InTheNews.co.uk's Lewis Bazley recently conducted an interview with BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE drummer Mike "Moose" Thomas about the heavier sound of their second album, Rob Zombie's rules and the importance of drinking. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:
Q: How did you guys get together and what went wrong with your former band JEFF KILLED JOHN?
Moose: We started that in 1997 when we were in music college together and we were basically following a music trend that we would thought would be our key to success. And then our bass player left, and we just started music like what we grew up listening to, basically.
Q: You probably get asked this all the time but — who came up with the name and what does it mean?
Moose: We were all drunk one night, all sat around and we just put two words together. I really liked BULLET and I really liked VALENTINE so we thought that worked. And we just decided to keep it.
Q: So do you think the music industry's more open to MAIDEN-esque metal now?
Moose: Well, it's nice to be putting this kind of metal back in the mainstream. Kids that buy our stuff will go back and listen to early METALLICA or early MAIDEN and that's pretty cool.
Q: IRON MAIDEN are a clearly a huge influence — was it an honour to tour with them?
Moose: Yeah, it was great. When we got the opportunity to open up for them, it was unbelievable, really.
Q: How did you go down with their crowds?
Moose: Unfortunately not very well. It's the same for any band that plays before IRON MAIDEN. You get booed, you get stuff thrown at it. It's pretty hard, but we were just glad to be supporting IRON MAIDEN.
Q: And how was touring with GUNS N' ROSES?
Moose: That was more like a circus (laughs).
Q: What's Axl Rose like?
Moose: We never met him in person. He's stuck in 1992 or something.
Q: I don't know how much you can talk about this, but are you allowed to discuss what happened with getting kicked off the ROB ZOMBIE tour?
Moose: We got offered the tour and said: "Yeah, we'll do it" and straight away, we got emailed this list of "rules" which we had to follow. I mean, coming from Wales, touring, we like to have a drink, but that wasn't allowed. We weren't allowed to talk to Rob Zombie or his girlfriend, told not to look at them. It was just a list of stupid rules and one day Matt just cracked and put something on our website. We got asked to leave and we were happy to!
Q: You've covered METALLICA's "Creeping Death" and "Sanitarium" for compilation records — are those your favorite METALLICA songs?
Moose: No, we got asked to pick one from "Master of Puppets" and just figured out which one would suit us the best. If we were to write a song like METALLICA, it would probably be like "Sanitarium". And we used to play "Creeping Death" when we were in JEFF KILLED JOHN, we love "Ride the Lightning", so we decided to chuck it in live.
Q: To go back a long way - why did you guys decide to sign for Sony rather than Roadrunner Records?
Moose: We just thought… Roadrunner is a great label, they have great artists, but we feel that after album number two, nothing much happens. The bands kind of fall off the face off the Earth. And because we wanted to be the biggest band we could and Sony were offering so much more, we picked them.
Q: How's the new record different?
Moose: It's a lot heavier, a lot faster, but at the same time, it's really melodic and kind of like mainstream metal.
Read the entire interview at InTheNews.co.uk.
Video footage of JEFF KILLED JOHN (pre-BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE) performing live: