Only weeks away from the release of their 7th studio album ‘The Sin and the Sentence’, OVERDRIVE had the chance to chat with Trivium bassist Paolo Gregoletto about the upcoming album.
“It’s kind of crazy you know. It feels like we started yesterday, but when you start thinking about each record the time starts to add up” says Gregoletto, reflecting on the band’s past studio efforts. When asked if the band’s musical progression has always been a natural one, Gregoletto replied “I guess for us we haven’t gone into every record feeling like we needed to have a specific thing we did last time that we have to recreate. We work with different people and different producers, having a couple of different drummers too. It’s always going to have a different vibe with someone’s playing attached to the songs so it’s never been a conscious effort to go so far left or right. The moment we’re in influences how we go and we kind of let every record just be a time stamp for the band”.
Giving some insight about the writing process of the new record and the evolution of writing within the band, Gregoletto stated “Now more than ever we know that it’s all about knowing how to write and how to do the process of creating the music, that’s the most important part. The big change in the writing process this time was that I really wanted to vocals to start on day 1 along with the music. I didn’t want the music to get so far ahead in development and then the vocals just come in when we hit the studio. We let it come out as naturally as we can but also have a pretty strict idea on how we write. With this album we finally got the writing process back to where we wanted it to be and where it felt natural for us. It took a lot of preparation and practice which was I think was kind of lacking before and we definitely needed to get back to”.
With reviews starting to come out in the anticipation for the new album, critics have been saying that ‘he Sin and the Sentence is the perfect culmination of the band’s past releases, bringing musical elements in from all stages of their career. When asked how the band achieved this, Gregoletto replied “What made it feel like that is the band returning to how we’re supposed to write, which is with Matt, Corey and myself writing a bunch of riffs and demos on our own, then coming together and sculpting the songs. Getting back to the basics of how we personally write best is what I think made it feel natural and made it sound like all the elements were mixed together. When you put a guitar, bass or whatever in front of any of us, we go to those default places that sound like Shogun or Ascendancy, those kind of riffs, and when we’re in our element it makes it very easy for that to just flow out. The new elements, starting vocals early and the old elements of us writing in a rehearsal room together made the album what it is. Not going into a project loose with ideas and making it come together in the studio was important. We need to go in knowing 90% of what we we’re going to do, and then actually getting into the studio was just exciting at that point”.
Earlier in the year, it was announced that Alex Bent (Ex-Battlecross) would be taking over drumming duties for the band following the departure of Paul Wandtke. Gregoletto had this to say about the new drummer’s influence of the album; “Having Alex with us really opened up the potential of what we can do. He’s a phenomenal drummer and I think that with the studio footage and live clips, people will see that straight away that he’s the kind of guy we really needed playing with us. As a bass player, I couldn’t ask for better. He’s got such great timing and feel, really creative with his drumming. He’s not just a guy who can play fast double bass, he’s a guy who can play fast double bass with intricate ideas behind them and that really opens the door for so much more for us. I’m excited already thinking about what the next record could be, because Alex coming in was such a last minute thing for us. Once we get through this album cycle and start thinking about whatever comes next, it’s gonna be that much better because he’ll have experienced and been through so much with us, and that opens up so much for my bass playing and writing I can bring to the band. You couldn’t have asked for a better fit for our band.”
In the lead up to the release of their previous album Silence in the Snow, the band quoted metal legends Dio, Black Sabbath and Rainbow as big inspirations on the sound of the album. When asked if similar influences impacted the writing of their latest album, Gregoletto stated “It’s always such a mix with us. I’m always listening to so many different things. It’s anything from Metallica to Maiden, the Gothenburg melodic death metal bands, but also plenty of new bands and getting inspiration from what’s coming out now and vibing off of that. I could probably just keep listing bands that I was listening to during the process, and even the not so metal bands I was listening to got me in a headspace that made me want to write heavy music. Sometimes being outside of your element inspires you in more different ways than you’d think. We knew we were capable of so much and didn’t want to feel like we left anything off the record or hold back for any reason. All of us are constantly listening to music and being influenced by that, but I think the real inspiration behind this record was just getting in there and doing it, and being really excited by what we were hearing from ourselves”.
“The only older thing on the album is ‘The Wretchedness Inside’, which is something that Matt had actually written when asked to write something for another band that wasn’t used. We reworked it, ended up using it and it actually turned out to be a really killer track” said Gregoletto when asked if the band had pulled anything from the vaults like they did with their previous album. “For me, I don’t like to hang onto something, unless it’s a really special riff. I don’t like to force something that doesn’t seem to work. Sometimes I have something that I like but I’m not ready to use yet so just save it, but for the most part I prefer to have a clean slate”.
Moving away from the studio to chat about the band’s renowned live show, Gregoletto spoke about how the band approaches choosing their always diverse set-lists. “It really comes down to if we’re doing a headliner or a festival. We could do two 90 minute sets, have a completely different set for each and still not get through everything we’d probably want to. With Alex it’s just getting him up to speed on the newer stuff, and what’s new to him is old stuff for us, so when we go to rehearse we’ll chuck in 3 or 4 songs from the back catalogue for him to learn and that seems to be a good pace. We’ll get some old stuff together and rotate it in, and going forward we just want to keep to set interesting for both the fans and ourselves”. Continuing on to talk about playing tracks from the new record live, Gregoletto said; “We’re really excited about playing these new tracks live and we’ll probably play a bit more new stuff than we did with the last few records, which we hope the fans will want to hear as much as we want to play it. We love to change the sets up. There’s nothing worse as a fan than when the band plays the same set every time. You want them to throw in a couple of interesting ones that you weren’t expecting. What’s fun for us is matching the new songs with the old songs and making it flow”.
The Sin And The Sentence, available October 20 on Roadrunner Records. Pre-order the album now: http://trivium.lnk.to/VIII