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Bullet for My Valentine

Issue #58

Other highlights from the record include "Letting You Go," "The Very Last Time," and "Under Again." These tracks are among those that are likely to surprise Bullet's core audience as they mark a departure from the metalcore scene they were hugely instrumental in popularising.
Jonathan Graham

Leap Of Faith

For two decades, Welsh quartet Bullet for My Valentine has successfully mixed punk-infused metal, thrash and even some pop sensibilities to create some of the most melodic, metallic, dark rock songs of the new millennium. With their new album 'Gravity' dropping last month Guitar Interactive Magazine editor, Jonathan Graham sat down with BFMV's Matt Tuck and Michael Paget ahead of the release to discuss the writing and recording of the record, the band's plans for 2018 and we take a look at the pair's current live rig.

Following the massive success of career-changing albums like 'The Poison' (2005), 'Fever' (2010), and 'Temper Temper' (2013), and the chart-topping singles "Scream Aim Fire," "Your Betrayal," "All These Things I Hate (Revolve Around Me)" and "Tears Don't Fall," Bridgend, South Wales' finest, Bullet for My Valentine are back with a brand new album and a fresh new direction in the form of 'Gravity.' With this new release, BFMV is clearly looking to stretch their creative wings like never before. 'Gravity' delicately balances the caustic riffage the band is well known for but with added elements of film-score electronica and even icy synth pads.

Straight from the opening track "Leap Of Faith" (which although is just as heavy as any of Bullet's biggest tunes to date), there is a clear and distinctive sound to the record which consistently flows right to the final track; the stripped-down and emotive "Breathe Underwater." The latter revealing a side to the band that’s rarely been heard before.

“Over the last 12 months, I’ve been thinking about the word contemporary a lot,” Matt Tuck Explains. "I feel this is a contemporary record. It’s not an old-school, heart-on-your-sleeve influences thing. We’ve done that so let’s move forward and make the band more interesting. We don’t want to alienate anyone, but we don’t want to write the same shit anymore. Metalheads will enjoy this, I even think the softer electronic sections make the heavy moments even more crushing. It’s about engaging the listener and taking them on a journey, messing with their heads a bit”

Other highlights from the record include "Letting You Go," "The Very Last Time," and "Under Again." These tracks are among those that are likely to surprise Bullet's core audience as they mark a departure from the metalcore scene they were hugely instrumental in popularising.

Matt Tuck explains, “'Letting you go' was a very challenging song to write in so many ways. It's by far the most experimental track I've ever written musically and lyrically. I really wanted to make a track that stood out from the crowd and separated us from any other band in our genre, and that's exactly what ‘Letting You Go’ does.”

Taking this bold new path is arguably the bravest move of the band's career to date and possibly their ultimate act of defiance, but at the end of the day, that's what metal is all about. Even with this contemporary infulance to the new material the track "Coma" could also contain one of the heaviest riffs Bullet have ever put their name to.

“Coma's a dark track with a lot of weight to it,” States Matt. “It’s one for those that like broodier, heavier songs. We tried to push the boundaries a bit further on that song with all the electronic stuff and loops. Lyrically, it’s a true representation of where I’ve been over the last two years, unfortunately, but now I’ve come out of the other side.”

In the three years since 2015’s 'Venom' was released things haven't appeared to have been easy for Tuck. However, instead of falling deeper into a tunnel of self-despair, he focused life experiences into his art like never before.

“This is just me pouring my heart out into song,” Matt continues. “It’s all about that journey. I picked up my guitar, even though I didn’t want to, and it’s like I couldn’t stop it like I couldn’t fight it. Something boldly experimental can’t be created on a whim, we needed to be comfortable, and eventually, we got there. The album is so up and down, so positive on tracks like Not Dead Yet, which is all about seizing the day and catching the moment. Then Under Again is all about the crushing depression I had about a year ago. The whole thing captures the character of, well, me with some help from Carl Bown. There’s so much weight to this music without being complicated. That’s exactly what this album is: very uncomplicated.”

Having a multi-instrumentalist like new drummer, Jason Bowld fully on-board also played a big part in this latest chapter of the band's history – the sticksman having worked with Matt previously in the BFMV/Cancer Bats offshoot Axewound – brings something very different to the classic heavy metal influences at play between the long-lasting Tuck/Paget guitar partnership.

“While I’ve always been the main songwriter, it’s always been good having Padge supporting when needed,” Matt continues. “He’d bring ideas to the table, and now with Jason involved as well, it’s been incredible – he can write, sing, play guitar, drum, program electronic stuff, he’s just lives it. After the success of the last cycle, we clawed our way back up to where we needed to be, but this time we needed to do something people felt we couldn’t do. We had to make a statement – there could be no better time for the rebirth of Bullet. There’s no point relying on old glories to take us forward – that would be unimaginative, uncreative and boring. The history will always be there, it’s in the books. That’s Bullet. But we’ve moved on.”

As for the history to be made, it’s very much the break of a new dawn for BFMV and Tuck has his sights set higher than ever before. He admits he has already “won the lottery” living out the dreams he had as young teenager, honing his craft and learning to control every corner of that stage. He explains it’s “been amazing and a privilege but you can’t keep shouting about the past – lose steam and it can all be taken away.” You have to keep on winning those lotteries, he humbly explains. Now, having headlined festivals around Europe and various other parts of the world – it’s time to look closer to home.

“We are more than ready for the UK, we’re the best band we’ve ever been,” comes the reply, when asked about being one of the frontrunners in the race to becoming future headliners of Download Festival. Count the number of British bands that realistically look poised for such elevation and it soon becomes clear just how much Bullet For My Valentine’s hard work has been paying off. But no matter how much his band have achieved so far – topping charts and winning awards with platinum records – this will always be a band on-the-cusp in their frontman’s eyes. And perhaps there lies the secret to their success. When you get those shots, you make them count,” reasons Matt. “We can hold our own with the best of them and Gravity feels like our best opportunity to headline Download. Bring it on. Other bands might be heavier, but we have the songs – we will always win on that front. I don’t want us to be another boring band that just does okay. Until I’m headlining those festivals, I’m not satisfied. Nothing else matters.”


With this new album, a new line-up and a new sound skyrocketing the band into what is shaping up to be the biggest year of their careers to date, who knows what's next from the four-piece. BFMV has taken a route that will be controversial to some, however, even Bullet's heroes - that inspired them to play in the first place - such as Metallica and Iron Maiden have made similar creative decisions evolving with the times. Only time will tell where that new pathway leads, and if the destination was worth it.

The brand new studio album 'Gravity,' along with special bundles, is available now via Search and Destroy/ Spinefarm Records. For more information head to: http://bfmv.com/gravity.

Bullet For My Valentine  'Gravity' - Tracklist

1 Leap Of Faith

2 Over It

3 Letting You Go

4 Not Dead Yet

5 The Very Last Time

6 Piece of Me

7 Under Again

8 Gravity

9 Coma

10 Don’t Need You

11 Breathe Underwater

Bullet For My Valentine has also announced an Oct / Nov 2018 UK and European tour, including two massive arena shows for the UK on November 10th at Alexandra Palace, London, and on November 11th at Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff. American metalcore outfit, Of Mice & Men, will appear as support on all dates of the tour.

BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE ‘GRAVITY’ EUROPEAN & UK TOUR DATES

OCTOBER

24 Columbiahalle Berlin, DE

26 Jahrhunderthalle Frankfurt, DE

27 Palladium Cologne, DE

28 Zenith Munich, DE

30 Samsung Hall Zurich, CH

31 Estragon Bologna, IT

NOVEMBER

03 Haus Auensee Leipzig, DE

06 Casino de Paris Paris, FR

07 Rockhal Esch-sur-Alzette, LX

08 013 Tilburg, NL

10 Alexandra Palace London, UK

11 Motorpoint Arena Cardiff, UK

Tickets are on sale here: http://www.bulletformyvalentine.com/live/

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