When I think about modern metal, I think of high-speed guitar solos, crashing drums, guttural growls, the occasional breakdown, and turning my speakers up to 11. Trivium is modern metal defined, and their newest album, Shogun, is no exception.

With a heavy touring schedule and great reviews, and having shared the stage with everyone from Iron Maiden to Metallica, Trivium has a metal résumé that boasts of some seriously hard work. Metal is known for guitar solos, growling vocals, haircopters, and…animal rights? You bet. I recently learned that Trivium isn’t just heavy on the metal—they’re heavy on heart too!

We caught up backstage with Matt Heafy, guitarist and vocalist for Trivium, to talk about everything from his beloved canine companion to factory farming and the environment. According to Matt, the band was founded on acceptance, and is “about protecting those who need or want to be protected,” and adding that it’s “the same concept that people need to treat humans with, and people need to treat all living things with.”

Want to hear more from Matt? Check out his interview below.

Does the fur industry bum you out like it bums Matt out? There’s nothing fashionable about gassing, beating, or electrocuting animals or skinning them alive. Let your opinion be heard by signing our fur-free pledge and by asking your friends to sign too!

You should also keep an eye on the band’s site for new tour dates, and try to make it out to a Trivium show near you. I can say with confidence that the Trivium show I attended was one of my best concert experiences—especially when they played “Kirisute Gomen” off their new album!