Michael Thomas, 2007

 

Written by: Jason Perlman

 

So, I am calling from the infamous city of Columbus, Ohio where your fans are probably more familiar with the city as being the last show the band played before being kicked off the Rob Zombie tour last year.
Ohh, yea.

How much did you take away from that and learn from it or was it more of just something that happened, so let's move on?
It is just something that happened. We didn't really care to be honest. And we probably saw some record sales go up.

 

You come from Wales, which has produced some other bands to do well in America, Lostphrophets and Funeral For A Friend. Do you attribute any success of BFMV to the prior success or is it just Bullet becoming successful on its own?
We feel we don't owe them anything. I mean we are good friends with them, anyway. But we don't owe them anything because our success if 100% ours.

 

I read early on the career of the band of the struggle of the style of music to play, but once the band decided to just play what felt right, the success followed.
Yea. We didn't really enjoy what we were playing before (Nu-Metal). We grew up listening to Judas Priest and Metallica anyways, so it just felt right to play that style of music and we were happy playing that music, too.

 

With the success comes the territory of signing autographs, skipping meals to meet fans and doing interviews all day. Has the work that comes with success come as a surprise at all to the band?
Um, we don't mind at all! I mean these are the people that buy our records and come to see our shows, so of course we are going to do what we can to meet with them and sign what they want. Jay (Jason James, bass player) loves to meet the people, perhaps a little too much at times.

I also know the band likes to have a drink now and again.
True. Being Welsh, we like to have a tip or two of ale.

 

Can you get used to American beer?
Yea, it's all right. Some if it is quite nice, actually.

 

When the band is headlining, is there a difference in how the band acts on the road or is there a different vibe to the band versus when the band is a support act?
Yea, obviously. When you are opening, the pressure is not on you, as much so when we support we tend to drink more. But if we go on a headlining tour, we tend to drink, but maybe not as much or we don't put ourselves in situations where we have a hard time performing. But if it is a day off, then we don't have any problems drinking but we do try to be more professional on a headlining tour.

There are a lot of songs that would be considered love songs, although not pop songs. How much is the band really into that deep and dreary versus how much is it just a release for the band so the band cannot actually be depressed and dark?
All of the lyrics that Matt (Tuck) writes are fictional anyway. So we tend not to take it too seriously or be too close to the words. It is all just stories, really. We are really a happy band.

 

When it comes time to making a set list, do you try to keep it the same or do you like to mix it up a bit?
It pretty much stays the same from the first show to the last show. The first couple of shows may be different as we try to move songs around to get a good flow going. But once we seem to find a set list that works, we will pretty much stick to it.

 

Has there ever been a time on your where you get tired or even bored of playing the same list each night?
Well, especially at the end of last year when we did a three-month tour, we all really started to get tired of playing that set list. But we have had time off and are now out headlining this tour and we are really excited about being able to play more songs, and we will be playing new songs that we haven't played live. So we are excited.

 

With those new songs come other songs that need to be shelved, possibly never be played live again. Is that a tough decision to decide what songs will really become almost non-existent in the world of touring?
It is actually kind of easy, because I think we all hate the same songs! It is pretty easy for us to agree on to remove of the set list to make room for the new songs that we actually like. [Laughing]

Are there any songs that you personally just love to play live?
I like all of them so far off the new record. But I probably would have said the same thing two years ago, so I guess come back and ask me again in two years and I will be able to give you a better answer.

 

You talked about being excited to play the new music and I am sure the fans will be just as happy to hear the new songs as well, but how hard is it to take that studio sound and recreate it live?
Well, we definitely write the music for how we want it to sound, we don't really think about how we are going to play it live while we are in the studio recording. But we do not record with a lot of effects and such, so for the most part we are able to play pretty well with what is on the record. But obviously, there are always some elements that will get lost when it comes to playing a live show.

 

The great thing about European metal is not only are there great songs, but also there are always great drum, bass and guitar solos! Not to mention a theatrical live performance as well.
That is the reason we go on tour is to put on a show. Back in the UK we will take out pyros and all these lights, but the laws are a little different in the US, so we can't so as much, but we will do as much as we can for the size of the venues we are playing. But to say US bands are not as into it? I don't know; Metallica 10 years ago was bringing that kind of live show on tour. That is a band we saw and wanted to try and learn from.

You are headlining clubs here in the US and have played to tens of thousands at festivals like the Open Air Festival. As a player, is one more fun to play than the other?
I would rather do our own shows. I love to see our fans reacting to our music, and Jay likes to work with the audience. There is just more atmosphere in a club playing to our fans.

 

How much do you get your energy just prepping for the evening versus how much do you need from your audience?
Yea, I think we need some energy coming from the audience. If people are just standing there, it is harder to get into a groove.

 

This is the day before the tour starts, so what goes into getting ready for a US tour?
Well, we are just checking in all the gear with the crew we are taking with us. We are writing out a set list that we think is going to work and then we just rehearse hour after hour after hour.

 

You talked about being on the road for two years playing the same songs, so when it came time to have material for the new record, was most of the material written on the road?
Yea, it wasn't exactly what we wanted, but we had no choice. But it wasn't like there was any pressure; we just decided we weren't doing anything anyway. So let's write some songs. So the new record was written while we were touring. The boys would set up in the back with their guitars and recording equipment and then we would work on stuff at sound check the next day and if it sounded good, we would keep it. About 80 percent of the record was done in the last two years on the road.

 

The nice thing about that is there is a natural progression in the songs that the band is writing because they are not all written at the same time.
I just think all in all the band keeps progressing. From the first EP to The Poison was a step up. And from The Poison to the new record was a huge step up. I think a lot of it is we get to play together everyday as a band and it is just a natural thing to get better when you do that so our songs are obviously better as well.

 

To wrap it up, BFVM is coming back to Columbus, Ohio since the support show for Zombie. What should your fans expect to see from a headlining Bullet versus a supporting band?
New songs, betters shows and we want to be the first band to kick ourselves off the tour! Cheers

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