DO YOU REMEMBER YOUR VERY FIRST TIME IN THE PAGES OF METAL HAMMER?
Matt Tuck (vocals/guitar): “I do! I think it was 2004. I remember talking about our first EP and the Hand Of Blood video, it was really early stuff. That was when things started to feel a lot more real. We had a record deal and had been writing and recording but it didn’t feel real, in a way. But then when we started doing interviews and shoots with Metal Hammer and then we bought the magazine and saw ourselves in there, that’s when it all started to feel very real. Me and the boys grew up reading Metal Hammer, that was where we got our burst of heavy metal and found out what was going on in the world. So, when we started to get a little bit of love from Hammer, that was a very special moment for us!”
WHAT WAS IT LIKE BEING SUCH A YOUNG BAND SIGNED TO A MAJOR LABEL?
“We thought having the might of a major label behind us with an endless budget was the best choice. We didn’t want to be pigeonholed on a metal label, because we wanted to evolve as the years went on. We thought way ahead rather than just in the moment. In hindsight, that was a wise decision for such a young band.”
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WAS IT HARD TO KEEP YOUR FEET ON THE GROUND?
“Actually, it was easy to stay grounded. We would have given the best we could no matter who we signed with. Being on a major label just gave us the confidence to do what we wanted to do. Signing that first record deal was one of the highlights of our career. Without that deal, nothing else is relevant.”
WHAT WAS IT LIKE BEING ONE OF THE FIRST METAL BANDS TO FACE THE INTERNET GENERATION HEAD-ON?
“It’s not nice to hear anything negative about you personally or about your band, but as the band grew and we got older and wiser, we learned to just shrug it off. I’ve been doing this for 12 years and there’s never been one time at an award ceremony, at a show, shopping in Tesco, anywhere, where anyone has said anything to my face. That sums it up.”
WHAT’S THE BIGGEST LESSON YOU HAVE LEARNED?
“To not listen to any one else’s opinion and trust ourselves. When we’re writing our music, we know what is best. As long as we’re happy and we stand by what we do, then nothing else matters.”