Florida metallers TRIVIUM are rumored to have parted ways with their drummer of the past twelve months, Paul Wandtke.
Although there has been no official confirmation on the matter, Wandtke's replacement is believed to be Alex Bent (BATTLECROSS, DECREPIT BIRTH), the California-based musician who has previously played with TESTAMENT as the fill-in for that band's longtime drummer Gene Hoglan. Bent is also a member of TESTAMENT guitarist Eric Peterson's DRAGONLORD project, whose long-awaited third album, "Dominion", is expected to arrive next year.
Wandtke made his live debut with TRIVIUM on December 5, 2015 at Knotfest in Mexico.
He previously drummed for the hit musical "Rock Of Ages" and sat behind the kit for KILL HANNAH during the band's main-support run with the SMASHING PUMPKINS.
Wandtke joined the Florida outfit on the recommendation of DREAM THEATER's Mike Mangini and replaced Mat Madiro, who departed due to reasons of "creativity."
TRIVIUM frontman Matt Heafy told Full Metal Jackie's nationally syndicated radio show earlier in the year that even after playing with Wandtke for only a few months, it felt as if the drummer had been part of the group for years.
"For the first time in our careers, everything we're playing sounds like the record," he said. "And I'm not putting that as a fault upon any of the previous drummers, but I'm putting that as a fault of the previous three lineups.
"The four of us, at each point in time when we had to make a drummer change, because our band wasn't able to either perform well or create good music or really be functional as a unit anymore… So, thankfully, with someone like Paul, who comes to the table with a full set of a musical pedigree, it allows us to play anything. And we're playing music from records two through seven right now. I finally retrained myself how to scream again, so everything is exactly as it was."
Heafy added that finding the right drummer to fill the drum position was vital, as TRIVIUM didn't have the time to being someone up to speed.
"[Paul's] an amazing drummer," Matt told Full Metal Jackie. "He's what we've always been missing. We've been missing someone who can keep up with us musically and creatively and someone who already has stage presence. So he comes to the table completely prepared; it's as if he's been with us the whole time."
Heafy also joked about TRIVIUM's comparisons to SPINAL TAP, the fictional but fiercely beloved mock metal band featured in the 1984 mockumentary film "This Is Spinal Tap". SPINAL TAP has gone through a seemingly endless series of drummers, each of whom has died under bizarre circumstances.
"A lot of people joke [about the] SPINAL TAP [comparisons], and it's funny, when we first announced Mat [Madiro], I posted a picture of one of the SPINAL TAP drummers and said, 'This is our new drummer,' and I had the guy's name, but people didn't get the joke."
Madiro was the featured drummer on TRIVIUM's latest album, "Silence In The Snow", which was released in October 2015 via Roadrunner. The follow-up to 2013's "Vengeance Falls" was produced by Michael "Elvis" Baskette (SLASH, ALTER BRIDGE, THE AMITY AFFLICTION) and was mixed by Josh Wilbur (GOJIRA, LAMB OF GOD).