In The Studio: Bullet For My Valentine

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“In terms of sound, it’s probably going to be the most aggressive album we’ve ever done,” affirms Matt Tuck of Bullet For My Valentine’s forthcoming opus. “It’s definitely the most focused album we’ve ever done. It’s a monster, a massive piece of work.”

Fresh from their UK arena tour, the Welsh metal heavyweights are holed up with producer Colin Richardson (Carcass, Trivium) at Metropolis Studios in London, working on the follow-up to 2013’s divisive Temper Temper. Songs are written and, when we dropped in to check on progress, drum tracking was nearly complete, too. Despite being unwilling to open up on the recent departure of bassist Jay James, the guys were in high spirits./o:p

“The early demo stuff is more, like, really thrashy, more like a Master Of Puppets, then we thought, ‘Hmm, been there, done that,’” drummer Michael ‘Moose’ Thomas explains of the stylistic direction.

“It just felt a bit old school, like it wasn’t really exciting any more – much as we love all that stuff, it’s influenced us heavily forever, but it was not a path we really wanted to go down any more,” Matt elaborates. “So we wrote a couple of songs and came up with an edgier, more modern style of metal, and it was just like, ‘This feels fucking great, let’s roll with it.’” /o:p

When they entered the studio on February 1, the band hit their Facebook page to speak about wanting to recapture the “vibe and excitement” of the first two records – which Colin Richardson also produced – but are very clear about not wanting to retread old ground. So, with this potentially serving as a crucial album for the trajectory of the next chapter of their career, what exactly are they aiming for, then?/o:p

“What we really wanted to capture was the feeling of that excitement, that angst and that anger, that you finally get in that moment to let the world know who you are and what you want to say,” explains Matt.

“Then, as the albums go on, and you get a bit older, that goes away. So we’re like, ‘Let’s recapture that angst of that younger, feisty Bullet that we used to be,’ and fucking reignite that fire. And we totally have. We’ve just been writing stuff, and if it’s not cool, we’ve been filtering it out. We’ve cut, like, 10 songs. That’s a lot of effort and time and shit put into those songs, but it didn’t feel right, so we put them in the bin.”/o:p

The fiery vibe is in contrast to their previous outing, which was an altogether less aggressive affair and garnered some criticism both from the metal public at large and the band’s fanbase itself. What did they learn from that particular era?

“I think, for me, it was just about letting your fucking hair down a bit,” replies Matt. “It always felt like we were being channelled towards something, like radio and massive shows, and stuff like that – which is great, because that’s obviously what we want, but it was like a diluted version of what we were. I don’t think it’s a bad album at all. I just think our fanbase wanted something a bit more feisty. It basically comes down to that. So this time round, we’re fucking giving it to them, tenfold.

“I think people just expected something which we didn’t really give them,” the singer continues. “We’re never going to give people something for the sake of it, because we had to do what we wanted to do, but in hindsight, we agree that there definitely could have been a bit more fire in there, a bit more anger. That’s what we’ve taken into this session.”

All signs point to something special brewing from the Bullet camp, and while they declined to comment on rampant industry rumours of an upcoming, intimate live date (well, they are all the rage these days), Matt did offer us this: “Soon.” Consider this space watched.

BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE’S NEW ALBUM WILL BE RELEASED LATER THIS YEAR

BFMV need to bounce back after Temper Temper – here’s where they can draw inspiration…

ARCHITECTS

In 2011, Brighton’s finest dropped their momentum right of its tracks by releasing the rather lacklustre The Here And Now. Fans rejected the stylistic departure, so they did the sensible thing by getting back on the horse and releasing the much better Daybreaker a year later.

TRIVIUM

After setting the metal scene ablaze with 2005 classic Ascendency, Trivium made a not-too-insignificant misstep with the poorly judged The Crusade album a couple of years later. 2008’s Shogun and 2011’s In Waves followed, however, and soon set things straight.

MACHINE HEAD

Possibly metal’s biggest back-from-the-brink story of the past two decades, Machine Head teetered on the edge of oblivion following the mostly bobbins Supercharger, before regrouping and returning in spectacular style with Through The Ashes Of Empires in 2003. Nice, lads!

METALLICA

Death Magnetic may not stand up well against Metallica’s greatest releases, but after the midlife crisis that St Anger offered up in 2003, it proved to be a refreshing return to some kind of form for Metal’s Biggest Band. And solos. Lord, how we had missed solos./o:p