Bullet for My Valentine - Confident aiming at being the next classic metal band
On the eight of June Metallica was playing at the Gelredome and a couple of young bands had the honour to support them: Trivium, Bullet for My Valentine and Avenged Sevenfold. In the tour bus I had a conversation with a confident Michael Thomas, the drummer of Bullet for My Valentine.
Tonight you opened for Metallica, what was it like to do this show?
“Well, for anybody to be support act for Metallica is fucking amazing. And us, Trivium and Avenged Sevenfold are all massive Metallica fans so we’re all like: this is crazy.”
What do you think of the other bands playing this evening?
“Great, I love Trivium, I think they’re fucking good and I love Avenged Sevenfold as well. They’re all really nice people.”
Recently, a Dutch magazine, Aardschok, did an interview with Matt Tuck (guitar and vocals) and he said he pitied it that Avenged Sevenfold was also playing this night, do you know why?
“I don’t think he would have said that. People often tend to mix your words up. We talked to Avenged Sevenfold and they’re nice people. This must be some sort of miscommunication.”
On the 23rd of June you’re going to do a headline show in a small venue in Utrecht, how do you enjoy that when you compare it to this show?
“Those are two completely different things. We’re obviously used to play clubs for like 2000 people a night and this was actually our first arena show. We’ve played some big festivals like Rock am Ring and Rock Im Park but this was a totally new experience. Tonight was really awesome, but I prefer smaller venues because there’s more participation by the crowd.”
Recently you covered ‘Welcome Home (Sanitarium)’ for the Kerrang! tribute to Metallica, what was it like recording that song?
“It was amazing, when we were asked we didn’t need any time to think about it, we said yes immediately. We were lucky enough to choose the song we wanted to play, we chose “Sanitarium” and Metallica loved it. They listened to the whole album, so that’s fucking great. Lars Ulrich came and knocked on our dress room door before we went to play to say hello and I shit myself. We’ve got another show with them with us as the only opening act in Estonia with about 10.000 people and that’s also going to be insane.”
In the near future you will be doing a tour with Guns ‘n Roses, is this also like a dream come true?
“Yeah! And we’ve already played four shows with them for instance in New York and that was really good, but it was pretty hard. It’s harder than opening for Metallica, because we fit in more with Metallica. The fans of Guns ‘n Roses are very difficult.”
A year ago you released your debut album, what happened since then?
“We haven’t stopped touring, we’ve been playing everywhere everyday and we actually got 12 songs for the next album already written and we’re going to be recording those in November, December this year.”
And do you write the songs during the tour?
“It depends, sometimes we do if we can. I think that there are three songs written on the road. If we get time off back home, we just go straight into the rehearsal room.”
Are you all involved in the writing process?
“Yeah, the music is a balanced band, but Matt has the major role in it.”
Some time ago Matt Tuck was in the hospital suffering from exhaustion. What exactly happened?
“That was this time last year actually; we were rushing to finish the record and in between these recordings we had to do shows and we never really had any time off, especially Matt. At a certain moment it just got too much and his body shut down, then we had one day off and the next day we were playing again.”
Did you then changed anything to prevent you guys from getting exhausted?
“No, we just kept on going! And tried to get as much sleep as possible off course.”
Jeff Killed John was the band where BFMV was actually got formed out. What was JKJ about?
“It was more like rock, hard rock, nu-metal type of thing, which we didn’t really like playing anyway. We just called it a day on that and then Michael (guitars and backing vocals), Matt and me went to the studio and wrote a bunch of songs, got Jason (bass and backing vocals) in and changed our name.”
When you say you didn’t really enjoy the style you were playing, why were you doing it then?
“I think we were just trying to catch a trend of music what was happening at that time. We just stopped doing that and did what we really wanted to do and thank god it worked out well.”
Yeah, and know you’re quite successful and in interviews you also seem pretty confident, where do you get this confidence from?
“We just know that we’re good at what we do. We’re not arrogant but it’s just that I like confident people. If you want to do something, just do it; if you want to be in a band you want to be the biggest band or else it’s just pointless. Just work hard for it!”
You guys accomplish combining aggressive riffs with very catchy vocals and melodies. Where do you get your inspiration from?
“Our influences are band like Metallica, Iron Maiden and Judas Priest and we listen a lot of Pantera, stuff like that.”
You could say that Bullet fits right in the emo trend at the moment; do you recognize yourself in that?
“Oh no, not at all! People always want to put you in certain zones of music, but we’re just a straight metal band!”
And how do you see your future?
“Our goal is to have a career like Metallica, so just keep going for years and years and be a classic metal band because I don’t think that there has been a classic metal band since Metallica.”
“Haha, yes you’re right!”
Do you have anything left to say to your fans?
“Thank you for buying our record and if you haven’t got it you should go and buy it!”