"We’ve never done a proper, real tour together. Which is nuts, because we’ve toured with everyone!": How Trivium and Bullet For My Valentine have teamed up for 2025's biggest metal event

Matt Tuck X Matt Heafy
(Image credit: Press)

It’s the collab we already knew we needed. By the time you read this, the news of Trivium and Bullet For My Valentine’s 2025 co-headline arena tour will have well and truly broken. And the not-so-small print? Not only is it the first time the two bands have ever toured together, but they’ll celebrate the 20th anniversary of their 2005 breakthrough, era-defining albums, Ascendancy (released March 15, 2005) and The Poison (released October 3, 2005), by playing them in full. Two words: Get. In. 

What better excuse could there be to get Matt Heafy and Matt Tuck, the frontmen of two of modern metal’s most successful bands, together to chat about the similar paths they’ve blazed through our scene, their memories, and their plans for what promises to be a metal event for the ages.

Metal Hammer line break

When did you first hear each other’s bands? 

Matt Heafy: “We were in the UK on our second or first tour. I was blown away by Bullet. It was really cool to hear another band that was coming out around the same time, that was taking the ingredients that we were influenced by as well, but cooking them in a different way.” 

Matt Tuck: “It was early 2005 and we had just finished recording The Poison. It was all the sounds, aggression, speed and technicality of a band that I wanted to hear and what Bullet wanted to be like. As soon as I heard of you boys, I was a fan. I repped you as much as I could in press photos, talked about you any time I was asked, ‘Who are you listening to at the moment?’” 

Do you remember the first time you met in person? 

Tuck: “It was behind the second stage at [German rock festival] Rock Am Ring.”

Heafy: “Oh, that’s right!” 

Tuck: “I saw you and Corey [Beaulieu, Trivium guitarist] come walking in the bus area and you were like, ‘Hey, man, just want to thank you for picking up our band in the press’, and likewise. I still remember that interaction to this day, over 20 years later.”

You both broke through in 2005, a period when metal was in transition. Nu metal had bitten the dust and bands like Killswitch Engage and Lamb Of God were leading a metal renaissance. What are your memories of the scene at that time? 

Tuck: “It was undeniably a period of time where both our bands started something that was important. We were breaking away from a trend and a mould, bringing back a certain style and aggression, a technicality. We were representing Britain, and Trivium were representing the US.” 

Heafy: “It was an interesting time. Guitar solos were gone when I was in high school, and nu metal was in. Growing up in central Florida, pop-punk was the only style that was really around.” 

Tuck: “It was an amazing time for both our bands. That whole period where it was young, fresh and new, people were discovering us, and we were trying to stamp our sound into the metal community. I can’t emphasise how much we enjoyed it and how hungry we were.” 

Heafy: “The New Wave Of American Heavy Metal scene was growing with bands like Lamb Of God, Shadows Fall, Unearth and Killswitch Engage all coming out of roughly the same area, at the same time. But it was always Bullet and Trivium floating. And that’s why I always felt this kinship.”

So, there was never any kind of rivalry between your bands? 

Tuck: “No!” 

Heafy: “We’ve always just lived on these two separate planets. Acknowledging each other and being fans of each other’s music, but never connecting the dots. We could have done this tour at 10 years, could have done it at 15, could have done it at five. We’ve been asking each other, ‘Why haven’t we toured together?’ And there wasn’t a reason, we just didn’t.” 

It is strange that you haven’t toured together until now… 

Heafy: “We’ve done festivals, but we’ve never done a proper, real tour together. Which is nuts, because we’ve toured with everyone.” 

Do you remember the moment you both knew you’d made it? 

Tuck: “Selling out Brixton Academy on your first album is a pretty cool achievement. And at that point as well, Tears Don’t Fall wasn’t even a single. And from that moment, it just didn’t stop. It went from Brixton to Hammersmith, Hammersmith to Alexandra Palace, Alexandra Palace to Wembley, and it just kept going. What a wild ride.” 

Heafy: “Before we toured the UK, no one liked us. We were an opening band, playing first of four, selling one t-shirt, one CD a night. We had just finished a US run, flew over to the UK, and we’re at Wulfrun Hall [in Wolverhampton]. We hear this sound. We peek behind the curtain. It’s a Trivium chant in the crowd and it’s a sold-out show. We go out there, they knew every single word. 

Then [Download Festival organiser] Andy Copping saw us at the Garage show in London and he said, ‘Let’s bump you up from the tent stage to the main stage for Download 2005.’” 

Matt, did you watch Trivium’s now-infamous 2005 Download set? (Bullet For My Valentine played the second stage that year, sandwiched between Lamb Of God and Meshuggah.) 

Tuck: “No, unfortunately we didn’t get on site in time, and it had already happened. But I remember the entire festival backstage talking about this Trivium set and it was like, ‘Oh shit, the hype machine is real.’” 

How did you deal with the increased attention following the release of your albums? 

Heafy: “It was tough for me. People were like, ‘Oh Matt’s kind of a jerk because he doesn’t want to be around people.’ But I had terrible acne and social anxiety disorder, so I didn’t want to be in pictures, didn’t want to meet people. But that was immersion therapy. I had to just get in it, had to do it, and eventually got over it.”

Tuck: “I don’t think it’s ever something I struggled with. It’s something I’d wanted since I was 14 years old, so I was in a really happy place. I didn’t go over the top with my ego or anything, I was always very confident, but I remember feeling validated that I’d worked so hard. I knew I was capable of something special.” 

Heafy: “I wish I’d sat back and just smelled the roses for a minute. It’s not that I was grumpy, it’s just that it was happening so quick, we had to put our heads down and work. I see that sometimes nowadays for bands, and I hope that they’re relishing it. But it’s hard to do when you’re in the moment.” 

Tuck: “We were guilty of the same thing. We weren’t enjoying it or taking it in, we were just doing it and living it.”

What were the challenges back then? 

Heafy: “I would never change the downs, because the downs are what made us strong and what made us realise who we are. The Ascendancy period was where we were praised. Then The Crusade [the band’s poorly received second album, released in 2006] was kind of tough, but then we built and wrote out of that.” 

Tuck: “You go from playing once a week in a rehearsal room with your friends, to touring the world and playing huge festivals in the blink of an eye. It’s a steep learning curve. As enjoyable as it all was, there were times where I was in a very dark, low place because I felt like things were being taken away from me by my own misdoings with my voice, drinking and smoking and all that stuff you do when you’re young and stupid. I don’t miss the naivety and the inexperience, but would never change it for the world.” 

Matt, last November, you joined Bullet onstage in Orlando to perform Tears Don’t Fall. What was that experience like? 

Heafy: “I had a blast. I was like, ‘I’m going to let it all rip. I don’t have a show tomorrow. I’m going to blow my voice out.’ I was sweating so bad after just one song…” 

Tuck: “…You do sweat, man. I remember, ‘God damn, you’ve done, like, four minutes here!’” 

Heafy: “I gave it my absolute all, man. You should see me in jiu-jitsu. Sometimes my sweat is going in my partner’s mouth, their nose. I think I’m just very well hydrated.”

How did the idea come about for the joint 20-year anniversary tour and playing both albums in full? 

Tuck: “It was around October last year. Me and the boys wanted to do something for The Poison and it just clicked. Let’s see if Trivium want to jump onboard here and do something together, split everything down the middle, no bullshit, co-headline, Ascendancy and The Poison.” 

Heafy: “I remember we had a text from our manager. He’s like, ‘Hey, the Bullet camp just put over the idea of Trivium and Bullet doing a tour together in 2025…” 

Tuck: “I think a Bullet and Trivium tour is something that most fans of that era would want to see. It’s taken us 20 years to get there, but instead of just a normal tour, we’re bringing something special. I think people are going to flip when they find out what’s going on.”

Can you tell us anything about what you have planned? 

Heafy: “We’ve been creating all sorts of assets. Cool, creative stuff. Matt came down to The Hangar [Trivium’s Florida HQ] and maybe next month, we’re going to go visit them. We’re going to make this the event that it needs to be. I want to see the show. I don’t want to have to play it. I want to watch both sets from both bands because it’s going to be something momentous.” 

Tuck: “I can’t see anyone that was part of the metal scene in 2005 that won’t want to come to this and celebrate and enjoy the evening with us. It’s going to be a have-to-be-there kind of event, because it’s only going to happen one time.” 

Heafy: “I mentioned the tour to [Malevolence guitarist] Josh Baines, and he’s like, ‘That’s my childhood.’ You see how thriving and how strong and healthy the UK scene is right now, how many amazing bands are coming out. You talk to them and the first bands they saw live were Bullet and Trivium.” 

Trivium x Bullet For My Valentine

(Image credit: Press)

Bullet played The Poison in full in 2016 for the album’s 10th anniversary, but have Trivium ever played Ascendancy in full? 

Heafy: “We’ve never done it on a show. We’ve never done it on a tour. It’s going to be something special. I think that people are going to lose their minds. I know I am!” 

Would you ever record a song together? 

Heafy: “Yes, absolutely.” 

Is it in the pipeline? 

Heafy: “Ha ha ha! I can’t confirm or not.” 

Tuck: “It’s something we’ve discussed. It would seem like a missed opportunity if we didn’t do something together, especially for this tour. I would assume it’s going to happen. We haven’t started working on anything yet. Matt’s being shy and coy, but I’ll just say how it is.” 

What do you think the legacy of Ascendancy and The Poison is? 

Heafy: “It’s very cool to see the blueprint that was laid by our two bands; singing, screaming, guitar solos, great rhythm playing. Also, young fans wanted to dress like us and make music like us and cover our songs.” 

Tuck: “I hope we continue to inspire young musicians and bands to pick up these instruments, be creative, have fun, enjoy themselves. I think I could speak for Matt when we say both albums shaped a huge part of our musical culture and everyone that listened to them at the time.” 

Heafy: “After this tour, I assume festivals will be calling both our bands begging for these full album plays and then maybe at the 25-year, 30-year mark, let’s do some gigantic stuff. It’s got me set for the future, but I’m going to have a note in front of my face on my bunk every day: enjoy this, relish this, and just sit back and celebrate.”

Bullet For My Valentine and Trivium co-headline UK arenas from January 26 2025. 

Dannii Leivers

Danniii Leivers writes for Classic Rock, Metal Hammer, Prog, The Guardian, NME, Alternative Press, Rock Sound, The Line Of Best Fit and more. She loves the 90s, and is happy where the sea is bluest.