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Trivium Frontman Matt Heafy Talks Acoustic Performance, Trespass America, ‘In Waves’ + More

Liz Ramanand, Loudwire

Matt Heafy of Trivium recently performed his first acoustic solo performance at Moscot’s Eyewear store in New York City for the Mobileyes Foundation. Check out or review and photos of the intimate performance.

When Loudwire sat down with Matt Heafy before his set, he was anxious about playing in front of the small room which held about 50 people, but expressed his excitement for the rare gig. He spoke all about being part of the Trespass America Festival, the one year anniversary of their latest disc ‘In Waves’ and more. Check out our interview with Matt Heafy below:

How are you?

I’m good, really nervous. I’m never nervous with Trivium shows but I’m always nervous with things I don’t really do – like dancing in public, if I had to do it I would be terrified.

How were the pair of Canadian festivals Trivium played this past weekend?

They were unbelievable. Heavy MTL was one of the best festivals we played all this year. It seems like everyone in the crowd knew everything or at least the ‘In Waves’ stuff. It’s weird with our newest record, even though it’s technically lower selling than the other albums, our band is more known. We’ve noticed that we have a plethora of fans. Everywhere that we’ve played so far it’s been 60 to 90 percent new audiences except in Montreal where the majority has already seen us before. But we’ve really got this whole new influx of fans, there’s the same amount, if not way more people at our shows but a far newer audience.

Is there a certain mindset you have to get into from playing a massive show like Heavy MTL to playing an intimate show with about 50 seats in front of you?

Having never done a solo acoustic show of songs that no one would expect me to do I don’t know what vibe I’m going to get, I’ll figure it out. I was asking Corey Taylor, who was doing those acoustic shows – I saw him do one in front of 8,000 people in Austria and people were freaking out, he played the Spongebob Square Pants Theme, Alice in Chains and all this stuff. So I asked him how he gets into it and he gave me a couple of tips.

What made you decide to do team up with the Moscot Mobileyes foundation?

I’ve always wanted to do things for charity. A lot of people ask me “Why did you cut your hair?” well I was able to donate my hair to charity and it’s great I’m able to utilize my time now to do this and be able to perform and have people made aware of charity that’s by New Yorkers for New Yorkers, but it’s a community taking care of its own community, I like that. I like that our country is hospitable and charity based around the world but it’s good to take care of our own sometimes.

What do you like about an acoustic performance that you don’t get from a full on band performance with massive amps and all that stuff.

When Trivium are playing, I can’t talk as much as I would like to and I like to talk live; the guys would roll their eyes if I’m talking too much. It’s nice to make it so intimate, with Trivium I never get nervous with shows no matter what kind of set it is but I’m always excited and I feel like I kind of learned how to break that barrier that makes it feel like it’s a big show. The fact that I feel like our band has been able to translate a big show feeling like that to a small club show.

You guys have also done some acoustic stuff at radio station visits, Have you thought about doing an acoustic album or tour either solo or with Trivium?

I haven’t thought about it personally yet. I think doing more of these shows — maybe I can join Corey Taylor and do some songs with him. He mentioned, “You know any songs” and unfortunately I don’t really know anybody else’s songs besides our own songs. So that’s why I’m doing this and then hopefully I’ll be ready for a duo performance some day.

How did you choose which songs you were going to perform tonight?

I just wanted to pic some stuff I loved. Roy Orbison is one of my favorite artists ever, he’s the reason why I started looking for and wearing big glasses. Then I came across Moscot and I was like “Cool, big glasses” it’s a really cool brand, it’s a family brand that’s been around for so long. It was just things I felt like doing, artists that I love, like Depeche Mode and Opeth so I figured I might as well. I love Opeth. I guess for the Trivium fans if they were coming, they would be like “What the hell are these song choices?” but it’s just stuff that I love.

This month marks the one year anniversary of ‘In Waves.’ Looking back at the past year, can you describe the fan reaction to the album?

I mean the fact that worldwide it’s the most known album, before people were divided on out second, third and fourth record, what fans knew and what they liked, they were polarized: “I like this one and this one, I don’t like that one.” Now we have more fans specifically just from ‘In Waves.’ Even when I’m like “This is a song off of ‘Ascendency’” there are not as many people going “Yes!” because that used to be the one everyone was always asking for.

So I notice there’s been a big shift, we still have our devout fans we’ve had over the years but we’ve got this new arrival of these very young metal heads all around the world. It’s interesting to see that, at the same time it’s the audience – when we had toured with In Flames in Gothanburg the biggest demographic was 16-22 years old and it’s interesting especially for a band like that who’s on their tenth or eleventh album and so we’ve started getting that, as well.

For you personally, has the way you look at or listen to ‘In Waves’ changed at all?

Going back it was such a long undertaking because it took about two years to do it, a year for the visual concept alone and just planning everything. I think that we made a record that sounds very much so us, it’s definitively us, it’s our band. It also is something different than the rest, so it’s made us really sharpen our senses for the next record to make that record a culmination of the best we do off of all of our stuff. We know what all of our ingredients are, we’ve done some things that are maybe too far in another direction like with ‘Crusades’ we experimented going really far out but it was good that we got to try it.

How has the Trespass America Festival tour been treating you so far?

It’s been amazing, we played Oswego, New York, in front of 95 percent of new people, like 3,000 people, I had to stop the show four times because it was getting too out of hand – people getting in fights, security guards getting into fights with kids. Five Finger Death Punch fans are totally into our band, they completely get it and this tour’s been really great. Our fans are coming out and rocking, Killswitch [Engage] is better than ever with Jesse [Leach]. I can’t believe how amazing Jesse is, he’s one of my favorite singers ever but the fact that he’s nailing Howard’s songs so well, it’s pretty unbelievable.

What do you think of Jesse’s alter-ego Salty Rizz; how was that interview experience?

[Laughs] He said he was going to do a character interview and I was like “Cool.” I saw him in the bathroom tying a do-rag around his head and I was like “What are you doing?” I said you look like your name should be Razz. Then he was like “Rizz, Salty Rizz,” it just came out of nowhere. I was trying to play a character off his character, it was just really funny. If he did it onstage there would be a lot of funny things going on between him and Adam [Dutkiewicz].

Are there any specific songs of other artists you would like to do an acoustic cover of that you haven’t done yet.

There is one that is originally acoustic, that we will be covering on our next record. I can’t say what it is, people will know. It’s an amazing, classic acoustic song.

Check Out Matt Heafy Perform a Cover of Opeth’s ‘Harvest’

Next: See Photos From Matt Heafy's Acoustic Set in NYC

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