Let's Give It Up For Trivium's Matt Heafy

Updated: Jan 9, 2020

There are many articles that 2020 could have opened with (aside from the album review). The dreadful fire at the KOKO venue in Camden, London, was a possibility, as was a more generic "5 Albums to Look Forward to in 2020". But rather than open the new decade on a sour note, or with a more clickbaity article (though don't write that one off completely just yet), we thought we might begin with a positive article, and bring attention to some of the good that goes on in the world of music.

Step forward, Matthew Kiichi Heafy. Heafy is a busy man; not only does he perform in the metal band Trivium as a guitarist and lead vocalist, he also streams on Twitch, performing songs at home. It seems the man just cannot get enough of doing live gigs, whether they be on tour or literally in his own house.

But during a recent stream, a troubled fan wrote a very worrying message in the comments section in regards to their mental health and how low they were feeling. They were clearly in need of help, and luckily for them, Heafy spotted this comment mid-song, and immediately stopped his performance.

“You’ve got a lot of friends here... don’t even think those thoughts” he said to the fan. “When you’ve got something tough going on, what I do...I put that into songs. If you’re not a songwriter, write down some words. They don’t have to be poetic, they don’t have to be anything, just write down how you feel.”

He also advised the fan on seeking professional help. “You need to see someone professionally. I see a therapist a couple of times a month, every month. It’s good for you, you need to be doing it. Seeing a therapist is like getting a massage, it’s like seeing a chiropractor, it’s like having a beer... it’s good for you. If anyone ever says it’s bad for you they’re full of sh*t.”

His response also inspired words of encouragement from hundreds of other viewers of the stream, highlighting to the distressed fan that he has support. This kind of encouragement can work wonders, and Heafy's willingness to share his own experience in therapy can make a lot of difference. Let's not forget, there's still an unfortunate stigma surrounding mental health and therapy, but learning that one of your favourite artists, a very successful man, sees a therapist can less the weight of it in your head. Artists can hold a lot of power over their fans, and it's brilliant to see Heafy using his for good. Let's hope that fan is now seeking the help he needs.

Heafy often performs live on Twitch, both Trivium songs and covers.

It's not an isolated incident, either. Multiple fans have reported instances where someone at a Trivium show was taken ill, or got an injury, and Heafy has stopped the gig to insure their wellbeing. One commenter on Facebook, John-Martin Reynolds, told the story of how the guards missed catching his friend whilst he was crowd-surfing at a gig in Oklahoma City, and upon landing the friend broke his wrist and was also knocked unconscious. Heafy, spotting this, immediately stopped the gig to make sure he was okay and seen to. He then rang them up in the hospital later that evening. What a gesture that last bit particularly is; having already stopped the gig, I'm sure no-one would have expected the phone call as well. It's another example of Heafy going that extra mile.

As a final piece of evidence, here's a YouTube clip of a Trivium concert in Birmingham, UK. At around the three minute mark, Heafy spots something wrong with some fans in the crowd, and stops the gig to insure that they get the help they need. It may seem small, it may seem like basic decency, but stuff like this can go a long way.

Matt Heafy truly cares about his fans. It's not fake, not rehearsed thank you clips. It's a genuine feeling that the wellbeing of people who support you comes first. That's just awesome to see.

Even a close friend of mine has experience of it; Heafy not only retweeted his band once, he also sent my friend a personal message (on the request of my friend's bandmates, as a birthday present), just giving him some support and telling him to "keep proving the haters wrong". Heafy's interactions with his fans are second to none.

Of course, it's not only Matt Heafy who cares or does this stuff. So many other artists care as well, but due to the incident on the Twitch stream recently, we thought we'd use this opportunity to open 2020 on a high and showcase the pure goodwill of Heafy. We're starting as we mean to go on - positively. May he never change.