Bullet For My Valentine: "We almost came to blows..."

ON NOT GIVING IN… “I’m too proud a person to give in. I give in to fuck all. I won’t lose. Does that cause problems? Not for me. But it does for other people. I am an alpha male. I like to have things my own way. I will never lose. That’s in my blood. If someone offered to race me from one point to another, I would do it however many times it took until I fucking won. That’s just me. I’m ultra-competitive. It’s because I want to make something of my life. The only way I can do that is by committing to it and not fucking giving in until I achieve it.”

ON PROVING HIMSELF… “I want to prove myself to everybody. I’ll be trying to convince people I’m good at what I do until the day I die. That comes from being beaten down, mentally, when I was growing up. It comes from being told we were shit. I don’t think that feeling will ever go away.”

Bullet For My Valentine live at the Warped Tour 2009, in Wheatland, California

Bullet For My Valentine live at the Warped Tour 2009, in Wheatland, California (Image credit: Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images)

“I keep my feelings to myself. It has driven old girlfriends nuts in the past. We’d have an argument and I wouldn’t argue back because I didn’t see the point. I’m not an aggressive person, so I wouldn’t say anything. That’s just me and I find it better for my health if I don’t let things wind me up. When I’m happy, you can tell. But if I’m pissed off or angry, then you can’t. That’s where people get a little intimidated about me. Someone’s got to really push my buttons for a reaction. I’ve only ever lost my lid a couple of times in my life. If something needs to be said, I’ll say it. But mostly I’m very chilled out.”

ON BEING A LEADER… “I’ve proved that I’m the leader of the band because, for the majority of the time, I’m right. It’s not a dirty little secret that I’m the leader of the band. I’ve always been the songwriter, I’ve always been the one to rally the troops and get them motivated. I think it’s important for a band to have a leader, rather than for three people to be fighting for the alpha position. I’m not bossy or dominating but I’ll make the decisions if decisions need to be made because I had the vision for how Bullet should be and sound since day one. And we’ve got to where we are because of that.”

ON THE BAND NEARLY IMPLODING… “Our lowest point was when we were on tour in South America at the end of 2011. It got a little bit ugly. There was bitching between the band members, things were going on behind people’s backs. It almost came to blows. That’s the first time that’s ever happened. In the 20-odd years I’ve known the boys I’ve never wanted to raise a hand to them – but South America was the straw that broke the camel’s back. It was all drink-related and nonsense. It was an ugly time. It was not nice at all. It was very uncomfortable on tour, and very uncomfortable afterwards for a couple of months until we put our hands up to the nonsense that was going on. I wanted to bale out. In the heat of the moment, you think that’s what you want. But with some perspective you calm down. It was horrible.”

ON TOUR BUS RULES… “If the curtain on your bunk is closed, there is no entry. That’s not for a weird sexual reason but because that’s your coffin of safety. If you see a hand sticking out of that bunk, then that’s fair game: you can write on it. If there’s a leg hanging out, then shave it. But you don’t go near anything inside the bunk. Living on a bus is hard work and that’s the only space you have. Your bunk is hallowed ground. Also: no pooing in the bus. You can’t put any solids down those bus toilets because there’s no flush. There’s basically just a pit the driver has to empty. We’ve all had to take the odd shit in a bag on the bus. Nature can catch you off guard. Then you open the sunroof and dump the bag on the road.”

For more Bullet For My Valentine highs and lows, then click on the link below.

Bullet For My Valentine: "We thought it was over, the end of the band"

Tom Bryant

Tom Bryant is The Guardian's deputy digital editor. The author of The True Lives Of My Chemical Romance: The Definitive Biography, he has written for Kerrang!, Q, MOJO, The Guardian, the Daily Mail, The Mirror, the BBC, Huck magazine, the londonpaper and Debrett's - during the course of which he has been attacked by the Red Hot Chili Peppers' bass player and accused of starting a riot with The Prodigy. Though not when writing for Debrett's.