U.K. headbangers are big fans of our HotStar. And the band’s from England. At least that’s a common belief, according to some folks we talked to.

“Really? That’s so funny. I haven’t heard that one yet but that would make sense,” Matt Heafy, singer and guitarist of the Florida-born band Trivium, told Pollstar.

“We sold out our first U.K. tour and our album went silver. We sold out our second tour, sold out our third tour, made a gold record, and Crusade just came out and the day it came out, it went silver. If we knew the strategy and the marketing plan for what works over there, we would bring it everywhere else in the world and sell it to other bands.”

Trivium has a strong online presence where U.K. kids are telling their Stateside counterparts that there’s a band from Florida they should check out. Meanwhile, the four-piece n-metal band has had to forgo its policy of responding to all of its fan e-mail, but still tries. Trivium already has the attention of Metallica, Machine Head, and Dimebag Darrell’s widow, Rita Haney

all of whom have supported the band in word or deed.

Trivium’s star is rising, and its manager needs to be one of the best in the industry. Who did the band choose for taking on such a challenge?

“Um, well, our manager is my dad,” Heafy said. “When I was 12 years old, I picked up a guitar, got seriously into it and ever since then he’s always supported me.”

Brian Heafy – who is equal partners in Dark Angel Management with Justin Arcangel – is a veteran U.S. Marine specializing in systems ops. He became CEO of a software company that he helped take public. Meanwhile, he helped book the band and financed the demo that was sent to the band’s first label. Now he’s devoted full-time to getting Matt’s group to the next level, with emphasis on the Internet.

“He’s helped usher in a worldwide network of Trivium fan sites,” Arcangel told Pollstar. “If we want to move information to the world, it can be disseminated in minutes. … As well as being Matt’s father, he’s the bands’ biggest cheerleader.”

Arcangel himself has taken a unique path to his current position. He said that when he was a child, he wouldn’t use Legos to build cars and buildings, but concert stages.

“I would love going to shows and seeing how it all works. I’ve always wanted to do (management) but there’s no college program to prepare you,” he said.


Therefore, after graduating from Notre Dame and law school, Arcangel got a job at Righteous Babe Records in upstate New York. Ani DiFranco’s label has its own self-financed merchandising and touring companies, which he studied. He also read every contract negotiated between DiFranco and the label. Then, to round out his experience, he moved on to a traditional law firm where he operated in the environment of high finance and money deals.

Arcangel was introduced to the band around 2002 and became the band’s entertainment lawyer.

“I shopped them as a lawyer to every metal manager that I could think of that was currently on the scene and every one said no. Nobody had any interest whatsoever. At the time, I wasn’t that happy being a transactional contract lawyer, and I always wanted to put my toe into management, so I offered myself up to the band and I’m still here

two and a half to three years later.”

Back to Trivium. The band has had its share of media attention (other than radio, but that’s expected to show up next year), and the label’s artist development man, Harlan Frey, said Trivium is the band that will lead the pack for the next two decades.

“It’s been a long while since we’ve seen such a young hard rock, metal band understand its roots so well and, at the same time, have a strong ability to collect those influences and make it their own,” Frey told Pollstar. “It’s only a matter of time before Trivium is headlining arenas. Mark my words.”

Matt Heafy was happy to hear Frey contributed to this story.

“Harlan’s another one of those guys that, back when the chips were down and no one really believed in what was going on, went to bat for us at the record label. When bands or their agents were looking for opening acts, Harlan would say, ‘Take Trivium.’ He really put his cards on the table for us and said, ‘Take this band and I’ll prove to you that they’re the shit.’ And he still believes in us to this day and fights for us every time we need him to.”

Now, it’s time for Trivium to take over the States.

“In the U.S., if you’re not a radio rock band or a band that’s all over mainstream MTV, it’s about touring,” Heafy said. “And this is about our twentieth tour and our first-ever American headlining tour. It shows how long it takes to build. … It takes a lot to build it up and it’s all about work.”