Bullet for My Valentine’s Matt Tuck Discusses ‘Temper Temper,’ Tour With Halestorm + More
Bullet for My Valentine are back in the spotlight after spending much of 2012 recording their new disc and allowing frontman Matt Tuck to go play guitar with AxeWound. After taking a little extra time following their ‘Fever’ album, BFMV recently returned with their fourth full-length effort, ‘Temper Temper.’
Loudwire recently spoke with Tuck about the creation of ‘Temper Temper,’ playing the new songs live and the band’s upcoming HardDrive Live Tour with Halestorm. Check out our Q&A with Bullet for My Valentine frontman Matt Tuck below:
Now that the album ‘Temper Temper’ is out, what’s it like to have it in the hands of fans after all the hard work on the disc?
Overall, it’s a positive feeling really. You work so hard on a record and it takes such a long time to get it mastered, but there is that feeling that you have to wait quite a long time before it’s released and stuff, so there’s a little bit of temptation there, but you have to set it up properly, you know. So it’s just kind of happy vibes. It’s nice to step away from it for a couple of months because you just get so caught up in that moment, you know.
You’ve said the title ‘Temper Temper’ has to do with some friction in the band. Did that tension actually help with the creative process?
I wouldn’t say it’s a good thing to have because obviously when it was happening it wasn’t very nice. We’d never experienced it before, so at the time it was kind of a miserable tense place to be but when it comes to music, it’s a creative art form. And I think music especially, and being the lyricist, if there’s something real that you’re passionate about and writing and singing about, it just makes it a far better song in general. So if there was a point of getting ourselves into the situation we got ourselves into, it’s that we came up with a great record, not even knowing that it was happening because of it, you know. So, I wouldn’t say it’s a good thing to have friction in the band, but in this case, thankfully, we were able to take a positive outlook out of it.
In some of these songs, you address living the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle. Having gone through the sudden fame and the excesses that can be available to you, what would you say to musicians that have yet to experience that?
It’s just to be prepared for situations that you don’t want to get yourself into really. What we do is an amazing privilege and we’re extremely lucky and love what we do. We’re starting to lose focus on that and that’s why people start to get into these bad habits. There was an endless supply of free booze and drugs 24/7 on tap 365 days a year wherever we went. When there’s 23 hours a day to kill, there’s a lot of time and boredom sets in. When you’re on the road month after month, missing your family and maybe you get a little homesick or a little bit depressed, so it’s these bad habits that can easily happen. I can see why it happens to a lot of musicians and artists. I think it’s just boredom and [everything's] easily accessible. It’s just a bad combination really.
Here at Loudwire, we had a chance to debut your previews of the riffs, solos, screams and choruses from the studio. When it comes to the solos, do you guys keep a backlog of material and try to find places where it would fit or does it largely come about organically within the creation of the songs?
When it comes to solos specifically, the soundtrack has got to be there before that exists, so it’s not something you can just accumulate over time. They kind of happen spontaneously and once the rhythms are down and the section is there, that’s when you kind of know … There’s just the simple things like the key it’s in, the tempo, you can’t just write a solo. We don’t actually accumulate any of those things, they just happen spontaneously after the soundtrack is there. Especially for solos and vocals just the same. I find it very hard to write melody lines or lyrics until I have a soundtrack to write to.
Is there a particular song or portion on this album that you’re especially proud of how it turned out?
Especially on this record, we never overthought anything, but we wanted every little element to be the best it could be. I think the vocals and guitar solos are something we really, really sweated over and those are really kind of the two key areas we locked down to make this record the best it could be. We’d sit down with Padge, going over solo after solo after solo and trying to do it as a duo. You know he played them all on the record, but I was sitting there throwing in ideas and trying to make him stand out from every other guitar player out there. It wasn’t more about technical ability to me, it was more about style and kind of feel and individuality that was far more important to me than technical ability on the solos.
And on the vocals, just trying things new which may not be comfortable at, like a song like ‘Temper Temper,’ the verses on that are almost like a shanty, dare I say almost rappy kind of style, which I would never really attempt to do. But because it was something I’d never done before, that’s exactly why I wanted to do it. I wanted everything on this record to be fresh and new and have all the stylistic elements that make Bullet what they are.
You’ve mentioned how recording the Axewound disc influenced how you approached the Bullet disc.
As soon as we got into a discussion about making a new record, we were on a conference call and I said to everyone, ‘I want to do it like Axewound. I want to go into the studio, write it and record it as we’re going along.’ You know, there was a couple of raised eyebrows. I could hear them even over the telephone. But I think as soon as people got on board and were like, ‘If you’re sure you can do this how you think it should be done, then let’s just do it.’ So that’s what we did. It was completely because of Axewound the way we did it.
You’ve got the HardDrive Live tour coming up this spring. I’m guessing ‘Temper Temper’ and ‘Riot’ for sure will be part of the set, but any other tracks you’re particularly interested to see how they do in front of a live audience?
Every single one. It depends on the situation, where the venue is, if it’s a festival. You know, some songs don’t come across well in festivals when the sun is shining, so it’ll depend on the show, but this album is the only album, and I’m being open and honest, but it’s the only album we can play every single song back-to-front and that’s the only time that’s ever happened. We always pick about eight or nine songs and leave a couple off that we never play live, even in rehearsal. So this one, we’re kind of going to play every single song every single night. We’ll need at least two or three set lists because that’s the only way we’re going to be able to play all the stuff, especially with the back catalog that we have now. So we’re just going to have to come up with some kind of rotation to where we can play all the new stuff and the audience will get them as well. The more albums we get, the harder it is to make the setlist. It’s a nightmare.
On the HardDrive Live tour, you’re getting a chance to play with Halestorm, who just won a Grammy. You’ve probably crossed paths at some point over the last few years and just wanted to get your thoughts on getting a chance to play with them on this run.
We actually know them quite well. They supported us on an American tour like two years ago, so we know them quite well and they’re a great band. They’re undeniably entertaining and have great songs and Lzzy is an absolutely phenomenal frontwoman. So it works good together, Bullet and Halestorm, we compliment each other and they tear it up as good as us, so it’s great to have them on the tour with us again. They’re really nice people, the crew, all the family that’s on tour with them all the time, they’re very mellow down to earth people and they’re just like us in that sense — mellow, down to earth people that love playing rock ‘n’ roll. It works well.
Bullet for My Valentine’s latest album, ‘Temper Temper,’ is available in various packages here or digitally at iTunes. Catch the band headlining the HardDrive live tour with support from Halestorm and Young Guns beginning in April.