Matt Heafy has added 'children's book author' to his growing collection of titles. The Trivium and Ibaraki frontman has teamed up with Z2 Comics and illustrator Half Sumo for a new book called Ibaraki & Friends. The rhyming picture book, Ibaraki & Friends is Heafy's debut work as an author and is an exploration of the Japanese folktales and mythologies that inspired Heafy as a child.
'Ibaraki & Friends' is a book full of the stories that I grew up with. That Japanese folklore lies at the very root of so many of the amazing stories we have today, whether they're in video games, anime, movies, or songs
Ibaraki & Friends was designed by Ashley Heafy, Matt's wife and tells the tales of such classical Japanese stories like the monkey/man/bird hybrid, Tengu; the eight-headed beast, Yamata no Orochi; and a nine-tailed celestial fox.
"For years, I've researched as many Japanese stories as possible—gotten several of them tattooed on my body—and explored their themes in the songs of Trivium, Ibaraki, and now in Ibaraki & Friends, it's our hope that in exploring these wonderful stories, that the readers will want to learn more about Japanese culture—then more cultures of the surrounding Asian countries, then spread that willingness to learn about stories from all over the world, inspiring curiosity in the many cultures we share around the planet"
Ibaraki & Friends will be accompanied by the Ibaraki & Friends Lullaby CD. Ibaraki & Friends Lullaby CD provides soothing, acoustic songs written and performed by Heafy.
Ibaraki is of course the name of Heafy's black metal project with Ihsahn from Emperor. Their debut album Rashōmon will drop on May 6th via Nuclear Blast. Ibaraki recently released a collaboration with Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance one of a number of high profile collabs that have become all the rage lately.
Watch the video for Rōnin below.
The debut Ibaraki album and Ibaraki & Friends add to a busy few months for Heafy who has released several cover songs following the release of Trivium's 10th studio album, In The Court Of The Dragon in October.
Listen to In The Court Of The Dragon Now.