Matt Heafy (Trivium, IBARAKI)
Ihsahn (Emperor)
and Mirai Kawashima (Sigh)

Read the exclusive interview that was livestreamed on Matt's Twitch channel!



Written by Mirai Kawashima

Here is the transcription of the chat between Matt Heafy (Trivium), Ihsahn (Emperor) and Mirai Kawashima (Sigh) about Matt’s new band fully backed up by Ihsahn, Ibaraki.



Mirai: How are you?


Matt: Fantastic. Great to see you.


Ihsahn: Hi Matt.


Matt: Yeah good to see you as well. This is awesome; thanks very much for making it happen Mirai.


Mirai: You are very welcome because the expectation for Ibaraki is huge in Japan of course as the theme is Japan.


Matt: That’s awesome. I’m very happy to hear about that.


Mirai: So is it already on the show?


Matt: Yes we are all set, that’s why I’ve got this nice mood lighting going on. I’m trying to separate the different Matt Heafy’s; there’s the Trivium Matt Heafy, the Ibaraki Matt Heafy and the jokey internet guy so anything I do for Ibaraki, I always try to set the lights and make it moodier so we are ready to go.


Ihsahn: As I sit, I have sunlight going directly into my face.

Matt: (laughs) Very heavenly.


Mirai: Actually it’s already 11pm here in Japan so almost midnight.


Matt: Thanks for doing the late talk – appreciate it.


Mirai: It’s no problem. So today, I would like you to talk about your new band, Ibaraki and thanks for your time, I really appreciate it.


Matt: Of course and thank you so much and thank you to Ihsahn for joining us as well.


Ihsahn: My pleasure.


Mirai: So we are going through a very strange time so how have you been you guys?


Matt: After you Ihsahn, you start.


Ihsahn: Well first of all, since we are talking about Ibaraki, I think the covid situation actually gave us an opportunity to finish that project otherwise all three of us are usually busy touring and doing everything else. Just before going live here, me and Mirai discussed how you could have the mentality of bitching about everything being closed down or you could turn it around and make the best of a situation. Of course, I miss as much as anybody, that things would get back to normal as touring and everything has been very hard on everyone in this industry but creatively, I think it’s been really rewarding. The work we have done together with Ibaraki, we did something together with Trivium, I’ve been writing and recording new solo material so on the creative side of things, it’s actually been quite rewarding, to be able to focus that much without all the distractions of touring and travelling.

Matt: I one hundred percent agree. It’s been amazing to make all these different things happen. People spend so much more time with their kids. My kids are now three years and three months old and one of my fears of having children was being away too much so before I even had kids – and I think I even mentioned this concern to Ihsahn way back when first we ever hanged out in Nottoden – I was like ‘I don’t want to be away too much’ but thankfully, with this happening, seeing the positive aspect of the negative that Ihsahn mentioned, it’s been amazing to be around my kids so much, to be so creative, to make this Ibaraki record finally happen after twelve years of Ihsahn working on it. Now I’m also segueing into doing a children’s book as well of the stories off the Ibaraki album. It’s the same stories about Susanoo and Ibaraki but being made into kids versions with illustrative art as well so it’s just allowing all of these creative ideas to just happen.


Ihsahn: Wow that’s news to me!


Matt: I’m going to send you a copy; it’s going to be amazing because I’ve never seen a book like that, at least not in the States. I’m sure it exists in Japan but I’ve never seen one of the stories of Japanese Gods, Goddesses and monsters within a children’s book. All the kids books we kept reading to our kids I kept wishing there was something that was a little bit more fun for the adults. When there is a little bit of that in there, it becomes more fun. We see books from around the world that talk about what people eat in those countries so I got a peaked interest there and thought about what if we did the stories on Ibaraki.


Mirai: How did you guys get to know each other in the first place?


Matt: There was day when I was at 2112, In Flames’ burger-beer restaurant and I saw this kid there who was probably fourteen or fifteen years old and he was wearing an Emperor T-shirt and I asked him if I could take a picture of him for my food blog. I took a picture of him and sent it to my long-time friend Darren Toms at Candlelight Records. I’ve known him since I was about eighteen years old, he first met me because in our first magazine covers I was always wearing Emperor shirts and he befriended me sending me vinyl. Shirts and telling me about new bands I hadn’t known about, and asked if would pass it along to Ihsahn. Darren sent him the picture, Ihsahn responded and we started a line of communication. I told him that I had always loved Black Metal and he heard of my fandom of Black Metal.


I had been working on a song, originally the song was called Shavah, it was by Mrityu and my idea was to make it under an alias because I knew the mentality of the Old School youth of Black Metal, that being that the guy from Trivium should not be allowed to make a Black Metal Record. So I was like I am going to make an alias to show that I do know what I am talking about, I do love the genre and I was one of those kids. When I was sixteen or seventeen I was ‘Anything with clean vocals, no good, anything that is mainstream, no good’. So it was this paradox of being in this band that shouldn’t be allowed to like Black Metal while also loving the genre so much. I sent Ihsahn the song and he said it sounds great and he had released Eremita right around that time and when I heard that record, it was like hearing Emperor for the first time, like hearing Black Metal for the first time all over again because with me, what is amazing about what the two of you do in Black Metal is different. You do exactly what you want to do, not what the rules say you need to do and when I looked at Black Metal as whole after hearing Eremita, I noticed that one aspect of Black Metal was the rebellion to Metal sounding the same; that’s the way I saw it. When you stick to tradition, 100%, very rigid, then you end up doing the same thing that Black Metal thought Metal was doing so when Ihsahn did the things in Eremita like saxophone solos, jazz chords, clean singing, slow moments, beautiful moments, extreme heavy intense moments, that is applying the rebellious attitude of Black Metal to Black Metal. That inspired me and I shifted the entire focus. Mrityu was still called Mrityu back then but the music drastically shifted and the first song that I wrote after that was the second track off the record which is Ibaraki.


Mirai: Ihsahn, how did you feel when you heard from Matt the first time?


Ihsahn: It was just as Matt explained and like you and I have done in the past. You know you start talking and you have some common interests, some mutual perspectives on things…I remember after a little while Matt came over to my house when I think they were on tour in Finland and he made the round-trip to my house in Telemark. We had some dinner and we started talking and we talked about me being involved in some way on the production side of things but most of what we did I think when we got involved creatively was just pitching ideas. You know, pitching perspectives and I remember Matt sending me a lot of pictures and video clips and everything that he was inspired by and we researched a lot of directions and elements that we should include in this project. In the end, during our talks and exploration of what it could be, we honed in and distilled the most important elements. At the end of it, with the Japanese elements and doing something that was so personal for Matt outside of Trivium – doing something entirely different, not entirely outside of himself, rather doing something extremely personal but extend on all the talents he had already explored. So we talked a lot about vocal style, lyrical direction, bringing his Japanese heritage into the whole atmosphere, the instrumentation…all in all, my experience was that it was a very open-minded project where we could throw ideas around and I would try to support his vision as best as I could.


Matt: Ihsahn helped me unlock ideas I would never have thought of. I remember we had a lot of the music done and I was just struggling with lyrics. I was saying to Ihsahn that I wished I was Scandinavian and that I could tap into their Gods, the Norse Gods and talk about Jörmungandr and that’s when he said to me ‘You can, the Japanese side – it’s right there’ and it clicked in my head and like ‘Oh yeah!’ The Japanese Storm God Susanoo is on my back battling the eight-headed serpent of the sea, Yamata-no-Orochi, it’s all there, but it took Ihsahn to mention that to unlock everything. I think I wrote all the lyrics within a couple of days from him mentioning that. Ihsahn also reflected on vocal stuff. One of the most exciting but terrifying challenges Ihsahn gave me was to sing and scream in a way, the exact opposite that you have done in Trivium. I remember thinking I didn’t know what else to do and it was amazing that when he said that, I started looking around within myself and recognized that there was a completely different technique I could do. It was the technique I had been trying to do in 2014 when I blew my voice out and I had to learn this completely different, proper way of singing and that also helped unearth a different way of screaming. I felt like if I approached the exact same technique of screaming and singing on this, it would just sound like Trivium. He gave me the challenge, an almost impossible challenge in my head but it unearthed something really fantastic.


Mirai: As you said, the original name was Mrityu so how did Mrityu evolve into Ibaraki?


Matt: It was really from that chat. As soon as Ihsahn mentioned tapping into the Japanese side and culture. It was a matter of looking inward at myself and also literally looking at myself; my entire body. My right arm is a piece by Kitagawa Utamaro; my left arm is by Yoshitoshi, Kuniyoshi is on my left leg, Kunitsuna on my right leg but it took a mentor/friend to point that out to me – ‘Hey, it’s all there!’ I had all the lyrics written within 3 – 4 days after he said that.


Ihsahn: You wrote so quickly when you started. I think we discussed this as well; all of us who do Metal and these kind of expressions, we delve into these old cultural architypes that you would find in any myth or religion or in history. Wherever you go where there is an old culture, you will find the architypes, the Gods and stories that encompass internal human struggles and entities. For Metal, whether it is Heavy Metal or whatever, it is the existential stuff that we deal with and it is just a matter of finding those images and representations that resonates with you. I think that’s what happened to you Matt with you and that part of Japanese culture. It resonated so strongly within you that it felt natural rather than trying to adapt to something that you associated with within Metal like Viking culture or whatever. My point in saying that to you back then was that you could probably just as easily find something as interesting and deep in Japanese culture even though I had no idea about it.


Matt: It was really unearthing something special when Ihsahn mentioned that and that’s what lead to the children’s book and more things. I’ve been watching endless videos of how to play the shamisen and where to find a shamisen. Luckily I’ve found this other piece of technology I need to show you Ihsahn, it’s this MIDI controller for the guitar.


Ihsahn: Oh!


Matt: You can play anything with MIDI with the guitar now. It’s the Fishman TriplePlay – we’ll get you one sent out there. Anything keyboard, you can run drums with it; I’ve been playing shamisen and koto with it and you can set it to the exact scales as well like the Hirajōshi scale and it will only allow you to play the proper notes of the shamisen or koto. That stuff we are going to explore on the next record. Music was always easy but the lyrics can be tricky. It is something that we tapped into here and there with Trivium when I noticed that people particularly resonated with the Shogun record, “Kirisutegomen” and that kind of stuff, but Trivium is not a Japanese themed band so to have that with Ibaraki, there are so many more things we can do. If we ever felt like going more towards traditional instruments, we can and it will be 100% authentic.




Mirai: Why did you choose Ibaraki as a band name because even the Japanese people are not familiar with the Ibaraki-dōji legend. They probably think about the prefecture or city when you hear the word “Ibaraki”.


Matt: We’ll go back a bit further to just before the Silence In The Snow album. I was talking to my tattoo artist, Kahlil Rintye, he specializes in the Japanese tattoo. He’s the one who has tattooed most of my body and said that Trivium always wanted some kind of a mascot, something like an Eddie and asked him what he thought it could be. He mentioned Ibaraki from Watanabe no Tsuna battling at the Rashomon gate would be an amazing mascot and I can’t recall if was from a conversation between Kahlil and I or KahliI recommending but we both said in the legend, when she disappears after taking the arm back from Watanabe no Tsuna, she is never seen again in Japanese legend or at least as far as I have been able to find. So, then we said why don’t we have the skull of Ibaraki, the found skull. Let’s say Ibaraki was real, hundreds of years later people would have discovered the bones and we felt like having the skull would be the right thing. So that became the Trivium mascot.


So I loved the idea of having the tie-in that now with this completely isolated solo project of mine, Ibaraki that we can have the easter egg that it ties into Trivium’s mascot. So now all the things are combined together. It’s on my arm, on my body, the mascot that the Trivium fans know and I think it’s cool that the Japanese audience think more of the prefecture, then they will look further in and look at this old story and again that’s why not only did I want to make the music explain the story but we can now also have the kids book and teach kids about it.


I picture like a family in middle-America reading this book to their new-borns and they can show them these ancient Japanese stories and hopefully then the parents and the children will be more interested to see other stories from Japan. What other stories are from other cultures? Then they will want to know learn everyone’s ancient stories and culture. I think it’s just a very interesting idea of exposing people to things they are not used to seeing and hearing; that’s what I’ve always loved doing with Trivium. It ties all the way back to Darren Toms and when I was wearing the Anthems To The Welkin At Dusk shirt on the Kerrang! magazine cover. The Kerrang! audience at that time in the UK was shifting towards Metalcore, Emo was real big,  but to be able to expose people to the genre and the bands that I love, it makes this thing very cyclical and hopefully inspiring new bands.


Yesterday I went out to see Fit For An Autopsy, Signs Of The Swarm, Ingested, Great American Ghost and Enterprise Earth and we were all talking about bands and it was interesting because when I used to talk to younger newer bands, they didn’t really know to track into the roots of Metal but all of them were talking about Morbid Angel and Death and Emperor and it’s so cool to see these younger newer bands knowing their roots so much better than bands did ten years ago. I don’t know what or why that is but I think it’s important that bands like us keep talking about those that inspired us. Ihsahn was teaching me about Diamanda Galás for a bit of inspiration, and about which Bathory records to listen to, and to listen to the inflections in Quorthon’s voice to really give it proper emotion. As a side note, that reminds me of “hakanaki hitsuzen” which is phrase that Ihsahn said to me and said I needed to tap into. He said I needed to have a “necessary fragility” in the performance of the vocals of Black Metal; that’s what needs to be there. I love the way you said, Ihsahn, the way of the approach that I did things in Trivium is very masculine, very powerful but Black Metal needs to have that other emotion. Like Quorthon reaching for the note, reaching and you hear the note pitching inside of the scream. It was those conversations that really unlocked that and that’s when I talked to my good friend Ken Sakurada who owns this incredible sushi place by us and asked him to translate these songs into Japanese terms and he helped me with all the translations of the record. That was about “Necessary Fragility”, the intro song.


Ihsahn: I want to add to what you were saying. It was interesting that initially you said you were afraid that people are really biased about this genre and that genre and this guy can’t do Black Metal and I guess that’s what people do in their teens but in my experience – and you still get this from some fans – is that they really isolate out about what you can do and what you are not allowed to do but from my perspective, having had the opportunity to tour the world for decades, people ask me ‘Oh what are fans like in South America?’ or ‘What are fans like in Asia?’, it’s really not that different because everywhere I go, I meet people who grew up on Iron Maiden and Judas Priest. We have one, huge global culture that we all relate to; we all really have common ground. Wherever we go in the world and whoever we meet, we have that mutual common ground that we love this musical expression amongst all the other things so the juxtaposition of things being very narrow-minded and excluding, in real life, it’s the exact opposite and it’s really great that you deliberately emphasize that and I think that is also very healthy and good for younger fans and musicians to see that’s it’s not all about exclusion. It’s fine to distil something and be focused on something but in the end, it’s really a matter of genuine music or crap. (laughs)


Matt: (laughs) I 100% agree.


Mirai: So Matt, your knowledge of Japanese culture is outstanding so how did you learn those things? It’s much better than the usual Japanese people’s knowledge.


Matt: It was a lot of self-research. I can stem back as far as…I remember when I started recognising that people are from different places. It was elementary school or maybe it was kindergarten and everyone was talking about what they had for breakfast that morning. I walked in late in the conversation and they asked me ‘Hey Matt, what did you have for breakfast this morning?’ and I said ‘White rice and salmon, miso soup…like everyone else’ and everyone said ‘What? Wait! Gross! What are you talking about? Why would you eat fish for the morning?’ and they were all telling me they had cereal and I sort of realised, “Ah…I’m from somewhere different that does something different.” My mom was always very careful and I wish we had kept up Japanese but it was tough. My dad was a marine, they moved down to San Diego and my dad would be constantly moving around while we would be there. So my mom wanted me to assimilate easily so she kept me on English but I would always have the influence of video games and Japanese cartoons.


So it always stuck with me that there was something different about me and everyone else, but I kind of appreciated that and wanted to learn more about other people being different. When we were about to go on Ozz Fest in 2005, I knew I wanted a tattoo and for me I consider myself an otaku for everything. For Ihsahn; Otaku is a term that used to be kind of derogatory but now it is complementary – at least in the Western World – it’s very like super-fan, anybody that digs into anything and knows everything about it and I am an otaku for anything I get into and I research extensively. For example, we have an album called “Ascendency” (2005) coming out and I saw this piece by Kitagawa Utamaro who normally does the Geisha paintings and he did one piece called The Ascending Dragon. I thought that was amazing, there was an artist not known for dragons and he did this, we had an album coming out called Ascendancy, I’m Japanese so then I research extensively the best Japanese tattoo artist I could find in America. I found this guy named Brian Bruno who was in Tattoo City in San Francisco, booked a session with him and got the tattoo there. He eventually left that spot but then in came a new artist, Kahlil Rintye, and he knew absolutely everything about Japanese culture. He had books upon books of old Japanese stories, comics, fiction, non-fiction so he would teach me a lot when I got my tattoos done but I always want to stick to traditional pieces. Even my cabs that I am starting are all traditional pieces; It’s the nine-tailed tiger and the wanizame that has the battle with the tengu in the sea.


So a lot from Kahlil, a lot from self-research, a lot from my mom whom I would often bounce off different ideas. I’m actually right now working on a secret thing for a video game that has a lot of Japanese in it so I’ve had my mom translate lyrics for me…I remember I wrote something and she said ‘No Matthew, that’s too polite and it’s also in the feminine way of speaking so here’s the masculine term, you need to redo it’. I love having these people I can bounce ideas off and I feel like the close entrusted circle that I have is where I learn the most from. Ihsahn is one of my mentors in my life, Justin my manager is, Paolo our bass player and my wife Ashley, these are always people that will be very honest with me. I think that’s what we all need in life, a very honest feedback from someone we know and trust and respect and that’s how we make ourselves better. I think that something is lost. Some people in life have lost that part of the plot and don’t have anyone they listen to on anything. Having that kind of feedback whether a family member or a loved one, that is so important to have. It‘s a lot of just learning from people that I know are experts in that. Knowing I won’t be an expert but always wanting to learn more. There are countless incredible Japanese stories that can teach us about life, about ourselves, about the world and I want to delve further into that and learn more and more as I go.


Ihsahn: I want to tap into that. We get that all the time Matt about our collaboration, you know ‘How did you guys hook up?’ , ‘Why did you guys hit it up?’ and I think you just explained why. It is obvious you are curious, open-minded, very serious about getting things right. There is a curiosity and a huge passion for everything that you do and I think we are very different in many ways but when it comes to music and art and that openness, the willing to explore and harvest from the endless tree of art and culture and influence instead of being closed minded. That explains it all and generally, all of us who we all get along with. It doesn’t have to be music, what kind of music either. You could do art and I have some great friends who are poets or authors, painters and folk musicians who just have that passion and curiosity on life and that’s what it takes.


Matt: Absolutely. I’ll go back to food again but an open-mindedness to food leads to an open-mindedness to so many things. It’s really cool because that trip that Ihsahn mentioned that I took down to Notodden, that really was a life-changing amazing experience for me. To be able to befriend someone that I grew up listening to, someone that was a pen-pal at the time and to recognise that you and I had very similar paths. We both started our bands at a pretty early age and the process in which we did things was very similar. I remember early onwhen I was doing interviews and stuff I was asked about the bands that influenced us in the interview and people were like “We see Melodic Death Metal from Sweden, but we don’t see the Black Metal things,” and I always go back to Emperor. This was me just going off of the feeling and I didn’t have a confirm from you at the time as I didn’t know you yet but every record Emperor did, what Emperor wanted to do. That was so exciting to me and that’s what gave me the confidence in Trivium. I learned that by example so yes, to have that open-mindedness to learn a bit from everything and everyone who you feel has something interesting to say. It was really great for you and I to go down to the studio and hang out and watch Blue Velvet and eat food and talk and just to see the commonalities of these two musicians that people think are from two completely different worlds. As Ihsahn said, everywhere around the world, you get to recognise that people are different but they are very similar as well. That’s what I love and that leads back to the breakfast story and the idea of wanting to do the kids book. It’s showing people the subtle differences we have but still we can connect and recognise the greater commonalities that we have.


Ihsahn: Indeed, Hear! Hear!


Mirai: Matt, do you have anything to say to haters? I think it’s very intriguing that Ihsahn is backing up you whilst little kids who were not even born in the early nineties when Norwegian Black Metal happened regard themselves as guardians of true Black Metal.


Matt: Thankfully with Trivium we have armoured skin nowadays. When we first started the band, the second show we played at the High School Battle of the Bands, we were the only Metal band, I was the only kid with long hair and we finished our set in mid-way. This was around 2000 when Hardcore and Noisecore started coming out and all these kids were standing and screaming because we were the only Metal band. Then these Hardcore kids that were not into our band came up and said ‘Ok, can all the Metal kids sit down now’ and got off from the curtain I told them all to stand back up so always from then, we dealt with and had naysayers to what we do. I don’t know if it was because we started early or because we were confident, hopefully not arrogant or cocky but I feel when you’ve got confidence it shows in the performance, as it should. It shouldn’t show anywhere else, you shouldn’t act like that walking around in life but from the beginning – and was telling the story yesterday to Fit For An Autopsy and Great American Ghost – in 2004 to probably about 2009 when we were supporting some of our favourite bands, we were bullied by their crew, bullied by the bands and talked about badly by some of my favourite bands in magazines. One of the stories  was a live review and the singer saw a Trivium shirt and he told someone to grab them a real shirt – their band’s shirt so he didn’t have to see a Trivium shirt. Some heroes of mine would say ‘I don’t care what that spoilt rich kid has to say’ in regards to me in interviews.


So early on, we dealt with hate and naysaying from the highest level, from people that I considered my heroes in life. So anyone that ever has anything that isn’t into it, you know, I don’t mind at all, especially when you put yourself out there daily like I do on the internet. The internet is the fastest, potentially the most negative volatile thing in the world but I am always about spinning it positively. Ibaraki is rooted from Black Metal but it’s definitely not just Black Metal, the same way that Sigh is not just Black Metal, Emperor and Ihsahn are not just Black Metal as there are so many other things we all tap into. There are elements; the third guest singer of this record is still a secret – the public doesn’t know – and I am so excited to have him on this record because it is the opposite of what any Black Metal elitist would say should be allowed to happen. This singer plus the guy from Trivium should not be allowed to be on a Black Metal record but that’s the truth that showing what that rebelliousness of what Black metal was in the beginning, back to the genre itself. I think that is more Black Metal than if I released a completely traditional true-to-the-roots Black Metal record as it should be from the past. The past has done the past correctly and tapping into that here and there is really important, great and amazing when that happens but that rigidity of nothing is allowed past this, well then we would never have any interesting food if we did that. No interesting films or art if we made that happen but it is important to reflect and respect the past where Black Metal comes from. I know it inside out. But there are a lot of things I love about this, it is the rebellion to the genre itself. That is a Black Metal attitude in my opinion.


Ihsahn: I totally agree and you see this in Rock culture or Popular culture as well. How many people have been buying old Fuzz-Faces and Fender guitars and stringing them upside down trying to sound like Jimi Hendrix whereas Hendrix would be the first one to plug directly into a desk because he was curious about how it sounds. Even Bach was forgotten about for about 200 years because he was pushing too far and then they end up being the people that instead of taking inspiration from them – these guys were pushing the envelope of what was even possible in their time – people say we have to go backwards then and just limit ourselves and not do anything else other than what they did. I’ve always seen that almost like a dishonour to the creatives, those icons of culture and art that we look up to, to limit ourselves to what they did. So I totally agree with you and I get this a lot as well when I’ve been using a saxophone in my music or whatever, they say ‘Oh what do you think all the Emperor fans would think?’ and ‘Oh these people are disappointed’. Honestly, when I started out playing Norwegian Black Metal with the imagery and lyrics we did, I am surprised because at what point did I ever insinuate that I cared being liked? I think this has been very fortunate for me being in this position where you are criticized and anyone feels they have the right to say or do anything against you. When we started Emperor, even when we did the first couple of records, there was no commercial success so none of that was done on the premise of being liked or successful in any way. Our only incentive was having a budget from Candlelight Records that made us go into the studio and make us fulfil this ambition that we had which was eventually printed on vinyl so that like-minded underground people around the world might listen to it and like it. That was the upper level of what we could possibly imagine. There was no fame or money to be had so it was purely made on an artistic premise and I think that’s what ended up resonating with people. It was pure, not made on the premise of trying to get people to like you and I think that’s true for all kinds of Metal and Rock history. That you have people after the fact trying to make it into a rule book is just a bad side effect of having it exposed to the world I guess because it repeats itself.


Matt: Absolutely and very well put and those are points that Ihsahn reflected on me in Notodden and hearing that gave me so much confidence in everything in life. In Trivium, it helped me reframe the way I think about people not liking this and not liking that. It’s so important and I hope any musician that hears this or reads this installs that same thing in themself. You need to make what makes you feel good and it doesn’t matter what the rest think. Beautifully put Ihsahn.


Ihsahn: Yes and in a way that is the kind of the best thing you can give your true fans as well, that you are being totally honest and not cutting yourself short. If you have the privilege of having people wanting to listen to your music, you should do your absolute best within your capacity and not cut yourself short to fit into some kind of market or whatever. I don’t think that is what Metal is about.


Matt: Absolutely.


Mirai: Well unfortunately we are running out of time so thank you Matt and Ihsahn for your time. It was a great chat.


Matt: Arigatogozaimashita.


Mirai: Arigatogozaimashita.


Matt: Amazing chat, thank you so much.


Mirai: Yeah I hope to see you sometime very soon.


Ihsahn: Both of you, yes likewise. Mirai I hope we are coming to Japan this Autumn it’s been postponed so many times.


Matt: Really?


Ihsahn: Yeah


Mirai: I’m looking forward to it to.


Ihsahn: My best to you and to meet your family and to yours as well (Matt).

Matt: Yes my best to your families as well and that reminds me Ihsahn, everybody keeps telling me that Ibaraki needs to play shows and I keep saying the only way it can happen, it has to be Ihsahn, Leprous and Ibaraki on the shows so we must do that – plus Sigh, must do that.


Ihsahn: (laughs)


Matt: I need to borrow your live band. (laughs) Awesome my friends thank you so much.


Ihsahn: Take care and speak soon.


Matt: Later friend.


Mirai: Bye.




Written by Mirai Kawashima


Click here for Japanese version






Buy Now

Release Date: May 6th 2022



CD+Autograph Card




  1. Hakanaki Hitsuzen
  2. Kagutsuchi
  3. Ibaraki-Dōji
  4. Jigoku Dayu
  5. Tamashii No Houkai
  6. Akumu (feat. Nergal)
  7. Komorebi
  8. Ronin (feat. Gerard Way)
  9. Susanoo No Mikoto (feat. Ihsahn)
  10. Kaizoku


Matt Heafy (Vocals, Guitar)


【Special Guests】
Ihsahn (Vocals, Guitar|Emperor)
Nergal (Vocals|Behemoth)
Gerard Way (Vocals|My Chemical Romance)
Alex Bent (Drums|Trivium)
Paolo Gregoletto (Bass|Trivium)
Corey Beaulieu (Guitar|Trivium)
The Solberg Tveitan Family (Vocals)
Heidi Solberg Tveitan (Ambience)