More about: Bullet For My Valentine
"It was rampant, so intense," chuckles the wide-eyed Bullet For My Valentine frontman Matt Tuck - thinking back on his most recent, insane stunt - where he was the first rockstar ever to complete a gig on land, air and sea. After skydiving, he then took his performance to a speedboat before husky-sledding - as part of Jagermeister's Ice cold series.
But other than being terrified within an inch of life with Jagermeister on the fringes of the Arctic Circle in the most Northern part of Norway, Tuck is still enjoying a pretty wild ride of a year. After their fifth album Venom soared straight to No.1, they tore up the road with Slipknot, stuck two fingers up to critics and continue to lead the vanguard of acts saving British rock.
While we await their upcoming tour with Killswitch Engage, we had a quick catch up with Tuck to talk stunts, sticking to their guns, loving their fans and the state of metal in 2016...
What possessed you to do thiss insane stunt in the first place?
"Just because it's one of those opportunities that never really comes up. It's a once in a lifetime thing and I just wanted to do something that no one else had ever done before."
How do you mentally prepare for something like that?
"I didn't - I just went with an open mind, ready to have a good time. Obviously, I've never jumped out of a helicopter before and I just really didn't know what to expect. I went along for the ride."
Were you bricking it?
"Yeah, going up in the helicopter and that moment just before you freefall was a moment of massive anxiety - but also excitement. It was so surreal, which kind of softened the blow. I did one song on the skydive, one of the skis and one on the husky sledge."
How did you choose what to play?
"I just chose three songs that I thought would be best to play on an acoustic guitar, I wanted to make that as easy and pain-free as possible. I went for 'The Last Fight', 'You Want A Battle, Here's A War' and and 'Sweet Memories'. I took three friends to be the actual audience, that's what made it a gig, which was mental."
Other than that, how's life been since the release of Venom last summer?
"It's been incredible and non-stop, off the back of what's probably our most successful album to date. We started touring last summer in the States with Slipknot, and been doing headlining stuff ever since really."
What do you think it is about your sound that can land so well with fans of a band like Slipknot as well?
"I don't know. We try to incorporate the anthemic and super-hooky choruses into what's really, really heavy, which makes for a really devastating combo. Slipknot do it and Killswitch Engage do it. If you're a metal head, then there's something there for you too."
Saying that, you must have noticed that reviews of Venom were pretty divisive - they were either savage or absolutely glowing, which is rare. Is that just what you get when you write music that's strong enough to inspire that kind of intense reaction?
"Yeah, I guess. When the band first started and we did our first couple of records, people's reviews and opinions would be the be-all and end-all of how we perceived things to be going. What we do now is see that if we're happy and can do these kind of massive tours with a band like Killswitch supporting - how can you not be happy with that? We don't pay too much attention to reviews these days, even the good ones. The fact that we can do what we do is enough."
It's also a sign of the strength of rock too, surely? You've got Enter Shikari playing arenas, Bring Me are massive and a band like PVRIS and Against The Current about to blow up- that's kind of external to everything else - it's an organic trend, right?
"Yeah, exactly. It doesn't really matter what people say. It's the connection you have with the listener and whether they love it or not. No matter who says what, good or bad, nothing else means anything. As a band, you do go through these moments of not connecting so much and then making it, but you just have to stay true to what you do and hope people feel the same way."
So what do you think it is about you that Bullet For My Valentine fans can cling on to?
"It just boils down to the fact that we've always stuck to our guns. When you connect with someone on your first record, that's special and there's nothing like it. The success we had with The Poison and Scream, Aim, Fire gave us that solid fan base and the leeway to do what we want. People will always have their opinions about what's good and what's not, but ultimately when you're a fan of the band, it's like being a fan of a football team - you go through your ups and downs but you never stop loving them."
And what have you been listening to recently?
"One of the favourite bands I'm listening to at the moment is Nothing But Thieves. I love the sound, the vocal arrangements and they're a very talented band - really cool stuff."
What are the classic records that you always return to?
"Pantera, A Vulgar Display Of Power, also Slipknot's debut and anything by Metallica. I still listen to a lot of the stuff I listened to as a teenager. It defines who I am as a man and my career. I'll always have a soft spot for it."
And have you been reading or watching anything that you'd recommend?
"There's a lot of time to kill on the road, so me and the boys really get into Netflix specials. Making A Murderer was the best thing ever, in terms of a real documentary. It's awful to watch but you just can't take your eyes off it - it's incredibly well done but impossible not to get emotionally involved. There was also a series called Bloodline which I really enjoyed. The storyline was really unique and not your usual cop or zombie thing - it was just really well-written and well-shot."
Bullet For My Valentine's upcoming UK tour dates supported by Killswitch Engage are below. For tickets and more information, visit here.
Thu November 24 2016 - NEWPORT Centre
Sun November 27 2016 - NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE O2 Academy Newcastle
Wed November 30 2016 - GLASGOW O2 Academy Glasgow
Sat December 03 2016 - MANCHESTER Academy
Tue December 06 2016 - BIRMINGHAM O2 Academy Birmingham
Fri December 09 2016 - LONDON O2 Academy Brixton
More about: Bullet For My Valentine