Matt Heafy performing in the 2011 Mayhem Festival
|Birth name||Matthew Kiichi Heafy|
|Also known as||Matt Heafy|
January 26, 1986 |
|Origin||Orlando, Florida, United States|
|Genres||Metalcore, thrash metal, technical death metal, black metal|
|Occupations||Vocalist, musician, songwriter|
|Instruments||Vocals, guitar, bass, saxophone, drum|
|Associated acts||Trivium, Capharnaum, Mindscar, Tomorrow Is Monday|
Matthew Kiichi Heafy (born January 26, 1986) is a Japanese-American musician, best known as the lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist for the American heavy metal band Trivium. Heafy is also the vocalist for the band Capharnaum, along with Trivium's former producer Jason Suecof.
Heafy's mother is of Japanese descent and his father is of Irish descent. As stated in an interview, he was born in Iwakuni, Japan, and only lived there for one year. His family then moved to Orlando, Florida, where he currently resides.
Heafy attended Lake Brantley High School. He completed his senior year while also touring in Europe, and graduated in 2004. He currently plays a custom Gibson 7-string guitar. He used 6-string guitars for Trivium's first two albums, utilizing standard tuning and Drop D tuning on Ember to Inferno, and solely drop D tuning on Ascendancy. On Trivium's third record, The Crusade, he returned to standard tuning and performed some songs on 7-string guitars. On Shogun, Heafy used 7-string guitars almost exclusively, with only two songs using a 6-string. For Trivium's fifth studio album "In Waves", Heafy returned to using solely 6-string guitars and used drop C# tuning similar to the drop D as seen on Ascendancy.
Heafy does not know formal music theory, and was almost completely self-taught. However, he does know how to read sheet music, but can only apply it on the saxophone and banjo. "Self taught for quite a bit of it, did lessons on and off for maybe two or three years, but I do not know anything formal music on guitar. I do on saxophone though…but that doesn’t help me on guitar."
On January 10, 2010, Heafy married Ashley Howard in Orlando, Florida. The wedding was attended by close friends and family.
Matt still often uses the same first Gibson Les Paul he got from his father, in both a live and studio setting.
In 2011, Matt shocked a lot of his fans by cutting his long hair, that he has had since he grew it after the release of "Ascendancy". In an interview, Heafy finally gave a reason why he cut it. He stated, "A lot of people have been asking about the hair. I cut it off and donated it to Locks of Love, which is a foundation for kids with cancer and leukemia. So they make wigs out of real hair. This is the first time I've had short hair I guess since I was like 17 or so. So it feels good, I've been sweating a lot less than I used to."
Matt Heafy unofficially joined Trivium at the age of twelve, but became the official frontman after Brad Lewter, the previous vocalist of Trivium, quit the band shortly after Heafy joined. Heafy assumed responsibility for vocals and the majority of the songwriting. Matt's debut with Trivium included his compositions of "Fugue", "Demon", "Requiem", "Sworn", and "The Storm". He has also composed the songs and lyrics for Ember to Inferno and Ascendancy.
With the release of Trivium's 4th album, Shogun, Heafy greatly expanded his vocal range; from very melodic singing to hardcore screams. In 2011 Trivium's fifth studio album In Waves was released with a 'greater emphasis on songs rather than skill' with the album featuring the full range of Heafy's vocal talents with some songs being entirely composed of screaming and others with no screaming at all, and many songs that fused the two as with previous records.
In Trivium, Matt shares lead guitar duties with Corey Beaulieu though he is responsible for recording the rhythm tracks on the albums.
Tomorrow Is Monday
After Ember to Inferno, Heafy experimented with post-hardcore music, and made a joke band called Tomorrow Is Monday. They have released a song titled "Head on Collision with a Rosebush Catching Fire". As revealed in a 2008 interview in Rock Sound, they wrote, recorded and edited the song in one hour.
In 2005, Roadrunner Records released Roadrunner United: The All-Star Sessions to celebrate the label's 25th birthday. Four "team captains" were chosen: Joey Jordison (Slipknot, Murderdolls), Robert Flynn (Machine Head), and Dino Cazares (Fear Factory) as well as Heafy. Heafy also wrote the lyrics and sang the lead vocals to "The End", captained by Dino Cazares. He and bandmate/guitarist Corey Beaulieu recorded the song "In the Fire" as well, featuring singer King Diamond, bassist Mike D'Antonio, and drummer Dave Chavarri. He also wrote and played guitar on the tracks "Dawn of a Golden Age", "I Don't Wanna Be (A Superhero)" and "Blood and Flames", also contributing vocals to the latter.
Heafy—along with several other metal artists—makes a guest appearance in the music video for "All I Want" by A Day to Remember, released January 7, 2011.
Matt Heafy cites musicians James Hetfield, John Petrucci, Yngwie Malmsteen, and many others as his primary influences. His style was mostly influenced by bands such as Metallica, Iron Maiden, Megadeth, Slayer, Pantera, Korn, Dream Theater, Death, Burzum, Down, Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, Poison the Well, and later on In Flames, Children of Bodom, Arch Enemy, Dark Tranquillity, Opeth, Dimmu Borgir, Fozzy, Dark Funeral and Anorexia Nervosa.
Matt Heafy has been endorsed by Gibson since Summer 2009, but before he was endorsed by Dean after he and Corey Beaulieu were both given Dean Razorback prototypes in 2006. In summer 2009 Gibson made him a custom 7 string Explorer, which is now a production model but only available in black.
In 2013, Epiphone released his artist signature model Les Paul in both 6 and 7 string versions. He had previously been seen playing his signature models on the Dream Theater "A Dramatic Turn of Events Tour".
- Les Paul Black 6 String and 7 String 
- Les Paul In Black, White and Silverburst
- Explorer 7 string in White and Black.
- Hummingbird Acoustic when needed.
- EMG 81/85 with Chrome and Gold covers. (Used on all his 6 Strings)
- 81-7/707 with standard Black covers. (used on all his 7 Strings)
- Studio: Marshall Amplification JVM410H heads, or Peavey 5150 block-letters with Mesa cabinets.
- Live: Fractal Axe-Fx Ultra directly through the PA. /(Vengeance Falls = Kemper Profiling Amp)
- Dunlop Jazz III Max Grip picks
- Dunlop 10-52 strings + (63 on 7 strings)
- Dunlop straps
- Fractal MFC-101 MIDI switcher to switch between effects on his Axe-Fx II
- Trivium EP (also known as The Blue Demo) (2003)
- Ember to Inferno (2003)
- Ascendancy (2005)
- The Crusade (2006)
- Shogun (2008)
- In Waves (2011)
- Vengeance Falls (2013)
- Fractured (2004)
- MindScar EP (2001)
- Tomorrow Is Monday
- Lush Like an Antpile (2004)
- "Head on Collision with a Rosebush Catching Fire"
- Roadrunner United (2005)
- Master of Puppets: Remastered (2006)
- Machine Head Aesthetics of Hate (Music video cameo) (2007)
- Maiden Heaven: A Tribute to Iron Maiden (2008)
- A Day to Remember All I Want (Music video cameo) (2011)
- Matt Heafy biography @Trivium.org[dead link]
- "Guitar Messenger – Matt Heafy Interview (Trivium)". Guitarmessenger.com. Retrieved 2011-10-20.
- "Gear Nerd- Guitars With Matt Heafy (Trivium) - Roadrunner Records Uk". Roadrunnerrecords.co.uk. 2010-03-25. Retrieved 2011-10-20.
- Perez, Omar (2004-12-08). "Music: Collapsing The Masses". Orlandoweekly.com. Retrieved 2011-11-04.
- "The Great Explorers: The Top 10 Masters of the Gibson Explorer". Gibson.com. 2008-06-24. Retrieved 2011-10-20.
- "Trivium: In the Studio". Guitar World. 2011-01-18. Retrieved 2011-10-20.
- "Trivium: 'We're A Great Live Band' | Interviews @". Ultimate-guitar.com. Retrieved 2011-10-20.
- "Matt Heafy Gets Married".
- "Gear Nerd:Trivium's Matt Heafy Part 1". Roadrunnerrecords.com. Retrieved 2011-10-20.
- "Trivium Official MySpace blog". Myspace.com. Retrieved 2011-11-04.
- "Roadrunner United Mini-site". Roadrun.com. Retrieved 2011-11-04.
- "Golden God Award citation". Metalhammer.co.uk. Retrieved 2011-11-04.
- "Korn: Frontman Hospitalized, Band Plays With Various Vocalists". ultimate-guitar.com. Retrieved 2012-04-30.
- "Ltd. Ed. Matthew K. Heafy Epiphone Les Paul Custom". Epiphone.com. Retrieved 21 February 2013.