Creating Trivium’s “SHOGUN”

Sound Kitchen: Home of the Big Boy was chosen by Nick Raskulinecz as the venue to track the new Trivium record. It was my first time meeting Nick in Nashville, and I was thrilled about it. Nick requested that I bring my pair of Lynx II synchronizers so we could utilize a tape machine for tracking.

Situated just south of Nashville in Cool Springs, Sound Kitchen was a sprawling complex with multiple studios. Despite being put up in an extended stay hotel, there wasn’t much to explore in the immediate area.

Our setup at the studio began with the impressive API Legacy console, which was then the largest ever built. It boasted plenty of flexibility and features, including dynamics on every channel and API EQs.

During setup, Travis attempted to incorporate his triggers for the drum setup, but I reassured him that they wouldn’t be necessary. With our drum tech extraordinaire, Jon Nicholson, from Los Angeles onboard, we were in good hands. Jon was familiar with our preferences and knew exactly what needed to be done.Once the drum kit was dialed in and all 33 microphones were carefully placed around it, Travis took his place on the drum throne and started hitting the kick drum. He was taken aback by the tone, attack, and weight of each kick drum, exclaiming, “Those are my kick drums?”

After settling on our recording setup, we decided to track a segment of a song both to tape and Pro Tools. Following careful comparison and discussion, Nick ultimately chose to proceed with Pro Tools at 96k. With our plan solidified, Nick was eager to dive into tracking.

Once the drums were recorded, we shifted our focus to laying down the main guitar overdubs. Matt and Corey had an impressive collection of Peavey amps, including the 5150, 5150 block, 6505, and 6505 Plus, which were crucial for achieving their signature tone. With most of the guitar parts tracked, I relocated to another studio to collaborate closely with Corey on his guitar solos.

Trivium. Image by Paul Michael Hughes.

Working alongside Corey was a revelation. His mastery of the guitar, especially his command of the fretboard, was truly impressive. As a fellow guitarist, I found myself deeply impressed by his skill and technique.

As we approached the end of the recording process, we were tasked with uploading a song for Colin Richardson to mix. We streamlined the track as much as possible and created a compressed file for upload, which turned out to be a hefty 4 gigabytes. Our dedicated assistant, Ben Terry, worked tirelessly through the night to ensure the successful upload.

Throughout the recording process, we switched studios a couple of times, starting in the API room, then moving to a Neve VR room, and eventually settling into an SSL room for vocals and additional guitar solos. As my time in Tennessee drew to a close, on my last day, I packed up with my unused Lynx II in hand and bid farewell to Nick, Ben, Travis, Matt, Corey, and Paolo.

Since its release, Shogun has sold over 300,000 copies worldwide.[21] In the United States in its first week of release sold 24,000 copies and debuted at number 23 on the Billboard 200 chart,[22] and the top 100 in 18 other countries, including number 6 on the Japanese international charts, number 4 on the Canadian Hard Rock Charts, number 1 on the UK rock charts and number 4 on the Australian charts