Following the release of their 5th studio album, Venom, UK metal powerhouse, Bullet For My Valentine, will be performing at the House of Blues on Feb. 27 before embarking on Slipknot's Summer’s Last Stand tour with Lamb of God this summer.
Their full-length album debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's Hard Rock Albums Chart, No. 8 on Billboard's Top 200 Chart and was one of last year's biggest hard rock/metal releases.
After parting ways with original bassist Jason “Jay” James, the band welcomed fellow Welshman Jamie Matthias on bass and backing vocals and called upon Colin Richardson, whose previously worked with Slipknot, Machine Head and Trivium, and was the force behind the band's first EP Hand of Blood.
Wanting to produce an album that purely represented the band inside and out, the musicians wrote for nearly six months off and on, allowing the material the opportunity to take shape, for an end result that is the band's heaviest album yet.
The Central Florida Future chatted with Bullet For My Valentine singer/guitarist Matt Tuck on the group's upcoming Orlando gig.
Central Florida Future: Your last album performed so well across different music charts, yet you adopted a new creative process in the making of Venom. What inspired the band to change the process that had led you to such success with your last album?
Matt Tuck: We just wanted to take a bit more time with what we were doing and pay more attention to the songs - give them an opportunity to exist, really. We took more time with everything and really lived with it. We knew what we wanted to do before we started, we didn’t actually go into the studio until we knew all of the songs were ready to be recorded.
That’s something we had done before, somewhat, but not to this extent. Usually with everything we’ve done, we’ve had some idea of what we wanted, but, this time around, we had everything ready to go. It made the process a lot more enjoyable because we knew that we didn’t have to bust our balls creatively and on deadline. It was a much more pleasant experience.
CFF: What was it like working with Colin Richardson again? You were quoted saying that it was great having Colin back in the room. What type of energy does he bring?
Matt Tuck: I can only speak for me personally, but he brings a type of calmness more than anything else. He’s like a comfort blanket. We had some great success with him early on, and for this album, we wanted to recapture a lot of what we were when we started. Working with him was like having another long-lost band member there rather than just having another guy in the room trying to make a record with you.
CFF: You stated that you wanted to keep the album as dark and intense as possible because that’s what your fans truly wanted. What sort of feedback has the band received so far since the release of the album?
Matt Tuck: We kind of knew that we had made something good; we knew that the masses would appreciate it. It’s the heaviest album we’ve ever done. To get the feedback and reviews that we’ve received has been awesome. We dedicated a lot of extra time to this album and it really paid off. We didn’t expect it to go down like a lead balloon, but we were really overjoyed with how well it was received.
CFF: You talked about some of the personal inspiration for this album stemming from your adolescence and feelings of hopelessness. Your album is very dark, but in its own way, how do you hope it will provide good for your fans in terms of giving them something to connect to?
Matt Tuck: They look up to us as role models, and I think they can relate to something that I think affects a lot of people – being judged because you are different. Everyone goes through it, even me. I’m a grown man now and a dad, and I’m still affected by it. I got over that hurdle and made something positive out of it. I went through very dark times, but used them as an opportunity to make myself stronger in many ways, so, hopefully, people can see that I’ve done that and feel inspired to do the same.
CFF: What has it been like playing with Jamie?
Matt Tuck: We’ve been playing with him properly on-stage since last July, so we really got know each other on a personal level. He does everything the band needed him to do, and he has great energy which brings a new intensity to live shows. It feels like he’s been there forever. The band’s never sounded better.
CFF: What’s your favorite thing about playing in the states? What’s your guilty pleasure when you come to the states?
Matt Tuck: I wouldn’t say there’s one favorite thing, but I would say it’s the only territory in the world where we actually get in a bus and just tour for months and still have places to go. It’s just a good place, there’s such diversity in climate and landscape. Me and the boys have a really unhealthy addiction to Buffalo Wild Wings. I’ve actually gotten a credit card from them to rack up points and we’ll be coming over with a ton of Buffalo Wild Wings credit to take advantage of, so I’m really looking forward to that.
Daniela Marin is a digital producer for the Central Florida Future. Follow her on Twitter at @dan__marin or email her at DanielaM@CentralFloridaFuture.com.