In a brand new interview with Rock Sins conducted before the start of TRIVIUM‘s European tour, frontman Matt Heafy was asked if it been frustrating for the band’s core trio — Heafy, guitarist Corey Beaulieu and bassist Paolo Gregoletto — to have gone through so many drummer changes over the years, including last year’s departure of Paul Wandtke and addition of Alex Bent. He responded: “It is definitely not fun having to teacher a drummer how to play songs off of all seven records every couple of years. [Laughs] It’s not something we do for fun and it’s definitely not something we like to do. It’s always been out of necessity. I know that’s hard for people to understand sometimes.
“When fans hear a record and they love that record and then they see the drummer live and then they grow to be attached to them, that’s great,” he continued. “We love every drummer we’ve ever had and we wish all of them well, but every single time we’ve made a change, it’s been an absolute necessity of change.
“People need to remember that if we kept things the way they were at any given point, then the band may or may not be around anymore, so it’s really important for people to know that we’re always striving to have the best for our fans and for us, so sometimes a change is needed. It’s not something you want to know — you never want to do it, even with the first time when we parted ways with Travis [Smith], that was an absolute necessity. So when we make a change, hopefully everyone can have a better path of their own.
“Corey, Paolo and myself have stayed together in TRIVIUM and even back with Travis, we said to him we wish him well and that hopefully he could build his own legacy from that point. With that first change, it was a case of make the change and survive as TRIVIUM or don’t make the change and we probably wouldn’t exist anymore.”
Heafy also shot down any speculation that TRIVIUM‘s constant revolving door of drummers is caused by the fact that the guys in the band are difficult to work with. “The three of us are super-easygoing guys,” he insisted. “I know that’s probably contrary to belief, with the fact we’ve had rotating drummers [laughs], but we’re three normal dudes [and] we’ve always gotten along, personality wise, with everyone we’ve had. It’s just sometimes with the playing, things need to be changed because the chemistry needs to happen that way, and I think if it was a case of me and a constant rotating door of three other musicians, then maybe there’d be more speculation, but the fact it’s been me, Corey and Paolo, we’ve been around together for so long and we’ve kept that lineup, I think that shows something. That is a really big slot to fill for whoever comes in.”
He added: “Right now, things with Alex are amazing and I hope they stay amazing, but you can never really tell what’s going to happen.
“Like I said, I wish nothing but the absolute best for all the drummers we’ve had. I know some people were rubbed a little the wrong way by the fact I used the term ‘session drummer’ [in a recent interview] about our last three drummers, but it’s a true statement. I also feel like the term ‘session drummer’ is a massive compliment. Here is a musician who’s been able to transcend the reach of all musicians, of anyone that plays an instrument, and is able to be hired into something.
“Anyone who plays with us, the opportunity that has been given to each of the people who have played drums with us has been the world. I guess you could say the destiny of that drummer is in their own hands, and you can say the same with Alex. His future in this band is entirely in his own hands, so I hope he can live up to that.”
Wandtke made his live debut with TRIVIUM in December 2015 at Knotfest in Mexico. A short time later, he appeared in an official promotional photo with the three core members of the band.
Paul joined the Florida outfit on the recommendation of DREAM THEATER‘s Mike Mangini and replaced Mat Madiro, who departed due to reasons of “creativity.”
Madiro was the featured drummer on TRIVIUM‘s latest album, “Silence In The Snow”, which was released in October 2015 via Roadrunner.