Here’s an interview that Lucas Aykroyd of Straight.com recently conducted with Trivium : According to naysayers, Trivium is to Metallica what Good Charlotte is to the Sex Pistols. The Orlando-based thrash-metal quartet has faced its share of criticism since forming in 2000, despite high-profile gigs at Ozzfest , Sounds of the Underground , and Britain’s Download Festival . Perhaps there’s some envy due to its youth: the senior member, at age 24, is drummer Travis Smith . í¢äåñIf we were acting like a bunch of 16-year-olds, I could understand it,í¢äå says vocalist-guitarist Matt Heafy , reached aboard his tour bus in snowy Buffalo. í¢äåñBut we’ve got our shit together live and as people. Age is such a trivial thing.í¢äå The outspoken 20-year-old frontman also claims Trivium should never have been accused of pandering to metalcore teenyboppers: í¢äåñMetalcore is a combination of metal and hardcore, and we’ve never been into hardcore. We don’t draw any influence from that scene. Even our second record, Ascendancy, was a metal record. Sure, it had screaming and heavy/soft parts. But only a small number of people would consider it metalcore.í¢äå Ascendancy won Kerrang! ‘s 2005 album of the year award, and Trivium’s new studio outing, The Crusade , could reap similar accolades. This sweeping 13-track effort conjures up the halcyon days before Lars Ulrich and James Hetfield put on eyeliner, sued Napster, and hired a therapist. í¢äåñWe made exactly the kind of music the four of us wanted, regardless of what anyone else said positively or negatively about it,í¢äå Heafy says. The opener, í¢äåñIgnitioní¢äå, builds from a base of pure ’86 thrash, with frenetic fusillades from Smith and bassist Paolo Gregoletto, and diversifies with clean, hooky vocal melodies and lyrics targeting racism, sexism, and homophobia. í¢äåñEntrance of the Conflagrationí¢äå, featuring lead guitarist Corey Beaulieu’s heavy downpicking, explores the Andrea Yates child-killing case and delivers a dark í¢äåñMaster of Puppetsí¢äå vibe. But the band also isn’t afraid to kick into a razor-edged Mí_tley Crí_e groove or add Skid Rowí¢äåäóìesque í¢äåñwhoa-ohí¢äå refrains on í¢äåñAnthem (We Are the Fire)í¢äå. Trivium ‘s sound is still developing, but it already boasts plenty of muscle and virtuosity. Heafy, whose gruffer singing recalls Hetfield’s, is glad he’s cut down on screaming. í¢äåñIn the past, we’d do a 45-minute set and I’d lose my voice for a day,í¢äå he says. í¢äåñNow we’re playing for an hour and a half every single night, and I can handle it just fine.í¢äå He’s getting more comfortable with many things, whether it’s exploring his mother’s Japanese heritage in í¢äåñBecoming the Dragoní¢äå or meeting heroes like Iron Maiden, for whom Trivium will open in Europe this winter. As a headliner in North America, Trivium ‘s days of í¢äåñgetting a loading dock for a dressing room and a bottle of water for a riderí¢äå are long gone. í¢äåñAll you have to do each day is play the show and do about two hours of press,í¢äå says Heafy, putting his group’s relentless touring in perspective. í¢äåñOther than that, you can hang out, exercise, and play video games. It’s really not bad.í¢äå Trivium is currently Crusading across the US. They will be playing LIVE as special guests to Iron Maiden . Dates are as follows: 11/12/2006 – CIA (Cardiff) 12/12/2006 – NEC (Birmingham) 14/12/2006 – Arena (Manchester) 15/12/2006 – SECC Glasgow (Glasgow) 17/12/2006 – Arena (Newcastle) 18/12/2006 – Arena (Sheffield) 20/12/2006 – The Point (Dublin) 22/12/2006 – Earls Court (London) 23/12/2006 – Earls Court (London) The Crusade E-CARD.