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For over a decade now, the UK has been something of a second home for Trivium. The Florida-based heavy metal icons are currently enjoying the final days of their most recent British tour, giving the country a thrashing dose of American brutality with Heart of a Coward, Savage Messiah and As Lions in tow. Just before their show at the Pyramids Centre in Portsmouth last week, guitarist Corey Beaulieu and bassist Paolo Gregoletto showed great enthusiasm for their latest English trek. “We’re only two shows in, but those two shows were great,” Paolo says. “Didn’t have any technical problems, the sets have been fun, crowds are great and hopefully it sets the trends for the rest of them.” “We’ve known a couple guys in As Lions before from Rise to Remain,” Corey adds. “We toured multiple times. So it’s good to be out with [lead singer] Austin [Dickinson] and those guys. “And Heart of a Coward, this is the first time we’ve met them. Last night, after the show, right across the street there was a pub. We all got to hang out, shoot the shit and really get the tour comradery going. “Everyone’s really cool, all their sets have been going over good, crowds are reacting well and they seem to be happy to be on the tour. So it’s been going really good so far.” Trivium’s connection with the UK began over a decade ago at the 2005 Download Festival, where they opened up the main stage to an amazing reception from eager fans. “It was fucking cold,” Corey laughs. Paolo describes: “I just remember being on the stage and thinking how big the field looked and how I hoped there was going to be people there and that the weather is good. I’d never experienced anything like that. “It was such a thrilling day: it was scary but exciting, there was so much adrenaline running. After I was done I couldn’t remember the performance, it was almost like a black-out. “It was probably the most intense adrenaline I’ve ever felt. I can remember festivals since then pretty well, but that was just another experience. It was our first trial by fire in front of a big audience. The whole weekend and the build-up to it, coming and seeing all these big bands, knowing we were going to get our shot, and the next day being there and having the after-glow of playing, how much it meant to people, being on Kerrang! magazine, it was crazy. “I have to pinch myself when I remember going through it, because not many bands get that. Some bands will wait years and years, we’ve been lucky because we’ve had success along the way. But to have that so immediately and out the gate, it’s life-changing.” “Thinking about the actual performance part of it, the only pictures in my head come from the Roadrunner DVD that had the show on it,” Corey recalls with some difficulty. “It’s like a memory loss, just for those thirty minutes. “We felt like we were drunk on the side of the stage, just had one last shot before black-out time. It was nuts! Seven circle pits going on. I’m sure it doesn’t sound as good now, but it was just the raw energy. We were going balls to the wall! “And we got to meet [Megadeth front-man] Dave Mustaine that day. And Lemmy. But the actual performance, I can’t really recall. I just remember right before going on-stage, standing outside and cold with out-of-tune guitars. And then obviously you saw just a shit-load of people coming over the hill. “Originally we were booked to play the third tent stage. On the Road Rage tour we did in the UK [with 3 Inches of Blood and Still Remains], I remember just getting off the bus at the first show, and all these people just coming up. “The [Ascendancy] CD had been out for about a month or so and already people were coming up and just freaking out. The buzz was weird, suddenly most people knew what we looked like, wanted to talk to us and take pictures with us. That whole UK tour, the fan reactions were just so insane, then we did Europe and came back at the end for Download. And by then the record had sold and that tour had created a buzz. “Andy [Copping] at Download hit up our manager saying that we now had the opening slot on the main stage. With the buzz for the album coming out, they were scared they couldn’t fit the demand in the tent so he asked if we wanted to open the main stage and we were like ‘OK, sure, why not?’ “In the moment, you don’t think ‘We’re playing the main stage, we’re about to blow up’, it’s more like ‘Let’s just go up there and crush it.’ “It just snowballed and we were along for the ride.” And now, eleven years and five albums later, the band are here once again, touring in support of their seventh record, Silence in the Snow, which hit stores back in October. The release showcases the band at their most melodic, without the screamed vocals that have been present on their previous albums; it’s a change that, according to Paolo, the English crowds seem to be warm to. “We haven’t been over here except for Bloodstock, so it’s kinda hard to judge what people would have thought right away when it came out. “But the one thing we’ve noticed is how well people know the material. We’re playing a song we’ve never played until this tour, ‘The Ghost That’s Haunting You’, and people right away, they knew it and were into it. “I think a lot of times, people have to hear it live to really feel the intensity. I feel like the new stuff is melodic, but it’s powerful. That’s where it really lends itself to being in the live setting. “We try and pair new and old songs on the set, like we open with ‘Silence in the Snow’ straight into ‘Into the Mouth of Hell We March’ [from 2008’s Shogun]. I feel like those two songs, while they’re different in some ways, they both came out of the same demo time, around Shogun. They both have a lineage there and it’s cool to have something that came from that time but was recorded now. That’s what we look at when we do the set: pairing them together.”
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