Editor’s Note: It was an honor to be speaking with Trivium for the 3rd time in my career! They have quickly evolved to one of my personal favorite bands due to their riffs and they absolutely annihilate live! I got to see them throw down with Arch Enemy, While She Sleeps, and Fit For An Autopsy at The Truman in Kansas City, Missouri. In this, I focused on Paolo as the artist and craftsman that he is as the bassist for Trivium. Trivium is still on their co-headlining tour with Arch Enemy. You can find Trivium at the following locations:
Without further delay, here is my conversation inside Trivium’s tour bus with Paolo Gregoletto, bassist of Trivium!
M.T.C.: How has the tour with Arch Enemy been going so far?
Paolo: It’s been killer! We’ve had a lot of sold-out shows, a lot of packed shows, I think tonight will be really packed as well. We’re very stoked with how it’s gone, I mean we couldn’t have asked for a better tour to have with the release of the new record.
M.T.C.: On the tour with Arch Enemy, what have been some crazy moments and memories that you have had with them so far?
Paolo: Probably the craziest moments are on stage, after the show, everyone is really wiped out, I think Montreal was probably the rowdiest, just because we had a day off the next day, so everyone could turn it up a little bit after the show. For the most part, it’s been pretty chill, because of the drives and the crew gets up super early. This is the first tour that we’ve had where we had a semi truck, so load-in’s are a lot earlier than normal.
M.T.C.: Kind of a silly question, is that how you know you’ve made it is when you start getting semi trucks of equipment?
Paolo: Yeah, I mean, Arch Enemy and us wanted to put on the biggest show possible and it ended up just making more sense for us to, well, we pretty much took the same lighting and put it into two separate shows in order to save a lot of space and to save a lot of headaches, but we still needed a truck in order to carry everyone’s gear and stuff, and it ended up being way easier to just end up having a truck and sharing it as opposed to a trailer.
M.T.C.: I am especially intrigued with “The Sin and The Sentence” record, and you providing on the rhythm section with new drummer Alex Bent of BattleCross, has the approach been different for you in terms of providing the rhythm for a new drummer, essentially how did that process play out?
Paolo: It’s been rewarding. Whatever I have to work with on the drums, I make it happen, and I have a good idea on what I want to do on my end. It just is always better if there is something cool to play over, and Alex is just a great drummer, he’s very solid in the technical sense, but when it came to writing some really cool parts, he really stepped it up in the little amount of time we’ve been playing together. For me, it was great because for the most part, I don’t worry about the final bass parts until I’m in the studio, it’s like I’m thinking about the song overall or the vocals and lyrics in the rehearsals. When I get into the studio and he tracks the drums and I hear the final things, I’m like, “all right, this is great”, now it’s bass time, I can think about it, and when I have something cool to play over, it just makes it easier for me.
M.T.C.: If you could play one song off of “The Sin and The Sentence”, what would it be?
Paolo: I’m excited to play “Sever The Hand”. The last time we played it was in the rehearsal, and it was fun, “The Revanchist” is always fun. I mean having to already play it in the studio. Everything felt very fun and easy to play, not that it was easy to play, but it felt easy as in comfortable, like we’ve been playing it for awhile, when we play songs from “The Sin and The Sentence”, it feels so comfortable to play. We wanted that second nature feeling to go into recording, and getting out the studio, we can play the whole record right now if we had to. That was kind of a cool feeling, but it was kind of like in previous records, “how did we play this part, what is this”, there was not a lot of stuff to relearn, maybe little bits here and there, like some solo stuff, or some vocal parts, but the main chunk of the music, the riffs, we’ve been playing that for months and months.
“Sever The Hand” by Trivium
“The Ravenchist” by Trivium
M.T.C.: The record felt like a natural progression, what does each band member of Trivium bring to the table when it comes to going into the studio?
Paolo: When it comes to writing, it usually starts with song or riff ideas that Matt, Corey, or myself will bring in. It might be on a demo on a speaker, we will teach each other the riffs, and we’ll kind of start playing it and feeling it out. Then, we will sit back and discuss it, and kind of bring up any issues that we have if something doesn’t feel right. A new thing that we added to the process was adding the vocals and lyrics right away on the same day that we learned how to play each other’s songs. If there are any vocal ideas ready to go or something, even if it was just a few lines, we use that and that helped us really shape the music into the final form. It’s not like, “we’ll learn a bunch of music and get it down and then get into the studio to try to fit vocals in”, it’s like flipped on its head. When we all get in there, it becomes one mind, it’s not like, “he’s calling the shots on it”, once everyone learns the stuff, it’s fair game, we’re going to take the song where it needs go and the best ideas that have when you put the best idea out there, if most of the people are feeling it, that’s probably the best idea, when we kind of know that’s how it works, we just moved really quick, and Alex just sped up the process because he’s a really quick learner, and he was ready to hit the ground running right away.
M.T.C.: What advice would you give to bass players that are trying to hone their craft?
Paolo: Find like minded people if you can and play with a lot of people if you can, especially if you’re just kind of getting started, don’t rush for like an instant record deal or instant fame, think of it as going to high school or college, you want to get as much experiences as you can, you want to figure out what you are as a player, and what you need to get better at, you need to experience other people and that’s just not from playing, but with personalities, that makes a big difference down the line, and just don’t rush it, just enjoy the ride, that’s one thing that I can tell people now is just to slow down and enjoy learning things and experiencing the ascent in your music career.
M.T.C.: Just a quick observation, I see this beautiful tour bus that seems comfortable, is this what you envisioned from when you started in Trivium in 2004, or do you feel like you’re taking steps in the career of Trivium to ascent to the summit?
Paolo: I feel that we have a long way to go. There’s always room to grow, the day that you stop trying to grow as a band is the day that you’re done, it’s always shrinking down. I feel like you’re always trying to fight back in the career, you’re coming out with a new record and you have to fight for new fans and fight for relevance, so you’re always pushing and growing, but when we started, our goal was to get to this point, to get bigger than this, so it’s like I couldn’t have guessed that it would happen, but we were coming out of the gate and we were like, “it’s going to be this or nothing”, there was no “Trivium is going to tour in a van for 15 years” and just kind of bounce around, that’s just us, we want to grow this and make this big and make music that makes people feel something and want to come out and see us live, it’s been a long 12 years, but we’ve always viewed each record as a building block to the next step. It takes time but the payoff is worth it in the end.
M.T.C.: Do you feel that with social media it’s tougher for bands to fight for that relevancy?
Paolo: Yeah, it’s an attention economy, you gotta keep people’s eyes on you, it’s very tough, but you have to be willing to be everywhere, and not be afraid to be out of your comfort zone, whether it means writing some music that pushes your sound to a wider audience, or a promo that you wouldn’t think would help you but it could, just always looking for opportunities, it takes everything, it’s all hands on deck, every band member, management, and label. We’re always so engaged in everything, we’re always hitting up our manager if we have ideas, it’s non-stop, it’s 24/7.
M.T.C.: I know that you have to get ready for tonight, but I’m going to give you the floor to talk about “The Sin and The Sentence”, and why people should pick up, essentially anything you want to say about it.
Paolo: I think for different fans, it’s for different reasons, if you are a fan of Trivium from the beginning and for whatever reason, haven’t been into what we’re doing lately, or just people just kind of get into other stuff and things can kind of float to the wayside, I think this record is something that you will definitely want to hear and interest you into what we do once again. For people that are new to us, I think this record is a good “best of what we do” in terms of what we have done in the past, what we have done over the years. We made sure that we have kept the melody and catchiness of the last few records, we just upped the intensity a lot more, for the people that have been with us since day one, it’s sort of like the record that they have been waiting for awhile, it’s something for everyone, and for us, we had a lot of fun making it, and I think that it comes through in the record, and playing it live, it’s some of our best lab material that we have made. It took us a long time for us to figure out how to come up with an idea in demo form and get it to something that is a killer live track, and now we have made a whole record of that, we hope that people like it and that people will want to come see it live.
M.T.C.: Leave us with a message to the fans.
Paolo: If you came and saw us, thank you very much, it keeps us alive when people come out to see us. If you haven’t seen us and want to come see us on this tour, definitely go and get tickets because there will be a lot of sell-outs coming down the line, we’ve already had a couple already, and definitely come out and check it out. It will be worth your while with this setlist.
M.T.C.: It was an honor to talk to you.
Paolo: Thank you very much, I appreciate the coverage!
There you have it! Check out Trivium’s latest video entitled “Thrown Into The Fire” below!
Check out Trivium on tour with Arch Enemy, While She Sleeps, and Fit For An Autopsy
Thursday, November 23rd- Vogue Theater in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Friday, November 24th- Showbox SoDo in Seattle, Washington
Saturday, November 25th- Roseland Theater in Portland, Oregon
Monday, November 27th- Ace of Spades in Sacramento, California
Tuesday, November 28th- The Regency Ballroom in San Francisco, California
Wednesday, November 29th- The Wiltern in Los Angeles, California
Friday, December 1st- Marquee Theater in Tempe, Arizona
Saturday, December 2nd- Sunshine Theater in Albuquerque, New Mexico
Monday, December 4th- Gas Monkey Live! in Dallas, Texas
Tuesday, December 5th- Alamo City Music Hall in San Antonio, Texas
Wednesday, December 6th- Warehouse Live in Houston, Texas
Thursday, December 7th- Soul Kitchen in Mobile, Alabama
For tickets and further information, click here!
ICYMI: Check out our review of “The Sin and The Sentence” here!