Hard Talk

Interview with Bullet for my Valentine’s Michael “Moose” Thomas on Scream Aim Fire

Bullet For My Valentine had been launched into the mainstream with their debut release ‘The Poison’ selling over a million albums. 350,000 in the U.S. alone. That is quite a milestone for any band to sell that many copies of a single release, let alone the first.

Add to that the bands relentless touring schedule which followed the release, had them out on the road for just over two years.

Now in 2008, Bullet For My Valentine are ready to show to the world that they are not just another passing trend. With the release of their latest album, ‘Scream Aim Fire’, you the listener, will need to be prepared to be knocked on your ass.

JH: Hey Moose, how’s it going?

MT: Great! Hello, how are you?

JH: Good. So how did you get the nickname “Moose”?

MT: Oh, it’s what my dad used to call me when I was little. Initially, only my friends use it so,

JH: Okay. Could you tell us how you guys first got started?

MT: We all got started through bands we were all in before. We all knew each other from school. We all went to college. There was this talent show going on so we decided to get together for that. We did that and we won so we decided to just carry on from there. And our bass player left about five years ago and we recruited Jay. So the second show we did in London with Jay, we got offered a record deal.

JH: Now ‘The Poison’ was a huge success for you guys. It really catapulted you into the mainstream of metal/music. What was that like for you guys selling over a million copies of your debut album?

MT: It was kind of weird because we still don’t know how to take it being our first record. Maybe if we had like four previous releases that only sold like 30,000 releases worldwide and then we put out ‘The Poison’ and sold a million, perhaps we’d know how to react. It just reacted in such a big way. To us, it’s kind of how it’s suppose to be. It’s still really strange because we don’t really look back and feel how really lucky we are yet because we haven’t stopped working yet.

JH: Did it give you the sensation that maybe things were moving a little too fast?

MT: I kind of got scared because it was like oh, oh, the quicker you go up the quicker you come down sort of thing. It was out of our hands really. People bought it. We couldn’t control the fact of that.

JH: So how was it for you touring the U.S. for the first time?

MT: It was amazing. The first time we ever toured the U.S. it was a five band bill. We were second on and the most people we got to play for on that bill was maybe like 200 people. We were loving it. We were playing overseas, hanging out and getting drunk all the time. Then ‘The Poison started kickin’ off and it just started getting bigger and bigger. We are just about to go off on our European tour at the end of the month and can’t wait to get back over there after that.

JH: I was lucky enough to catch you guys in 2006 in Detroit with Iron Maiden.

MT: Oh yeah right?

JH: And I was totally, totally impressed.

MT: Oh thank you. You were probably the only one.

JH: Whatever. There were about 6,800 there that night. Honestly, I only listened to some of the tunes the week before that and was like, “eh, these guys are okay.” But I tell you, you really steeped up all of the songs live and I was very impressed. Blown away. Besides, Iron Maiden is a tough act to open for.

MT: Wow, great. Thank you very much.

JH: Okay, got a bit side tracked there, where are we here? Ah, now you sound seems to incorporate many different styles/genres of music. Who are some of the major influences responsible for B4MV’s sound?

MT: Definitely Iron Maiden. Metallica. They are probably the two main with Machine Head as well. That is from an overall bands point of view. Personally I listen to more Judas Priest. I love Killswitch Engage as well.

JH: What would say separates B4MV for all the other bands out there today?

MT: I just think it’s that we are not afraid to write a good song. People may stick it into certain categories like emo or metal-core and everything else. We just see us as a metal band. If we write a song that’s more “poppy” than it’s more “poppy”. We don’t care.

JH: That’s one thing I did notice here on ‘Scream Aim Fire.’ It starts off right out of the gates with a couple heavy as hell tracks and then poof, a radio pop sounding metal song. It disturbed me the first couple times through but I began to realize, it’s this very reason, I’m sure that lead to the overwhelming success of ‘The Poison’.

MT: Yep. It’s a record everybody can love.

JH: Now can you give us a brief rundown of ‘Scream Aim Fire’?

MT: I think coming from ‘The Poison’ it’s more of a full on metal record. The heavier songs are more heavier yet catchier than before. You can be as heavy as you want for as long as you want as long as you’ve got a good chorus. But then of course we’ve got the other, radio songs on there. The singles like, ‘Hearts Burst Into Fire’ on there. We just wrote the songs. We didn’t even think about what we were writing actually. Whatever came out came out and we were really happy with them when they were done.

JH: During the writing process of this album, was there any tension or pressure to try to out do ‘The Poison’?

MT: We’ve been getting this question a lot. I think as a band we were not like that. We did not ever really think about it that much. We just sat in a room, wrote the songs. There was no pressure from anyone. Not even the label.

JH: So you guys are looking forward to getting back out on the road?

MT: Oh yeah. Like you wouldn’t believe.

JH: I read through a couple other articles that stated you guys had been very tired of playing the same ‘ole songs every night. For over two years. So now that there’s been a break, are you looking forward to playing some of the tracks again? How many of those songs will you be incorporating into the set?

MT: Well, obviously we’re going out on a headline run for Britain/Europe we will be doing like 6 or 7 new songs and 6 or 7 old. But when we come over there to do the ‘Taste of Chaos’, well we haven’t gotten a set together for that yet. I feel since the record will be out like a month before we head over to America, it will be mostly new stuff. Maybe a popular song or two off ‘The Poison’.

JH: Has the first radio single been selected yet to send out to the states?

MT: ‘Scream Aim Fire’ I think is the track doing well on radio in America. I don’t think we’ve chosen a second one yet.

JH: It would be nice to hear that on the radio around here. The market where I’m at is in the mostly lame category for metal. Maybe the bigger cities are getting to enjoy it.

MT: Our management says where it’s at it’s a great track and people are liking it.

JH: Is there anything you’d like to say in closing here?

MT: If anybody wants to buy our new record, don’t be afraid. Don’t be a pussy. It’s great. It’ll knock your balls off.

JH: I agree. Hey you have a great European jaunt and we’ll see you here in the states real soon. Thank you again for the time.

MT: Sweet. Thank you very much.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.