Trivium’s Matt Heafy has praised his collaboration with My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way for breaking black metal’s “elitist mindset.”

The musician mates got together for ‘Rōnin’, a track off Rashomon, the debut album from Heafy’s new black metal project Ibaraki.

In a new interview with Guitar World, he discussed the musical importance behind the pair’s collaboration. “I knew Gerard would blow people’s minds… it’s the concept of the guy from Trivium and the guy from My Chemical Romance doing a black metal track together. It would break the elitist mindset of what black metal can be,” he said.

Heafy also recalled meeting the MCR singer for the first time. “I met Gerard in 2006 at Big Day Out. We ended up talking about comics, Final Fantasy, and food, as well as things like vocal range because The Black Parade had just come out and I wanted to pick his brain on the notes he was hitting.

“We stayed pen pals for years. Some years we chatted a lot, others we didn’t. One day he messaged me on Instagram asking if I could explain how to tremolo pick black metal riffs.”

When they finally worked together, Heafy was suitably impressed by Way’s ability. “I’d never heard him scream but I just knew it would work,” he remembered. “Just from talking, I knew he was into the genre. We’d discuss things we liked or disliked about the genre and things we’d change if we could. That’s why this record has so many things that are philosophically un-black metal.

“I was telling him about the things I thought I had to do and he told me, ‘No, that’s not what black metal’s about – it’s about breaking the rules and attitude!’ You don’t have to sound like this or that or burn down any churches… it’s about writing what you feel is right and making music from the soul.”

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“I learned so much from him, especially when it comes to this record. Gerard and I felt like outsiders looking into this genre (with admiration for) the torchbearers of the genre.”

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Check out ‘Rōnin’ by Ibaraki ft. Gerard Way and IHSAHN:

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