Trivium singer Matt Heafy has announced that he is releasing a book that explores Japanese folklore.
The book, titled Ibaraki and Friends, is a children’s book that explores an array of Japanese folktales. Z2 Comics (the folks behind the upcoming Pantera, Judas Priest, Spiritbox, and Halestorm graphic novels), will be releasing Ibaraki and Friends.
Per the book’s description on the Z2 Comics website:
This sounds like an awesome read!
Ibaraki and Friends is available to pre-order now through the Z2 Comics webstore and is available in three different bundles (with some providing additional goodies). Will you be ordering a copy?
In a recent interview we had with the Trivium singer, Heafy had mentioned to us that he had a children’s book coming out. Per our interview with Heafy, the Trivium singer said that he hopes the book – along with the debut album from his black metal project Ibaraki – help to inspire more positivity in the world. You can read the portion of the interview below where he speaks to this book (with a link to the full interview below):
The Pit: Along with all the fantastical and folklore elements that you explore on the album, you are also touching upon very serious topics taking place in our world. As a writer, what is the creative process in weaving in those more fantastical elements to speak to the more heavier things on this record? Such as you exploring the rise of anti-Asian hate crimes and bigotry taking place in the world.
Matt Heafy: That became a big thing as well. When I decided that this thing should be Japanese influenced, that was when all the anti-Asian sentiment was happening. I do feel like as far as me being half-Japanese – or having Japanese friends – I didn’t have Japanese friends who dealt with that firsthand. However, my Chinese friends did. My Korean friends did. My friends in different states dealt with it more than maybe me being in this pretty open-minded bubble of Orlando.
[My hope is that] Ibaraki can show the cultures and folklores of Japan in the hopes of exposing people to something maybe they didn’t know. And they can say, “Wow I love these stories, I would love to learn more about these Japanese stories.” Then my hope and my goal is that in turn, it makes them want to go, “You know, I want to learn about the Chinese mythologies and religions, and Korea, Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa.” And all around the world, to really learn about everything; I hope that it inspires open-mindedness. From this record I’m also making a kids book that delves further into that goal.
[Regarding this album and the children’s book, I hope they both inspire people to learn more] about the people we share this plant with. That is an incredibly non-black metal concept; black metal has always been very secular, like this is extreme… it keeps creating subsects of more extreme sub-underground levels that are getting smaller and smaller. It’s almost losing the plot of the music all together. So the idea of this being an extreme metal record… Through Trivium and Ibaraki, I say some pretty negative stuff, but I feel like I’m a happy person. I’m not perfectly balanced. I always tell people I’m not perfect, I know I seem happy; the things that I do take a lot of work and to feel good in life takes a lot of work. One of those things that I do is put the negative energy into the music. So with Trivium… Me putting pen to paper and getting that out, that message out, the songs don’t have the light at the end of the tunnel necessarily, but the light at the end of the tunnel is the fact that I was able to make the song. A song like “Departure,” a song written about suicidal thoughts, putting that into a song allows me to get that out and hopefully save other people. Same with “Gunshot” – I’ve talked to multiple people who have said they’ve had childhoods filled with domestic violence and “Gunshot,” the song, saved their life.
I hope that this record inspires even just a couple people to say, “You know what, the stories in Japan are cool, what else is there?” There’s a lot of good stuff that happened in Japan and there’s bad stuff that happened in Japan. There’s bad stuff that happened to Japanese people in America; the interment camps, that stuff is very briefly covered in history in school. There’s a lot we gotta learn; there’s a lot we can learn from our mistakes.
The best way to address the things in life is to put it into music and put it into song.
Words by: Michael Pementel