Special report by Greg Prato
Initially considered as "a band to watch" by the majority of the metal press, BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE has certainly made good on their early buzz, as their last release, Fever, cracked the top 5 on both the US and Canadian album charts. And their brand new release, Temper Temper, seems poised to replicate its predecessors success, as it was once again produced by the same gentleman that oversaw Fever, Don Gilmore.
The group's screamer/guitarist, Matthew Tuck, recently called in from the UK to chat about BFMV's fourth full-length studio effort overall, as well as what to expect from the band for the remainder of 2013. Here is how the conversation went…
BraveWords: Why did it take three years between the release of Temper Temper and Fever?
Matthew Tuck: "Because we toured Fever for two years, and then it takes a year to write, record, and release a record. So as far as that goes, it's kind of simple, really. We toured heavily on Fever, and twelve months is actually quick to turn around and release a record from start to finish. So that's that really."
BraveWords: Did the switching of record labels have anything to do with the delay?
Matthew Tuck: "It kind of happened behind the scenes. That didn't have any kind of affect on us at all as far as schedules or any stress. That happened while we were doing our thing in the studio, so we didn't get affected by it."
BraveWords: Bullet for My Valentine worked again with producer Don Gilmore. What does Don bring to the band?
Matthew Tuck: "He just brings a nice kind of confidence, really. He doesn't really interfere too much, he just lets us get on with it and lets us be who we are. At any time that Don feels it may be getting a bit weird or we're straying too far from what we were trying to achieve, that's when Don interferes a little bit, and suggests other things, and tries to make you see things for a bigger picture."
BraveWords: What are some of your favorite tunes off of the album?
Matthew Tuck: "I love them all - I'm still in the honeymoon period with them all. If I had to pick three it would probably be 'Breaking Point', 'Truth Hurts', and possibly 'POW'. Those three are a good representation of Bullet in 2013."
BraveWords: Let's discuss the first two video clips from Temper Temper, for the title track and Riot.
Matthew Tuck: "Temper Temper is more of a visual aid to the song, really. We're not actually in it, because we were still recording at the time when the label wanted to have something. Unfortunately, we couldn't be in it, so we let them do their thing. We didn't feel it was super-important to have this "mega video." It was more just to get people's ears to prick up, more than anything. But Riot, we went to New York and we filmed more of a production-y kind of video with a little bit of a concept and there's a live performance in it. It's not very complicated - very simple, just kind of visual. We don't really delve too deep and pay much attention to videos these days as much as we used to. It's not something that we stress about anymore the last couple of albums. I think it's become almost irrelevant, nowadays."
BraveWords: I noticed that Bullet for My Valentine covers AC/DC's Whole Lotta Rosie on the album's deluxe edition. How did that come about?
Matthew Tuck: "We were asked to headline an event in the UK on BBC Radio One. They do a week of rock every year, and we were asked to headline an event they have in the evening live on the radio. And they wanted a classic rock cover, so we just picked that really. It's just an extra thing to put on - it wasn't specifically done for the album, it was just something we did for Radio One in the UK. People were really digging it, so we thought, 'You know what? We'll just stick it on the album.'"
BraveWords: What can fans expect on the upcoming tour?
Matthew Tuck: "I think the focus will be on the new album. We're going to be embarking on another couple of world tours to promote the record, so it is going to be the focal point of the set. But we will always be playing the stuff we know we have to play, from everything from the (self-titled) EP, songs from The Poison and Scream Aim and Fire will be in the set. It's just going to be a nice balance of old and new, with the new being at the forefront of the mix."
BraveWords: What was the best tour that Bullet for My Valentine has been a part of?
Matthew Tuck: "That's a toughie. We've had done ridiculous things since day one of the band. On the first album alone, we were lucky enough to tour with IRON MAIDEN in the States, METALLICA in Europe, and GUNS N' ROSES in the States and in Europe. It was 'OK…that's pretty weird!' 2006, when all that happened, that's probably the most craziest stuff that's happened. We've done our own sold out tours all over the world and had great success, so all of those are highlights for me. But I think those doing those specific tours on our first record was a very special time."
BraveWords: Any plans to do more work with AXEWOUND?
Matthew Tuck: "There are not plans, but whenever we do get the opportunity, we will definitely jump on it. It was a really fun project to do and be a part of, and the little bit of touring that came with it. The guys in the band are just super-sweet, really talented. So it's something that we definitely want to follow up. But the nature of that band is the five people that are in it are in hard-working bands as well, so it will be whenever time allows us, unfortunately.'
BraveWords: What are the future plans for Bullet for My Valentine?
Matthew Tuck: "Mainly heavy global touring. We're already penciled in for tours up until Christmas of this year. It's very busy times. We've got a lot of cool things coming up, a lot of cool festivals. We're just going to get our asses on planes, trains, and buses, and tour the world again, and try and continue the role of making Bullet for My Valentine one of the biggest rock bands on the planet. That's the main goal, really."