Interview: Trivium’s Matt Heafy Talks Piss Bottles and Bloody Lips
As part of our coverage of this year’s Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival, Revolver caught up with many of this year’s performing bands for our June/July 2014 issue, on newsstands now, to ask about the occupation hazards that go along with touring. Here, writer Jon Wiederhorn interviews Trivium about all the mayhem.
Formed 14 years ago in Orlando, Florida, Trivium are busier than ever. They released their sixth album, Vengeance Falls, in 2013 and have already written skeletons for another 15 new songs, which they plan to start recording in the first quarter of 2015. In addition, singer-guitarist Matt Heafy is working on a black-metal side project, Mrityu, which ex-Emperor frontman Ihsahn will produce. And of course, they’re playing this year’s Mayhem Fest—which is fitting since mayhem has shadowed the group since its meager beginnings when the band members were still in high school.
REVOLVER From the early days of the band, you have run into plenty of mayhem, haven’t you?
MATT HEAFY For sure. Back when we were teching for ourselves, we were opening for Chimaira in Buffalo, New York. I took a step over from where I was line-checking and part of the stage broke and one of my legs went right through the stage. I was stuck with my entire body in this “L” formation, and the whole crowd saw it. I was OK, but it was really embarrassing.
What was the first episode of bloodshed?
On our first-ever U.K. tour when I was 18, a kid grabbed the mic while I was singing and it went right into my face and tore open part of my lip. I could feel the blood dripping down my chin, but I kept singing. After the show, I wanted to clean off. I bumped into this big, drunk British dude who wanted me to take a picture with him. I said I had to wash my lip off first because I was bleeding everywhere. He didn’t like that and he said, “You’re pissing on my country!” and tried to punch me in the face. Fortunately, he was slow and I was able to duck under him and got the hell out of there.
What’s the ugliest interaction you’ve had with a crowd member during a show?
In 2005, we were supporting Children of Bodom and Amon Amarth in Santa Ana, California. It was a rough tour for us because we’re not a death-metal band. This kid on [bassist] Paulo [Gregoletto]’s side kept flipping him off and yelling shit. Finally, he got right in Paulo’s face, so Paolo pulled smacked the kid with his bass. The tuning peg connected with this guy’s head. The kid looked up and all this blood started gushing out, so he grabbed his head and ran out. Fortunately, Paolo didn’t get in trouble for that.
Have you ever gotten hit by anything while onstage?
Before walking onstage for Download ’06, I was behind a backdrop stretching, and this full bottle flew over, hit me in the head, and covered me in warm piss. No one had a towel for me to wipe off and I had to rush out covered in piss and perform. It stank and was sticky, and I’m kind of a germaphobe so it was really difficult to finish the set.