"I Just Didn't Really Want To Be In A Band Anymore" – BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE's Matt Tuck on the Precursor to Gravity
Bullet For My Valentine have become one of the United Kingdom's biggest exports of hard and heavy tunes in the past two decades. There's little to debate on that front – love or loath them.
Their debut albums The Poison and Scream Aim Fire are staples of the melodic-metalcore genre, cementing the Welsh foursome as one of the more globally successful groups of the 2000's.
Steaming towards their sixth studio record, Gravity, and Bullet For My Valentine have adopted a decidedly more radio-friendly, crossover appealing hard rock style.
For longtime frontman Matt Tuck, Gravity represents potentially the most emotional record he has ever created.
"It’s immensely personal, the most personal I’ve ever put on paper and into song," Tuck shares with Metal Injection. "Every song is about me and where my head has been at over the last couple of years because of things that have gone on in my life that haven't been great. Everything from the breakup of my relationship and going through the emotional turmoil of sort of breaking up a family and all of the baggage that comes from something like that. It’s huge, it had a massively profound affect on my life and forced me to turn to a kind of depressive state. I had real anxiety. I just didn’t really want to be in a band anymore. I had no focus and it just really affected me.
"Every song on the record is very personal. It’s the most direct and focused album I’ve ever written. It’s not abstract, it just is what it is. Every song title has a meaning, every song has a story and it delves into heartfelt, emotional, dark places at times. It’s a very challenging album to like, because I didn’t really want to write it. The more I started to let it all out the stronger songs are becoming. I think the more connection the fans are going to have when they hear it ultimately, that’s really the ultimate goal as a songwriter."
The album, with arguably a more accessible sound and modern sensibility (there's plenty of synths, if you're into that), may seem like an obvious grasp at a mainstream crossover to many, but for Tuck and the Bullet crew, it's just the natural progression of where the band has been heading across five records.
"We wanted to push ourselves and do something that we’ve never done before and push the boundary and direction and get excited about writing songs again," he says. "We discovered the formula that we have always done and written and that was incredible and successful, but it just wasn’t really exciting anymore. It was just too predictable and stale. We wanted to really push the boundaries of what the band is and really focus on the songwriting aspect of it rather than the musicianship this time around. It’s a really interesting, dynamic record that I think a lot of people will really like."
And while diehard metalcore faithful and longtime fans may balk at the change in direction, there is little doubt that Gravity is setting the table for a huge 2018 for Bullet For My Valentine. It has radio chart-topper written all over, and could see the band that has knocked on the door of superstardom so many times finally make that last great leap towards arena-ready headliners.
"I think everything seems to be falling into place nicely," says Tuck. "We’ve had some success in the past, have had massive shows and big album sales back in the day. I think we’ve established ourselves as a global act that is going to be around as long as we want to be. It feels like there’s a lot of work to do, and hopefully Gravity is kind of that more crossover record which widens the fanbase net and can get us into those bigger arenas.
"I think if we can become an arena band globally, or at least in most major markets, that would be amazing. We’ve experienced that in the past in the UK and Europe, and especially Japan and Australia. We’ve done big arena shows there. North America seems to be a really difficult nut to crack. We’ve put in decades worth of really hard work over there. We seem to be banging our heads against the wall of making the next level for some reason. If we can make the jump up in North America, that would be amazing for us. We’ve worked our asses off man. We’ve spent a lot of time over there, being a foreigner, and we’ve done amazingly well, but there’s still a lot to do and there’s still a big margin for improvement. If we could end up in bigger venues than we start on this cycle, that would be an amazing achievement for us."
Like the new direction for Bullet For My Valentine? Let us know in the comments below! Gravity is available June 29th through Spinefarm Records. To pre-order the album or for tour information, visit the band here.