THE NEW ALBUM „SHOGUN“ CAME OUT SEPTEMBER 26TH 2008. YOU SEEM TO BE VERY ENTHUSIASTIC ABOUT IT. WHAT MAKES IT THAT SPECIAL TO YOU? Corey: I think we just kind of hit our stride as a band and songwriters, and really kind of created an album that kind of represents kind of who we are, and kind of as a… I think Matt explains it pretty good about just kind of: all our past records are kind of like the blueprint for this record. And then we just kind of took it to the next level, and just kind of really encaptured what makes Trivium Trivium And (it) has all the best elements from our records, and made something fresh for ourselves. And we’re really excited because we kind of love all the songs, and we had such a great time making the record. And, you know, it’s exactly… you know, the way the record is, is exactly, you know, how we wanted it to sound and how we wanted the songs to be. And we took… we had enough time, and took the time to make sure it all happens. So, you know, we’re really excited to finally get it out there after all these, you know, long months of working on it to finally see other people’s reactions and stuff, since we’ve been… since we’re really excited about it. It’s fun to let other people hear it. Matt: Yeah, it’s like a synopsis of everything we’ve ever done, and then the next direction all roll into one. So it’s cool because it feels like we’re getting more and more to what is our sound. It has like the familiar stuff that people remember as the key ingredience of every record, and this whole new thing that is like the next step. So it’s cool. I think it’s the bext record we’ve ever done. And I think it has the best songs we’ve ever done, and we’re very happy with it. YOU JUST SAID THAT YOU TOOK THIS ALBUM „INTO A NEW DIRECTION“. COULD YOU PLEASE DEFINE THAT NEW DIRECTION? Matt: It‘ like an inexplicable new direction of, I guess, things that weren’t on any of the records. So whatever doesn’t sound familiar, and it sounds like this. It’s like our heavy parts are heavier and more brutal than they’ve ever been, and our melodic parts are more catchier and more epic and more melodic. Like every song feels epic, which is cool. And we didn’t really have that with every song before. Corey: It just seems to us, like it’s, we got to that next level. It just sounds very mature and just, you know, it just felt like, you know, we’re just at another level as songwriters. And even if it’s like, you know, we’ve done guitar melodies and stuff before, but just the way the overall soundscape of the record. And when you hear it, it just sounds like something new than how we did it in the past. It’s just a, I guess the collective coming together of the guitars, the drums, everything together just kind of has this impact and sound that sounds… like kind of pushes us to the next level. But it’s really hard to explain, you can just hear it, I guess. It’s just like it sounds we kind of evolved and grown as a band. Matt: We wrote and recorded this album unlike anything we’ve ever done. You know, we worked with a new producer. We spent about a year on and off – you know, we were on tour for that year – but on and off the road writing all this material. And we would be like all demoing shit with just the guitar through our Macs instead of seeing the guys in the band, and bouncing ideas of each other. Like: „Hey, let’s try this, let’s try that!“ We whittled the 27 songs that we had down to like 20. And then we started the demo process. The demo process was about six months within that whole year of writing. So it’s like, we would take those best 20 songs to the first set of ten songs of demos. And we went and tracked those, and then we’d strike the other ten. And then we had Nick come down. And then, fuck, we rewrote the stuff and retracked the demos again. So it was just really, like it seems like a long hard demoing process but what was so good about it: it helped the songs develop and become something new and build into their own thing. As opposed to, you know, us tracking the first initial reaction and letting it grow live, we let it grow inside us and keep playing, and keep playing. And it was definitely essential. We definitely want to do this demo process that we did for every record. And it was great. So we got to go to the studio. It was a great experience. THE LAST ALBUM YOU MOSTLY WROTE ON THE ROAD.SO YOU PUT MORE STRESS ON THE SONGWRITING THIS TIME? Corey: „The Crusade“, like, was kind of like the initial idea of how we wanted like the song to be. And then we just went and recorded it. So we didn’t have that kind of sit with it and then change things if we wanted to. You know, that record, I think at that time was really instinctive and just kind of gut feeling kind of record where we just kind of were just, you know, we were just 100 miles an hour, just busting through shit, and just did the record really fast. Matt: I think that’s what so great about „The Crusade“ as well, cause it’s like that initial raw approach. And it came out that way. So that way with every record we could do it in a completely different way, not just the music but in a writing sense. But you know, not so different that it’s not even us anymore, but different at the end of the spectrums. We wanted „The Crusade“ to be the opposite of „Ascendancy“. It was intentional to be that way. And with this new record we didn’t care what it sounded like, as long as it came from the heart and we believed in it. Just wrote it completely naturally. So that’s why it’s cool we have that different approach for each record. YOU CAN ACTUALLY TELL THAT YOU PUT MORE THOUGHT INTO SONGWRITING, MOST OF THE SONGS ARE EASIER ACCESSIBLE THOUGH. THE MUSIC IS STILL INTRICATE, BUT MAYBE NOT AS INTRICATE AS ON THE LAST ALBUM… Matt: Some of them are more complex than anything we have ever done. But not like, not for the sake of just being insane but because the song called for it of course. Yeah. But yeah, it’s cool. Because the melodies, like you mentioned, are more… are catchy and are more, you know, instantly memorable. But then that heavy shit is fuckin‘ more brutal than we’ve ever done (it). And we’re very happy about that. Corey: And also, this, like „The Crusade“ was way more, I guess not simplistic in I guess technical/playing-wise, but more simplistic in like, the songs are more stripped down, like straight-forward. And this record has a lot more like layering of like guitar parts and just the sound is just like.. it’s a lot more dense and dynamic record. So taking the time to really work on it, like to make sure everything fit together and flowed well, it was like… That was… you know, it needs time. You can’t just throw that out there because there’s a lot more going on to really work out. So it was definitely… We couldn’t have done this record the way we did „The Crusade“ because it just would have sounded all jumbled and not really like worked out too well. I NOTICED YOU’RE USING 4-PART/ 5-PART VOCAL HARMONIES. IN METAL YOU DON’T GET THAT TOO OFTEN THESE DAYS. HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO WORK OUT THESE ARRANGEMENTS? Matt: Some of the vocal parts, you know, it took a while because we took the main part and, you know, we’d either have it singled or double the main part. And then with harmonies it was fun cause we would just improv it instead of like sitting there and figuring out exactly what knows, we were figuring out official harmonies. NIck and I would just do whatever the hell we felt like. When we were doing „Into the mouth of hell“ we were just like: „Hmm… Let’s try this part! Let’s do this now for the hell of it!“ Some perfect harmonies, some just non-linear vocal parts that just hold out on a simple note or maybe move just a little bit. It was really cool. You know, it was about experimenting and trying fun new stuff we didn’t, we haven’t tried so much before. Like „Ascendancy“ there were standard vocal harmonies. „The Crusade“, like I said, since we wanted it to be so opposite it was just about the main vocal part. And then this one, it was just: try whatever the hell sounded good. Matt: „Prometheus“ has eight vocal tracks in the chorus. I know that seems ambitious and people are gonna go: „What the hell are you gonna do about it live?“, so it will be slightly different live. But it’s got eight vocal tracks. It’s got the main one doubled, the normal harmony and this like „whohoohoo“, this kind of Queen-ish background thing. With that and the harmony of that. Sooo, then… (Corey chuckles) Yeah, there you go! WHAT WAS THE MOST CHALLENGING SONG FOR YOU MUSICALLY? Corey: The general consensus for the record is the song „The calamity“. Everyone thought that was gonna be the easiest song to fuckin‘ record. It’s the easist one to play as tempo-wise. It’s not like anything crazy, superfast. The guitar parts, it’s just more rhythmatic than anything, it’s really simple stuff. And for some reason (for) everyone individually it just like, that was like the hardest song. Paolo wrote like the skeleton of that song. And he was like: „Oh, I’ll bust that song out in like an hour! It’ll be quick!“ And he worked on that song longer than anything. And then Matt doing the guitars. And Travis like did the drums for a while. And then trying to come up with the guitar solos because the guitar solo section was in a key that was very rare to play in. Matt: C sharp minor! Corey: I think it was like C minor which is like… Matt: It’s a bit strange. If you’re in E it’s a strange key. Corey: Yeah, it’s like a key we’ve never done anything in before. So it’s a very… Like you’re kind of like: „Oh shit!“ And you have to sit there and kind of relearn like the scales because it’s such an uncommon key like for metal or even, or mostly just for us. We’ve never done it before. So it was like: „Fuck! This is shit!“ So it took a little while but, you know, the song came out really awesome, so, you know. Even though it was kind of a pain in the ass it still was a labour of love, I guess. (laughs) Matt: That was actually the first song NIck started working with us. And I remember the first day Nick came in he was like: „Ok, let’s start jamming!“ I thought he was gonna have us play every single song. So he was like: „Let’s start with „The calamity“!“ I’m like: „Ok!“, because that was his favourite song. He had us do that song 30 fuckin‘ times that day. Thirty times in a demo stage! Of that we’ve already recorded that song three times before that. So thirty times, then recorded, then rehearsed it for three weeks, and then recorded it again, and then go to the studio and record it again. And then after we finished that song, we finished the chorus, and I actually had to go back to Nashville because the words were too much. There were too many fuckin‘ words in that chorus because I write a lot of words in my choruses. So it was an idea between all of us to simplify that song’s chorus. And I had to go back and re-record that. And that song had so many vocal parts in the chorus. So I had to re-do all those things again just to change a couple of words around. So that one was the simplest song on the record, I guess, but the hardest recording process. And „Shogun“, the song itself is like what? I guess, somewhere between 11 and 13-ish minutes? That song was one of the quickest ones to record for the main stuff, for the drums, guitars, main vocals. The thing that took the longest of that was two day to record that acoustic middle section. It took two full days to do all the layering twelve strings and six strings acoustics. YEAH, I’VE ALSO HEARD FROM OTHER BANDS THAT IT’S VERY CHALLENGING – TO SAY THE LEAST – TO WORK WITH NICK RASCULINECZ. HOW DID HE PUSH YOU TO YOUR LIMITS? Matt: Thirty times of the fuckin‘ „Calamity“! Corey: And he’s demandsy, you know. Cause not only he wants to push us to make the best record, but it’s also like since his name is on it. He’s like the producer, you know. He wants the record to be great because, you know, it also represents him. And he knows how to get the best performances out of us. You know, we wanted somebody for this record, we wanted someone… You know, we were pushing ourselves to want to get to the next level and be a better band. And we wanted someone who is also gotta be like, kind of like our… We call him like „the coach“ or „the boot camp leader general drill sergeant“ who was just gonna be like that one person who just comes in and just kind of like keeps you motivated and keeps pushing you to just… That’s why we did like that one song like thrirty times. He was just like: „Do it again!“ And we were just kind of like, we’re not gonna say like. We just kept doing it. He’s got like the, you know, idea like he’s pushing us so the end result is better than what we were looking for. So he was just like, you know, a fuckin‘ drill sergeant. Like: „Do it again!“. You know: „That was really good! Do it again!“ And then, you know, just always trying to get you to get that perfect take or have that energy in your playing or your performance, to capture that on the record. When you hear it you’re like: „Aah, that’s what I was looking for!“ So he’s an amazing producer and his track record for records he’s worked on, you can see, you know, why he’s, why people want to work with him and why a lot of the records he does are very unique and special. So he was amazing to work with and, you know, it was a new experience for us because he was like the first person other than Jason Suecof that we ever like did a record with. So it was a refreshing experience and also an eye-opener as well. Matt: Yeah. There were some songs where he and Travis played the drum parts like twenty fuckin‘ times. The entire song! Instead of just doing it once and correcting it. And then there’s some cendancies and some choruses I did like thirty times in a day. Thirty times! We had like eight to ten hour vocal days. You know, fifteen hour drum and guitar days. He would just – like Corey said earlier – his main quote for me or for all of us, he’d be like: „Great! Do it again!“, „Do it again!“ Just always: „Do it again!“ Just to make sure he’s got that take, you know, the take that has the energy and the performance and everything. We recorded this in a very old-school fashion, like playing it a million times til it was right versus having a computer fix it for you. Or instead of just recording and sending it off to someone to change all the tones because it’s easier that way than doing it yourself. We did all the tones and made them sound right in the first place. Yes, it was… It’s all real there. It’s: everything was really played a lot. YOUR FORMER PRODUCER JASON SUECOF IS ALSO A GOOD FRIEND OF YOURS. HOW DID HE REACT WHEN YOU TOLD HIM THAT HE’S NOT DOING THE JOB FOR THIS ALBUM? Matt: Both parties knew it was time. Cause including Trivium and including other projects, I’ve worked with Jason fifteen times, including demos. Fifteen fuckin‘ times! And so both of us got our start. He got his start with Trivium, we got our start with him. And both built up both of our things that we were doing. So it was time for both to spread out and do our own thing. So, you know, I can, we can all finally listen to his projects as a fan, and then he can listen to Trivium as a fan, not listening to it as a work project. And I think he appreciates that a lot. I saw him last time I was home. And well, he was recording the new All That Remains. I was like: „Yeah, we got the new stuff!“ So when I get back from this I’m gonna show it to him at his house. YOU STARTED OUT WITH 27 SONGS… Corey: We had a lot of songs. And some of them, like when we had like the 27 songs we kind of like, the ones that we felt the strongest, and the way we were feeling, most of the songs they just kind of like, I guess, if you put them together they kind of fit the same vibe, and like actually sound like a complete record. We had a bunch of other stuff where we were just randomly writing and stuff like that, I guess. The songs were just kind of out of the box and really didn’t fit and we didn’t want to have like kind of like „The Crusade“ thing where there’s kind of like songs that were a little bit more rock and some more metal. We wanted it to be cohesive. And some of the songs just didn’t really fit and we didn’t think they were as strong as this group. So we just kind of dropped them. And then some songs got kind of indoctored and morphed into another song or stuff like that. So we just kind of cut the weak links of the batch, and then once we cut down to the songs we felt were gonna be the ones, we just took those and put all our focus into those. There is still demos of songs that we were demoing to that whole process that we still have and stuff that never really got past that first demo phase. So we got a bunch of random interesting tunes that are kind of out of the box for what the record is now. If we put one of those songs on the record everyone would have been kind of like: „What the fuck is that?“ Matt: We’ve got our two non-album tracks that are also been recorded and they’re fuckin‘ cool. Three technically: two originals and then the song „Iron Maiden“. We covered that song. It came out great. YOU COVERED THAT SONG „IRON MAIDEN“ FOR KERRANG’S „MAIDEN HEAVEN“, PLUS YOU’RE ON THE VIDEOGAME SOUNDTRACK „NFL 09“. DO YOU THINK IT TAKES DIFFERENT WAYS TO SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT YOUR MUSIC THESE DAYS? THAT „JUST“ RECORDING ALBUMS AND TOURING ISN’T ENOUGH ANYMORE? Matt: I’m not sure. I think still touring for metal is the best way. Cause I mean, radio is the way for everything else, like mainstream radio rock in the US. We’ve been on stuff before. We’ve been on like smaller games and smaller movie soundtracks. We were even on a featured scene in the movie „Smoking Aces“. We were in the scene where those guys drive up and kill a main character in the limo… Corey: Ben Affleck is getting killed! Matt: I haven’t seen the movie yet but I heard they’re playing „Like light to the flies“ in that part in the car. Corey: There are three crazy brothers driving in their car and „Flies“ is playing on their stereo and they shoot Ben Affleck. Matt: And even, there’s a Trivium „Ascendancy“ poster in „The Sopranos“ in season six in A.J.’s room, which is the coolest fuckin‘ thing ever. But, like those specific things didn’t really make people reach out and try to find Trivium. So it’s always weird. It’s up in the air. You never know what is gonna be something for someone. Like with the videogame craze, you know, some bands are doing incredibly well of „Guitar Hero“ and some other bands – nothing’s happening, you know? So it’s weird. YOU RECORDED „SHOGUN“ IN NASHVILLE WHICH IS DEFINITELY THE MUSIC CITY IN THE US – BUT NOT EXACTLY KNOWN FOR IT’S METAL SCENE. WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THAT CITY? Matt: We wanted to try something completely different. Like, be completely out of our element and be somewhere different than home and not go home and sleep in our beds and blablabla. But we wanted to be completely isolated with just the album, just our own music. And fuck – it is so musical there. The town is literally funded and the economy is going about music. And everyone is like a musician there or a producer or a session guy or a songwriter. And that studio is beautiful. They had like, fuck, Willie Nelson there, Winona Judd. The big names of country, like Kenny Chestney and Miley Cyrus… Corey: Richard Wilson. Matt: Yeah, those people. So it’s so cool that we’re like the first metal band to record there. And everyone there was really excited, like the studio was really excited to have this metal band there. It went great. It was a beautiful town, great people, great studio, great everything. It was a good work environment. DID YOUR BRING YOUR OWN SOUNDCREW OR DID YOU WORK WITH COUNTRY ENGINEERS? Corey: Since we were working with Nick he had like his own engineer guy that he’s worked on other projects with. And then, and I think the 2nd assistant there was Ben. Matt: Yes! Corey: I think he actually works for the studio. Matt: He works for several studios around town. He’s a studio engineer that does all the country records and stuff. It turns out that he’s a huge fuckin‘ metalhead. His favourite bands are like Cannibal Corpse and Deicide and Slayer. But what are the odds, man? And in Nashville we get the one metal kid to assist our record. Corey: Yeah, he was awesome. Like everyone in like Nashville, that studio was just so accomodating and stuff. And it was our first time actually recording in like a real like, you know, one of those big fancy studios. We’ve always like, when we were recording with Jason and stuff at the time, like Audiohammer was like his little garage out back which was kind of more of like a homebuilt studio ,which was really nice, but it was like on the more homestudio kind of thing. And Nashville was like the proper big like, you know, what you would think of a, you know, million dollar, multi-million dollar recording studio. This was it. This was like the full deal. And it was our first experience at it. So we were just like: „Wow – this place fuckin‘ rules!“ So it was awesome to record there. It was just a lot of fun, and just everyone was helpful, cooks and people, you know, would run and get you coffee and stuff. It was like great. It was like total rock’n roll fuckin‘ recording style. And you didn’t have to worry about anything besides recording because they had people there, you know, making sure everything was taken care for you. So it was a very, I guess, relaxing envrionment, and kind of in a way you’re pretty pampered. (laughs) Matt: All swell, I guess. We had one of those studio runners play piano on our album, too. Yeah. Like he had never heard our band, doesn’t like metal. Corey: Christian! Matt: Yeah, kind of like a christian rock kid. And I heard, I was talking to him. I heard him play piano and he was amazing. Like: „Dude, you wanna play piano on our CD?“ He’s like: „Ok!“ And he played. He played on „Shogun“, there is a little chorus, just very, very buried. And it’s also in the intro. There’s a couple of spots where there’s a piano here and there, and that was him. Yeah. So it was cool cause he was a cool dude. And, you know, most of the time when those studio kids they’re just running around they never really like, the bands never really talk to them. But we were hanging out with him. Like: „Oh dude, you should come play on the album!“ It was cool. HOW MUCH TIME DID YOU HAVE OFF AFTER „THE CRUSADE“ CAME OUT? HAVE YOU EVER FELT BURNT OUT FROM SO MUCH TOURING? HOW DO YOU KEEP YOURSELF MOTIVATED? Matt: Just gotta stay busy. Like when it happens, you just gotta do something. (chuckles) You know, like try to go sightsee if you’ve ghot stuff around or play video games or exercise or… you just gotta do something, You can’t just sit there and stew and be bored and just resort to like the normal rock’n roll ways to pass time. And you can. You know, just don’t do it all the time. We just try to be smart about it and we practice instead and then save all that stuff for nighttime, you know, every once in a while. I do get homesick and stuff, but when we’re playing shows and we’re keeping busy, I’m good. Corey: You know, touring is like, we love to play shows and we’re a live band. We like… it’s fun being out on tour. And, you know, you can’t really get too down or complain too much when your job entails you to travel all around the world and go places where most people don’t even get to go to. So we have a very cool, you know, job – or not really job – just liike, you know, a career. You know, it’s like, we get to go places that I’d never thought I’d be able to go see and do stuff. And, you know, it’s a lot of fun. And I guess, if you love what, you know, what you do, then it doesn’t get old. I guess, it’s very, it’s a lot of fun. And, you know, we always have a blast if, you know, we’re always together and we have a great crew who we’re really good friends with, you know, great people that we have, in our whole kind of like Trvivium-entourage, I guess you could say that. You know, we all hang out, we always have a good time and everyone, you know, keeps it entertaining and stuff. So we always have a blast and, you know, it’s just a lot of fun. And now, you know, we’ve been off tour for so long that, you know, it’s, I’m really excited to get back out and play shows, because it seems like fuckin‘ like forever ago that we were on stage or traveling and doing the whole tour thing. It’s like a distant memory, like I can’t wait to get back out and do that. Especially with a new record and playing new music. That always kind of re-excites you for touring when you got new material to play and stuff, instead of being at the end of a tour cycle when you played the same fuckin‘ shit for months and months on end. So, I guess, new records really make it fun again. YOUR NEXT TOUR HERE IN GERMANY WILL BE THE „UNHOLY ALLIANCE“ TOUR WITH SLAYER, MASTODON AND AMON AMARTH. KERRY KING ANNOUNCED RECENTLY THAT HE WILL STAND BY THE SIDE OF THE STAGE AND WATCH YOU EVERY NIGHT. HOW DOES THAT MAKE YOU FEEL? DOES THAT ADD TO THE POSITIVE EXCITEMENT OR DOES IT MAKE YOU FEEL A BIT NERVOUS? Matt: It’s fuckin‘ aweseome, man! I mean, we learned how to play fast by learning Slayer riffs when we were kids. And they’re one of our favourite bands. So it’s a huge honour to play with those guys. And he actually thinks we’re an alright band. Fuck – it’s really cool! Yeah, it’s great! We’re very happy about that. Corey: Yeah! No, we’ve met Kerry before a few times here and there and he’s always been really cool to us. He’s a really nice guy. And, you know, he’s a very… he speaks his mind, he’s very outspoken and lucklily he likes us in some form, because if he didn’t, I’m sure he would have spoken that very…. he would have said something about it. So it’s very… I’m glad he digs it because we’re big fans of him and what they’ve done in their career and all their records, so it’s another one of those like cool little pats on the back from like your heroes that, you know, in your hero’s eyes you’re doing ok! (laughs) SPEAKING OF HEROS: YOU ALWAYS GIVE PROPS TO THE OLD METAL HEROES LIKE FOR EXAMPLE TESTAMENT AND OTHER BAY AREA BANDS, PLUS YOU TOOK ANNIHILATOR WITH YOU ON TOUR LAST YEAR. ARE YOU CONSCIOUSLY TRYING TO OPEN DOORS FOR THE OLD SCHOOL BANDS, SO THAT KIDS WHO ARE INTO TRIVIUM VENTURE OUT TO GET SOME OF THE OLD STUFF? Corey: Matt said in another interview, we’re kind of like a gateway drug for like the newer kids growing up, cause we’re like their generation of music. And I guess through us they hear about all these other bands that we grew up listening to and what we were into at their age. And they can go back and see kind of like where the roots of our band started and, you know, there’s been a lot of kids who said they’ve heard of Megadeth for the first time through us, or Testament. Which is really cool because, you know, all those bands are amazing and did some of the most groundbreaking metal albums. So, you know, especially bands like Testament whose new album rocks and kickin‘ ass and stuff. And I think there is more now getting the recognition that they should have gotten like a long time ago. And like Exodus‘ new record is fuckin‘ heavy as shit, so there is all these bands coming out with records that are relevant and are amazing and totally heavy as shit. So, you know, hopefully through like all these other new bands – not just us, but other newer bands – hopefully all that… all the younger kids kind of get re-introduced to some really great bands WHEN I WENT TO SEE YOU GUYS LAST YEAR I COULDN’T HELP BUT NOTICING A LOT OF YOUNG GIRLS TRYING TO GET YOUR ATTENTION AND OBVIOUSLY LOVING TRVIIUM FOR MORE THAN JUST THE MUSIC. HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE A SEX SYMBOL IN A METAL BAND? DOES THAT EVEN GO TOGETHER OR DOES THAT INSULT YOU AS A METALHEAD? Matt: It’s cool that we can… for whatever reasons it is that we can bring people into our band. I mean, if they are, you know, if they think: „Oh, Paolo is my favourite, he’s the cutest!“, or: „Corey is the cutest, I like him!“. You know, it’s all good because, I mean, you know, they deep down do like the songs. They’re always singing along and stuff. And I think that better us than some other scumbaggy, you know, bang-a-thon scumbag bands. You know, cause with us, it’s like, we respect all our fans. We don’t want anyone to get hurt. I’m not gonna take any of these girls back and drug ‚em up and bang ‚em and shit, you know. So it’s like: it’s good that they’re better to have – I guess, for people that are younger than us – it’s better to have a positive role model or positive person that they’re into. Like, if these chicks are into one of us, it’s like the four of us are decent guys with good values. It’s better then that than something kind of fucked up, or some evil guy who’s just gonna think of them as a piece of meat, you know. (Corey chuckles) So I think it’s a good thing. I think it’s a good thing. It’s better us than some of the other scumbags we’ve toured with. Fuck…! Corey: And it ’s also nice, we can introduce the female audience to metal, because I remember going up like having long hair and wearing metal shirts and being into metal, like… It wasn’t very, you know, if you wanted to get a hot chick or any kind of girl that would like think you are cool or something, it wasn’t very like, I guess the hippest kind of, I guess, style or thing to be into to get girls‘ attention. Because like (imitates a girl): „Oh, long hair! I want you to have spikes with blond tips and wera Abercrombie shirts!“ You know, it’s like, I mean that was shit! And I was like: dude, black and camou and fuckin‘ wearin‘, you know, Nile-shirts to school or something like that. Like that was what I was into. But now it’s cool there is a lot more like girls are getting into it. And it’s cool, cause like over the last like couple of years we’ve seen more – no matter where we are in the world – there is just more girls coming to the shows and actually been into the music a lot. So it’s really cool that it’s kind of turning around. Matt: I don’t just want to play in front of a bunch of sweaty dudes all night, you know. (Corey chuckles) If I’m, if it’s like this emotional thing, you want to have, you know, the opposite sex there, too. And it’s great! Cause wherever… if there are chicks in the band, the guys are gonna wanna be where the chicks are at. And then, you know, you never know. There may be love stories popping up. I mean, we’ve met some fans who, you know, met their boyfriends and stuff at our shows. So that’s really cool: boyfriends and girlfriends love through metal, you know. That sounds so fuckin‘ Manowar! I’m sorry… I guess some metal bands have some really unapproachable-looking guys that I guess that girls, that some couldn’t get into, you know. (both laugh) And I guess we ain’t so bad. So if they want to come out and check us out – come on out! WHAT WAS THE HIGHLIGHT IN THE LAST YEARS FOR EACH OF YOU PERSONALLY? Matt: You know, we were always talking about as kids playing arenas when we grow up. And now that (?) we’ve fully grown up we just did an arena tour. You know, co-headlining with Machine Head. That was fuckin‘ awesome. Co-headlining UK, supporting in Europe and – fuck – that’s a dream come true! Playing arenas! Corey: I think the highlights was the Maiden-tour, „Big Day Out“ in Australia and „Black Crusade“. Because that was kind of like our baby that we kind of came up with the whole tour idea. Not really the name, but the whole concept for this tour we wanted to do, like a year before it happened. And just having something like that, just like a pow-wow with their booking-agent in Australia at the bar kind of coming to fruition and actually happening and being such a great success. It was like something really cool and to end the album-cycle for „The Crusade“ with that tour was an awesome way to kind of close the chapter of that album at that. I guess, point in our career. So, that was… Like a lot of those tours were awesome, but those were my few highlights. „THE UNHOLY ALLIANCE“-TOUR IS JUST THE START FOR YOU. WHAT’S HAPPENING NEXT YEAR TOURING-WISE? Matt: We’ve got a co-headlining U.S.-tour with All That Remains in the U.S. coming up. And then we go to co-headline in the U.K. with Slayer and then support Slayer in Europe for „Unholy Alliance“, and then „Unholy Alliance“ probably North America, then the festival season, hopefully a headlining tour, hopefully another tour with Machine Head. I’ve got my fingers crossed on that one. And so you never know. Just keep going!