Ex TRIVIUM Drummer Paul Wandtke Responds To Matt Heafy: “Everything Was Great At First”

Paul Wandtke was surprised by the news that he was no longer a member of Trivium. He learned, not from the band, but through a Facebook message I sent him asking about rumors that had been circulating online. Things were seemingly perfect between Wandtke and his bandmates in Trivium. Just last year, Heafy described Wandtke as “what we’ve always been missing”.

Now, Heafy is taking a much different tone, minimizing Wandtke’s role in the band and describing him as a session member instead of an official member of the band. “The last three [TRIVIUM drummers] were session players [who] aren’t the people in the band.” Heafy told Metal Insider in an exclusive interview.

For someone who served as an un-official member, Wandtke was participating in numerous official activities. He attended autograph signings, was featured in promotional photographs for the band, and even conducted interviews. Heafy later encouraged fans to “read beyond the headlines”, though it’s reasonable to question the band’s definition of a session member since Wandtke was highly visible in the band’s promotional materials.

In an exclusive interview with Rock Feed, Wandtke is telling his side of the story for the very first time and describes how he learned about his removal from the band through rumors posted online several days before Christmas. You can watch the full interview below.

Wandtke is moving on with a band he has been developing for more than six years and it involves some of his closest friends. It gives the veteran musician a chance to create music on his own terms. You can check out his new band Bedlem here and follow him on Facebook here.

Could you tell me what lead to your departure from the band?

“Well you know, it was kind of a surprise to me but I guess it’s kind of like Avenged Sevenfold’s situation where, you know, everything was great at first. Everyone was ecstatic. We’re all happy. It’s kind of like getting married. You go on a honeymoon. After the honeymoon’s over, you know, things kinda get weird and then that’s it.”

A couple days before Christmas I contacted you about rumors that you were out of the band. You seemed completely caught off guard. Is that a fair assessment?

“Yeah, I mean I was. I was like, what’s this? What’s Blabbermouth saying today?”

You were on vacation, or you were going out of town when I spoke to you. You were like “no man that’s all bullshit” and then you hit me back and you were like “uhhh… this is weird”. At what point did you [officially] find out that you were kicked out of Trivium?

“Basically a few days ago man. You know. It was a mutual decision.”

Matt Heafy said that the past three drummer of Trivium have been session drummers, so he’s saying that to the fans saying we never made any official decisions. But in an interview last year he said you were “what we have always been missing”. To me, that smells like a metric ton of bullshit daddy. Were you under the impression that you were a session drummer?

“That is a true statement, that Matt Heafy did say that — but, bottom line, I did come into it in a work for hire situation.”