"I’d ticked off my goals so quickly I didn’t even know if I wanted to do it anymore." Michael "Moose" Thomas: 10 Songs That Changed My Life

Moose 2024 press shot
(Image credit: Press)

As a founding member of Bullet For My Valentine, Michael "Moose" Thomas was just 24 when his band blew up and became the most successful British metal band since Iron Maiden

Although he departed the group in 2016, it wasn't long before he found a fresh lease of life with his new group Kill The Lights, the metalcore group releasing their debut album The Sinner in 2020. With 2024 follow-up Death Melodies now in the world, we caught up with Moose to find out which tracks make him tick. 

Metal Hammer line break

Queen - Fat Bottomed Girls (Jazz, 1978)

“I’ll kick off with my earliest memory of enjoying music. Queen always remind me of driving in the car with my parents - Fat Bottomed Girls in particular brings me back to those times, sitting in the backseat. Later on, Jason [James, ex-BFMV/current Kill The Lights bassist] and I would blast Queen and get drunk on the Bullet tour bus."

Nirvana - Milk It (In Utero, 1993)

 “Nirvana really marked my transition from liking music to loving music. In school, everyone listened to bands like Take That or East 17. When my brother brought home a copied cassette of In Utero, I remember thinking, ‘What the fuck is this?’ Milk It really stood out to me. It was so intense. It changed my whole life. Without Nirvana, I wouldn’t have learned to play guitar, and without playing guitar, I wouldn’t have realised I wanted to become a drummer."

Nirvana - Milk it ( Live Roseland Ballroom ) (RARE) 07/23/93 - YouTube Nirvana - Milk it ( Live Roseland Ballroom ) (RARE) 07/23/93 - YouTube
Watch On

Blood Duster - Vulgar Taste (Fisting The Dead, 1993)

 “I’ve had quite a few ‘What the fuck is this?’ musical moments in my life. My best friend Dave played a key part in a few of them; growing up, every Saturday we’d go to the local record shop. We loved picking random albums and asking to play them through the shop speakers. Once we chose Blood Duster’s Fisting The Dead and laughed at how heavy it was. By the time Vulgar Taste was blasting throughout the shop, I thought, ‘No way, this is not for me.’ Now I love it!" 

Pantera - Cemetary Gates (Cowboys From Hell, 1990)

"Dave also played me Pantera’s Cemetery Gates for the first time. When the riff hit, I was in awe - it put groove metal on my radar."

Pantera - Cemetery Gates (Official Music Video) - YouTube Pantera - Cemetery Gates (Official Music Video) - YouTube
Watch On

Deftones - 7 Words (Adrenaline, 1995)

“MTV helped me discover some great acts. I used to record Headbangers Ball on VHS and watch it at my friend’s house. Deftones were on it once, and 7 Words left us speechless. It was such a different style; the midsection got so chunky and heavy." 

Deftones - 7 Words (Official Music Video) | Warner Vault - YouTube Deftones - 7 Words (Official Music Video) | Warner Vault - YouTube
Watch On

The Offspring - Self Esteem (Smash, 1994)

"I also heard The Offspring’s Self Esteem for the first time on MTV, and I was hooked. Smash was the first record I bought with my own money, and The Offspring triggered my transition into liking punk and underground music."

Vision Of Disorder - Zone Zero (Vision Of Disorder, 1996)

 “Compilation discs also played a huge part in my musical journey. During my Offspring phase, I remember listening to a compilation disc and thinking Vision Of Disorder’s Tim Williams sounded like Dexter Holland. Zone Zero was like a nastier hardcore version of The Offspring. I liked it so much that I got my record store to import the album from Australia."

Vision of Disorder - Zone Zero - YouTube Vision of Disorder - Zone Zero - YouTube
Watch On

Anti-Nowhere League - Woman (We Are... The League, 1982)

 “When I wanted to discover new bands, I used to hound this old-school punk guy from the Welsh Valleys. His name was Sponge, and I’d go round his house and beg him to knock out his vinyls. When he played Anti-Nowhere League, I instantly loved them. We used to cover Woman in early Bullet days, because the track just made us all laugh." 

Anti Nowhere League - Woman (Music Video) - YouTube Anti Nowhere League - Woman (Music Video) - YouTube
Watch On

Machine Head - Davidian (Burn My Eyes, 1994)

“A huge dream I ticked off during my time with Bullet was working with producer Colin Richardson. When I first heard Machine Head’s Davidian, the drums sounded incredible - I wanted my drums to sound that good. We were quite jealous because Funeral For A Friend got a chance to work with him first, but I think everyone my age wanted a piece of Chris. When we worked with him on The Poison, it was incredible."

Machine Head - Davidian [OFFICIAL VIDEO] - YouTube Machine Head - Davidian [OFFICIAL VIDEO] - YouTube
Watch On

Alkaline Trio - Burn (Crimson, 2005)

 “It was quite intense, those early days. Alkaline Trio’s Burn reminds me of how existential the success made me feel. We’d just got signed, released The Poison, and we were touring America. I’d wanted to be a musician since the age of 13, but I’d ticked off my goals so quickly. I didn’t even know if I wanted to do it anymore - what else was there? Luckily, I had a word with myself and I made a point of finding new goals. And I’m glad I did - I’ve had so many amazing experiences since.”

Alkaline Trio - Burn (Official Music Video, HQ) - YouTube Alkaline Trio - Burn (Official Music Video, HQ) - YouTube
Watch On

Death Melodies is out now via Fearless. 

Emily Swingle

Full-time freelancer, part-time music festival gremlin, Emily first cut her journalistic teeth when she co-founded Bittersweet Press in 2019. After asserting herself as a home-grown, emo-loving, nu-metal apologist, Clash Magazine would eventually invite Emily to join their Editorial team in 2022. In the following year, she would pen her first piece for Metal Hammer - unfortunately for the team, Emily has since become a regular fixture. When she’s not blasting metal for Hammer, she also scribbles for Rock Sound, Why Now and Guitar and more.