Live Preview: BulletBoys

Following a brief visit to promote 1989’s self-titled debut album, when were BulletBoys last in the UK?

That would be five or six years ago, with Faster Pussycat. But we wanted to wait until we had a fresh-sounding record before we came back.

Why is it titled Elephanté?

Because I dedicated it to my father, who reveres elephants. He’s a musician and he really influenced me, so I wanted to honour him while he’s still alive.

You’ve reinvented the BulletBoys sound quite radically. Some of the tracks on Elephanté wouldn’t be out of place on a Foo Fighters record, others are fulsome and blues-based.

Thanks. I didn’t want the band to live off past laurels. That’s a double-edge sword for a band of our era. We are not meant to grow musically, but I simply couldn’t live with regurgitating our past.

The term ‘hair metal’ doesn’t really apply to the band any more.

No, I prefer albums with peaks and valleys. Hair-metal bands don’t stretch their musical prowess. I just heard Def Leppard’s new song. It’s good, but is it different to what they’ve done before? Not really. Is it fear of the unknown that makes those bands play things so safely? I wish I knew.

Some people claim that BulletBoys were a textbook example of a group ‘going grunge’ with Acid Monkey in 1995.

Acid Monkey was an avant-garde record that jumped back into our punk-rock roots. Was it a grunge record? No. To me it’s a South Bay [punk] record.

Do you still play songs from the band’s first couple of albums?

Absolutely. It’s a mixture of old and new.

BulletBoys’ tour winds up in Cardiff on November 14.

Classic Rock 217: News & Regulars

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’.