I love the first Sepultura albums. For me it’s always been ‘Chaos A.D.’, ‘Roots’, etc. They just have this special quality that not many bands have had since.”
Paolo Gregoletto: Hello?
Wikimetal (Daniel Dystyler): Hello, Paolo Can you hear us?
PG: Yeah, I can hear you now.
W (DD): I think we fixed the problem, it was on our side. How are you?
PG: I’m very good, how are you?
W (DD): Thanks so much for giving us a chance of talking. It’s really an honor to have Paolo here at the Wikimetal show. I’m here with Nando, who’s another co-host of the Wikimetal show.
W (Nando Machado): How are you, Paolo?
PG: How are you doing, man?
W (NM): Great, great. Just to start, what do you think of the metal scene in the US today? Is it fair to say that is one of the best moments ever for metal in America with the great commercial success of bands like Disturbed, Lamb of God and Trivium?
PG: Yeah, I mean, I don’t know. I feel like metal in the US is kind of at sort of a crossroads. When we came out in, like, 2004, 2005, I think metal was sort of on an upswing, and there’s was a definite resurgence. And if you fast forward to now, I feel like there’s a lot of metal bands because of that, but I just feel like there are so many fragmented scenes of heavy music now, that it’s kind of… It’s just in another phase, I guess. There is a lot of heavy music, but, I don’t know, it’s kind of changing, like, if you go to Warped Tour now, you see… There’s like Warped Tour metal. And then if you go to Mayhem, there are bands like us doing what we do. And then, aside from that there’s a whole underground world of metal, so it’s kind of, there’s a lot of stuff, but not really like one gigantic unified metal scene like there was back in 2005, 2006, and even 2007, when, I don’t know, there was just that big resurgence of that New Wave of American Heavy Metal, I guess you could kind of call it.
W (NM): I was going to ask you about this, do you think there is a New Wave of American Heavy Metal?
PG: I don’t know, I mean, it’s not like a… If there is, there’s a lot of bands that just don’t feel that there’s a unified thing at the moment, where I feel like, from that moment, when we first came out, there were just so many bands coming from the States that were really making their mark on the rest of the world, and, you know, we were very lucky to be a part of it. I think, you know, bands like Killswitch, Lamb of God, and, you know, countless other bands that kind of came out of that 2004, 2005 Ozzfest group, you know, on the second stage, it was sort of… It was that movement, there were a lot of bands doing it, and I think the interest in metal from overseas was at a peak at that point, you know, a lot of people were definitely citing a lot of the Gothenburg bands and a lot of, you know, overseas metal bands as their influences, and I think right now there’s just kind of… There are so many bands; I don’t feel like there’s that group of bands yet that are doing that same thing, like what happened in 2004 to 2007.
And when you’ve got a guy behind you like Nick Augusto that’s keeping the time well and playing his part solidly, it just enhances the rest of the band, and it’s just much easier to be tighter live.”
W (DD): Great, Paolo. And what is the importance of having Colin Richardson producing “In Waves” and not only mixing it?
PG: I think it was, after all these years of working with him, you know, I know he wanted to work with us on “Shogun”, but we went with Nick Raskulinecz at the time, and I think it was just kind of a natural thing, that was bound to happen. He’s always been a fan of the band, and we’ve always been a fan of not only his production work, but his mixing as well. And it just made sense to us to finally have him not only mix our record, but produce it. And it was a great process for us, it was really kind of a… Almost a reset as a band, because we brought Nick into the band, it was kind of a new situation, and I think Colin’s technical abilities, as well as just the way he is as a producer, along with Ginge, Ginge Ford and Carl Bown, who also worked on with us, it was just the right team of people for us at the time.
W (NM): Great. And also, is it true that Colin said that you are probably the best bassist he had ever worked with?
PG: Yeah, he had said that, which I… I was kind of surprised that he said that even, I mean, he’s worked with some incredible bands, and the only guy that comes to mind that I feel far surpasses my technical ability is Alex Webster, of Cannibal Corpse, you know, he’s worked with them before, so… I mean, for him to say that is a huge honor. I’m just always very prepared when it comes to doing my bass parts in the studio, I practice a lot before, and when I get in there, I like things to just feel like second nature, as opposed to, you know, being kind of nervous, not sure if I’m going to be able to nail a part. I like to know that everything’s going to be smooth. So when I got into the studio, things moved very quickly, and I don’t think they had worked with someone that worked as fast I had.
W (DD): And still talking about this, back in the day, who were your favorite bass players of all time, the ones that made you pursue this career?
PG: Well, the initial guys that really kind of sparked my interest in heavy metal bass playing were Cliff Burton, Jason Newsted, Steve Harris… Then I started getting into some heavier music, Alex Webster, Steve DiGiorgio, many guys, D.D., from Overkill… I mean, there are so many guys that I can list for that, it’s just… I happened to be introduced to a lot of these old school metal acts through people that were teaching me bass and guitar at the time. And also I just happened to have a couple friends who were into the same things that I was into, and at the time there was really no one listening to stuff like that. At least not openly saying “Yeah, I’m into this”, it was more of, I guess, the height of new metal at the time in the States, so it was just by coincidence that I met some other like-minded people that kind of showed me, you know, what came before what was popular in the 90s. And that kind of influenced how I played my bass, and I kind of stuck to my guns with what I wanted to play, I mean, the first local band that I was in, which was pretty much the only local band I was in for like five or six years, was playing kind of a… You know, kind of went in between, you know, the classic metal, thrash, a little bit of death style music, and it was just kind of whatever I was into at the time. But a lot of people told me “Oh, this will never work, because people don’t listen to this anymore, no one likes this style, it’s not popular, it’s not what’s selling”, and I just kind of disregarded that, and when I finally came to be in Trivium, it was like insane, not only were there all these new bands starting to play this style of music again, you know, obviously a little bit differently, but I found three other dudes that were into the same styles of music, and even introduced me to other stuff, that I had never really given a listen to, and it was just, you know, it was just by coincidence that I happened to be into a lot of these older acts, I guess, which kind of set the foundation for what we do today.
I’m just always very prepared when it comes to doing my bass parts in the studio, I practice a lot before.”
W (NM): And tell me… This is the first album that features the new drummer Nick Augusto. How did it change the band´s sound and how did the Trivium fans accept the new member of the band?
PG: Well, I think, with “In Waves”, you know, it was such a great experience being in the studio with Nick, he’s a really phenomenal drummer, tracks very quickly, he always has tons of ideas for his drum parts, and even the ideas he gives to us, you know, about parts in the songs, it’s nice to have a fourth member be a contributing member, and just really into what he’s doing. And I think the biggest thing that he’s really improved upon Trivium is in the life set, it’s become such a tighter band. He’s always on top of it, and we always get asked, you know “Do you guys play to a click track? Do you guys have track lives?” and we’re like “No, we don’t play with anything, we just plug in and we play.” And that’s the ultimate compliment for us, that people would even ask us if we play with backing tracks, you know, or to a metronome. Because that really just boils down to Nick being a very solid drummer, and when you’ve got a guy behind you that’s keeping the time well and playing his part solidly, it just enhances the rest of the band, and it’s just much easier to be tighter live. And as for the music with Nick, I think we’re still evolving with him, I mean, we’ve written like 10, 12 demos, and I can already tell that Nick has so much more of an idea of what he wants to do with his parts, and what he wants to get on record, whereas with “In Waves”, it was still kind of a discovery of, you know, having a new member in the band, and also for us a rediscovery of like, not only do we have this guy do so much as a drummer, where do we go from here? What elements do we add into our band that we could have never done before? It was sort of that experiment. Now I think we really know and have found what the Trivium sound is in 2012. So we’re moving forward from there with the new stuff, and I’m just really excited to get into the rehearsal space and hear these demos really come to life.
W (NM): And I guess you played an important part in inviting him to the band, like, you probably had a personal relationship with him before, because he was the drum tech, but you, especially, you played with him in a band before Trivium, right?
PG: Yeah, I mean, I’ve known Nick since I was six years old, and we played in the first actual band together when we were 13. And I just knew Nick was a phenomenal drummer, and I asked that everyone just give it a chance, and give someone they had never really heard a chance to really play with us, I mean, it was definitely… It could have gone very badly, because he had to learn the songs in 12 days, and jump back out on tour with us, but, I mean, he stepped up big time, and we’re always going to be grateful that he was able to do that for us, and it really… It saved the band. We needed something like that to happen for us, to move Trivium forward, and just kind of get out of the rut that we were in, not only just as a band, but as friends, musically, everything all around was just kind of at a weird spot at that point, and Nick really helped save the day.
‘Master of Puppets’ is my favorite song of all time, favorite album of all time, and it’s perfect.”
W (DD): And Paolo, we have a classic question on our show, one that we ask every single person that we interview: imagine yourself, like, listening to your ipod on shuffle mode, or listening to a radio rock station on your car, and all of a sudden a song starts that you can refrain yourself, you can’t control yourself, you need to head bang immediately, doesn’t matter where you are, you can’t stop yourself. What song is that, so we can listen to that one on our show right now?
PG: Oh, that song would definitely be “Master of Puppets”. That’s my favorite song of all time, favorite album of all time, and it’s perfect. I don’t know how… I don’t know, any time that song ever comes on in a nightclub, or at a show in between a set, I mean, it’s just got that special thing that made that album such a classic. And that song so epic. You know, for being eight minutes long, it just feels like the song flies by when it starts, and it just has such an amazing riffs all throughout it, so that’s definitely the song I would say that there’s no controlling myself, I start head banging right away.
W (DD): So that was “Master of Puppets”, by Metallica, and if I’m not mistaken, you guys already covered that song live, right?
PG: Yeah, we actually covered it as a… It was on a tribute album to…
W (DD): Yeah, that’s right.
PG: It was for Kerrang, and, you know, when we got the chance to do it, we were like, you know, “We’ll definitely do Master of Puppets”, it was just such a special song for all of us. And you know, we didn’t want to really deviate from the song structure, so what we did was we wanted to try to replicate it as closely as possible. And that was our tribute to it, it’s that it’s such a perfect song that there is no way you can deviate from what was done to make it better. It’s a perfect song, and we did our best to pay tribute to it, and it was an honor to do. And, you know, the fact that the guys actually heard it and were really impressed by it was the ultimate compliment, you know. That’s something that not many people get to say they have experienced, to cover their favorite band’s song and, you know, hear feedback from them on it.
W (NM): Talking about the cover you guys did of Sepultura’s “Slave New World”, what do you think of Sepultura, and how important do you think these Brazilian guys are to metal in general?
PG: Honestly, Sepultura’s one of my favorite bands, and I think the thing that I love about them, and one thing that I feel like is lacking from music today is, you know… Sepultura really hit their musical strive with “Chaos A.D.”, and they really infused their thrash sound with this groove behind it. I think that’s one thing that I miss now, when I sometimes hear some modern metal records. You don’t feel… I mean, today, obviously, things sound amazing, probably some of the best musicians to have ever lived are now playing in heavy metal bands. But there is this kind of groove and this attitude in their music that it’s just not the same, you know, there is that thing that this band had at that particular moment, and I think “Chaos A.D.” is an album that I always go back to, you know, to really just kind of… You know, when I’m writing music if I listen to that, it like resets what I’m thinking, it strips down all the technicality that sometimes, as a musician, you kind of overwrite sometimes, you’ll be writing riffs, and you’ll be getting so technical and parts will be getting so fast, and if you listen to an album like that, it almost kind of brings you back, you’re like “Wow”, this is… Some of these riffs are very simple, but it wasn’t that they were playing it to appeal to just the wider audience, it’s like there is space and there is groove behind it, and it just made things sound so much heavier and so much bigger. I love the first couple Sepultura albums, and I know that Corey and Nick, in particular, I think, prefer their thrashier albums, but for me it’s always been, you know “Chaos A.D.”, “Roots”… They just have this special quality to them, that not many bands have had since.
There’s a lot of metal initiatives and stuff going on, but not really like one gigantic unified Metal scene.”
W (DD): And let me tell you this, which is kind of funny, we have a young couple of listeners that are huge fans of yours. And they both had the same tattoo done, which is the number 8, as the infinite symbol, the number 8, standing for the day that Trivium is going to play in Brazil, and they wrote “In Waves” in it.
PG: That’s awesome.
W (DD): So I’m going to ask you, how is it for you guys from Trivium to deal with the responsibility of influencing people all over the world, especially the young people, the young generation?
PG: I mean, it’s a huge responsibility, because there are so many things that we deal with being in a band, I mean… You know, first and foremost, you always want to be about your music, but there are always those things like, you know, getting bigger, or bands making money, that kind of get in the way of that artistic purity, I guess, where you’re not affected by that. Especially in the beginning, that’s what makes, I think, some bands just so great out of the gate, when they make their first two albums. And we’ve realized that, you know, what we’re doing matters in the long run. If you make an album that’s a quick cash in, you know, maybe that’ll be good for the moment, but over the long run, that’s not really going to help, you know, these kids that are looking up to you, you know, it’s almost a letdown. And I would rather not let down a bunch of kids that are playing music now, or just disappoint them by making an album that’s purely just to get bigger and make a lot of money. There’s so much more to it than that. You have to always keep that balance, that yes, you know, when your band gets bigger, there are other things that come into the equation aside from the music. But in terms of playing music, you know, I’ve always preferred heavy music, you know, I didn’t get into pop music because… You know, I don’t look at music for the monetary value. If I wanted to make music to make, you know, stupid money, then maybe I’d go write a Nashville, but I wouldn’t feel fulfilled with that, I never wanted to do music because of that. So there’s a responsibility you have to keep, you have to write great riffs, you have to write songs that mean something, you know, sometimes you just have to do what feels right to you, and not what’s going to look good for you to get on the radio, or to, I don’t know, to sell to the masses. I mean, I think if you make great music, all that stuff will come no matter what, and I’ve always said that with really large acts even. You know, a lot of the best bands that have stayed around, regardless of the genre, are because they were true to their musical abilities, and the writing, and their lyrics, and that’s like a very important thing to Trivium.
W (DD): I was listening to another great heavy metal show that runs in the US and in Canada, and they were telling a story that I’d like to ask about, because it’s really great. They were saying that, on a concert, people were pushing on the front row, and there was a girl that, I don’t know if she got pushed, or she got injured, and you stopped playing, you put your bass off, and you jumped off the stage to try to help, to see what was going on. Do you remember that, and can you share that memory of that concert?
PG: I can’t really think of the specific show, but I know that that’s happened before, not just, you know, whether it was me or whether it was Matt or someone else in the band, I mean, definitely we know when to stop a show. You know, you don’t want to lose the momentum, but sometimes it’s a responsibility, since you’re kind of controlling the audience at that moment, to just calm things down, and if someone’s hurt or if you see that they’re getting hurt, it’s better to stop the show and start the song again when everyone’s all right, then let someone get hurt.
W (NM): Thank you so much, Paolo, it was a real honor to talk to you, and we look forward to seeing you here in Brazil.
PG: Yeah, man, thank you.
W (DD): Thanks so much, Paolo, and count on Wikimetal to promote everything that you or Trivium do in the future, we’ll always be there promoting the excellent job you guys have been doing defending metal.
PG: Thank you, man. We appreciate it very much. Thank you.
W (DD): Thanks, bye bye!
PG: Take care.
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