"We played together since we were boys and through our teens, and now we're adults," Tuck said by phone from his home in Cardiff, Wales. "We had the passion and wanted to be like our idols Metallica, Iron Maiden and such. It was a hard road because we had to work around our day jobs, and being from Wales, there weren't many chances for us to play in front of important music-business people.
"I remember having to pay to play some shows and paying for our transportations and things in addition to trying to hold down our day jobs. We all lost jobs at one time or another because of the band."
In the early days, Bullet for My Valentine was known as Jeff Killed John. And the only lineup change it has had was when original bassist Nick Crandle quit on the eve of the band's first recording session. "That was difficult for us because he quit on Friday and the next day I was in the studio laying guitar tracks," said Tuck. "But it worked out because we wouldn't have found Jason ("Jay" James) to replace him. And we probably wouldn't have changed our name and changed our musical direction. Which ultimately means we may not be where we are today."
Aside from Tuck and James, Bullet for My Valentine includes drummer Michael "Moose" Thomas and guitarist Michael "Padge" Paget. The band recently reissued its most recent album, "The Poison," in the United States (it was originally released in 2005). The reissue includes a bonus DVD. "We fought for our right to have creative control of all our releases," said Tuck. "And what you see in the stores are fully sanctioned by the band."
After a stint on the Van's Warped Tour and opening up for Metallica, Axl Rose's Guns N' Roses, Trivium and Iron Maiden, Tuck said the only major short-term goal is to sell a gold album in the United States. "We've already sold 200,000 copies of 'The Poison' in the U.S. It's already gone gold (selling more than 500,000 copies) in the U.K. So we're focusing our efforts for the United States. It's one last push before we release the new album in October. If all goes as planned."
Up until a couple of weeks ago, the band had been locked up in a studio in Texas recording tracks for its new album. "All the instrumental work is done. I'm waiting to do the vocals until after we wrap up the U.S. tour, which will take us through the summer."
If you go
What: Bullet for My Valentine, Escape the Fate, The Confession
Where: Avalon, 3605 S. State
When: Thursday, 7 p.m.
How much: $16
Phone: 467-8499 or 800-888-8499
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