out, etc.?

Definitely! Coming home is like hitting the reset and recharge button. Florida is very easy living, it’s why everyone comes to vacation and die here [laughs]. The constant touring makes me appreciate home more than I ever did when I was young. We have a lot of things to be thankful for living down here.

Since I live in Fort Lauderdale, the best spot to eat down here in probably Michael’s Genuine in the design district of Miami. All I have to say is that they have a chef just for dessert; I rest my case. Orlando has the Ravenous Pig, which has a great name and even better new American food.

For venues, the Culture Room in Fort Lauderdale is the best. I am biased because I have been going to shows here since I was a teenager, but the best underground and big bands come through here and it sounds great and is an intimate experience. Most of the best shows I’ve ever seen have been here.

If you were to create a dream tour, who would be on it?

I would just want the Pantera “Reinventing the Steel” tour line up (Pantera, Slayer, Static-X, Morbid Angel, Skrape) to happen again because I missed it when I was 15 and I have been kicking myself in the ass ever since.

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