Trivium’s Matt Heafy finally wrote the music for a game – and that’s just the start

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“II’m so honored that Trivium has a bard song in Elder Scrolls Online, and for having the opportunity to collaborate with ‘The Phalanx’, but I want to go further, ”says Matt Heafy, guitarist and singer of Trivium. “I want to be there for the construction of the house, not just for the painting. I want to be there from scratch someday.

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Trivium just announced a collaboration with Bethesda on Elder Scrolls Online. In addition to a large-scale marketing partnership that includes a personalized guitar giveaway, the band also created two new tracks for the game: a re-imagining of one of the game’s original Bard songs, and a new track. Trivium, ‘The Phalanx’. For Heafy, it’s a dream come true: He’s been in games his entire life, and some of his earliest memories, he told NME in a panel interview, revolved around video games.

“My dad is a sailor, and my mom is Japanese, and we left Japan when I was a year old – so I was brought up with a lot of these Japanese things that my mom knew; it was a lot of anime and video games, ”Heafy recalls. “I beat Mario when I still spoke mostly Japanese with my mother! I progressed from there to games like Final fantasy and RPG games, where there was a lot more of that Tolkien-esque look than a lot of other things going on.

The Elder Scrolls Online x Trivium art. Credit: Bethesda

It turns out that Trivium is a good choice for Elder Scrolls Online – aside from the metal’s historic relationship to all things high fantasy, Heafy is a longtime Bethesda fan who “grew up playing Skyrim, Elder Scrolls, and Fallout.” The thematic content of games, and metal in general, is part of its DNA at this point. “Sometimes I wonder why I’m so into the imagery that you see in some of the greatest fantasy games, and I think it’s related to the fact that I got into games before I got into music. “, he tells us.

“It must have had an impact on me later: [that imagery] made me gravitate towards metal which had much richer visuals. It’s something metal has always had – looking at those classic metal album covers, it was a world I wanted to be in and it was a world I really painted the soundtrack in.

Heafy goes on to explain that there is a plethora of Trivium tracks that have referenced books, graphic novels, video games, movies, and more. But it’s one thing to be inspired by something, and quite another to create for it. “It has always been a dream for me – for most of my life – to participate in scoring matches.”

Lucky for Heafy, then, Bethesda gave her a chance to step in the door. “When I discovered this collaboration, I panicked,” he laughs. “I was able to take a bard song and turn it into something different!” And we are going to have illustrations of Elder Scrolls Online in one of our videos – it’s so amazing. I’ve always thought that games and metal are so synonymous, that they attract the same kind of people – the underdogs – to these fantastic realms.

While this formal collaboration marks the first time that Heafy and the band have been recruited to make a song specifically for a game (once upon a time, Trivium recorded a Simlish version of “Like Light to the Flies”), it is. not the first time Heafy has drawn on his inspiration to create music. Not by far.

“Since I was a child, Loss and Final fantasy made me realize that the music is fantastic, ”says Heafy. “All of us at Trivium think of ourselves as ‘students of the metal genre’: if you play me three different Scandinavian bands, I could tell you which one is from which country knowing the roots of the music. I have the impression that we are scientists of the plant genre, but for the metal.

“So I’m going to dig into Final Fantasy VII later in my life I was like “wow, that’s a lot of Rainbow” and “oh, there’s Dio in there!” »When I listen again Loss, it’s Metallica and Slayer – and it’s so amazing to see that.

Tying the two threads of gaming and metal together in Trivium’s own music is something Heafy has been doing tacitly for a long time. He notes that ‘The Calamity’ – a track from the band’s fourth album, ‘Shogun’ – is based on Final Fantasy VIIThe theme of the epic boss of, JENOVA. “I wouldn’t call it a JENOVA story, but the idea for ‘The Calamity’ is heavily inspired by that song,” he explains. He also notes that there is a fairly explicit reminder for Loss in “Tread the Floods” from “The Crusade”: the lyrics “I’m kneeling in the still waiting dead” refers to the first level of Loss. Given how close the game has been to Trivium’s production over the past two decades, it’s no surprise, then, to see Bethesda use Heafy’s games and metal knowledge to Elder Scrolls Online.

But what does the future hold for Heafy – and potentially Trivium as a whole – once that first crossover with Bethesda is over? “I would like to do more [collaborations]He said when asked if he would like to work on more games in the future. “It’s no secret that – since I first heard Loss and its 8-bit soundtrack and I thought “this is metal!” ” – work on Loss has been the dream of a lifetime. I even bugged Hugo Martin, [creative director at id Software], a bit about that when I was at QuakeCon and worked on something I call E1M1 II, a sequel if you will Loss’s E1M1.

So far, Heafy has performed with songs in the Loss universe, and he was able to create something that will be included in Elder Scrolls online. Not bad for someone who isn’t a game composer, professionally. But that only whets his appetite for the next step in his video game industry career – proving he has what it takes to build his own full gaming OST.

“Someday I’d like to not only do a song, but paint an entire canvas of what a game can look like – it’s a dream for me as long as it’s been a dream to be in a metal band. to success.”

Heafy goes on to explain that – if he ever had the chance to fully score a match – it would be something “very neoclassical and baroque” mixed with Scandinavian death metal. When Heafy looked at the art of Elder Scrolls Online and immersed himself in his world, he “heard stuff that sounded like Hans Zimmer plus Amon Amarth, more black metal with symphonic elements”. If he went to produce music for a shooter, you know, like Loss – his style would be more mistaken on the side of industrial and metal. Naturally.

“I think there are the right genres of music for different genres of games,” Heafy notes before offering a wonderful and complex explanation to illustrate how his brain has reconstructed the Elder Scrolls Online follow together. “Swedish melodic death metal – or the Gothenburg scene – is drawn from Tampa death metal, traditional Swedish folk music and the new wave of British heavy metal. So when I thought of Elder Scrolls Online, I thought about Swedish death metal with these baroque and classic elements and finding the right balance between the two.

It’s clear Heafy knows what he’s talking about: Music and games are in his blood. With ‘La Phalange’ and the Elder Scrolls Online collaboration, it’s more evident than ever that Heafy’s future may lie in game soundtracks, as well as streams and onstage.

“I want to be there to build the house,” he told us earlier in the interview… we just hope Hugo Martin was listening.

The Elder Scrolls Online: Deadlands will debut on November 1 for all PC / MAC and Stadia players, and on November 16 for all Xbox Series X | S, Xbox One, PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4 players.

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