"We're singing about hot girls and cool stuff. It's what people really need right now": Now that Van Halen are no more, BulletBoys want to revive their party spirit

BulletBoys group shot
(Image credit: BulletBoys)

Californian hard rock quartet BulletBoys land in the UK this week for an 11-date tour, shows that arrive a full six years after the band's last album, From Out Of The Skies, which was recorded at Foo Fighters' Studio 606

Dave Grohl's music got me through a very difficult time, so from day one  I knew that we were in the right home to record," frontman Marq Torien said. "I was privileged enough to use one of Dave's acoustic guitars to record with, along with a hand picked drum set by Taylor Hawkins. I appreciate the opportunity to record there."

Below, Torien, the lone ever-present member of BulletBoys, previews the UK shows. 


Amazingly, it’s been nine years since BulletBoys last spoke to Classic Rock. A lot has happened in that time

[Laughing and nodding] Our world turned upsidedown with covid, and it’s been maybe six years since we last came over the pond. We feel very blessed to be returning. 

The original line-up of BulletBoys reunited for live shows in 2019, although drummer Jimmy D’Anda and guitarist Mick Sweda both quit citing “toxicity”, followed by bassist Lonnie Vencent. 

Although I took the brunt of that situation, I wish the rest of the guys luck in their endeavours. I’m not trying to put anybody down, but Jimmy and Mick no longer seemed to have the same [musical] skills. We had new music which they didn’t want to work on. It broke my heart that things didn’t work out, also that I was fingered all for the damage. 

A revised incarnation has existed since 2022. 

I’m extremely excited to have reinvented the band with Ira Black [guitar, ex-Lizzy Borden, Dokken], Brad Lang [bass, ex-Y&T] and Fred Aching [drums]. These guys have the essence of the BulletBoys from back when we started. There’s camaraderie and we laugh a lot. I want to keep doing this at the best level I can. My pipes are still in great shape and I’ve looked after myself; I’m a hundred and forty-four pounds [a little over ten stone], ripped and ready to rock. 

The most recent BulletBoys album, 2018’s From Out Of The Skies, was made at Dave Grohl’s Studio 606 and received some comparisons to the Foo Fighters. It’s a long way from the party rock of the first three records. 

I’ve got some good news. The record we are making now is a throwback-forward album, in that we are moving back – and forward! – to the original sound of the BulletBoys. We have over fifty songs. We wanted to do a triple album, but it will probably be a double, or maybe two single albums.

And is it more in the vein of Van Halen? 

Yeah, because there is no Van Halen any more. The album sheds light and love, and not darkness. It’s uplifting. We’re singing about hot girls and cool stuff. It’s what people in our own country and abroad really need right now. 

The album title, Jesus, Fireworks And Porn, is interesting. What does it mean? 

It’s a little trippy, isn’t it? Here in the States, when you drive down the freeway the main giant billboards that you’ll see are for churches, stores selling fireworks, and adult bookstores. They’re everywhere – Jesus, fireworks and porn. 

You’ll have to explain that in every interview you do. [Laughs]. 

I won’t mind. We just think it’s bad-ass. Listen, rock’n’roll is meant to be a little dangerous. Right now it’s all just a little too safe. 

What else can you tell us about the album? 

I’m thrilled to be working with Kerry Ashby Gordy, the son of Berry, whose father signed me to Motown Records when I was very, very young. Kerry is our executive producer, and the album will be released by his new label in the summer time. I’m so excited about putting out new music. If BulletBoys and other bands like us don’t continue to do that, the genre dies. 

Will the upcoming shows preview any new songs? 

Oh, absolutely. I promise there will be plenty of surprises in the set.

BulletBoys UK tour runs from March 6 to March 17. For dates and ticket links, visit BulletBoys' Events page on Facebook

Dave Ling

Dave Ling was a co-founder of Classic Rock magazine. His words have appeared in a variety of music publications, including RAW, Kerrang!, Metal Hammer, Prog, Rock Candy, Fireworks and Sounds. Dave’s life was shaped in 1974 through the purchase of a copy of Sweet’s album ‘Sweet Fanny Adams’, along with early gig experiences from Status Quo, Rush, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Yes and Queen. As a lifelong season ticket holder of Crystal Palace FC, he is completely incapable of uttering the word ‘Br***ton’.