Bullet For My Valentine (or Bullet or BFMV as they are sometimes known), is a four piece metal band from Bridgend, South Wales. These guys formed around the year 1998 and started out playing Metallica and Nirvana covers before they started to make it big writing, recording and releasing their own music. Recently, the band has really started to explode into the mainstream of metal, playing on last year’s Van’s Warped Tour and opening for none other than metal legends Iron Maiden. Their debut album The Poison released at the end of 2005 was extremely well received by fans and critics and word is that the band is almost finished with its sophomore disc set to be released in June, 2007. Fortunately for us, we caught up with the band on their last stop in Toronto last year. Here’s how it went:

“Where the fuck have all the riffs gone?” This quote comes from Matt Tuck and can be found in the biography section on your official website. Can you elaborate on this quote?
Michael: We’ve nicked them all; we have them all and have kept them for ourselves. We have twenty years’ worth.

In late February, your debut full length record The Poison was released in the US. How has the North American response been so far in comparison with the response in the UK?
Michael: It’s great, I mean this is our first headlining tour, we expected four or five people to show up for us every night. Now it’s close to selling out every night so it’s been great.

For those who don’t already know, Bullet For My Valentine hails from Wales. Do you see any significant differences between your fans back home and the ones over here?
Michael: When we were supporting Rob Zombie and we had just done the Guns N’ Roses shows we thought, fuck no one likes us but once we done our own shows it’s just as killer as it is back home.

The Poison is a pretty interesting album name. Is there a specific message that can be associated with the CD or do the songs each have their own meanings?
Michael: Because we did like the mini album before The Poison came out, like especially back in Europe, we felt like it was happening so quickly, like the fact that people were starting to like us so quickly and it was spreading like poison so we just decided to call it that.

Your songs more often than not possess an almost insane amount of technical aspects such as pitch and tempo changes, pauses, brutal breakdowns. What is the key to your complex, mind-blowing song writing?
Michael: Just to keep it as raw as possible, like we go in to the studio to record the song, the tempo will never be straight. I mean, I play to a click but we will always stop it just to change the tempo, just to make it tighter and give it more edge. There’s always thought behind it, keep it live in a way; keep it hard and heavy and raw. It’s just the way we write, we love metal and that’s what comes up when we write.

You guys were just nominated for three awards at the Metal Hammer Golden God Awards including best UK band, best live band and album of the year. Care to share your thoughts on this achievement?
Michael: It’s fucking insane! I mean, if we get one it would be amazing, if we got two it would be fucking over the moon. But I don’t think we’ll get three out of three, I think we’ll get two out of three… I think! So hopefully we’ll get three out of three, but what can you say, out of every category, we’re the band that has the most nominations in the whole thing so it’s fucking insane!

What’s it like to be nominated for these awards with other prestigious bands so soon after you guys started with Bullet?
Michael: I don’t know… it feels great! I mean, we’re playing the show as well so there’s going to be a lot of people who we admire there as well… so it’s just going to be insane!

That’s actually my next question. Incidentally you guys are going to be playing the show itself on June 12th. How did this come to be arranged? Are you more excited about that show more than you would be a regular show?
Michael: Yeah I guess, we just kind of have to show people how we do things I guess. I mean there’s going to be a lot of our idols there but they’re going to have it just as hard as everyone else so it’s going to be fucking great man. We come off the stage and we literally go straight to the airport to fly to open for Metallica. It’s just us and Metallica in some European country so I’m stoked about that!

Bullet was chosen by Kerrang! Magazine to do a cover song for the re-recording of Metallica’s legendary album Master of Puppets. What are your sentiments regarding this honour?
Michael: When they approached us to do it, it was me and Matt and we didn’t even speak to the members of the band. We just said we’d do it. And we were lucky enough to be one of the first bands asked to do this so we actually chose the song and we chose “Sanitarium” because we thought we’d do it justice. Rather than just doing a simple, boring cover song… we like clarity and we mixed it up a lot so that’s why we chose that track.

So let me ask you about that particular song. A lot of bands will just throw together a cover that’s exactly like the original. Did you put your own Bullet twist on the song?
Michael: Oh yeah totally, I mean we did things our way, I mean Matt sang it the way he wanted to sing it. There’s a band on there who did a Metallica cover which just sounds exactly the same. For us, we just wanted to put our own stamp on the song and we added tempo changes and everything, so it should be good.

You cover the track “Welcome Home Sanitarium.” How and why did you choose to go with that tune? Is there a reason?
Michael: Me and Matt actually sat down to think about which song we wanted to do and we thought we could do “Disposable Heroes” or any one, but we wanted to do “Sanitarium” because of the way the song ends and the way it changes from light to heavy so that’s why we did that one.

Was Metallica a big influence for you guys musically growing up?
Michael: Hell yeah! Like the biggest one ever. Along with Megadeth, Maiden, Judas Priest….

To promote The Poison you guys have been touring North America like mad, first with Rob Zombie and Lucana Coil and now your own headlining tour with Walls of Jericho and Roses Are Read. How have those tours fared for the band and you personally?
Michael: You mean the support tours?

All of them, I guess the headlining tour is more important.
Michael: Um, yeah to us it is. The supporting tours are really cool because we make a lot of new fans, but to do our own shows is fucking amazing, when people actually come to see our band it blows us away every time… every night.

Have you noticed any difference between the current tour and the previous tour with Rob Zombie? I know you can’t really compare a headlining tour and a non-headlining tour but in terms of just overall reaction, has there been any major differences?
Michael: Um yeah, some nights on the Zombie tour it was like it was pointless to go out and play because no one was coming for us, but I think we treat ourselves pretty well and it was good.

Where can you see Bullet For My Valentine five years from now?
Michael: Oh, fucking stadiums, millions of records, millions of albums sold and staying at the top for the next twenty years.

For you it’s just all about making the music as intense as possible?
Michael: Yep totally, we’re going to make metal cool again!  [ END ]

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