Trivium and Bullet For My Valentine talk ‘Poisoned Ascendancy’ tour and new music: “20 years is a long time to be making an impact”

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Trivium and Bullet For My Valentine talk ‘Poisoned Ascendancy’ tour and new music: “20 years is a long time to be making an impact”

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Trivium and Bullet For My Valentine spoken to NME about their UK co-headline tour to celebrate the 20th anniversary of ‘The Poison’ and ‘Ascendancy’.

After teasing fans online, the tour was finally announced last night (February 22) during a live-streamed press conference where Bullet’s Matt Tuck promised the run of shows was set to be “the metal tour of the year.”

The first leg of the rotating co-headline world ‘Poisoned Ascendancy’ tour is set to kick off in January 2025, with Bullet For My Valentine playing ‘The Poison’ in full at every show, with Trivium doing the same with ‘Ascendancy’ to mark 20 years since their release. In a statement, Trivium’s Matt Heafy described them as “two records whose influence can be heard to this day in the DNA of modern metal.”

“Trivium and BFMV were in such whirlwinds when our respective albums came out that we each never truly got to play together or sit back and celebrate during the maelstrom of constant touring, recording and globetrotting,” said Heafy. “But that’s what this anniversary tour is. It’s a celebration by the bands to the fans of an important era, and most importantly it’s an invitation to fans to come and have an epic night with us and sing and rage and celebrate the awesome power of the music.”

Bullet For My Valentine and Trivium 'The Poisoned Ascendancy' tour poster. Credit: PRESS
Bullet For My Valentine and Trivium ‘The Poisoned Ascendancy’ tour poster. Credit: PRESS

Speaking to NME shortly afterwards, Tuck described the tour as a “well-deserved victory lap” and said both bands “deserved” the chance to celebrate their legacies. “We never had the chance to really take in what was happening at the time,” he offered.

Tuck continued: “This tour almost didn’t happen because we were so focused on making a new album and touring that. That’s how we’re wired, that’s what we’ve always done. But after talking about it, we realised that if we didn’t take this opportunity, we’d always regret it. 20 years is a long time to be making an impact. A 20th anniversary is a once-in-a-lifetime thing, but to celebrate that alongside Trivium just makes it more special.”

The ‘Poisoned Ascendancy’ tour is the most ambitious run of shows either band has ever undertaken, but both frontman claimed that there are no nerves. “The hard work has been done. We already made the records, and we’ve had twenty years of shows in-between. We’re both well-oiled machines at this point in time,” said Heafy.

Tuck agreed: “We’re going to put a lot of love and passion into building the show. Doing it as a co-headliner and a celebration of those two albums means there’s this pressure to create something even more special.

“There’s no competition though. Trivium are Trivium, Bullet are Bullet. We’re both just going to do our thing.”

“We’re approaching this tour like Trivium and Bullet For My Valentine is one supergroup, all fulfilling the same goal,” added Heafy, who joined Bullet on stage in the US last year to sing ‘Tears Don’t Fall’. The pair think it’s “inevitable” that moments like that will happen again during their co-headline tour.

Trivium’s second album ‘Ascendancy’ and Bullet For My Valentine’s debut ‘The Poison’ were breakout moments for both groups, and put them at the forefront of a new wave of heavy music, alongside the likes of Bring Me The Horizon and Avenged Sevenfold.

“I had a gut feeling there was something special there when we were making ‘The Poison’, but that was probably excitement, inexperience, naivety, arrogance and all the other stuff that comes from being in your early 20s and being given the chance to do the thing you’ve always wanted,” reflected Tuck.

“I do remember recording the demos for ‘Tears Don’t Fall’ and ‘All These Things I Hate (Revolve Around Me)’ on the same day though. Listening back to them in the car on my way home to my parents’ house, I really did think those two songs were the key to unlocking something special. And they were.”

Trivium’s success was less immediate. “We were supporting some of our favourite bands like Machine Head, Danzig, and The Dillinger Escape Plan – but it just wasn’t clicking,” said Heafy. “We were too metal for the hardcore kids, too hardcore for the metal kids. But then we came over to the UK and everything seemed to fall into place. That really gave us our start and showed us what this band could become.”

Both Trivium and Bullet For My Valentine came up in the shadow of nu-metal, which saw the likes of Limp Bizkit and Linkin Park become global megastars at the turn of the millennium. “By the time we came along, the scene was so saturated with nu-metal groups. People wanted something different,” said Tuck. “We weren’t trying to fit into any scene, we were just making the music we wanted to make.”

Heafy agreed: “People had stopped playing guitar solos. With both bands, it felt like it was us against the world because there wasn’t really a scene for the type of music we were making.

“With ‘Ascendancy’, we were listening to the classic metal bands that everyone loved alongside melodic death metal, metalcore and emo. We were mixing in these different influences and it created something new. That time was the beginning of people being receptive to different things.”

Tuck argued that “when people loved you, they adored you but there was also this extreme hatred,” but said that it just made the band “determined and thick-skinned”.

“If you can survive a tour with Iron Maiden and spend your 30-minute set getting pelted with cans of tuna, you can survive anything,” he laughed.

So 20 years on, why are ‘The Poison’ and ‘Ascendancy’ still resonating with fans?

“We were young, feisty and there was a fearless naivety to the writing,” said Tuck. “We had nothing to lose. Neither record was over thought and that’s a beautiful thing. It is what makes them special.”

Heafy added: “That innocence still connects. It felt like we captured lightning in a bottle.”

As much as the ‘Poisoned Ascendancy’ tour taps into the same nostalgic energy that’s made successes of both When We Were Young and Sick New World festivals, Tuck said the run of shows is also a celebration of “still being relevant after two decades, and still having so much more to give.”

“There’s still that fire in our bellies,” he continued. “We’re by no means over any hills and I truly believe the best is yet to come from both bands. It’s probably going to spark a lot of creative inspiration for us as well, as we look to the next album. Reliving ‘The Poison’ is only going to bring positivity to the song writing.”

He added: It’s heavy, it’s exciting. If we can have the intensity and technicality of [2022’s ‘Bullet For My Valentine’] alongside the feel of ‘The Poison’, that’s going to be a pretty special record. We’re really excited by it, even if it’ll probably be 2026 before we can release it.”

Trivium meanwhile are building a studio at their base in Orlando after talking about a hiatus. “We’re talking about doing a couple of singles in the run-up to the tour, just to try a few things out,” said Heafy. “We’re talking about getting into the headspace of ‘Ascendancy’, making a song in that style, and having Matt feature on it. It feels like that would be truly amazing, and really tie everything together.”

The 20th anniversary of ‘The Poison’ and ‘Ascendancy’ comes alongside a renewed interest and sense of creativity in the heavy metal world. “Sleep Token, Spiritbox, Heriot, Venom Prison, Lorna Shore, Malevolence, Fit For An Autopsy, there’s so many bands killing it right now and I love to see that,” said Heafy. “How receptive people are for heavy music now can only be a great thing.”

Tuck agreed: “It’s really exciting, because it gives bands like us that have been around for 20 years, the motivation to go for another 20 years. It keeps that fire burning and it keeps us inspired. Hopefully this tour just adds to the excitement and love people have for the scene.”

Beyond that, Heafy was mainly looking forward to seeing two acts together at the top of their game.

“I saw Bullet in November and they’ve never been better,” he added. “People have also told me that Trivium’s last album [2021’s ‘In The Court Of The Dragon’] was our best. We’re all in our prime right now, so this is the absolute best time to do this tour.”

Tickets for the ‘Poisoned Ascendancy’ tour go on sale Friday March 1 and be available here.

Full tour dates are below:

JANUARY 2025
26 – Utilita Arena, Cardiff
28 – OVO Hydro, Glasgow
30 – Co-op Live, Manchester
31 – Utilita Arena, Birmingham

FEBRUARY 2025
1 – The O2, London

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