Matt Tuck of AxeWound Talks "Vultures", New Bullet for My Valentine, Movies, and More
Wed, 24 Oct 2012 16:13:38
Bullet for My Valentine Photos
AxeWound launch into a full-on attack mode with Vultures.
This veritable metal powerhouse featuring Cancer Bats mainman Liam Cormier on vocals, Bullet for My Valentine singer and guitarist Matt Tuck on the axe, Joe Copcutt of Rise to Remain on bass, and Jason Bowld of Pitchshifter behind the kit makes visceral and vicious heavy metal that can't be stopped. It's a perfect storm of tight riffing and inimitable screams that make AxeWound so crushing. Vultures is one of the year's best, and it signals the start of something very special…
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, Matt Tuck talks AxeWound's Vultures, new Bullet for My Valentine, movies, and so much more.
What's your take on Vultures as a whole?
From the top of the story, I had wanted to do something like this for a long time. I'd spoken Jason about doing something with him at some point in the future. This was back at the beginning of 2011. When the opportunity arose and I had a couple of months of from Bullet For My Valentine at the end of last year and the beginning of this year, I called him and asked if he was ready to do this. He said, "Yeah". We just went at it from there. We could only fit in eleven days to do it so we didn't have time to think about a flow, direction, or vibe. It was like, "Let's just go into the studio and write and record one song per day. We've got eleven days. Let's do eleven tracks". That's what we did. The way the album flows is a natural thing. We literally didn't have time to mess about. The window to do this was very small. Even the drum tracks are live drums. We didn't fuck around, chop them up, or edit them at all really. It was basically two takes. If there was one dodgy bit, we replaced it with the other. We didn't bother editing it. Jason's a phenomenal drummer so we didn't have to anyways. That made the process quick and doable. We didn't have to fuck around with drum edits.
What's the story behind "Church of Nothing"?
We wanted something that didn't have your typical 4/4 time signature. We wanted it to have an old school metal swing, but we also wanted to ramp up the energy and tempos to get the really fast, thrash-y verses. It was a basic concept of doing two things in the song. We didn't overthink it. We jammed out for two or three hours and recorded it. It fit right at the end. For me, that was the closer.
Did you and Liam share writing lyrics?
We wrote six of the songs together. I write "Cold" myself. That was the first-ever AxeWound song. Jason and I had demoed that earlier. We did two songs—"Cold" and "Blood Money Lies". We never had any vocals though. Liam wrote three or four.
Where were you coming from lyrically on "Cold"?
I was kind of pissed off and angry. It's a regular day in the office in the metal world [Laughs]. I wanted to put it across in a way, which people could relate to. There are situations in life where you come across people you genuinely don't like for whatever reason. I thought "Cold" was a good way to get that feeling across. There's that saying, "People leave you cold". They give you nothing. That was what I wanted to do in the song. It's simple and aggressive. A lot of people can relate to that chorus.
Is it important for you to tell stories and paint pictures in your lyrics?
For me, that's what makes the lyrics entertaining. There are certain things you write about. I don't typically write about super personal stuff a lot of the time. It does happen now and again. The majority of the time, it will be from an idea. Then, I'll take it completely out of control and make it colorful so people can visualize what I'm yelling about. At the same time, it's not really autobiographical because nothing in my life is super bad or weird. I never had a bad upbringing. I'm not a political person. I wrote songs that way because that's who I am.
What else influences you when you write?
The only thing that inspires me is the actual music for the song I've written it for. I don't actually do any pre-writing at all. That's just the way I do things. I know a lot of songwriters who are constantly writing in notebooks. Liam is one of them. He has a book and he just writes down ideas and lines here and there every day. I don't do that. I want to have a soundtrack to write to. I don't get inspired unless I hear a piece of music. Then, automatically, something I want to say will come out because I'm influenced by the guitar riff and tempo of the song. I'm really focused when I'm writing lyrics. I can't hear a melody unless there's a soundtrack underneath it for me.
If you were to compare Vultures to a movie or a combination of movies, what would you compare it to?
It'd be one of the Saw movies definitely with a little bit of Scream in there. It's violent, but it's tongue-in-cheek. I think that sums it up!
Are you a horror fan?
Horror is my favorite genre. I like the paranormal too. I actively look for something to scare me. I love comedies—even romantic comedies—as well as drama, but I always look forward to downloading, renting, and buying horror movies. I like to be entertained and scared at the same time. I think that goes along with heavy metal. It gives me a bit of a buzz. The Exorcist is the one that will always make me scared to stay in the house alone at night after I watch it. Even though I've seen it a million times and I know what's going to happen, it still scares me. Even as a grown man, it's the one film that still puts the jitters in me. It's got that paranormal element. It examines dabbling in things you shouldn't dabble with. They nailed it with that movie. I can't even imagine how extreme that movie must have been in the '70s. I saw a missing scene where she walks down the stairs backwards. Deleted scenes are cool. That's probably my favorite movie of all-time.
Who are some of the villains you dig?
I was digging the Saw movies up until Saw IV. Jigsaw is more of a psychological mastermind. He's fucked up and dying himself. He's clever by making it all happen without actually doing anything personally. I like The Omen trilogy. I still watch that to this day. I'm intrigued by the paranormal, demons, and Satanic ritual. It's not that I believe in it. I find it extremely interesting to watch because it's a scary unknown world. There's always that idea where you don't know if it's true or not or even if it's possible. In the back of your mind, you think it could happen and that's what makes it so scary.
How different is writing for AxeWound from Bullet For My Valentine?
If there's another album, I could answer that more accurately. Because of the way it was done and the time we spent on it, there was no time to overthink it. It must've been a natural thing or it wouldn't have gotten done. They way we approached it and wrote it were the same. I was indulging myself with something more hardcore as a guitar player. Jason made it sound ten times more insane.
How's the Bullet for My Valentine coming?
It's finished! I went straight from the AxeWound record to the Bullet record, and we finished it two months ago. It's being mixed now. It's fucking amazing. This one destroys the last album. It's far better. Don Gilmore produced it and he smashed it. Everyone who works with us will tell us how it is. This is good, trust me.
Have you heard AxeWound?
See our review of Vultures here!
See our review of Bullet for My Valentine's "Temper Temper" here!