Trivium Discusses Recording Upcoming Album With David Draiman
Band Photo: Trivium (?)
Roadrunner Records recently got Trivium bassist Paolo Gregoletto on the phone to talk about the charity bike ride from London to the Download Festival he took part in, as well as the band's upcoming album.
This new release, and follow-up to "In Waves" (reviewed here), was produced by Disturbed and Device frontman David Draiman and is due out in the fall. You can read the full interview here, or check out these excerpts:
RR: Let's talk a little about the upcoming album. What was the writing process like?
Well, I think after going through making In Waves and touring for a whole year, year and a half, we really had the time to figure out what we wanted to do with the next record. Even before we’d gotten with David [Draiman] and started to plan with him, we were trying to get a really concise and clear vision of how we wanted the album to look and how we wanted it to sound, everything. And I think after touring with In Waves and really gelling as a band once again, now with Nick [Augusto] in the band, we were having fun writing again. And we wrote on tour—every tour we did for In Waves, we were writing and writing, and the closer we got to finishing the record cycle, we just kept writing more. And then eventually we got David on board with us, and we started sending demos over to him and he kind of gave us some general notes that he’d send for each song, whether he was feeling it, what he liked about a certain song, what could be better, and we kept going back and forth for maybe a month or so. Once we got to the studio with him, we really dug into the song structures, vocals, lyrics, everything, and that was definitely intense. Ten, 12-hour days of working on the music, writing, something that was—I don’t think we’d ever experienced pre-production that intense before. But it really helped us. We learned a lot from ourselves and from David, being so close together and working that long.
RR: I know David worked very closely with Matt, but did he work that way with everyone?
Honestly, it was all the music, all the lyrics—he was there for everything. Where we recorded was this sort of loft above his house, and that’s where we did a lot of the recording, a lot of the pre-production. We got an electronic drum set and we all just kind of sat around in a circle and we played the stuff, we listened back to demos that we did, we recorded a couple of things, just rough demos so we had the parts recorded and could remember them and reference them later. But he was really hands-on with everything. It was definitely very meticulous, very well organized how he went through attacking every part of a song, whether it was the drums or the guitar parts, bass parts, and finally the vocals, making sure it all fit together really well. I mean, the lyrics and the vocals, that was the biggest thing we had never really had before, was working in pre-production with finished vocal ideas, and I think the thing David really brought to the album was being so well organized and having real clear goals of how we were going to achieve everything along the way. In my opinion, that’s definitely the sign of a great producer, because there are so many things to what a producer does, but in my opinion, being organized and having a real clear-cut plan for how we’re going to achieve all the ideas we’ve been talking about is super-important for a producer.
RR: Do you guys approach a new album as, we did this last time so let’s do something else this time, or is each album a blank slate, creatively?
Definitely in the past, we kind of approached it like...we definitely had some records that were a bit of a 180 from the previous one, but now we’ve really learned what works within our band and it’s really about improving those things, bettering them each time we go into it. I think once you find what your identity is, you just want to keep improving and building upon that, and adding new elements in but also retaining what makes your band unique among the thousands and thousands of bands that are out there. So I think with this record, it wasn’t a total clean slate, it was really just tightening everything up and bringing everything that makes us Trivium together even more and writing the best material and having an album that, start to finish, never really lets up. It never has any filler or dead spots, and I think David really being a fan of Trivium, and really seeing our growth as a band along the way, helped out, because it wasn’t like he was coming in and not really knowing what our band was about. He really understood what we’ve built as a band over the last seven, eight years, and how important it is to really respect all of that and to keep that stuff that’s made us Trivium, and just better it—bigger melodies, bigger hooks, bigger riffs, everything. Sonically, he wanted us to make a thicker-sounding album, and he definitely really pushed Colin [Richardson] and Carl [Brown] to make this our biggest-sounding record. And I think they did an amazing job, to be honest. We’ve worked with Colin for so many records now, and he’s totally outdone himself.
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