With the release of – ‘What The Dead Men Say’, possibly their best album to date, and one which we reviewed (and loved) only last week upon its release, we wanted to know more about what was going on in camp Trivium . Step forward Sticks man Alex Bent to tell us more the album, future plans, and what’s going on in the Trivium camp in the weirdness that is worldwide lockdown.
Difficult times, how has this crisis affected Trivium? All safe and well? Any message to your fans?
We unfortunately had to cancel and/or reschedule the Asia tour dates that we were supposed to do mid-March. Other than that, the new album has kept us all pretty busy. We’ve moved toward virtual events for release week which has really helped to keep us in touch with the fans and spread some positivity during these rough times. We are all safe and utilising social-distancing to protect ourselves and our families. I hope the fans are all doing well and staying safe. If I could give any advice, it would be to spend time with the loved ones in your household, call and check up on the ones who aren’t, and find things to do that make you happy and keep you busy!
Tell us more in your own words about What The Dead Men Say?
What The Dead Men Say is a really special album for me. I got to be a part of the process from start to scratch and it’s amazing to see it all come to life after all the hard work was put in. This album has so many different elements to it, areas that the band hasn’t really gone into before. There were some prog parts, and also some really fast and technical parts. It’s the perfect balance of heavy and catchy. We recorded the album in November 2019 at Studio 606 which belongs to Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters. It was an incredible experience and gave me a ton of inspiration just being in the building surrounded by so much music history. We worked with Josh Wilbur again for this album and I can’t say enough how perfect the chemistry is between him and the band. He makes the process so much fun. From start to finish it is a positive and happy environment which take a lot of stress off me for recording.
How do Trivium work in the studio – do you rough demo stuff first and then work together / individually? What order do things usually get done in?
Since we all live on opposite ends of the country, me and Paolo fly out to Florida to work on the demos. This time around, me, Paolo, and Josh Wilbur flew out to Full Sail in Orlando and did the pre-production. All of the guitars/bass and vocals were done during the Full Sail session, and then a few weeks later, the band (with the exception of Matt) went out to Studio 606 in California to track drums. Usually drums are done first, but Josh wanted to do the drums last that way we could make changes if we wanted to.
Has that recording process developed over time?
I believe that it has in a way. On The Sin and the Sentence, we recorded the drums first. Naturally, I feel that everyone was super comfortable this time around. It felt like we just picked up right where we left off. I believe it only took about two weeks for the entire album to be recorded.
And the writing? Is some of that done in the studio? Collaboratively?
The writing is usually done separately for the most part. The guys will send riffs back and forth to each other and start building on them that way. Then Paolo and I will fly to Florida and get into the rehearsal room with Corey and Matt where we will sit down and really puzzling things together. In the studio, Josh is really good at helping make minor structure changes that help the songs flow better or to make little things stand out.
How do you view the album? Do you think it’s one of your best? Does it say a lot about Trivium’s evolution?
This album is hands down one of my favourite. I’ve recorded a lot of albums and I feel like with each album I record, my playing evolves and matures. This was a really fun one for me because I was able to utilise different styles that I love such as the Latin parts in “Sickness Unto You”. I’m half Puerto Rican and getting to bring in that Latin feel was really special to me. Latin drumming and prog, plus the technical death metal drumming shows another side of Trivium that people haven’t experience yet. Trivium continues to evolve and it makes me very excited for the future.
What keeps you so creative after all these years? Has it got easier?
I really haven’t changed my routines when it comes to studying and learning. I do the same things now that I was doing when I was starting to play drums at 11 years old. The biggest thing for me is exactly that, to never stop learning. I’m constantly seeking out my favourite drummers and musicians on Youtube or other platforms and try to digest what they are doing. Getting inspiration from other players is what helps keep me creative.
What’s the best thing(s) about being in Trivium?
Being in the band is an all-around great experience. We all get along so well. When we are on tour, we get breakfast and dinner together everyday including on our days off. We have group text messages going all day long. It really just feels like a family, even the people who aren’t in the band but work closely with us. Nothing better than getting to do what you love for a living and actually enjoying it because of the people who you are surrounded with. It also gives my wife, Christina, and I the opportunity to see the world together. We feel very lucky and grateful.
Have you achieved what you set out to do?
I’ve achieved most of it but I am the type of person who is always on to the next thing. It may seem cliché, but I never want to stop being the best version of myself. I know that I am capable of doing so much more with my life and I’ll never stop trying to reach the peak.
What are your plans for the foreseeable future – post lockdown!
I just want to tour! I’m ready to get back on the road and show everyone the new album that we have been working so hard on. I truly cannot wait to play it in front of crowds. For now, I will spend my time streaming on Twitch and keeping myself busy with drum lessons!
Our Thanks go to Alex and the band for taking time out to answer our questions. What The Dead Men Say is out now featuring some of the best metal Trivium have created. With epic arena filling choruses, heaviest head kicking guitar and even more impressive drumming its an album for all fans of metal.
The album is available from https://store.trivium.org/ and all good DSPs.
Check out Trivium’s brutally heavy track ‘Amongst The Shadows And The Stones’.