Photograph by Lauren Mangan
This month, Welsh rockers, Bullet For My Valentine released Venom, a riveting collection of music that shows just how committed they are to creating top notch music for their fans. Matthew “Matt” Tuck (vocals, guitars), Michael “Padge” Paget (guitars), Michael “Moose” Thomas (drums), Jamie Mathias (bass, vocals) have produced an album of instant hits. From powerful vocals to their signature hard hitting guitar riffs, strong bass, solid drums, Bullet For My Valentine has once more exceeded all expectations in the fifth album.
Being on top takes hard work. Bullet For My Valentine is a heavy hitter in the music world, but Paget believes there is always more to learn. He said, “Every day you could wake up and be inspired by what somebody is doing that you’ve never even known of. A band you’ve never heard of, for instance, or somebody posts a workout routine on Facebook, or somebody posts a lick on Instagram and it’s like—oh, I like the sound of that.” Inspiration is the first step, but often something new means starting from scratch. It may require additional skills, honing existing techniques, or even learning something you did not know before.
Hard work takes dedication. Already an accomplished guitarist, there came a point when Paget needed to learn more about playing guitar. He explained, “When we started recording Scream Aim Fire I couldn’t play lead guitar. So, I locked myself away in my bedroom for eight to ten hours a day while drums were getting tracked, and whatnot, (as) changes were being made, and I learned how to play guitar in eight weeks.” Immersing himself in the task at hand, Paget drew on his determination and dedication to the music, accomplishing his goal in record time. Paget continues to refine his skills each day and considers Venom his greatest musical achievement so far. He was more involved with this album, doing pre-production at his home studio and wrote numerous musical tracks, streamlining the recording process allowing them to finish in two months.
Success is a humbling experience. Over the years, crowds chock full of Bullet For My Valentine fans have stood in front of the stage singing their favorite songs to the band. At some of the largest music events, crowds numbering 90,000 (or more) people are seen singing the songs in unison, sharing the connection each person has with the music of Bullet For My Valentine in a single voice. It has become an unofficial tradition at their shows, but a decade later, Paget is still humbled by it. Remembering the first time it happened, he remarked, “Ever since we released a record, I think the very first time was Download Festival…our feeling was like… we just kind of all looked at each other on stage and was like, is this actually happening? That’s the best reward I think. It’s not your rider, or how high up you are on a bill, it’s the fans. It’s the way you connect with your fans through the music.” And Bullet For My Valentine connects with fans. With over eight million Facebook likes, the numbers are climbing daily. On Vevo, the newest album, Venom garnered an excess of three million views in less than nine months!
You know the words. Bullet For My Valentine took the stage at Warped Tour amid thunderous applause from a crowd that was ready to party. No matter how many times I see Bullet For My Valentine perform live, I am instantly struck by the sheer force of their energy. Seamlessly blending past and present tunes from their extensive discography, the show quickly turned into a sing-a-long as the fans matched the artist word for word. It was a spectacular performance that even the blazing heat could not stop. I sang until my voice grew hoarse, because it is not a Bullet For My Valentine show until everyone is singing. This is one show you do not want to miss on the 2016 Warped Tour!