Mark Dean of Antihero Magazine recently conducted an interview with vocalist/guitarist Matt Heafy of Florida metallers TRIVIUM. You can listen to the full chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On why the band decided to reissue their 2003 "Ember To Inferno" debut:
Matt: "Whenever it first came out on Lifeforce Records, I remember we were all excited about it. On the release date, I went to my local record store to buy every copy I could, I remember we bought ads in guitar magazines about the record coming out. On the release date, as soon as we got to the record store, the record wasn't there. Called a couple of shops, nobody had it in the stock. So for the first time when it came out, the label didn't have proper distribution, so it was almost completely unavailable in America. Shortly, I believe it was a year or so later, Lifeforce signed a distribution deal with RED, then their distribution was correct. The re-release added some bonus tracks. Shortly after that, the contract expired. The original thing we signed was only to last for X amount of years. Once that was up, I received all of the rights back and I was the only member of TRIVIUM at the time. So I was sitting waiting for the right time, waiting for the right opportunity, waiting for the right way to release it. I knew I didn't want to release it the same, traditional way. I absolutely love [TRIVIUM's current label] Roadrunner Records, they've been an amazing teammate the whole time, but I wanted to do something different. When I heard about Cooking Vinyl, about the possibility about me being the record label for 'Ember To Inferno', I said I want to do this, but let's make this happen, let's release this properly, this time, everyone will get it right when it comes out, and it will be available in all platforms."
On why the band didn't decide to re-record or remix "Ember To Inferno":
Matt: "I thought of that. I thought to myself as Matt outside of TRIVIUM on how I like releases. I have been let down by some of my favorite bands' remixes and remasters. I've seen some remixes and remasters where they changed things and that initial memory, that initial recalling of the event of the first time I heard that record was drastically changed. They took out things that I liked. They took out imperfections, signature sounds…I remember one of the remixes and remasters, they lost the vocal tracks to one of my favorite songs and re-recorded them. Those kind of things really bummed me out. The final straw for me was thinking of 'Star Wars'. When I think of 'Star Wars', I think of IV, V, and VI. I don't ever want to see the ones with the added CGI where they brought characters who weren't meant to be. I want the original, preserved 1970s versions. That's the way I wanted to present 'Ember'. I wanted it to be the exact moment in time, the exact way it was for 'Ember'. The three records that come with it are untouched, unaltered, and are exactly the way they should have been when they first came out."
On what it was like listening to the band's early material:
Matt: "It was really fun. It was really amazing being able to get the actual boxset in my hands and read the liner notes, read through the lyrics. All of these demo records I recorded, the Red Demo ['Ruber'] was recorded when I was 15 years-old. To see that on the actual printed color red vinyl, with its own artwork is something I never thought I'd be able to do. I never thought I'd be able to listen to 'Ember To Inferno' on vinyl and read through the liner notes. Something about the liner notes: It has stories from Paolo [Gregoletto, bass], Corey [Beaulieu, guitar], and our manager Justin Arcangel, Monte Conner from Roadrunner, [producer] Jason Suecof. The story is about how each of them heard TRIVIUM for the first time. For me, reading that, while listening to the music was something really special for me. It was really cool to be able to see and put my mind in the mindset of their perspective when they first heard the band. I think people are going to be very happy to be brought up to speed from where we came from in the very beginning of the band to the 'Ascendency' stage. That's what the proper title 'From The Beginning' is all about."
On TRIVIUM's longevity:
Matt: "That's a good question. If I can bottle it up and pass it on to other bands, it would be a pretty good product to sell. Ever since I got into this band when I was 12 years old, my goal was to be in the kind of band that could make a mark on history and the kind of band that could stick around and would be still playing in our '60s, '70s, and '80s. Luckily, we started so early. We're only in our early 30s. I'm not even 31 yet and we've already been in the band long enough to have seven records and multiple sold-out tours and some gold records. We've got a great foundation set up and it's pretty sizable, especially when we talk about a place like the U.K. It's really our first home. I feel like we're more of a British band than an American band because that's where we got our start, that's where we got our original fanbase and our original everything. We've had a quite interesting relationship with the U.K. 'Ascendancy' blew up, while 'The Crusade' wasn't as widely received in the U.K. whereas it was in Europe. Jumping back and forth and seeing fans gravitate toward certain records, it's great now that we're able to bring everyone together under all seven records, so someone loves TRIVIUM for just a couple of records, when they see us live, they will definitely be hovering that. I think it's been quite an amazing process."
The reissue of "Ember To Inferno" was made available on December 2 through a partnership with Cooking Vinyl. It includes a deluxe edition with 13 additional tracks that have never been previously available yet have earned evasive legend status among the diehards.