Bullet for My Valentine
Bullet for My Valentine are a four-piece metalcore band from Bridgend, South Wales. Originally known as Jeff Killed John, the band formed in 1998 and covered songs by Metallica and Nirvana. Financial difficulties marked a change in music direction and name for the band. Bullet for My Valentine was formed and were offered a record deal by Roadrunner Records. Although the offer was turned down, the band secured a five album record deal with Sony BMG.
Bullet for My Valentine's debut album The Poison was released on October 3, 2005 in the United Kingdom and February 14, 2006 in the United States. Entering the Billboard 200 at number 128, and the Top Heatseekers chart at number 1, the album has since sold 339,000 copies in the U.S as of November 8, 2007. The album received mixed reviews and was criticized for being "predictable", but was praised for its synchronized song structures. Embarking on several tours to support the album, the band made appearances at the Download Festival, Kerrang! XXV, and a United States tour with Rob Zombie, which the band were ultimately kicked off due to vocalist Matt Tuck's comments on the band's message board. Bullet for My Valentine's second studio album is set for release in January 28, 2008, titled Scream, Aim, Fire.
Jeff Killed John were formed in 1998 by Matthew Tuck (guitar/vocals), Michael "Padge" Paget (guitar/background vocals), Nick Crandle (bass) and Michael "Moose" Thomas (drums), while studying music at Bridgend College. Playing Nirvana and Metallica songs, the band released a two-track CD in 2002, produced by Greg Haver called (You/Play With Me). It was financed through the Pynci scheme for new Welsh musicians and the release garnered the band radio airplay on live Radio 1's broadcast at Newport's TJ's.
Jeff Killed John wanted to follow the nu-metal trend set by bands such as Korn and Limp Bizkit, playing what they thought would get them far and what record labels wanted to hear. Bassist Crandle left the band on the eve of entering the recording studio and was replaced by Jason James. As nu-metal had started to become less popular, the band gave it one final shot by changing their name to Bullet for My Valentine, a name which refers to the "fictional evil yet loving lyrical content". A change in music direction was agreed on, and the band played what they wanted to rather than follow the influential bands at the time.
Signed to a record label
For six to ten months, Bullet for My Valentine played at concerts to attract the interest of record labels. At a show in London, Roadrunner Records showed interest and offered the band a deal. The label was ultimately turned down, and the band signed a five record deal with Sony BMG, with a United Kingdom licensing deal with Visible Noise. The choice to choose Sony as said by frontman Tuck was "We thought that a lot more doors would be open to us with the Sony deal".
A self-titled EP was released on November 15, 2004 in the U.K. and November 30, 2004 in the United States. Produced by Colin Richardson and mixed by Andy Sneap, the EP featured five tracks and marked the band's first official release. A second EP, (often referred to as a mini album) entitled Hand of Blood was released on August 22, 2005 through Trustkill Records, which was only available in the United States. The EP contained one extra track than the self-titled EP, "4 Words (To Choke Upon)". Decibel Magazine contributor Daniel Lukes responded to the EP negatively stating "The worst part is that the music itself isnít all that bad, for the genre. "Cries in Pain" ["Cries in Vain"] even threatens to kick some major ass before drowning in vocal sub-Incubusisms"; commenting the band should be embarrassed about the release. Zeromag.com editor Josh Joyce complemented the band on "how technical they can get without confusing the kids".
Bullet for My Valentine's debut album, The Poison, was released in the U.K. on October 3, 2005 and February 14, 2006 in the U.S.. It entered the Billboard 200 at number 128, attained a peak of number 2 on the Top Heatseekers, and number 11 on the Top Independent albums. As of November 8, 2007, the album has sold 339,000 copies in the U.S.
"Tears Don't Fall"
Blabbermouth.net Reviewer Scott Alisoglu commented on "Tears Don't Fall"; "the twin lead work, thrashy romps, galloping tempos, and a hot solo launch the track out of mediocrity"
Critical response to the album was mixed. Stylus Magazine editor Dom Passantino commented the band's contribution to the world of music is "basically a slightly uglier, yet similarly polished take on their genre than Lostprophets", awarding a C- grade. Blabbermouth.net reviewer Scott Alisoglu stated Bullet for My Valentine "is fairly good at what it does and at least half of the songs are better than average", although commented that "the album follows with several 'hey, it's predictable, but pretty rocking' moments". Decibel Magazine contributor Kirk Miller commented "Thereís zero in the originality department here" and went on to praise the band's synchronized song structures compared to other bands.
Four singles were released from The Poison including "4 Words (To Choke Upon)", the band's first single, followed by "Suffocating Under Words of Sorrow (What Can I Do)". "All These Things I Hate (Revolve Around Me)" peaked on the Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks at number 13 and number 30 on the Modern Rock Tracks. "Tears Don't Fall" peaked at number 24 on the Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks and number 32 on the Modern Rock Tracks.
Promoting The Poison
Bullet for My Valentine played at the Download Festival in Donington Park for three consecutive years, first appearing at the 2004 festival on the Barfly stage. The following year with increased popularity, Bullet for My Valentine played on the larger Snickers stage, and in 2006 the band were moved to near the top of the main stage bill, playing on Sunday night below Guns N' Roses and Funeral for a Friend. Other tours the band embarked on include opening for Metallica and Guns N' Roses for six weeks of the summer in 2006, the Van's Warped Tour, Kerrang! tour, and Earthday Birthday on April 28, 2007. The band's performance at the Brixton Academy in London was filmed for the band's first DVD, The Poison: Live at Brixton.
Bullet for My Valentine were removed as a supporting act on a 2006 tour with Rob Zombie after 17 shows. Tuck posted a message on the band's official message board, stating the band were not being treated well on the tour in response to fans who complained about t-shirt prices and sound quality. Zombie made the band price match his merchandise ($40 a shirt), although the band were only allowed two pieces, were unable to use a dressing room, and could not perform a sound check, which resulted in and Tuck referring to the headliner as "money-grabbing fucks". "Basically, we are shit to him, but f**k it ó if this is what it takes to get a name over here, then it's gotta be done". Tuck commented. A few hours later, Tuck posted a message apologizing for his comments claiming they were "out of line and totally exaggerated". However, the band were kicked off the tour the following day for the comments. Vocalist of fellow support act Lacuna Coil, Andrea Ferro, attributed the behaviour due to inexperience; "Probably they got some different kind of success in the U.K. in the beginning and they think that they paid their dues, but I believe that they still have to pay their dues, like everybody".
During June 2006, Tuck suffered from laryngitis which led to a number of shows being postponed until early January. A tonsillectomy was scheduled in mid July, although it was brought forward at the last minute at the advice of Tuck's doctor. Advised a minimum recovery period of four weeks, the band were forced to cancel several shows. This included supporting Metallica for three dates on their Sick of the Studio '07 tour on June 29 in Bilbao, Spain, July 5 in Vienna, Austria, and July 8 at the recently completed Wembley Stadium in London. Machine Head replaced the band as supporting act. Although unable to speak, Tuck wrote that as soon as doctors cleared him he would be in the studio working on the band's next album.
Scream, Aim, Fire
Bullet for My Valentine will be filmed a video for the title track "Scream, Aim, Fire" on November 17, which is from the band's upcoming album of the same name. Director Frank Borin describes the video as "a social commentary about the facade of war and the deceitful tactics used to recruit the young men of our country". The album is being recorded at Sonic Ranch Studios with production duties handled by Colin Richardson. 11 tracks have been established including "Waking the Demon", which is about getting revenge on a bully by slicing pieces off him. Bullet For My Valentine announced that the album will be released Worldwide on January 28, 2008.
"We want to be more metal all across the board. On their second album, a lot of bands try to please their record company by doing something more commercial. We didn't want to fall into that trap"
Tuck told Revolver how he approached the album
"the stupidly insane, catchy choruses" from previous recordings, which he described as the main focal point of the album. He continued by saying that "The biggest difference is probably the tempo and the aggression. It's a lot more uptempo, a lot more aggressive".
Bullet for My Valentine are influenced by bands such as Pantera, Machine Head, Iron Maiden, Metallica, Testament, Slayer, Stuck Mojo, Judas Priest and Megadeth. Paget classifies these influences as "old school thrash". These bands inspire Bullet for My Valentine's "catchy vocals, aggressive riffs and melodies". Reviewing The Poison, Blabbermouth.net reviewer Scott Alisoglu described the band's sound as "predictable" and the album as a "made-for-MTV breakout hit" comparing the harmonies to Swedish metal band In Flames. However, Alisoglu praised songs such as "Tears Don't Fall" for incorporating "twin lead work, thrashy romps, galloping tempos, and a hot solo".
The members are not interested in modern music as Padget described it as "just about noise and smashing people's faces off for seven minutes, we're not into that just being loud for the sake of it" Members of the band have stated they would not change their sound or image for a commercial approach. Tuck commented "Without sounding harsh, we're more interested in what our music sounds like than what our fucking hair looks like". Kirk Miller of Decibel magazine praised the band for the effort in synchronized song structures as opposed to other modern metal bands.
Bullet for My Valentine has received two awards from Kerrang!, 'Best UK single' for their track "Tears Don't Fall" in 2006, and 'Best British Newcomer' in 2005. As a result the band were offered to headline Kerrang!'s 25 year anniversary tour of the U.K. The band recorded a cover song for the magazine, Metallica's "Creeping Death", which is featured on the magazine's Higher Voltage complication disk. Another Metallica cover, "Welcome Home (Sanitarium)", was featured on Metallica" Remastered.
The band won the Welsh Music Award for "Best Newcomer" in 2004, and according to The Sun, were 'booed' when receiving the 2006 Metal Hammer Golden God Award award for 'Best British Band'. Bullet for My Valentine has received coverage in music magazines including being featured on the covers of Metal Hammer and Kerrang, and stories in Revolver, Outburn, Penthouse, Rock Sound, NME, Hit Parader, Total Guitar, Guitar One, Drummer Magazine and Alternative Press.
- Matthew "Matt" Tuck - Vocals, Guitar
- Michael "Padge" Paget - Guitar, Background Vocals
- Jason "Jay" James - Bass Guitar, Background Vocals
- Michael "Moose" Thomas - Drums
- Nick Crandle - Bass Guitar
- 2005: The Poison
- 2008: Scream, Aim, Fire
- 2004: Bullet for My Valentine
- 2005: Hand of Blood
- 2006: Hand of Blood EP: Live at Brixton