by Christophe Pauly
– Senior Photojournalist –
Trivium guitarist Corey Beaulieu talks about the bands latest studio album new Vengeance Falls, working with David Draiman who produced the album, writing songs and more …
Hardrock Haven: Hi, Corey, thanks for this interview!
Corey Beaulieu: Your welcome!
Hardrock Haven: Vengeance Falls, your new album has been out since October. And this time, you choose to work with David Draiman (Disturbed’s vocalist) as producer. Why did you choose him and how did your collaboration worked?
Corey Beaulieu: You know, we’ve worked with a lot of people over the years. Most of time, it comes down to scheduling, because a lot of them are very busy and sometimes, the person you worked with on your last album won’t be available for the new album. We have known David for quite a while. We met him in 2004 when we toured with Danzig at that time. He came up to our show. And he didn’t have our CDs yet, but he liked our live shows, our sound, etc. … And after In Waves, we gave him a copy of the CD at the Mayhem Festival where we were together. And he came back a couple days after to say how much he loved it, the progression in our sound, where we were going to … It was a pretty good step for the band at that time, because it was the perfect time. Disturbed was going on hiatus and he was seeking out other outlets to work. And so he really wanted to work with us. Because he really liked In Waves and he felt that the next album could be the next big thing. And so we chose him because he knew our sound and we thought that we could do something really cool together. And it came out great! I know that the “super metal guys” could think that something weird was going on like, “… what? Trivium will now sound like Disturbed?” But it’s not the case. It’s definitely Trivium, but with a different perspective. Like Matt for example. We’ve never got the chance to work with a vocalist, someone who really knows the voice. So David showed Matt some different techniques and really helped his singing. His range’s got better and delivered something more. He taught him some tricks to correct your voice if it’s being weird … And he got some cool ideas too. So we worked the pre-production like songs structures, change some things around, etc. … When we begin to talk about this collaboration, we didn’t ever think about someone else to do it. It just made sense. Over 90 % of the ideas we put on the record were the exact direction he was thinking about. So we didn’t search around for someone else. It was the perfect time to work with him. And when I listen to the result, I think we’ve made a pretty good choice and I’m very happy with that.
Hardrock Haven: In Waves was very successful. So, did you feel any pressure when doing the new record?
Corey Beaulieu: No, when we work on songs, we don’t think about anyone or what people could think about it. We have to like our music before anyone else could hear it. We want to do it as we wanna play it, as we wanna hear it. So, from the beginning, we never think about the fans opinion. To me, if we like it, it seems normal that the fans will like it too. We don’t want to put out a bad album. I think we have a high standard on what we do such as what type of song could make the cut. The only pressure could be being able to write a really good album. But as we all write some songs, we always have more than enough material to figure out where we wanna take this record and what’s the best sound for it.
Hardrock Haven: How do you compose? Do you write on tour?
Corey Beaulieu: Yeah! The majority of the last couple albums was written in our dressing rooms on tour. We pretty much do that since The Crusader as we’re always on tour. When the tour is over, you realize that you have to do the next record. And some bands don’t do anything on tour. So they spend sometimes 8 month to get everything written for their record. So we write on the go in our dressing rooms. And it’s cool, because some songs have got a story behind it like: « Oh yeah, I remember that I’ve written that part in Germany » for example. So, when we’re on tour, we have our laptops with recording programs and we workout when we have some time. Sometimes, we spend 18 months promoting a record, so that allow us to have a pretty good idea of what the next record is gonna be minus some few songs that are written at the last minute (and are sometimes the biggest songs on the album). We like to be prepared because we tour a lot and don’t wanna let a long gap in between. So we can cut down on the pre-studio writing stuff by just having everything done before.
Hardrock Haven: And do you compose individually?
Corey Beaulieu: Yeah, each of us makes demos and record it so that it’s presentable. Then we show to each other and make some remarks on the song and talk about the changes that we could do. Each person can bring his ideas. I usually work on some more guitar parts and Matt on vocals. It’s a pretty group oriented method. We met Corey at Lokerse Feesten in august so before the album was out.
Hardrock Haven: Will you play some new songs?
Corey Beaulieu: Yeah, we’ll play 2 new songs. The first one is “Brave The Storm.” And the second one is the first official single that will be out. (We’ve done a video for it). It’s “Strife.” We’ve played it live at our 2 last shows ans it get some good reactions from the fans. And I’m really excited to play it with the best quality, because we play it note for note. It’s always funny to play new stuffs.
Hardrock Haven: Did you noticed any difference between European audience and the US audience?
Corey Beaulieu: It depends. Some places in the U.S. have a pretty good audience. It’s a big country and the reaction is different from place to place. But it’s true that in Europe, there’s a kind of « metal appreciation » there. It’s not a trend or anything like that. Especially on festivals where people go there like die-hard fans with millions of patches on their jacket … So, it’s funny to play in Europe because people really dig it.
Hardrock Haven: I think that Trivium’s music looks very hard to play. So, do you like to push your limits further technically?
Corey Beaulieu: One day, I’ve got a question like that. Such as, “What’s the hardest song to play?” And I’ve said, “you know, we write them, so they’re not too difficult to play.” Obviously, learning someone’s songs might be more difficult. There are some specific solos that are more easy to play when you sit down than when you stand up. But I don’t find that difficult to play in general. The hardest thing is to fucking remember all this parts that we didn’t played for a long time.
Hardrock Haven: What are your plans for the next few months?
Corey Beaulieu: We’re going to tour for 2 weeks in Europe. Then we’ll come back home for a week. Then we’ll flight back in Europe to do some press days to promote the album. Then a week off before going on the US tour with Devildriver. Then a festival in Japan in October. After that, we come back to do another US tour (November-December). Then, after Christmas, we’ll come to Europe in January and February to do an indoor tour. And so we have many things that are already planned. Perhaps some festivals too in June. So we’ll be busy and people will have plenty of time to see us.
Visit the band online: http://www.trivium.org/