Interview with BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE (Moose)

Bullet For My Valentine

Welsh Rockers Bullet For My Valentine are set to release their fourth album Temper Temper, the follow up to 2010’s Top 5 US hit Fever. Mick Burgess chatted with drummer Moose ahead of the albums launch.

Your latest album Temper Temper is due out soon. Are you looking forward to finally getting it released?

Definitely yes. It’s virtually a year to the day that me and Matt flew out to Thailand to start writing and recording it so we can’t wait for people to finally hear it.

It’s actually out on 11th February. Did you want to keep it back for a Valentine’s Day release or is it better for sales for a Monday release?

All records come out on a Monday so we really had to release it then but it’s close enough. It needs to come out on the Monday for maximum impact.

You’re latest single “Riot” will be out just before the album and has been receiving plenty of airplay. How’s the reaction been to that so far?

The reaction has been really good. There’s a lot of new people who like it but there are some older Bullet fans that don’t like it. We can’t keep on writing the same songs all the time or we’ll end up getting nowhere. We want to evolve and become a bigger band and to do that we need to develop as songwriters and try new things all the time. Some people will like it and some won’t but it’s something we need to do.

This is your fourth full studio album since you started in 1998. How do you see Temper Temper as a progression from Fever?

For me it’s a 100% progression. It’s a much better record than Fever was. It’s harder and darker and the songwriting is a whole lot better.

Did you have a clear vision of what you wanted before you went into the studio or has the sound developed over the writing sessions?

We had no preconceived ideas before we started writing for this album. We recorded as we went along and it developed naturally from there. We recorded about 20 songs and there’ll be 11 that will make the final record so we cut out those that didn’t work. We won’t put anything out unless we’re happy with it. Some of the songs just didn’t fit in with what we were doing so there was no point working on them anymore. If we weren’t feeling it, we’d move onto the next one. When me and Matt went to Thailand we had nothing. The day after we landed we went straight into the studio and started writing fresh stuff. The only thing we did have was from Padge who was demoing his own stuff back at home.

Has Matt’s involvement in Axe Wound influenced the writing process?

Yes. That’s how Matt did his Axe Wound album. He asked if I wanted to do our album like that and I thought it would be a good challenge for us so we just went into the studio and wrote the album as we went along. I think it added to the spontaneity of the music.

While Matt was doing his Axe Wound side project what were you and the rest of the guys doing?

I have a clothing line with one of my friends back in Bridgend, so I spent time working on that.

Do you think it’s important for you to have an outlet outside of Bullet For My Valentine to express different sides of your creativity?

Most definitely. I think after Fever we were…..not sick of each other….we just needed a break as we’d been on the road for so much together. Matt just said that he wanted to do this project and I had a sigh of relief as I could just sit in my kitchen and do as little as I wanted or as much as I wanted for that whole year. People need that space and you can understand why married couples like to go out to work to get away from each other for a while!! It gave us space and I think we came back really refreshed and ready to go and I think the album has benefited from that.

There’s 11 songs on the regular edition with another three on the deluxe version. One of these is a cover of AC/DC’s “Whole Lotta Rosie” from a BBC Session. Why did you choose to cover that song?

We got invited onto the BBC Live Lounge and they wanted us to cover a classic. They wanted us to do an acoustic cover but we thought that wasn’t really representative of the band. We are all massive AC/DC fans and so are all of our crew so it seemed like a good choice for us to make and it was great to do.

Have you played with AC/DC at any point?

The only time was when we played at Download at the same time as them and it was great to see them. They are an incredible live band.

“Not Invincible” is another of the bonus tracks. Was this recorded at the same sessions as the rest of the album or is this something you’ve had in the vaults for a while

It was recorded at the same time as the main album but we thought we’d finish the song and use it for the deluxe edition. It didn’t quite fit in with the rest of the album and was more of something to be used as a B-side but it’s a good bonus for the deluxe version of the album.

Which song from the album do you think represent best where you are as a band right now?

The opening track “Breaking Point” is probably one of my favourites but I think the whole album is great. The first two singles off the album, “Temper Temper” and “Riot” are the most different for us but “Breaking Point” is definitely a classic Bullet song.

You’ve worked again with Don Gilmore as you did on Fever. What does Don bring to the recording process?

Don tends to calm us down really as at heart we’re a Metal band and grew up listening to Metallica, Iron Maiden and Pantera and stuff like that so if we had our choice it would be Metal all the way through. Be he calms us down and tells us that if we want to progress as a band then we have to tone it down a little. We want people to be able to hear us on the radio and come to our shows so we have to calm down a little and he helps with that. He also helps Matt a lot with melodies and vocal parts. He helps us with our writing too and has become our fifth member.

Chris Lord Alge has mixed the album. His CV is incredible and has mixed everyone from Springsteen, The Rolling Stones and James Brown to Slipknot and The Replacements. That’s a pretty diverse list. Did you sit in on the mixing process or did you leave him to it?

No, not really. He did Fever with us too. Our producer Don sat in with him in Los Angeles when we were doing bits of press. He knew what we wanted and he’s done a fantastic job. He’s blown away what he did with Fever. We sound like a proper massive Rock band now!!

The covers of Fever and Scream Aim Fire were fairly elaborate. Why did you decide to go for a more simple concept of the bloody hands this time?

I think the cover just speaks for itself. It represents the lyrical content of the album.

Each of your albums has chartered higher than the last in the UK and The States with Fever reaching 3 in the States and 5 in the UK. The recording industry has changed a lot since Fever. What would be a success to you for Temper Temper?

I’d love to top what we did for Fever, I’m not going to lie but the industry is in a bad way at the minute. Chart positions don’t really count to me, it’s all about people coming to the shows so success for me would be to grow as a live band.

Temper Temper is again released by Sony. When you first started you were offered a deal by Roadrunner who are pretty much the main Metal label out there. Why did you turn them down in favour of Sony?

We just felt that Sony could open more doors for us as a band. We love most of the bands on Roadrunner and we had meetings with both labels but we wanted to be the biggest band we could and I think Sony offered us more to be able to achieve that.

As it turns out Sony have done a great job for you. Was there ever a time where you were worried that a mainstream label might not understand you as well as a specialist Metal label?

No, quite the opposite really because I think we stick out as a Metal band on Sony. If we’d gone to Roadrunner we’d be just the same as everyone else on the label.

In March you head out on your 1st UK tour for a couple of years which starts on 12th March in Birmingham. Are you looking forward to finally hitting the road again?

Our batteries are now fully charged and we’re all ready to go back out onto the road. We can’t wait for the tour to start. We’re really excited to play these shows.

I hear that the tour has been sold out for ages. That must be great to hear?

I think it sold out three and a half months before the first show which is absolutely incredible.

Will you be adding any extra dates or might you return for a second leg later in the year?

We’ll definitely be coming back for some big arena shows at the end of the year.

Have you given any thought to your set list? Will we be hearing many from the new album?

We haven’t given any thought to the actual songs we’ll be playing yet but each night the set list will be different. We’re looking forward to playing some of the new songs along with some of the older ones too.

Having Halestorm open for you is a great addition to the bill. Did you have a say in the support or did the promoter see to that?

They’ve opened for us in the States so we know those guys. Our management asked what we thought about asking Halestorm to open for us in the UK and we knew those guys, we get on with them well and they are a great band so it seemed a perfect idea for us. Lzzy has one of the most amazing voices I have ever heard.

Once your UK shows are over where do you head next?

We have four shows in the UK, then four shows in Europe and then we head over to America then we’ll play some summer festivals including Download. We’ll probably play some shows in Japan and end the year back in the UK.

Fever Fever is released on 11th February and Bullet For My Valentine play an intimate show for the album launch at The Great Hall 2, Cardiff on Sunday 10th February.

Bullet For My Valentine tour the UK in March:

Tuesday 12th March – Birmingham O2 Academy

Wednesday 13th March – Glasgow O2 Academy

Friday 15th March – Manchester O2 Apollo

Sunday 17th March – London Roundhouse


  • Mick Burgess

    Mick is a reviewer and photographer here at Metal Express Radio, based in the North-East of England. He first fell in love with music after hearing Jeff Wayne's spectacular The War of the Worlds in the cold winter of 1978. Then in the summer of '79 he discovered a copy of Kiss Alive II amongst his sister’s record collection, which literally blew him away! He then quickly found Van Halen I and Rainbow's Down To Earth, and he was well on the way to being rescued from Top 40 radio hell!   Over the ensuing years, he's enjoyed the Classic Rock music of Rush, Blue Oyster Cult, and Deep Purple; the AOR of Journey and Foreigner; the Pomp of Styx and Kansas; the Progressive Metal of Dream Theater, Queensrÿche, and Symphony X; the Goth Metal of Nightwish, Within Temptation, and Epica, and a whole host of other great bands that are too numerous to mention. When he's not listening to music, he watches Sunderland lose more football (soccer) matches than they win, and occasionally, if he has to, he goes to work as a property lawyer.

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