Roadrunner United - Team Captain: Matthew K Heafy
Roadrunner has just released its 25 year album: Roadrunner United - The All-Star Sessions and last week Trivium frontman and Team Captain Matthew K Heafy answered some questions for you concerning this project. Here is the result!
Roadrunner has been around for 25 years now, what does this mean for you?
Well obviously I wasn’t around for the whole 25 years (grin). I have always been a huge fan of the label and my favourite bands are Slipknot, Machine Head and Fear Factory. It is really amazing to be on the same label as bands you look up to.
Did those guys have any influences on your music or life?
Not all of them but we definitively got some Machine Head influences in our music. And Paolo added some Sepultura sounds. But not influences to look like a major band on the label.
And I saw I funny fact concerning your first live song ever?
Yeah, (SIC) from Slipknot. We covered it because it was a great opener.
Besides the four captains there are no people playing in more than one song, what was the selection process like?
A few guys played in more songs I think but about the selection; Literally they gave me a huge check list with names. And I could pick whoever I wanted to.
And did the artist had to sign in for that list?
No, everybody was on it and after me picking they called and almost everybody said yes.
Tell us the story about becoming a captain
I got a call from the A&R manager if I wanted to record a King Diamond song. That was about two weeks before our last European tour was over. I said ofcourse! And after doing that one I just did another one, and another one and so they decided to make me a captain! So I went home for a day, flew in for pre production and then recorded with each member I had chosen for a day.
So actually there were only three captains?
Yes, I was added later on in the process. I actually never met the other captains.
The is a huge diversity of styles on the album, you are combining unique expertise together, what was that like?
I knew before I went into the studio what artist I wanted to use for the song I was going to record. I knew the style of the guys and just wanted them to come and play. For the Black Metal song I had everything planned in my mind.
And what was the order of writing and choosing?
First I wrote the songs and after that I chose the guys; it wasn’t something like writing for a certain guitar player.
On the first single The End we hear another side of your vocal capabilities, what was the idea behind this single?
Dino had two songs for me, a heavy one and the slow one and I really liked the clean song when I heard it. So I wrote the lyrics in an hour or two and I recorded the song and then it was done. Over the years I gotten better in the singing so it was a great challenge to do something like this. Just experiment with music, that is what I do.
In the early stage of the project there was a rumour that every single captain wanted to work with Chad Kroeger. He did not appear on the album.
Haha, I never said that but again, I was added later. I don’t know why somebody wanted to do that.
For a hit single maybe?
I thought about the guitar player from Nickelback but never came around using him. Maybe it was good for a radio hit. I just wanted metal guys, it is a one time opportunity, you got to take it!
Yeah; but he can write hits, maybe they wanted to try it with another person.
I know that I am not supposed to know or ask but what about the concert in NY on December 15th? Can you tell us some exclusive details?
I know this since one week man. You probably know more than me!
Are you going to be a part of that?
I don’t know. They didn’t ask me to play so I don’t know if I participate.
If you get the chance to perform one of your songs there, which one would you choose?
Roadrunner will ask me to play The End but I want to play Dawn of a Golden Age. I am a huge Black Metal fan and I just want to play that one live! Or maybe the King Diamond track, I just love those two songs.
Any side projects started during this period?
Not that I know of but I am sure there are some cool ideas since the project. If I had the chance I would start a Black Metal band! But I am to busy, it might happen sometimes though.
On the list of artists, were there artist that weren’t available?
I would love to work with Rob Flynn, write a song with him, but he was too busy.
How did the actual songwriting and recording take place?
Well, I wrote the songs before the recordings on tour; in the back of the bus; no amp; shitty guitar and after that one by one the artists were flown in and we recorded the songs. First drums, then guitars, bass and finally the vocals. But the bands were never complete. Every single band records that way so it was obvious for us to do it like that.
If you had 2 weeks for every song with the entire band, what would happen?
I think some other influences would enter the music and style. Now the music was finished and everybody did their thing using their style but some parts had to be the way they were. Normally with a band you can alter the song so if we had two weeks for each song we definitely would have changed some parts but I am not sure.
Are there tracks that didn’t make the album?
No, everything that was recorded can be found on the album! No b-sides this time!