The 2011 Defenders Of The Faith tour is tearing up the UK this week as five bastions of metal keep the flag flying.

rushonrock editor Simon Rushworth caught up with Corey Beaulieu to talk guitar heroes, hockey and die-hard fans. 

rushonrock: With five top notch bands on the DOTF tour is the pressure on Trivium to justify top billing?

Corey Beaulieu: We just do our thing. It’s a good tour with a lot of good bands. If you’ve got a ticket it’s going to be a fun show. If we do what we do best then it’ll be a killer show. We have our own style and we’re very confident on what we do. We don’t have to put any more pressure on ourselves because we already have high standards. Most of the bands on the bill we’ve toured with before but Ghost is a new one for all of us. So far we’ve been pretty busy on show nights so we’ve only been able to catch a song here and a song there. We met Ghost on the first day but even now I’m not sure which guy is which! They told us their names but who knows who’s actually wearing the gear? I don’t have any idea who I’ve actually talked to and they like to keep all of that stuff a mystery.

rushonrock: Is metal a faith and how religiously do you follow it?

CB: I think metal is a faith of sorts. Usually when metal fans get into that music or a specific band they stick with it for most of their lives. They’re very loyal, very passionate and believe in the music. In that respect it’s like a faith. As a band we really get to enjoy the feeling you get from that passion and we have a lot of fun doing this as a career. Metal heads are really into the bands they follow and it’s no different where Trivium fans are concerned. People I’ve met have our signatures tattooed on their bodies and that’s really cool. Metal fans are the most die-hard music fans in the world and as a musician it’s extremely rewarding to experience that loyalty and love.

rushonrock: How challenging is it as one of two guitarists in a band where the pace is so fast?

CB: We play a lot together and practice hard together and rehearse together for every tour. We’ve played enough shows together and written enough songs together to know that, by the time we hit the road, everyone in this band knows their job. By the time we hit your town or city we are fully prepared and, while I’m not saying we’re complacent, you switch on to auto pilot and do what you do best. I do play some pretty fast stuff but that’s what practice is all about. It allows us to focus on the showmanship when we play in front of a big crowd and that’s important. The stagecraft is something you can’t rehearse or recreate until you’re actually out there on show night. That’s what I enjoy about touring – it makes all the hard work worthwhile.

rushonrock: Are you enjoying playing the new material live and how do you assess In Waves as a Trivium record?

CB: When we play live we’re playing six songs off the new record so I think that shows just how highly we rate it as a band! The new songs are a lot of fun to play – they were written in an as-live setting and that comes across in the shows. We want them to have the energy that was there from the beginning. I suppose some of the guitar parts are a bit more simplistic but I have a lot of fun letting myself go with the new songs. In fact we’re looking forward to the time when we can rotate a few more songs from In Waves into the set. As far as the album itself is concerned we spent a lot of time pulling it together and we wanted it to sound exactly the way that it should sound. We’ve already started writing songs for the new record but the new alum is a little way off yet.

rushonrock: How did you come to study in Brewer at the famous Mark’s Music?

CB: When I was just starting out playing the guitar I found a guitar teacher in my town. There came a point where he couldn’t do lessons anymore and he referred me to the teacher who taught him. I took lessons from him for four years. It was a great situation to be in having taught myself on my own for so many years. It is good to have someone teaching you because you progress more quickly and more positively. I learnt so much more in a shorter space of time but the basics allowed me to pick things up faster.

rushonrock: Who are your three favourite guitarists and why?

CB: I suppose Marty Friedman (ex-Megadeth) was always a big influence. I always loved listening to his playing. He had a very unique style and although he used some outside influences he used a lot of exotic scales that just perked my ear. I always tried to copy the tricks that he used to spice up his playing. Number two would be George Lynch and I loved the solos he did with Dokken. Those solos had an epic energy – for me I used to wait for those solos and they were the highlight of the song for me. They were always like a song within a song but it wasn’t always about playing at 150mph. It was just real catchy. And coming it at number three it would be a real toss-up between Alex Skolnick and Yngwie Malmsteen.

rushonrock: How excited are Trivium about the original Black Sabbath reforming?

CB: It’s pretty cool. I wasn’t a huge fan of the band growing up but I got into a lot of the bands that they influenced so I guess they kind of influenced me. By the time I came to Sabbath Ozzy was long gone. But it’s definitely a cool thing for metal. They’re pretty much one of the creators of the genre and it’s great to see a band of their calibre playing Download. It’s so exciting for the festival and a lot of people will want to see it. For every other band out there they’ll want to be on that bill. It’s great exposure for metal in general.

rushonrock: Is the fact that Metallica and Sabbath are two of Download’s three headliners proof that metal as a faith is stronger than ever?

CB: I think pretty much these two bands alone will sell the bulk of tickets for Download. They are two incredible bands to top the bill. I’ve seen Metallica a few times and they never do a bad show. They have so many great songs and so many great albums and such a huge back catalogue to get through. But watching them play the Black album will be pretty cool!

rushonrock: You used to be an ice hockey player in your youth – do you ever wish you’d gone down that path instead of following the road to metal?

CB: I’m big into sports. I played hockey for a few years but then I got into music and wanted to do that right. But if I’d never got into playing guitar I’d have wanted to pursue a career in sport. Sport is a big thing for me. Hockey and guitars were the two things I was most passionate about as a kid.