Road To Download 2014: Trivium

They've been a part of the Download line-up for the best part of the past decade and now Trivium are closing the second stage on the final day of the festival. Not an easy task by any means. Here we talk to bassist (and Golden God nominee) Paolo Gregoletto about hyped he is for the big weekend.

How excited are you guys to be playing Download festival?

“We are beyond excited, and truly honoured to be returning to Download once again. It is the date that we anxiously circle on the calendar each festival season, it’s sort of like a homecoming for us with all the history we have had there.”

How important is it to you to play the hallowed ground of Donington?

“When I think about the history of Donington and all the bands that have played there, the careers and legends made at the festival site, I get chills. It’s without a doubt one of the most important places for Trivium. The way everything worked out for us was like a dream come true, getting moved to the Saturday main stage opening slot and having all the stars seemingly align for us that day. It’s proof that a place like Donington and festival like Download can change everything for a band in a single set.”

Who do you recommend to watch at Download this year?

“I would highly recommend Volbeat, who are playing on the main stage on Sunday. Having just toured with them, I can say you are in for one the best live bands going today. They are like this hybrid of Elvis, Johnny Cash, and 1950s Americana music, mixed with the Misfits and Metallica. I fucking love them!”

A Gunshot To The Head Of Trepidation

Who is more metal out of the headliners Avenged Sevenfold, Linkin Park or Aerosmith?

“I would definitely pick Avenged Sevenfold for the most metal of the three headliners, and that’s with no disrespect to the other two. I believe Avenged has a great understanding that metal is meant to be BIG. Their songs are both anthemic and powerful, and they have a stage show that matches that bigness in their music. I think this is an exciting time for metal once again, and the fact that a band that started only a few years before Trivium is headlining one of the biggest festivals in the world is testament to the fact that the genre is going to be around for years to come.”

What is your best festival memory?

“Being asked to join Metallica on stage to do the back up vocals to Die, Die, My Darling with the dudes in Bullet For My Valentine and Avenged Sevenfold. It is not only my best festival memory, but probably one of the greatest moments of my life.”

What are your three essential items to take to Download?

“I would highly recommend sun screen, because getting pushed around in a most pit with a sun burn doesn’t sound fun. Number two would be to bring some wellies. Download 2012 was the muddiest one we have played, and those boots saved the day for everyone out in the crowd and backstage. My third essential item would be a battery back-up for my phone, which came in handy last year when I came out for the 2013 weekend. Phones die fast when you are having fun!”

What is the most metal thing you’ve ever done?

“I dressed up in this sort of biker meets ‘Philthy’ Phil get up with Corey’s leather jacket, a Sharpie’d handlebar moustache, and a black wig after one of our Brixton shows with Machine Head on the Black Crusade tour back in 2007. During Machine Head’s set I went over to the side stage to rock out and get a laugh out of the guys. I can’t remember who motioned for me to go up to the mic and do some backing vocals on Davidian, but there I was yelling ‘Let freedom ring with a shotgun blast!’ Robb didn’t know it was me up there, he just saw some random asshole with a handle bar moustache up at the mic, it could have been a guest or someone from the crowd for all he knew! He came over and kicked me in the leg to get off (the dude has a strong kick by the way) and I took the hint. I was little worried he might have been pissed off about it afterwards, but when he found out it was me dressed up like an idiot, we all laughed about it over quite a few ‘brown eye’ cocktails and I got a pretty great story out of it.”

Trivium headline the Zippo Encore stage on the Sunday of Download. Get your tickets here.

Luke Morton joined Metal Hammer as Online Editor in 2014, having previously worked as News Editor at popular (but now sadly defunct) alternative lifestyle magazine, Front. As well as helming the Metal Hammer website for the four years that followed, Luke also helped relaunch the Metal Hammer podcast in early 2018, producing, scripting and presenting the relaunched show during its early days. He also wrote regular features for the magazine, including a 2018 cover feature for his very favourite band in the world, Slipknot, discussing their turbulent 2008 album, All Hope Is Gone.