The Bullet for My Valentine Interview — ”Creep Show’
It was a strange day for Bullet for My Valentine. Hours before a headline appearance in New York, frontman Matt Tuck disappeared to record a guest vocal for the upcoming Black Tide album, leaving guitarist Michael Paget, bassist Jason James and drummer Michael Thomas to fend for themselves. On top of that, James was having some family issues — and less than a week later, he would leave the tour for 10 days to sort out his domestic complications. Guitar tech Calvin Roffey is filling in on bass until James returns on Oct. 18.
And yet, while there seem to be some snafus in the Bullet camp, you’d never know it from the band’s ‘Creep Show’ conversation. The reason for this is simple: Even if there are some dark clouds drifting over band HQ, the sun is shining through, and when the skies open up, rainbows light up the sky. Bullet for My Valentine’s new album, ‘Fever,’ entered the Billboard 200 album chart at number three in May, and the buzz hasn’t let up.
The band will tour North America through Oct. 26 in Reno, Nev., then it’s off to Europe and other foreign lands. In addition, Bullet for My Valentine recently shot videos for ‘Fever’ and ‘Bittersweet Memories’ with acclaimed director Nigel Dick (Guns N’ Roses, Black Sabbath).
These aren’t the only factors keeping the band soaring in potentially difficult times. They’re touring behind an album they truly believe in. Sure, they liked 2008’s ‘Scream Aim Fire,’ but even though it did well it wasn’t the follow-up to their stunning 2005 debut, ‘The Poison,’ that they had hoped for. Tuck was having trouble with his vocal cords, the songs were hurried and recorded with metal producer Colin Richardson, who de-emphasized the band’s vulnerable side and gave them a steely, rigid sound.
For ‘Fever,’ Bullet for My Valentine purposely went to non-metal producer Don Gilmore, best known for his work with Linkin Park and Good Charlotte, and wrote material that downplayed their thrash roots and focused on their strong songwriting skills. At the same time, they didn’t totally abandon their heaviness. They just slowed it down, much in the same way their heroes Metallica did on the legendary self-titled record, better known as ‘The Black Album.’
We talked with Paget, James and Thomas about the evolution in their sound, their success in America, the difference between playing the U.S. and touring abroad, the hostile reactions they’ve received from some old-school fans, the best way to celebrate Halloween and some of the worst tricks they’ve been prey to on All Hallows Eve.