Gig preview: Bullet For My Valentine at York Barbican

Bullet For My Valentine. Picture: Tom Barnes
Bullet For My Valentine. Picture: Tom Barnes
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One of the giants of the British heavy metal scene, Bullet For My Valentine, are doing things a little differently this year, as they tour in support of their fifth studio album, Venom.

This tour sees Bullet call in at smaller venues in towns and cities usually missed off their tour schedule. One such place is York, and the band will be righting this wrong tomorrow night when they play their first gig at the Barbican.

Bullet’s lead singer and rhythm guitarist, Matthew Tuck, explains why the band decided to mix it up a little this time around.

“We just wanted to do something a bit different, really. We’ve been doing this a while now and we were worried that things were getting a little bit predictable, and a bit boring and stale, the way we were doing things. So, before we started the whole routine of the tour we just kind of sat down and said how can we make things fun and what can we do to spice things up a little bit; so we just came up with more of a regional-style tour.

“It’s not something we’ve ever really done to this extent and a lot of the places we’ve never even been before as far as a live show. We wanted to reconnect with fans that couldn’t necessarily have ever really come to see us. It’s just us making the effort to go to them, really.

“We were a bit sceptical about it at first, and then we thought about it and thought this is cool and we’re probably going to make a lot of people very happy by doing something like this.”

Tuck says he believes that the smaller, more intimate shows are always preferential to large arenas, especially as an audience member. “It’s kind of those shows that are almost more memorable and mean a lot more anyway, because you have a lot more of a connection with the people in that crowd, and the people in the crowd have a lot more of a connection with you, which is way more important.

“When I was growing up as a kid, going to that style of show back in Wales, those are the ones that are the most memorable and are the ones that have made a massive impact on my life, let alone my musical journey.

“We’re just going to do kind of a no-frills approach, we’re not going to bring any fancy stuff, it’s just going to be us on the stage.”

The past year has been a turbulent one for Bullet for My Valentine; aside from being faced with the pressure of recording a new album, their long-time bassist, Jason James, decided to call it quits. “The recording process itself was actually really easy, the build up to go into the studio was, not a nightmare, but that was where the hard work was.”, explains Tuck.

“We’d parted ways with Jay behind the scenes, so no one really knew that; we were dealing with that as we were trying to write a new album at the same time. So, the build up to it was quite a long process and a lot of the songs took three or four times to be written and demoed before they got to the point where they were ready to go. We scrapped about 15 songs along the way. So that process was quite a long, drawn out process but as soon as we got into the studio, all that hard work made sense and paid off because there was no messing around. We knew exactly what we needed the album to be.”

Bullet have been notorious in the past for their rock’n’roll ways on the road, but Tuck says that, as their popularity increases, along with the responsibility, their hard partying days are, largely, a thing of the past.“We just want to take it seriously and be the best band we can be, and we know mixing those two sides of rock’n’roll is very, very dangerous.”

Bullet For My Valentine play at York Barbican on Friday October 9. For details visit