“You’re getting your ears and head assaulted by heavy metal for three f*cking hours”: Matt Tuck and Matt Heafy take us inside the biggest metal tour of 2025

Bullet For My Valentine and Trivium are joining forces for an epic 20th anniversary tour, taking things back to where it all began with The Poison and Ascendancy, and, as frontmen Matt Tuck and Matt Heafy explain, it's going to be "absolutely massive"...

“You’re getting your ears and head assaulted by heavy metal for three f*cking hours”: Matt Tuck and Matt Heafy take us inside the biggest metal tour of 2025
Luke Morton
Main photo:
Jake Owens
Group photo:
Ryan Chang

“In my heart, I believe this is going to be the metal tour of 2025,” grins Matt Tuck, sat opposite his co-conspirator Matt Heafy, in the bustling bar area of the Sanctum Hotel in central London, as they prepare for a press conference to announce a tour that’s been 20 years in the making.

Next year, Bullet For My Valentine and Trivium will be performing their landmark albums (The Poison and Ascendancy, respectively) back-to-back on the suitably titled The Poisoned Ascendancy Tour. Kicking things off in the UK next January – “back to where it all started first,” Heafy nods – the double-header will cover the entire planet, giving OG fans and new converts the chance to relive that pivotal period in metal when everything felt so alive.

“If you were around in that era, 2005-6, that two-year period, if you were in the scene – whether you were 16 or 60 – that was a proper moment for metal,” says Tuck. “Nothing compares to how special that moment was. That’s why we want to do it and why we want to do it with a band like Trivium who were experiencing that exact same moment at the exact same time.”

The Poison and Ascendancy sent both bands into the stratosphere overnight – Main Stage sets at Download, tours with Maiden and Metallica, Kerrang! covers, and gaining legions of fans across the globe. Or what Tuck succinctly describes as “fairytale shit”.

And now, after two decades of riding that high and flying the metal flag, they’re taking it back to the source with the ultimate celebration of 2000s metal.

“The weird thing is we’re going to play it in order, and Tears Don’t Fall is fourth on the record,” the Bullet frontman laughs. “It’s going to be really weird not closing with it or having it as the encore or something like that. After 20 minutes, it’s done.

“We still have to work out the realities of what the set’s going to entail length-wise, because we don’t want to be on that stage so long it affects changeovers and travel times for crowds,” he continues. “I think 75 minutes seems like the right amount of time, both albums come in around 55 minutes, then you get to have 20 minutes of whatever you want. From a crowd perspective, that’s probably enough as well (laughs). You’re just getting your ears and head assaulted by heavy metal for three fucking hours!”

Before they start working out the logistics of pulling off such a monumental tour, however, the two Matts take us through how the tour came about, what makes those albums so important, what they love about each other's bands...

So guys, where did this tour idea come from?
Matt Tuck: “We wanted to do something to do a 20th anniversary of The Poison, and we just needed to find that perfect dance partner. And it’s been there all along: Trivium and Ascendancy, Trivium and Bullet. I couldn’t think of a better band to celebrate an anniversary with. It’s what the fans want, it’s what the bands have wanted for so long, it’s just taken this long to do it. It’s celebrating a milestone year of both of our bands’ existence, and of albums that our fanbases hold so dear – the albums that started this whole journey for both of us, really. It was a very important album for us personally and for metal music around the world.”

Matt Heafy: “I first got into Bullet in 2005; the first time I came over [to the UK], the EP was out and it was incredible. To hear another band taking the ingredients that we’d been inspired by but doing it in their own way, with their own unique sound… and when you hear a Bullet riff you know it’s Bullet – that’s the kind of thing I love. It’s a band we’re fans of and have been pals with, but as Matt alluded to, this tour happening now, 20 years later, will be 20 times better than it would have been back then. I think it’s going to be an absolutely massive thing.”

What is it about the songs from both albums that still resonate with fans 20 years later?

Matt Heafy: “We all weren’t thinking about it, we were just making what we wanted to make as fans of music. That’s what connected with fans so much.”

Matt Tuck: “It’s the fearless aspect of being young and hungry and not having a back-catalogue or a fanbase to worry about, or press, or all the things that get in your head as albums go on. It can influence you and sway you in certain ways. But I think they’re special because they were made in a way that was so pure because we didn’t give a fuck, we were just doing it for ourselves. Nothing existed until after these were created, so I think that’s why they’re so special. It was the right albums and the right time for a lot of metalheads as well, coming off the back of the nu-metal scene. Timing and stars aligning and all that beautiful stuff.”

Do you remember the first time you heard Ascendancy?

Matt Tuck: “I was given it by our agent at the time, Paul, who’s still Trivium’s agent. We’d just released our EP and were making The Poison, I remember taking it back to The Chapel Studio where we made The Poison in Lincolnshire, putting it on and going, ‘Fuck.’ Like, ‘Holy shit, this is what we’re trying to make.’ Trivium is far more technical than Bullet, but it was the rawness, the DNA, that kind of young, fierce sound but done in a contemporary way while having these traditional elements. I was so inspired. Not only were we in a studio making our debut album, but I had this as fuel to be like, ‘Right, these are our guys. This is us, this is what we need to achieve as well. This is what we’re trying to do, in our own way.’

“It was a phenomenal record, it had a huge impact on my life and the band’s life, it was the kick up the arse that we needed to get us over the line in a time where we were a little unsure over what was going on. Even though we were fearless and being brave and living our dream, it was still a moment where we didn’t wanna fuck it up. We’d never done it before, so to hear a young band from overseas hitting the nail on the head, it was like, ‘Okay boys, let’s do this.’ It was a really powerful moment.”

How does it feel knowing that Ascendancy influenced The Poison?

Matt Heafy: “When we saw Matt in a Trivium shirt [in Kerrang!] we freaked out (laughs). We didn’t know they knew us at all. I remember the minute we showed up [in the UK] we kept hearing about Bullet, and when we looked into it, we thought it was fantastic and we wanted to be in the space of a band like this.

“It was really weird for us coming up. We were the only metal band [in our local scene], no-one was into anything like us, and no-one really liked us until we came to the UK. All of a sudden we had this entire country that was into us with bands we thought were sick, and it really changed our perspective. That’s why for the past 20 years of doing shows in the UK I’ve always said thanks for treating us as one of your own, we feel like an adopted UK band and we’ve always felt that way. It was the first place to take us in and the first place to give us a career and allow us to do this for a living.”

Both albums lit a fire under your respective careers. Did you know you had made something special?

Matt Tuck: “I felt that and I was feeling as it was going along. There were moments of doubt and uncertainty and anxiety because we’d worked so hard to get this opportunity, and it was real – we were in the studio with Colin Richardson (Machine Head, Napalm Death, Funeral For A Friend) making a record. We were buzzing. I remember doing a demo of Tears Don't Fall and All These Things I Hate (Revolve Around Me) in the same session in Newport, and just hearing it back like, ‘Oh shiiit, this is cooool!” I knew those two songs were the tickets for Bullet to explode.”

Matt Heafy: “We had such a weird experience in the U.S., we were the first of four bands that was Dillinger Escape Plan, Read Yellow, The End and Trivium opening. I remember the entire crowd standing on the sides and turning their backs to us. When it was Children Of Bodom, Trivium and Amon Amarth, opening in the U.S. and playing Slim's in San Francisco, we got booed at and spit on the entire show. We played a 30-minute set just getting spat at. So I didn’t know what the UK was going to be like, but we were taken in.

“There’s a lot of very confident quotes of an 18-year-old me in your magazine non-stop like, ‘This is what we mean, this is what we said we’re gonna do,’ but now I think it’s great! If I see teenagers coming out now saying, ‘We’re going to be the sickest band’ or, ‘We’re gonna be your new favourite band’, seeing that kind of confidence nowadays is really praised. I always tell people to set your goals high but put the work in like you’re gonna do it. But the fact that this has done what our childhood goals were is fantastic and I think that’s what this tour is testament to, it’s a celebration of all the work our two bands did way back then and being able to truly enjoy the moment. It’s not that we didn’t enjoy it, but it was such a rollercoaster, both bands were just in this flow of this river and the waves were moving.”

Matt Tuck: “For Bullet it just exploded and were on this ride that didn’t really stop, and still hasn’t! You’re not taking it in, you’re just like, ‘Aaah!’ And then it’s the next show, and you’re getting calls about Guns N’ Roses, Maiden, Metallica, and all these things on the first album. Selling out Brixton was like, ‘What the fuck is going on?!’ All that was great, but then it’s gone, and then you’re on to the next one. To actually experience and enjoy that moment now is going to be a really nice feeling.”

You also get to experience something you’ve never done before, which is headline The O2 Arena. How does it feel to still be taking those next steps, some 20-plus years into your career?

Matt Heafy: “I see people talking about ‘young bands’, but we’re still the same age as a lot of these bands coming out now, who’re considered younger bands, and we’ve put 20-plus years of work in each. And this tour’s going to set our bands to this level, then we can both pave the way and do our thing, and maybe we’ll come back in 30 or 40 years together to do it again and make it bigger and bigger.”

Matt Tuck: “The best is yet to come from both bands, creatively and as live musicians. We’re by no means over any hill! (laughs) Thankfully our careers started when we were very young, and 20 years later we’re still fucking ready to do this!”

The Poisoned Ascendancy tour kicks off in January 2025 – get your tickets now

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