Trivium have been making the most of a time when live music has disappeared, running two hugely-successful livestreams to date - A Light or Distant Mirror and The Deepest Cuts - and they're looking to cement their status as the Kings of Streaming with The Deepest Cuts II, a free show which will see the band re-enter their rehearsal space on October 24 to perform more songs for fans that have either rarely or never been played before!
We caught up with bassist Paolo Gregoletto to tell us all about his year with Trivium so far and more about the upcoming stream:
Hey Paolo, how are things up in your neck of the woods?
Good man, although we're the exact opposite of Melbourne here (in Florida) right now. Definitely not a good thing...like, I moved down this summer and you could kinda tell that there was nothing really being done, but there was kind of like that pretence of "Oh yeah, we're trying stuff", but the a couple of weeks ago the Governor was like "Yeah you can just do whatever you want" (laughs).
Moving state in the middle of a pandemic would have been kind of hectic!
Yeah it was definitely not originally my plan this year, but things got crazy and I had to adjust and luckily it all went smoothly.
Trivium have been doing things quite smoothly as well during the lockdown, making the most of this crazy time with the livestreams - were you surprised by how well the first two livestreams did? They popped off so hard.
Yeah I mean, we were planning the first one right when everything went crazy...I guess there hadn't been a lot of streams at that point, people were doing the zoom jam things, and we were gonna ask people to pay money to watch us and I was like "I dunno if people are gonna be into that or not".
But I think as we got closer we were able to show the level of production and people got what we were doing. Because, most of our ticket sales were I think the day or two before, so we learned a lot from doing that and since then, a lot of bands have been doing streams. Our management is the same as Lamb Of God's and Behemoth's, and they've all done streaming events. So I feel like we're all learning from each other and going "okay this is a good way to do this or that".
As crazy as this year has been, it's kind of cool to see this sort of collaboration and creativity born out of something we have to do to survive as bands. I feel like the metal audience is so much more receptive - one to support the bands they like, but also get what we're trying to do which is create experiences that are worth their time and money.
It was interesting to see that Trivium announced the setlist ahead of your next livestream 'The Deepest Cuts II' - what spurred the decision to do that and how did you all decide on this set?
Well the first time we did it (The Deepest Cuts)...I guess a lot of people don't really maybe know the term "deep cut", you know, like something that isn't played a lot, or an album cut. So we wanted to make it obvious that this was going to be a set that wasn't gonna be 'Pull Hard...' or 'In Waves', kind of the big songs you're expecting, and that we were gonna purely focus on songs that we just hadn't done.
With the last one, we also wanted to play the last three songs from What The Dead Men Say that we didn't play on the previous stream (A Light or Distant Mirror) so that we could get those out of the way. With this stream, each of us picked 3 songs we wanted to do and learned them.
I think you're obviously losing the surprise by announcing it ahead of time, but we want people to know what we're playing, and for the people who are not the most die-hard Trivium fans that maybe do know the big songs but not the other ones, it's kind of a cheat sheet to go "Hey let me go check out what this song is", and explore the back catalogue a bit more.
Some of these songs have either never been played live before or haven't been touched in 15 years - what has it been like to rediscover and reacquaint yourself with some of these tracks you haven't maybe paid much attention to before?
One of the craziest things is like when you go and start playing the song and you're like "Wow I am totally at a loss at how to play this part", so I had to really go through it and re-learn by ear. There's also a really great tab site that has probably the most accurate Trivium tabs I've seen, so I used that as a frame of reference and then the muscle memory kicks back in, and 30 minutes later I'm playing like I haven't missed a beat.
It's fun because I get to appreciate our history and to really dive into the songs we haven't done in a while, and it's so fun to be able to do that. And I think for a lot of fans who have never been able to see these songs that they've never been able to see live or even see us play, I think it's something fun and unexpected. We ask people to spend money on us all the time so we like to make sure that we're giving back to people, and this is kind of a cool way to get the Trivium fans who know all the big songs into the inner circle.
I think we're really proud of a lot of those songs - the only reason they didn't get played is you get a tour cycle and you run out of time playing stuff, then you're into the new record and it's full steam ahead. It's been a nice change of pace to sit down and relearn this stuff. I hope that when we go back out on tour that we can incorporate a lot of these songs back in.
These 'Deepest Cuts' are pretty unique in that you can't get the same experience from a real festival and vice versa, so with that in mind, is Trivium planning to do these fly on the wall livestreams well after the pandemic goes away?
Yeah we have a lot of plans for stuff. We just purchased a spot that is gonna be ours, which will take a little bit of time to fully build it out into a spot we can rehearse and stream in, but it's going to be a lot more space and a lot more possibilities. So this is kind of like the testing grounds at this point. We did the big, big thing at first (Light or a Distant Mirror) to kind of see what that took...I feel like these two that we've just done are testing the other end of the spectrum. I think what we liked from these over the first one is that there's a lot more crowd interaction with the Twitch thing and being able to talk to fans directly.
I know that whenever we get to our new spot, if it's not on Twitch and it's a pay-per-view or something like that, we still want to have those interactive elements. The first thing we did felt like it was cool, but it almost felt like we were filming an hour-and-a-half music video, because there was no crowd or response to anything.
Is this new space something you had been planning on for ages, or did it come about after the success of A Light or Distant Mirror?
As we were talking about A Light or Distant mirror, I think we just really started to talk about it (a space), like "What if the place we're in right now shuts down or it's sold?", or any of those things. The little bit of lockdown that Florida has had made us think about those things, and so we had a look and just happened to find this really unique spot, and we ended up knowing someone through family that actually owned it. We'll get into a more in-depth story about it later but the events surrounding it worked out so well, and we were ready to do it.
We were supposed to be on tour this summer, so we never expected to be doing this now. This might have been something we would be looking at at the end of the cycle, you know? But I think these events pushed us to do it and think differently.
It's something that's ours and we can be creative with it and like I was saying, we want it to develop into another facet of what Trivium does with entertaining people and what's possible. If we have our own stream room and rehearsal room...eventually we want to fit it into being a proper studio...we can do videos there, it'll be something that pays off for us and it's our home base.
You initially talked Matt into joining Twitch a few years ago, but you've only started streaming yourself this year - what kept you from starting up your own channel earlier?
I didn't have the time at home, I was just focused on other stuff. I didn't have...I don't know, I guess I wasn't feeling like I wanted to do something like that at that point. Then of course, when everything changed this year I was like "You know, maybe I'll give this a shot and it's something I'll stick with if I like it". And I feel like now I've found a good schedule that works for me - I don't know what it's going to be like with touring, I'll probably have to rethink how I go about how I do that kind of stuff, but I'd like to incorporate just chatting and giving people updates on tour and Q+A's.
It's really also a great way to rehearse and practice, and get a lot more playing in than I was doing before, but also get to do it for fans. It's cool to relearn an old song or learn someone else's song, and to be able to interact with people at this time I think is what really helps Trivium - even in our down time we're still able to connect with people.
Thanks for your time Paolo - the stream will be an early one for Australians but it'll be an awesome experience for anyone who tunes in!
The good thing is that after it's done it lives on Matt's Twitch for a while and we put the last one on our YouTube, so I'm sure we'll be doing the same for this one. If it's too early or you're working or whatever, you'll be able to catch it. I'm just so excited to be playing these songs, I feel like we're going even deeper now, even playing b-sides!
Thanks for the chat!