Trivium have rolled into Nottingham with their Into The Mouth Of Hell Tour, and I’m sat backstage with chief axe-wielder Corey Beaulieu. We’ve done the pleasantries; he’s doing ok, we’re doing ok, and essentially all is happy. Thing is, when people found out I was interviewing him, there seemed to be one topic people wanted me to talk about… so I decided to jump in with two feet.
OneMetal: OK, I’m going to have to get this out of the way, and its probably the question you’re expecting the most… whats the truth behind Travis and Nick?
Corey:(laughing) Yeah yeah.. Well it’s kinda like a really long story. But, over time, things just kinda weren’t working out, and we did a headline tour of the US and about halfway through Travis just said he wasn’t going to do the next tour, so regardless we had to think about getting someone to fill in, then once we started playing with Nick we just knew it was the right thing. At that time though we didnt know whether it was going to be Nick specifically or somebody else. We just knew it had to be somebody new, and for the benefit of moving the band forward we had to do it. It was either moving forward, not going backwards or just falling apart. Its just something we had to do to move everything forward in a fucking positive way.
OneMetal: Are there truths in what we are hearing about the way Travis was fired, was it amicable?
Corey:Well we were on a tour so we had to do it over the phone. We were just like ‘Hey we’ve decided to go on with out you’ and stuff, and he was like ‘Yeah, alright whatever…’ Something was going to happen it was just whether it was coming from us or from him. Things were falling apart, and we just kind of pulled the trigger first, just to get it done, move forward and get the new guy settled in and comfortable. It’s been working really great with Nick and when people see the show they will see why.
OneMetal: Yeah Nick seems to be fitting in well, are the fans ok with it now?
Corey:Well at first fans were unsure as to what was really happening as to Travis sitting out the tour and stuff. But when we dropped the news, people were really kind of taken away. The benefit we had though was having a new song that we recorded with Nick, so we were able to make the announcement and say “Here’s Nick”. Once the song came out everyone was like yeah alright, it’s all kinda cool.
OneMetal: We’re talking Shattering The Skies…
Corey:Yeah, yeah. Once that came out everyone was really cool, and you know changing a member after such a long time, people get attached to a lineup and so changing members can always take some getting used to. Nick’s been with us now a number of weeks, more and more people have seen us and I think he’s really settling in. People are diggin’ it so its all cool.
OneMetal: It’s all good then, so we’ll leave that be, and move on to ‘Shattering The Skies Above’ and the whole ‘God Of War’ thing… how did that come about?
Corey: I guess, Sony was thinking of doing something, and one of the guys had previously worked at a label or something at some point, and was a big metal fan.
OneMetal: Is it just a Roadrunner showcase thing?
Corey: Yeah yeah, previously they did the whole joint thing with Roadrunner. We just got asked if we’d be interested in doing it, I mean we’ve had other songs from albums on video games, but this is the first time we’ve actually written a song specifically for something instead of for an album. It was good though, we got to take our time and just focus on just that one song. It was a lot of fun, we’d jam some stuff and we were all just throwing riff ideas around. Once we we’re on tour during soundchecks we’d start piecing the riffs together, and then we just went and recorded it. We’d all been working on new music, and we were all anxious to start work on the new album, so it gave us a little ‘test run’. Especially with like a new drummer it was good to just ease him in without having to go in a record a whole record. He was able to just work on the one song, as he’d never recorded in like a proper studio. It was good that it was his first experience. It worked out really well, and gave us some new music as our new record wont be out til next year… so the fans will either like it because its a new song, but if they like it they may hate it because they’ve got to wait til next year for the next fucking album (laughing).
OneMetal: Did you guys get advance copies of the game then?
Corey:When we left for the tour they didn’t have any then, back in February. But I know by the time we get back home we’ll have copies. The game will be out by then anyway. I played the first one when it came out, and I remember it being pretty cool back then, but it’s not really my thing. I’m more into sports games. But being on a game, now I gotta play it!
OneMetal: You guys are quite associated with the whole game arena. There was the recent online Call Of Duty event…but you’re more sports games?
Corey: Definitely, yeah yeah yeah, like football and hockey …
OneMetal: I presume you don’t mean the proper football like FIFA or ISS (laughing)?
Corey: (laughing) I did actually have one of the FIFA soccer games a long long time ago, but I am a proper American Football nut, so I play that game religiously.
OneMetal: What’s your console of choice then… do you have to say PS3 now because of God Of War?
Corey:(laughing) Oh yeah yeah, I mean I have a PS3, but like when the Madden game comes out a buy a copy for all systems, so I can play it out on tour and everywhere, no matter what. I always play PS3 at home, but I also have a 360 at home, but for some reason it’s like never played. I guess I’m just so used to the Playstation controller that its always just what I go for.
OneMetal: What about the Wii, you gone for one of those yet?
Corey: I haven’t yet, I almost got one last year but they were all sold out… and then I lost interest.
OneMetal: And where do you stand on Guitar Hero?
Corey:Hmmm… Nah, I’d rather play a real guitar. I mean there’s probably a load of people that play the game that also play a real instrument, but then there’s those that play the game that have no interest in playing guitar. Like college students just having fun, so its great for an actual game but it cant replace the real thing. It helps a lot of bands though and gives them a lot of added attention, records sales just from having a song. Its just like a good way of getting music across to younger generations for bands they may not have heard. But you gotta look at it as just another video game, and if people want to play guitar or instrument they’ll just do it regardless of the game.
OneMetal: Talking of guitars, I want to talk to you about Jackson. You guys have been associated with Dean for a number of years, and now you’re with Jackson and we hear you have another signature coming out?
Corey:Yeah, yeah… well I was with Jackson before I was with Dean. That was like when I started off, but at the time Jackson was owned by Fender, and it was really hard being like a new band, to be able to get the gear I wanted. But then I got introduced to Dean who were full on, like whatever I wanted to do, so I jumped at that opportunity. So we did that for a few years, but then at the end of last year we just weren’t happy with how our stuff was being made. We’d had our signatures out for like a year and we were totally unhappy at how that was being handled. It was just like, “here’s your signatures and we’re not going to do anything for it”. We were just really unhappy, and just didn’t see eye to eye about how things were being done. So we were like “you don’t seem to really be into it, so we’re just going to leave”. So we both left, we didn’t have any deals, Matt started playing his Les Paul again, and I went back to my Jackson’s again, cos those were always just our favourite instruments. I mean with my Dean signature I tried to pretty much model it off how my Jacksons played. The company had changed though, and Jacksons have always been my favourite guitars, even when recording some of our other albums I alsways used them in the studio because they played so well. So I was very stoked that I could rejoin, and they are totally on board and I get to design my own signature. I get to design my guitar and they are going to release it next Winter at the next Winter NAMM.
OneMetal: Presumably you are going to be over there launching it then? Any insight into what we can expect?
Corey: It’s just a bad-ass guitar. It’s a flying V, and it was kind of like my original idea for my Dean, but they like had a lot of reservations in doing what I really wanted. But with my Dean, the design came out alright, there was just a lot of stuff on that wasn’t right. They just launched it so quick I just didn’t get a chance to sort out some of the details. I ended up living with it for a while, but I ended up “this has gotta go, and this has gotta go”. So I had a friend who had like Photoshop, and he like made a photoshop guitar of what I wanted, and I went to Jackson with it, saying this is what I want to do, and they fucking loved it. They took my original idea and made it a little more extreme, or streamlined, classier. They put that Jackson fucking edge to it, and I’m pretty fucking stoked and overall it plays amazing so I’m pretty fucking happy. You see it on stage as I’m playing the prototypes.
OneMetal: Would you class the guitar as being for guitarists, or for fans of the band… or both? Certain signature models seem to be so fucking expensive that it’s got to be only die hard fans going for it.
Corey: Well, the thing is with Jackson. I mean I don’t know how it’s going to be launched. But there’s going to be different versions. I mean the most expensive will be like $1200 and then there will be a cheaper model at like $400-$500. Otherwise there would be no point. I mean there’s always going to be fans of the band that are like, “I started playing guitar because of you and Matt”, and they’re going to want to get the guitar and whatnot. I mean most of the guys buying them are going to be teenagers, and what teenager is going to spend like $4000 on a guitar. I mean, we could do it for like a limited edition of like a hundred of them, but the actual stuff that is going to be mass produced will be really well made affordable guitars that everyone will be able to get their hands on.
OneMetal: One final question though on the guitars. When I started out playing, the only ones with any kind of signatures or “artist” series were Fender, with the likes of Clapton, Stevie Ray sort of thing… but now it seems everyone has one. I mean there’s even an Avril Lavigne signature… do you think the signature market has been cheapened now?
Corey: Yeah, I mean, like certain companies, every fucking person seems on their artist roster. I mean ESP’s got a lot of them, and Dean keeps pumping them out. I mean they may be good players, but I don’t see the benefit to the company. I mean some of them don’t have much of a following and unless its like a really cool guitar people aren’t going to want to buy it. But it’s cool with like Jackson, because there’s not like a shit tonne of signatures, and all the guys that do have them, you can definitely tell why. I mean they definitely have their own thing. It’s really cool as I guess they just don’t give them, to anybody. They seem to be far more selective, with the likes of Phil Demmel and Mark Morton.
OneMetal: Yeah, and like with Demmel you have the Demmelition, are we going to get a cool name for yours?
Corey: (laughing) Well that works out really well with his name… I did think about it, because the last couple of tours everyone has started calling me King, because like my middle name is King, so there was like the Jackson King V’s but they already have that so I cant use my middle name. So up to now I haven’t thought of anything clever, so hopefully something will jump out or happen, or I’ll end up using my initials like I did with Dean. It’s still a little ways off though before I need a decision on that.(laughing)
OneMetal: Fair enough then, looking forward to checking it out when its here, so moving on to the music scene in general. I presume you heard about the whole Rage Against The Machine Christmas chart thing…
Corey: Oh yeah yeah yeah…
OneMetal: What’s your opinion on the whole American Idol/X-Factor reality music thing?
Corey:Oh man… I mean who buys that shit. It’s just like normal average people. But I’ve watched American Idol, and if you watch it from the beginning you get sucked in, it’s just like any other TV show. You get the whole story line, all the different people on the show with their stories. Its just kind of like a TV show, but then you get the music. People get attached to whoever is on the show and when they put out a song its like (in a cracking falsetto voice) “oh yeah I gotta buy it, yeah yeah yeah”. But alot of the people on American Idol if they came out with music, they would just be like a dime a dozen, with the same old shit. But I guess being on American Idol gives them a platform to connect with people so that people like that person and want to buy their stuff. But there’s like 15 other people that have cds that sound exactly like it. Its just a TV show, I mean Simon Cowell is one smart motherfucker. He knows how to make some cash. I mean I wouldn’t mind getting in on a piece of that. But it is what it is.
OneMetal: Do you think it’s harming the industry though? I mean we’re being told what to listen to. You can download any music via the web. I mean do you guys now have to tour to make any money out of it?
Corey: Nah, we tour because that’s how we built up our fan base, not because we write a song to get on the radio. Its like building from grass roots up, bringing the music to the people. I mean its a tough time to play the music that we do and make a decent living out of it. Record sales every year keep dropping, and on tour, touring’s got more expensive because of like rising gas prices and such like, and any money from record sales has got sucked out. Your bottom line can be the same, but what you’re left with is going down, cos there’s so much other shit you have to deal with. It’s pretty tough.
I think it’s just the young kids are so used to getting everything for free, that paying for a concert is so foreign to them. People bitching about downloading something for $20 or like on iTunes you can buy an album for $7.99 why is that an unreasonable price to pay. I mean you can buy a pack of gum for a buck, why wouldn’t you pay a buck for a song? It costs money to make an album that sounds good, why is it hard not to pay for the efforts. I mean its a transitional period and hopefully some record label will figure out how to save their ass. I mean the amount of people who actually sell platinum nowadays is smaller numbers. I mean even someone like Lady GaGa like ten years ago would be selling double the numbers they are now. Its like Linkin Park, in 2002 that record came out and it sold like 8 million copies in like no time. Each time you put out a record though its like record sales have dropped by thirty percent… so it’s like “yikes”(laughing).
OneMetal: Well we’re just about out of time, so we’ll call it a day there. Thanks for spending time with us, and best of luck with the tour.
Corey: Ha ha (laughing) Yeah end it on the dreary ending… It’s cool, been good talking to you.