“We wanted to shock, amaze and show”

On Bullet For My Valentine’s self-titled new album, they wanted to do three things. “We wanted to shock, amaze and show,” frontman Matt Tuck said. NME. “We wanted to show people what this band is really capable of.”

This is something the band more than achieved on their seventh album. Released earlier this month, “Bullet For My Valentine” is the heaviest and fiercest thing the band has ever put their name on, and the start of a new chapter for the Metal Titans.

It’s a radical departure from the group’s 2018 release, “Gravity,” which saw Bullet For My Valentine perform with pop choruses, electronic flourishes and cleaner vocals. It was a record that, as you might expect, divided their fans. “I just didn’t have the energy and appetite to write technical metal music at this point in my life,” singer Matt Tuck told NME via Zoom. “We tried, but the more we forced it, the more I got fed up and the more I rejected it. We could have written another metal record, but doing something like this for the wrong reasons is just bullshit, isn’t it?

He explains that ‘Bullet For My Valentine’ is not a knee-jerk reaction to the reception. “This is where I was as a songwriter,” says Tuck. “They [the two albums] couldn’t be more different, but “Bullet For My Valentine” wouldn’t be what it is without “Gravity”.

In the latest edition of NME’s In Conversation series, Tuck discusses the late-career rebirth of Bullet For My Valentine, wanting to headline the Download Festival, sanity in metal, and why there will always be a place for more traditional heavy acts. Here is what we learned.

“Bullet For My Valentine” sounds like the start of a new era

It is rare that a group releases an eponymous album after 23 years of career; but for Bullet For My Valentine, this record was just like the start of something new. “Creatively the band is just on another level right now,” Tuck says. “During the touring cycle of ‘Gravity’, we felt that we were becoming a pretty great live band, which we are extremely proud of,” he explains, and that confidence continued in the creation of their seventh album.

“The writing process for the new record has been relentless. Having that creative flow is something you crave when writing a song, let alone writing an album and we couldn’t stop. The songwriting quality is phenomenal on this record, they are brave, they are fierce, they are confident. Everything just fell into place. It’s like the start of something very special.

The group couldn’t help but become political

With Bullet For My Valentine writing their self-titled album at the height of the pandemic, it was difficult for politics not to slip into the lyrics. “’Bastards’ was obviously influenced by the times we lived in,” begins Tuck. The furious thrash song is more political than anything he’s written before, “but I didn’t want it to be a song that sounded that way because I’ve never been that kind of lyricist. We’ve never been that kind of group, ”he says.

“The concept was born from what was happening in this country and from seeing how badly things were managed on a daily basis. It’s a dig but I tried to make it as lyrical and creative as possible, rather than just like a sharp “fuck yourself” finger.

There is more music on the way

The band were so well positioned to write “Bullet For My Valentine” that they continued to create after the album was finished. “We have six more songs plus the B sides that we want to do something with next year,” Tuck reveals. The new unreleased songs were part of the same writing and recording process as the album “but they’re different and unique,” he adds.

The band wanted the record to be “a really solid and cohesive body of work throughout,” so to keep the record focused, they kept the weirder tracks; but hope to release them as singles or EP in the future. “I want them to see the light of day because they’re heavy, interesting, and push the boundaries,” Tuck says.

Bullet For My Valentine wants to make the front page of the Download Festival

Earlier this year, Bullet For My Valentine played the closing set at the Download Pilot – a low-capacity test event held as part of the Government’s Events Research Program to collect data to help reopen events. in large scale. According to Tuck, being invited to participate in the pilot was “an honor.”

“We’ve been a part of this festival since 2004 and it’s something that has always been in my heart and soul as a metal musician. It is the holy land of what we do. Yes, it wasn’t the full sing-and-dance full-capacity version, but it still meant the world.

Now, however, Tuck wants Bullet For My Valentine to go back and download title correctly. “We get a taste of it and we know we can do it. I think just being patient is the key to this because there’s no way some bands are going anywhere anytime soon. There’s no way we’re above them either, ”says Tuck, referring to Download Festival staples like Metallica or Slipknot. “For us, it’s just about delivering the best version of the band on every tour we do, and staying hungry and motivated to beat the band that’s at the top of these posters.”

Bullet For My Valentine cares more about listeners than streaming numbers

Bullet For My Valentine recently surpassed 1 billion Spotify streams in America, which is an absolutely huge achievement for a metal band from Bridgend. For Tuck, that means the band has a future as well as a legacy.

“It’s good to know that the group is still relevant and important to a lot of people. This is what is exciting for me. This is what I really strive for. I think it’s important that there is always an appetite for the band, regardless of historical successes.

“We are focused on the future and I think there is better to come,” says Tuck. “I don’t think we’re near our peak as a live band and as songwriters. As long as we feel that, we’ll be there for a long, long time. “

-‘Bullet For My Valentine ‘is now available

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