Bullet For My Valentine | Interview
Welsh trash-metal giants, Bullet For My Valentine, have been unusually quiet the past two years and their fans’ patience is soon to reap rewards. The metal gods return with a new album, bursting with positive anger – appropriately titled ‘Temper Temper,’ and a worldwide tour for 2013.
Formed in Bridgend, Wales, at the turn of the century, BFMV have become one of the most successful metal bands in the world having won ‘best British band’ at the Kerrang awards on three occasions and to date, have sold over four million albums worldwide. In 2006 the band gained worldwide notoriety with the release of their now Gold album, ‘The Poison’. Their second and third full-length releases debuted in at number four and number three respectively, on the Billboard top 200. Now unquestionably one of the worlds’ biggest rock bands, we sent Darragh from the Goldenplec team to speak with bassist, Jason James, about the new album, songwriting abroad, world domination and fatherhood.
With the new album ‘Temper Temper’ due for release on the eighth of February, GP asks how the latest album will differ from the previous three. “It’s a step up from the others,” says Jason confidently. “Bullet has matured. We followed the road of less is more as opposed the fast, technical stuff; there’s not as much crammed in riffage and double pedal. Basically we’re giving the songs what they need.” So would you say your riffs are slowing down? “Well we still have all the Bullet riffs in there; the fast edginess. But it’s easier listening, it’s not totally crammed full of them. Each song has got what it needs to have.” Jay furthers his point by claiming, “we’ve mastered the whole songwriting process.” Confidence indeed. It appears the metal maestros have managed to further tighten their sound and sharpen their riffs with the impending fourth album.
The band chose to visit Thailand, where they would write the new material for the upcoming album. Jason sheds some light to dispute any rascal accusations: “Moose (Michael Thomas – Drums) and Matt (Tuck – Vocals/Rhythm guitar) went to Thailand to start the songwriting process” in the renowned Karma Sound Studios in Bang Saray. “They got the drums sorted too and afterwards, we finished off the record in a studio in the UK.”
For those who may be unaware, BFMV teamed up with producer Don Gilmore again, after the success of the previous album, 2010’s ‘Fever.’ GP asks why the personnel were kept constant. “We gel,” Jason says quickly. As honest an answer can achieve, he imparts the knowledge, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Temper Temper, the title track from the forthcoming album has received millions of online views and Jay admits “the label just threw a video together after we played it on air” at BBC Radio One’s Rock Week. The first official release from the new album will be Riot, a song lyrically connected with the London riots in 2011. Due for release on the 18th of February, fans can expect to see the new music incorporated straight into the live setting.
With a global tour set to kick off this month, visiting America, Australia and Europe, worried fans will be glad to hear lead guitarist, Michael Paget, is coping well after requiring keyhole surgery following damage to his back late last year. “He was bed bound for weeks,” says Jason. “But thankfully he’s all healed up by now, ready to sit on a plane or a bus.”
It’s no secret there is an unbalanced shift in music sales due to illegal downloading. GP presses to find out if BFMV are compelled into touring more. “Not really” admits Jason. “That’s for them (Record Label) to sort out and keep up to date, with this day and age. It doesn’t really affect us. We still go on the road and do our shows; you can’t download a show can you.” Point made.
With such a busy tour ahead, it looks unlikely that BFMV will get a chance to play in Ireland this year. Jason insists, “the schedules are still being put together,” and that they will “hopefully” make it to Ireland soon. The Welsh quartet is renowned for their live shows and hunger for world domination. Jason projects this desire and confidence: “we have been off the road for so long because we toured the hell out of the last one. We’re all eager to get back out there you know, world domination and all that. We’re still thirsty and trying to be the biggest band we can possibly be, and widen our fan base with the new songs. Hopefully we can be the biggest thing in the world, that’s what we want.” It’s refreshing to see desire from a band which has already achieved great success. BFMV have a bigger reach now than ever before. By combining metal with a contemporary twist, it has allowed fans of many genres to embrace the music and share experiences together at BFMV concerts.
You would think playing bass in one of the world’s busiest bands would keep any man tied up, but Jason has more on his plate than the average rock star. “I’m a single dad, “I’m a single dad, when I’m not busy changing bums and making bottles I am slamming out the record, getting tightened up for the tour.” It may seem hard to imagine a metal god playing peek-a-boo as well as sold out rock shows but Jason James seems well equipped for both tasks. He also partners his own clothing label, Amp-Ink, which sell “unique prints” for both men and women. Inspired by UK culture, Amp-Ink issue only a limited number of prints; making items exclusive t-shirts.