Bullet For My Valentine drummer Moose Thomas is wandering around a mall on one of the band’s days off amidst Slipknot’s Summer’s Last Stand Tour, which they are supporting alongside Lamb Of God and Motionless In White. With a new CD about to drop this Friday, August 14, there is an air of excitement around the entire band as they follow up the lacklusterly received Temper Temper with Venom, an eleven song explosion of rock & roll the harder way [the deluxe edition features an extra four songs]. Sounding like one of the best records of their career, it harkens back and recaptures the electricity and aggression from their youth that was somewhat missing on their 2013 release. The guys in Bullet – Moose, singer Matt Tuck and guitar player Michael Paget [new bass player Jamie Mathias is not on the CD] – all feel they have captured lightening in a bottle and are looking forward to their fans hearing the record in it’s entirety.
A few tracks – “No Way Out” and “Army Of Noise” – have been a part of their recent sets, proving that what they were hoping to create when they walked into Metropolis Studio in London, worked. Releasing the first single, “No Way Out,” back in May, Bullet gave fans an electrical jolt sneak peek at what was coming. “The song revisits my younger days growing up in a shitty part of Wales where there was no hope for anyone,” vocalist Tuck explained at the time of it’s debut. “[It] captures those frustrations. I found that dark headspace again and seized it.”
The spawn of Wales in the UK, Bullet For My Valentine came out with a bang in 2005 with The Poison and kept on steamrolling, opening for the likes of Rob Zombie and Metallica, and releasing three subsequent records. But some fans thought they were beginning to lose their bite. “We wanted to cut an album that was purely us inside and out,” explained Tuck recently. “We thought about what makes us who we are and made our band what it is in the first place. We decided to get that fucking energy back and unleash it for no other reason than we simply have to. So, that’s exactly what we did.” However, “It wasn’t easy revisiting some very dark places to come up with lyrical content for this one,” Tuck confessed earlier this year. “But once I knew where it was heading and I was comfortable with letting certain things out – all hell broke loose. It’s easily the most aggressive record we’ve ever done and lyrically it will no doubt touch a nerve with a lot of people that listen to it.” They believe, which is great for the fans, that “We’ve reinvented who we are and are ready to take on the world once more.”
Glide had a quick chat with Moose about the new record not long ago while he walked around a mall somewhere in America.
There is so much energy on the new album. Who had the seed to how this album eventually sounded? Who got this started?
Actually, it was all of us. We kind of all agreed that we had to go back and figure out what the band was all about in the early days and where all that aggression and fire came from. We just all sat and agreed that this is what we needed to do on this album cause we felt we lost a lot of the fire and a lot of the passion on the last album. So it was nice to actually bring it back on this one.
What was the first song you worked on that started the whole process?
The first one actually written was “Army Of Noise” and we started writing more songs like “You Want A Battle” and “Harder The Heart,” songs like on the first album, and that was where we were headed.
Which song on the album has your biggest imprint on it in terms of it’s creation and overall sound?
Probably the first track, “No Way Out.” I called Padge as soon as I woke up and it was just me and Padge and then an hour later the music was all written.
Which song on the album would you say changed the most from it’s original conception when you finally went to record it?
That’s a good question. A lot of the songs, actually, we demoed three or four times. “Army Of Noise” had a completely different middle bridge part. And the song “Skin.” That was demoed about five times, I think.
You guys are out touring now. Is that what you will be doing most of the year?
Yeah, we finish up this tour and we go back to the UK and Europe. Then from Europe, Japan and actually Japan is our last show. Then Christmas and then go back out at the end of January and next year is non-stop, really.
You guys are from Wales. What it was like growing up there?
It was good, really. You know, I grew up with my parents and my brother but I went to school and met the best friends I ever had and they are still my friends today. There’s not much to do there, really. All my friends played musical instruments so we all listened to music but I had a really good time in school and stuff. And yeah, it’s a beautiful country, what you see in pictures and stuff. It’s very green (laughs).
Was your family musical?
No, it’s weird cause my parents never played instruments or anything. They listened to music, songs like by the Beach Boys and stuff. But it’s weird cause I started playing guitar, then two of my cousins are drummers and they were asking me why I wasn’t a drummer. I wasn’t a drummer and then all of a sudden I was a drummer (laughs).
I heard you say that if it wasn’t for Dave Grohl you really wouldn’t be playing drums. Is that true?
Yeah, I had Nirvana cassettes and all I could hear was Dave Grohl’s kick drum and I was really interested what the sound was and found all the tapes of Dave Grohl drumming and I was like, okay, I want to be a drummer (laughs). I think he’s one of the best in the world, to be honest.
What was the music scene like in Wales when you started out – cause I’m picturing quaint little villages all over the country.
Yep, it was weird, really. Through school, all the grunge thing was happening and Metallica had just released the black album and all of our friends were listening to that and picking up instruments. From there everyone went to college in the local town and got friendly with other people. It was actually where the music started. When Matt got it together it was all said and done.
Did you guys think you would make it out of Wales and the UK and that you would be playing over here in America one day?
(laughs) It was definitely on the top of the list of things to do in my life. I hoped it would happen and I definitely wanted it to happen.
As a drummer in such a powerful, non-stop band, which song would you say takes the most energy out of you to play live?
That’s a good question. They’re all pretty quick but I never struggled with things. But I think “Army Of Noise” is pretty fast and we play that every night so that is probably the most tiring one.
Out of all your songs, which one was the most difficult to transfer to the stage from it’s recorded version?
Well, none really. Sorry (laughs). They were all like written to make sure they come across good live so not to complicate things.
What still excites you about being a drummer?
Actually, watching other drummers. Obviously on this tour there are amazing drummers like Chris Adler from Lamb Of God, who is absolutely fantastic, and the new guy in Slipknot. So I try to get there to watch them.
Who was the first real rock star you ever met?
That would be Lars Ulrich from Metallica. We were opening for Metallica in 2006 and we were about to go on and someone knocks on our dressing room door. I’ll talk to anyone but seeing it was him and he walked in and introduced himself, I just couldn’t talk (laughs). The second time I met him a few years later was way better.
What is the craziest concert you ever played where everything was just insanely good or insanely bad?
Probably when we were opening for Metallica and playing to 100,000 people. It was quite mind-blowing.
How do you reach that many people?
Oh, it’s so big it doesn’t look like humans anymore. We just play the show (laughs)
And hope they like you
Yeah, exactly (laughs)
Live photos by Dan DeSlover & Jennifer Devereaux