Matthew Kiichi Heafy (/ˈhfi/ HAY-fee; born January 26, 1986)[1] is an American musician, best known as the guitarist and lead vocalist for heavy metal band Trivium.[2] He was also the lead vocalist for the band Capharnaum, along with Trivium's former producer Jason Suecof. In 2017, Heafy was voted sixth on the Ultimate Guitar list "Top 25 Greatest Modern Frontmen".[3]

Matt Heafy
Heafy at Hellfest 2019
Heafy at Hellfest 2019
Background information
Born (1986-01-26) January 26, 1986 (age 37)
Iwakuni, Japan
OriginOrlando, Florida, U.S.
  • Musician
  • songwriter
  • Vocals
  • guitar
Years active1998–present
Member of

Early lifeEdit

Heafy was born in Iwakuni, Japan, to a Japanese mother and an American father. His father, formerly a member of the United States Marine Corps, is half-Irish and half-German.[4] Although Heafy was born in Japan, he only lived there for one year and does not speak Japanese fluently; however, he uses some basic phrases when he performs in Japan.[5] His family then moved to Orlando, Florida, where he currently resides. Heafy attended Lake Brantley High School. He completed his senior year while also touring in Europe and graduated in 2004.[6][7] During those years, Heafy used to live a straight edge lifestyle.[8]

Heafy learned to play the tenor saxophone in years leading up to becoming more serious on guitar at the age of eleven. At that period he was mostly listening to pop punk bands and even auditioned for a local one called "Freshly Squeezed" by playing the Blink-182 song Dammit. However, following his audition, he never got a follow-up call back. He also cites being introduced to heavy metal by his classmate, David, who gave him a copy of Metallica's self-titled album.[9][10]

Heafy does not know formal music theory and was almost completely self-taught. He does know how to read sheet music, but can only apply it on the saxophone. However, in 2015, he started taking formal training for the guitar.[11]

"Self-taught for quite a bit of it, did lessons on and off for maybe two or three years, but I do not know anything formal music on guitar. I do on saxophone though…but that doesn't help me on guitar."[10]

Heafy still often uses the same first Gibson Les Paul he got from his father, but only in studio settings. For live performances he uses his signature Epiphone Les Paul that is modeled off of his Gibson.[12]


Heafy performing at Mayhem Festival 2009

Following his guitar performance at the school's talent show, Heafy was asked to try out for Trivium by the band's original singer Brad Lewter. Originally, he was accepted as lead guitarist, despite being only 12 years old (other members were 15-16 at that time). Lewter, however, quit the band in less than a month due to creative differences over the band's future musical direction. The drummer Travis Smith persuaded Heafy to do vocals, even though Heafy himself was unsure of his singing voice at that time. The band started looking for an external singer to fill in the position but had trouble finding a suitable candidate. Eventually, Heafy agreed to become a full-time lead singer for Trivium also keeping the position of lead guitarist for the band. He taught himself growling and screaming, especially doing so during the band's early years. However, he admitted using the techniques incorrectly most of his career, which ultimately caused severe damage to his vocal chords in the years leading up to the band's performance at Rock on the Range in 2014, where he blew his voice on stage. That same year, he started taking vocal lessons from coach Ron Anderson, following advice from M. Shadows of Avenged Sevenfold. In 2016, Heafy returned to performing unclean vocals live with the same frequency as he did before his injury, citing Anderson's lessons as a source of help and improvement.[13] He claims that the new technique is actually easier than normal talking.

With the release of Trivium's fourth album, Shogun, Heafy greatly expanded his vocal range; from very melodic singing to hardcore screams. In 2011, Trivium's fifth studio album, In Waves, was released with a 'greater emphasis on songs rather than skill,' with the album featuring the full range of Heafy's vocal talents with some songs being entirely composed of screaming, others with no screaming at all, and many songs that fused the two as with previous records.

In Trivium, Heafy sometimes shares lead guitar duties with Corey Beaulieu, although he is responsible for recording the rhythm tracks on the albums.

After Ember to Inferno, Heafy jokingly played in the post-hardcore genre, releasing one song titled "Head on Collision with a Rosebush Catching Fire" under the name Tomorrow Is Monday.[citation needed]

On December 4, 2020, Heafy released a collaborative 5-track EP with American YouTuber and musician Jared Dines.[14]


OriginUnited States
Years active2022–present
LabelsNuclear Blast

On January 21, 2022, Heafy unveiled the first single, "Tamashii no Houkai", from his black metal influenced project Ibaraki. The song features Ihsahn of black metal band Emperor.[15]

Ibaraki's debut album, Rashomon, was released on May 6, 2022, which features Nergal of Behemoth and Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance, in addition to Ihsahn.[16] The album's lyrics were inspired by Heafy's Japanese heritage, drawing from Japanese mythology and folklore.[17]

Roadrunner UnitedEdit

Heafy in 2012

In 2005, Roadrunner Records released Roadrunner United: The All-Star Sessions to celebrate the label's 25th anniversary. Four "team captains" were chosen: Joey Jordison (Slipknot, Murderdolls, Scar the Martyr), Robb Flynn (Machine Head), and Dino Cazares (Fear Factory), as well as Heafy.[18] Heafy also wrote the lyrics and sang the lead vocals to "The End," captained by Dino Cazares. He and bandmate/guitarist Corey Beaulieu recorded the song "In the Fire" as well, featuring singer King Diamond, bassist Mike D'Antonio, and drummer Dave Chavarri. He also wrote and played guitar on the tracks "Dawn of a Golden Age", "I Don't Wanna Be (A Superhero)" and "Blood and Flames," also contributing vocals to the latter.

Other appearancesEdit

Heafy won the Metal Hammer "Golden God" award in 2006.[19]

The same year, he sang one song, "Blind", for Korn at the Download Festival when Korn's lead vocalist Jonathan Davis fell ill.[20]

Heafy—along with several other metal artists—makes guest appearances in the music videos for "Aesthetics of Hate" by Machine Head, "All I Want" by A Day to Remember, and "Moving On" by Asking Alexandria.

In 2014, Heafy contributed to DragonForce's sixth studio album titled Maximum Overload. He performed backing vocals in three of the album's ten tracks: "The Game", "Defenders" and "No More".

In 2015, Heafy contributed to the metal supergroup album Metal Allegiance. He provided lead vocals and additional guitars on the track "Destination: Nowhere". He also contributed on guitar for the track "Triangulum I. Creation II. Evolution III. Destruction".

In 2016, Heafy appeared on the album Arktis by fellow musician Ihsahn.

In October 2019, Heafy was a featured guest-vocalist on an acoustic version of "Stabbing in the Dark" by Ice Nine Kills.

On December 4, 2020, Heafy appeared on a 5-song collaborative EP with youtuber Jared Dines titled "Dines x Heafy". The music video for the song "Dear Anxiety" was also release on the same day.[21] Heafy and Dines had previously collaborated on a cover of "Better Now" by Post Malone.[22]

On July 16, 2021, Heafy provided guest vocals on Powerwolf's re-recording of "Fist by Fist (Sacralize or Strike)" on the deluxe version of Call of the Wild.[23]

Heafy appears as a guest vocalist in Funcom's Metal: Hellsinger.[24] He's acting as composer and sound designer for the upcoming game Martial Arts Tycoon.[24]

Heafy was also included in multiple songs from 2 albums released in 2022 based on the card game Magic:the gathering



Heafy at Rock im Park, Germany, 2014

Heafy has been endorsing Gibson since Summer 2009. Prior to that, in 2006, he endorsed Dean after he and Corey Beaulieu were both given Dean Razorback prototypes. In 2008, his signature model, an ML shape with a graphic of the Japanese Rising Sun, was released. He stopped using Deans in 2009 after some disagreements. In summer 2009 Gibson made him a custom 7 string Explorer, which later became a production model but only available in black right-handed models.

In 2013, Epiphone released his artist signature model Les Paul in both 6 and 7 string versions. He had previously been seen playing his signature models on the Dream Theater "A Dramatic Turn of Events Tour".[25] In 2017, Epiphone released a new signature model called "SnØfall", which drew inspiration from Trivium's 2015 album Silence in the Snow. This model is available in 6 and 7 string configurations and features an exclusive custom Alpine White finish along with white Phenolic fret board. In 2022, Epiphone released his signature Les Paul Custom Origins with his signature Fishman Fluence pickups and in black and white, 6 and 7 strings and right and left-handed configurations.[26]

Personal lifeEdit

On January 10, 2010, Heafy married Ashley Howard in Orlando, Florida.[27] The wedding was attended by their close friends and family. The couple have two twin children: a daughter and a son both born on November 6, 2018.[28] Matt returned home from tour to be with Ashley while she gave birth while the tour finished with Howard Jones and Johannes Eckerström performing guest vocals on various songs and YouTuber Jared Dines filling in on guitar.

Heafy has a younger sister, YouTuber Michelle Heafy.[29]

Twitch streamingEdit

Heafy is a gamer and practitioner of Brazilian jiu-jitsu. He does daily live streams on his Twitch channel "matthewkheafy", which consists of playing video games, running guitar clinics, vocal warm-ups, showcasing his Brazilian jiu-jitsu classes, and playing Trivium songs and acoustic covers.[30]


Heafy performing in 2008
With Trivium
With Capharnaum
  • "Midwinter Darkness" demo (2002)
Tomorrow Is Monday
  • Lush Like an Antpile (2004)
  • "Head on Collision with a Rosebush Catching Fire" (2004)
With Jared Dines
  • Dines x Heafy (2020)
With Ibaraki
  • Rashomon (2022)


  1. ^ "Matt Heafy biography". Archived from the original on January 27, 2007.
  2. ^ "TRIVIUM Frontman Matt Heafy - "IN FLAMES Played A Huge Role In My Rhythm Guitar Playing; The Jester Race And Whoracle Were Two Of The Most Influential Records Ever Made"". Retrieved January 18, 2018.
  3. ^ "Friday Top: 25 Greatest Modern Frontmen". Retrieved August 29, 2021.
  4. ^ Blabbermouth (December 14, 2012). "TRIVIUM Frontman talks U.S. Politics, Band's Next Studio Album (Video)". Retrieved January 12, 2018.
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 31, 2015. Retrieved January 26, 2016.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ Perez, Omar (December 8, 2004). "Music: Collapsing The Masses". Retrieved November 4, 2011.
  7. ^ "Guitar Messenger – Matt Heafy Interview (Trivium)". Retrieved October 20, 2011.
  8. ^ Meisenkaiser (February 23, 2004). "Interview: 2004-02-23 Trivium". (in German). Archived from the original on May 20, 2017. Retrieved May 20, 2017. [...] Die High-School-Party-Szene interessiert mich nicht. Ich bin straight-edge. Keine Drogen, keine Probleme, keine Verbrechen. Musik ist alles. (The high school party scene does not interest me. I'm straight-edge. No drugs, no problems, no crimes. Music is everything.)
  9. ^ "Trivium - Vengeance Falls Documentary (Part 1)". YouTube. October 14, 2013. Archived from the original on December 21, 2021. Retrieved January 18, 2018.
  10. ^ a b "Gear Nerd- Guitars With Matt Heafy (Trivium) - Roadrunner Records Uk". March 25, 2010. Retrieved October 20, 2011.
  11. ^ Trivium (February 4, 2016). "Trivium - Silence In The Snow Mini-Documentary". YouTube. Archived from the original on December 21, 2021. Retrieved January 18, 2018.
  12. ^ "Gear Nerd:Trivium's Matt Heafy Part 1". Retrieved October 20, 2011.
  13. ^ Trivium (August 27, 2015). "Trivium - Until The World Goes Cold [OFFICIAL VIDEO]". Archived from the original on December 21, 2021. Retrieved January 18, 2018 – via YouTube.
  14. ^ Astley-Brown, Michael (December 4, 2020). "Jared Dines and Trivium's Matt Heafy team up for new collaborative EP". Guitar World. Retrieved December 4, 2020.
  15. ^ DiVita, Joe. "Matt Heafy's New Black Metal Band Ibaraki Debuts First Song With Ihsahn". Loudwire. Retrieved January 21, 2022.
  16. ^ "IBARAKI (Trivium's Matthew Kiichi Heafy) announces album featuring Nergal, Gerard Way". Kerrang!. February 18, 2022. Retrieved February 22, 2022.
  17. ^ "Album Review: Ibaraki, Rashomon". Exclaim!. May 5, 2022. Retrieved May 11, 2022.
  18. ^ "Roadrunner United Mini-site". Archived from the original on April 12, 2008. Retrieved November 4, 2011.
  19. ^ "Golden God Award citation". Archived from the original on December 9, 2006. Retrieved November 4, 2011.
  20. ^ "Korn: Frontman Hospitalized, Band Plays With Various Vocalists". Retrieved April 30, 2012.
  21. ^ Pasbani, Robert (December 4, 2020). "TRIVIUM's MATT HEAFY & JARED DINES Release Their Collaboration EP, Dines X Heafy, Release "Dear Anxiety" Video". Metal Injection. Retrieved April 20, 2021.
  22. ^ "Trivium Members And Jared Dines Cover Post Malone's Better Now". Kerrang!. Retrieved May 12, 2020.
  23. ^ "Album: Call of the Wild | POWERWOLF". Retrieved November 4, 2021.
  24. ^ a b "Trivium's Matt Heafy Nerds Out on Video Games for 14 Minutes". YouTube.
  25. ^ a b c "Ltd. Ed. Matthew K. Heafy Epiphone Les Paul Custom". Retrieved February 21, 2013.
  26. ^ "Epiphone and Matt Heafy launch MKH les Paul Custom Origins Collection, including 25.5"-scale 7-strings". June 7, 2022.
  27. ^ "Matt Heafy Gets Married". Archived from the original on January 31, 2010.
  28. ^ Heafy, Matthew kiichichaos (September 15, 2018). "Somehow... there are four people in this photo.".
  29. ^ Heafy, Matt [@matthewkheafy] (March 10, 2017). "My amazing sister @michelleheafy covering #aeris from #finalfantasyvii 's theme! Amazingggg. @FinalFantasy" (Tweet). Retrieved October 31, 2021 – via Twitter.
  30. ^ Singer, Quentin (March 20, 2020). "Trivium's Matt Heafy Details New Album And How Twitch Has Changed His Career". Forbes. Retrieved April 30, 2020.
  31. ^ "Trivium's Matt Heafy Has a Time Machine - MetalSucks". August 12, 2014. Retrieved January 18, 2018.

External linksEdit