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Bullet For My Valentine Interview

A Conversation With Drummer Michael "Moose" Thomas

By

Bullet For My Valentine

Bullet For My Valentine

Sony BMG/Jive Records
Updated February 03, 2008
Bullet For My Valentine is one of the most popular metal bands in the world. Their debut CD The Poison sold a million copies worldwide, and there’s been a lot of anticipation for their sophomore release, Scream Aim Fire. Like their debut, it was produced by Colin Richardson (Machine Head, Fear Factory, Carcass). It also features a guest appearance by Benji Webbe from Skindred. There was some concern because Matt Tuck had some vocal issues and ended up having surgery on his tonsils, but he recovered quickly and they were able to finish the album. I spoke with drummer Michael “Moose” Thomas about the new album, the haters, and the pressure of instant success.

Chad Bowar: Scream Aim Fire has just been released, but the title track has already been doing really well in radio and video.
Michael “Moose” Thomas: It’s been doing really well in America. It’s one of the hardest tracks on the record, and we’re really happy it’s blowing up as well as it is. It’s awesome for us.

Did you have any goals or plans for what sound you were looking for with Scream Aim Fire when you started the songwriting process?
No, not really. We wanted to write songs that we were happy with ourselves. We went in with a bunch of songs, and it came out well.

How would you describe the CD’s sound compared to The Poison?
The music is a lot heavier, but we evened it out with the vocals and catchy hooks. It’s a hard record, but it can cross over into the mainstream as well, which is a very good thing.

Was there any thought given to using a different producer this time, or was using Colin Richardson again a no-brainer?
Colin was our first option, and he wanted to work with us again as well. We were so happy with what he had done in the past. We think he’s the best metal producer on the planet.

What was your experience in the studio with him this time compared to your last CD?
This one was a lot calmer and more relaxed and easier to record than The Poison, even though it did so well and we should have been under a lot of pressure. But we just went in and had fun.

How do you like El Paso, Texas, where Richardson’s studio is located?
I’m sure it’s a really nice city, but we were on a farm in the middle of nowhere and didn’t get to see much of it. We were stuck there playing our instruments and drinking a lot of red wine.

Matt (Tuck) had some vocal issues when you were getting ready to record this CD. Were you concerned that he would recover, or did you think it wasn’t too big of a deal?
In January of 2007 the music was finished for the album, then we went on tour because The Poison was still doing so well. The problems started to arise in June or July, when he was set to record the vocals. We did start to worry. But the vocals got finished in about October of 2007. It was a bit of a rush, but he got them done.

How did your collaboration with Benji of Skindred come about?
We’ve known the guys a long time, back when they were Dub War. When they first started Skindred they took us out when we were in a different band. We are really good friends with them. We wanted Benji to come and sing on our new album.

With the massive success of your first album, are your expectations really high for Scream Aim Fire?
I hope it does well. I know it’s gone straight to number one in Japan and number two in Germany. It’s doing really well so far.

With the quick success of your first album you were able to tour with some really big names. Did you find there was a lot of jealousy from other bands?
It’s just something that comes with success. There’s going to be jealousy and people hating on you. We can’t obviously change everyone. It’s kind of disheartening when people slag us and call us names. We’re just four boys who like to play metal music. We don’t go out of our way to go on people’s message boards and leave bad messages. But with success comes jealousy, I suppose.

Do you feel a kinship with bands like Trivium and Avenged Sevenfold who have received similar criticism?
Yes, we know the guys from Trivium pretty well. We’ve done some shows with them. We don’t really talk about it, we just hang out and talk music. I think all three bands just brush it off and take the good with the bad.

Bullet For My Valentine has been on tons of magazine covers in Europe and the U.S. Is there one that stands out as being particularly special or important to you?
It was Revolver this year when we were on the Back To The Future cover. It was special for all of us in the band. That one is awesome for us.

You’ve got some European shows, then you’re coming to the U.S. for the Taste Of Chaos Tour with Avenged Sevenfold and Atreyu. Are you looking forward to getting back on the road and playing your new songs?
Hell, yes! We’ve been waiting way too long. We’ve been wanting to play for ages. We’ll do this European tour and then come to America and give 110 percent. After that we fly to Australia, New Zealand and Japan for some shows there. Then we’ll do some summer festivals in Europe and then we’ll come back to the U.S. for a headline run.

When you started in music, was it as a drummer?
No, I started playing guitar. I played for about two years. I ended up picking up some drumsticks and haven’t looked back since. When we go on tour I’ll still take an acoustic guitar with me and we’ll jam with the boys in the back of the bus. It’s good to play it once in a while.

Who are some drummers you admire?
If it weren’t for Dave Grohl I wouldn’t be playing drums at all. That was when he was in Nirvana. I like Scott Travis from Judas Priest, Vinnie Paul from Pantera, and Dave Lombardo from Slayer is a mind blowing drummer.

Is there much of a metal scene in your home country of Wales?
It’s much more of an underground scene. There are a lot of kids into music, but as far as bands, it’s pretty much us flying the flag. But I went to a local show the other day and there were a lot of kids there.

Do you think your success will inspire more young Welsh bands?
Hopefully kids from our area or our country will look and see if four boys from Wales can do it, anyone can do it.

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