Central Florida’s Trivium formed in 2000 and quickly raised the bar in the metal genre with their blend of metalcore, thrash, and progressive metal. Paolo Gregoletto is, hands down, one of the most talented musicians and songwriters to hit the metal scene. Not only does he have an amazing ability to play bass, his songwriting abilities are second to none. In 2020 and eight studio albums deep into the band’s career, Trivium have come back, literally, with a masterpiece, titled “What the Dead Men Say”. Here’s what Paolo had to say about what’s coming out of the Trivium camp in 2020.
Trivium band pic
How’s everything going during this lockdown Paolo?
P: I’m doing fine. I’m enjoying my extra time at home, I hope like everyone else is.
We’re really digging the new album. It is such an amazing evolution from the last album. What does the title, “What Dead Men Say” declare?
P: Thank you. I mean, I got the title from my favorite author, who is Philip K. Dick. It’s from a short story with that title, and I kind of discovered it when I was kind of looking around for Inspiration for lyrics. I really like how his writing is very oddball and very intriguing, very philosophical, and I feel that the title left a lot of interpretation of what it could mean. I thought it would fit very well, and in one of the songs, we could jam it to see if it worked, and one of them just happened to have the perfect spot for it. I felt like it left a lot of room for interpretation.
I feel like there’s a story to tell with the new album with a lot of interchangeable parts. Can you elaborate on the process?
P: I mean when we’re doing the lyrics, a lot of times stuff that we bring in, like I will bring some stuff in, I try to turn the lyrics into a real narrative. Whether it's a complete start to finish storyline that has all the details, even though it’s tricky to do in a 4 to 5 minute song. But if you have enough details and narrative that it feels like a story, I think there are times that people pick up on that. Then the listener can use their imagination and fill in the other details that aren’t maybe in those lyrics. I think when we do that, then the whole album can tell different stories or one story.
How have the fans responded so far with the new album?
P: On our end it’s been incredible. We decided to release the record on schedule, and we kind of knew that would be possibly sacrificing a little bit of what the first week sales would be. But we decided to just go ahead with that. We felt strongly about the music, and we wanted it to be out when we said it would be. The first week we barely sold less than the last time, and we actually in some countries, debuted on the album charts for the first time ever and it’s been on the highest charting position. It’s been a real amazing reaction even with the fact that we can’t go out and tour right now. The overall reaction we got from people has been incredible. We felt strongly that the record would connect with people and took a chance on releasing it when we had no ability to go out and play live.
It is an amazing album for sure. 2020 as a whole has been really putting out some amazing albums. What new releases have you listened to?
P: You know I’m always trying to find new releases, and I think metal has some of the most talented people in it. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but there is friendly competition between bands. I feel everyone has to step it up, and you know, it’s fun to have so many bands out there releasing alongside you. The week before we put out our record, Black Dahlia Murder put out their album, which is incredible. Everything they’ve done, and the caliber of bands in our genre, just makes me want to go in and try to write the best stuff you can. Because you know someone else is out there writing that next thing that’s going to step it up even more. We have just been really trying to push ourselves, especially now that Alex has joined the band to further our sound and go places that we haven’t gone before.
Out of the songs on the new album, what’s your favorite song?
P: That’s a tough one. I feel like an album like this, we put so much time and energy into each track, we only wrote literally what is on the record. There are no b-sides; there is nothing that ever felt like, okay this one doesn’t belong in the record. Everything that was coming into this rehearsal room, is going on the record. We weren’t bringing anything more than we needed to, and I feel that there was such a certain attachment to the songs now that we put that level of commitment to each one. To pick a favorite would be tough. I think the title track and “Catastrophist” are two of my favorites. I love the way that they start the record. But if it’s every time I listen to the album in its entirety, I feel each song is great in its own way, so it’s tough to find one favorite.
With the recording process on this album, was it different from what you’ve done in the past, or do you guys follow a similar process album to album?
P: I think we established a real good process on this album. The key to it is our rehearsal before we get into the studio. We like to jam a lot, and like to record demos on our own, before we even get with Josh in the studio. The big change this time was that we recorded drums last. So, when we started in the studio, when we were doing the templates for the songs, with like the tempos and all that stuff, we had Alex play an electric kit. That way, as he recorded, we were recording to the midi drums. So, if we needed to make any changes last minute while we were recording, it was easy to change. Then we went out to LA to 606 studios, which is Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters Studio. We did the drums there. It was a really great way to put the record together because, usually drummers are playing to a scratch track and a click track. This time he had music, solos and vocals. So, the entire recording was mapped out. The vibe was there. I don’t think we’ll go back to any other way. Every single aspect was looked over, and having the drums at the end was an integral part to polish this album.
Is Alex your permanent drummer, both touring and recording?
P: I mean Alex is in the band. When we got him with us in the early part of November 2017. That was it. He is a great player, and brought so much to the table. His writing abilities, and musicianship he’s definitely a part of the band.
Looking at the industry right now, do you feel streaming is taking over the tangible (CDs etc.)?
P: I think live streaming is probably the norm now. I just think the way people consume stuff, and just kind of everyone having a smartphone and the concept of streaming just didn’t make sense maybe 15 years ago, but once it moved past the iPod into just being on your phone, now it seems like it would be hard to come back from that. But I still think people love to have physical copies of recordings, vinyl or CD or something like a novelty. So, for metal, I think the whole packaging stuff is still a very important part of this, and at least for us, it’s not going away anytime soon. Maybe never will. I think people will always want to have physical stuff. I definitely prefer streaming. I love to find new stuff. It allowed me to come and just explore a lot more new music.
Do you follow your influences or listen to new music to expand your horizon?
P: I have my favorite bands and a lot of musicians that I listen to growing up are still my favorites. I still will go back and just jam from time to time, but I do love discovering the new stuff coming out. The ability to discover new music has never been easier.
I think like you know if you’re in an industry or something that you do like, you want to know what else is out there, and what’s coming out, what’s new and what are people excited about now. I think that’s an integral part of being a songwriter. You want to know what other people are doing. I get a lot of inspiration from hearing new bands. There’s an excitement to that. Especially when bands are coming out with their first few records. There’s a real fire. I always wanted us to have that energy going into a record.
That’s what is kinda cool about us being around for a while is that bringing on newer bands on tour, we can champion some of them and find great new bands to come on board.
What have you been doing during the downtime?
P: It’s been pretty cool. I’ve been doing bass and songwriting lessons online. I have been picking people’s brains about their songwriting and the process.
Do you have any inspirational thoughts for your fans?
P: I just always want to thank everyone for supporting us and especially during this time. You know, especially when things are really just tough out there. Thank you so much!

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