EDITOR’S NOTE: This interview was originally published on 2011/08/13
Away-Team: I’m here with Corey Beaulieu from TRIVIUM, thank you Corey for taking time to talk with us today! So you were born in Maine, and TRIVIUM hails from Florida, how did you end up hooking up with them?
Corey Beaulieu: After I graduated High School, I needed something to do. I always wanted to be in a band, but up there I didn’t have a band, there just wasn’t anything going on up there. I couldn’t find any musicians. Up there it isn’t really much of a metal scene…
Away-Team: You mean Maine isn’t the hot bed for metal in America?!?!?!
Corey Beaulieu: You’d think… but no! (laughs) it was very hard to find people that could actually play the kind of music I wanted to play. So after I graduated High School I needed to do something and I was always interested in recording so I moved to Orlando, Fl and went to Full Sail for recording. And before I even started classes, I heard about this club right around the corner from where I was living that had a metal show. I went there and TRIVIUM was one of the local bands, they were a three piece at the time. And when they played I was like, ‘Wow, these guys play the same kind of shit I am in to.’ I ended up meeting Matt’s Dad who was managing the band at the time. He gave me some info on the band and said they were playing this thing at Full Sail the next week so I went there. I got introduced to Matt, we became friends, emailed back and forth, I’d see him at other metal shows and whatever. Then a year later I saw on their website they were looking for a second guitar player so I hit them up and told them I was interested in trying out. He knew I played guitar, but he had never seen my play guitar he just knew we had some of the same influences. I went over to his house one day and we jammed, I had learned a few songs of theirs before I went there and we just jammed. After that he asked me to come jam with the band, so I jammed with the band and they were like, ‘you wanna be in the band?’ and that’s all I’ve been doing ever since.
Away-Team: Did you complete Full Sail or just blow it off for the riches and fame of TRIVIUM?
Corey Beaulieu: (laughs) I joined the band about a month before I graduated, so after I graduated I just went full on with the band. And eventually it all took off and did what it’s done and we are lucky enough to make a career out of it. Luckily I didn’t have to go schlep around for a job, because a job in that field that I went to school for is every difficult to find a job today. Since there’s no studios, the only people that have studios anymore are like in their own homes or whatever. Nobody goes to traditional studios anymore. Even people I went to school with at Full Sail seven years ago, nobody has a job in that field anymore. I was very fortunate that even going down there to do that, I was able to actually do what I wanted and that was be in a band. I always say I paid $35,000 to join a band (laughs).
Away-Team: (laughs) And Full Sail can use you for the job placement advertising… ‘Join Full Sail and you too can become a Rock Star!’
Corey Beaulieu: Yeah, well, no one’s ever hit me up from there. (laughs)
Away-Team: You and Matt share lead and rhythm guitar duties in the band. While not the first time for a band, it is definitely unique. How did you come up with this style for Trivium, and how does it benefit you and the band?
Corey Beaulieu: Well….
Away-Team: I mean, you normally have two guitarists, and your lead guy is the shredder, he’s the one that stands out and rips out a solo as guys throw horns into the air and girls throw their panties on stage… You have some great licks; you have a great talent on the guitar…
Corey Beaulieu: Wow, thank you…
Away-Team: Does sharing that with Matt take away from that ‘guitar god’ status a little bit? Do you lose a little individuality when you share lead guitar with another guitarist?
Corey Beaulieu: Not Really… We both have different styles of playing; we both like playing lead, so we chose to both do it. We just divvy it up evenly as much as possible. And it is cool because we have different takes on playing lead so there are different dynamics within the song and within the solos by trading off. Ever since I joined the band as he was the only guitar player, since I could do lead also, just right out of the box we said let’s both do it. It was a natural thing for us, so we just did it, and a lot of our favorite bands growing up except for Metallica had that, Megadeth was Mustaine and Friedman, Slayer both play lead, Iron Maiden had… well they have three lead players now. I just always liked the multiple lead guitar thing, especially when you have one guy with a monster solo and it just leads into another solo by the other guy… It’s just always been a natural part of our sound. I think now on the new album too it has really worked out because Matt just found the sound that thing he was going after on it, a certain style and feel, and what suited his playing the best. He’s doing more melodic old school, kinda simplistic solos, and I’m doing the melodic slash shreddy stuff. It is very easy to decipher who’s playing which solo because our styles on this album are so different and distinct. We’re not treading the same waters playing the same fast crazy shit all the time. Since we both like to play lead that has just always been our signature sound and part of our songwriting.
Away-Team: Your musical style has changed over the years, you are no longer thought of as metalcore, which I never pegged you as, but more straight forward thrash. Was that a conscious decision on your part, or was it just maturing and stretching as musicians?
Corey Beaulieu: We just play every record as we just play whatever we feel like playing. It’s all very natural for us, we don’t go, ‘oh let’s do this record this way, and then we’ll do the next record sounding like that.’ We just start writing the songs and in that moment and time it just takes its own shape and sound. The style just dictates itself we don’t consciously decide, ‘oh on Crusade we’re going to do this.’ Musically it just came out naturally. We always find new influences to incorporate into the new album; we don’t want to keep churning out the same shit every album, so we’re always pushing the boundaries of what we can do with our songwriting. This last album (In Waves out now!), we decided we needed to define our sound. Because the last couple of albums we were experimenting with different tunings, different sounds, and different styles of songs and just seeing what we could do. On this record we just knew what the record had to be and we just wanted to write a record that was a career defining moment. Just put our foot down, like we’re fucking serious here, this is a serious fucking metal album, and just solidify our sound. So you’re like, ‘oh, that’s TRIVIUM! That’s their sound, that’s what they are all about.’ The other thing we wanted was to make the album sound cohesive, we wanted the songs to flow, to have the same style and sound, so that none of the songs were like an odd man out and didn’t fit the record, they all have the same…. vibe or sound or feel to them, that they belonged on that record. We just wrote a lot of songs and made sure that the songs worked well and fit with the other songs on the record. And we also made the heaviest record we have ever done. The heavy stuff is heavier and more intense than anything else we’ve ever done.
Away-Team: The band came out after Shogun, and said that it was what it was, that you couldn’t describe what/or who it sounded like. It was Trivium and it stood on its own. Were you guys really that concerned about the comparisons to Metallica or other bands then? Isn’t there some sense of flattery of being compared to one of the biggest metal bands in the world?
Corey Beaulieu: When people listen to music, they are always gauging shit, always comparing them to someone else. If you read a review it is always, ‘for fans of this,’ or ‘if you like this band you’ll love this.’ I guess being compared to the biggest metal band of all time is not a bad thing I just felt it was kind of limiting as far as… Take The Crusade record, I listen to that and there are influences on there, riffs, songs, tones, styles, that are just in no way comparable to Metallica. And Matt’s vocals may style wise remind you of James, but he doesn’t sound like James. I just think a lot of the songs and riffs on that record are just very Un-Metallica. I think Shogun stepped away from that more and this record (In Waves out now!!!) that , ‘oh they sound like Metallica clones’ has been put to rest, at least by us. If people say that now, then they are fucking idiots. You’re obviously not listening to what we are playing. Don’t get me wrong, they are obviously a big metal influence, but so are Megadeth, Testament, Slayer, and Iron Maiden. There are a lot of stuff in there. Over the years we have found a way to take those influences, with other elements outside that style of music, and put our own twist on it, so that now what you hear is TRIVIUM only. I think In Waves sets us apart from other bands out there today, it ensures that we don’t sound too much like anyone else, it sounds like TRIVIUM in vocals, and in guitar riffs, so that if we are to be compared, it is them to us.
Away-Team: On a festival like this, the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival, you play about 35 minutes, what do you do the other 23.5 hours of the day to keep from being bored out of your mind or trapped on the bus?
Corey Beaulieu: We try to catch a lot of the bands on the side stages, just hang out and watch them perform. We try and do a lot of press, and there are a lot of people on this tour, so it’s always a lot of just hanging out with other bands. There’s always something going on. After our set, we shower, dinner, and then go watch Megadeth. There’s always something going on, a party here and there, enough people to make something happen all the time.
Away-Team: In Waves comes out next week (at time of interview… In Waves came out last Tuesday! Go. Get. It.), Mayhem ends in a few weeks, what’s next on the horizon for TRIVIUM?
Corey Beaulieu: Yes, In Waves comes out, go pick it up! After Mayhem we have about a month long tour with Dream Theater from mid September to October. Then Europe from early November through almost Christmas. We haven’t properly toured over there in fucking ages so that should be a blast! We’re touring there with In Flames so that should be killer. Then next year is Australia, South America which hasn’t been announces yet.
Away-Team: Is that headlining?
Corey Beaulieu: No! We’ve never been there before so we are going with some other bands that have. We felt the safest route was to go with someone who has done it before, instead of going on our own and guessing and making huge mistakes. We’re going with two other bands that have been down there a few times before, and we have a lot of demands to play down there and a lot of fans down there so we are really looking forward to that. Hopefully in the spring we’ll be back in the US touring again. Yesterday our first active rock radio single went out to all the stations, so hopefully that takes off soon, some stations already have it in full rotation and hopefully more pick it up. And if it really takes off on the radio and gets us new fans it could really change the landscape of what we do tour wise in the spring. Call your local rock radio station and fucking request some TRIVIUM!!!
Away-Team: Yeah DAMNIT!
Corey Beaulieu: Yeah, we need that shit! (laughs)
Away-Team: Good luck with the single, new album, the tours, and continued success Corey, and thank you again for taking the time to sit in this wonderful 100 degree heat and talk with us!
Corey Beaulieu: Thank you, the album is out, you can check us out online, if you like what you hear buy it please! And support music!
Away-Team: And… Trivium sounds like… Trivium.
Corey Beaulieu: Yes… Heavy Metal Baby!!!! (laughs)
There is a long list of people to thank for making this and all of our Mayhem Fest interviews happen, so, forgive me if I forgot anyone, but thanks to Lilly at Roadrunner, Bill at eOne Music, Rikki, Natalie, and Jessica at Adrenaline, and Laura Jean with Mayhem.
For more TRIVIUM click here.