Interview with Michael Paget of Bullet for My Valentine - September 14, 2011
Conducted on the band's tour bus at Uproar Festival, Toronto - September 14th 2011
By Alex Young
Bullet From My Valentine is a British heavy metal band that took the international metal scene by storm in 2005 with the release of their charismatic debut album “The Poison”. Since then, the band has gone on to tour with Iron Maiden, Metallica and Guns N’ Roses. After the release of their third album “The Fever”, Bullet For My Valentine is headlining the Uproar Festival on the main stage alongside Avenged Sevenfold, Three Days Grace and Seether. Lithium Magazine got a chance to catch up with BFMV’s lead guitarist Michael Paget, to talk about the band’s progress and their plans to rule the world of metal in the future.
Alex: How do you really think “Fever” attests to the band’s musical diversity in a way that your music hasn’t before?
Michael: As opposed to the other albums, this is right up there. This is definitely where we wanted to go as a band and it’s definitely the right record when it comes to maturing. It’s the third album; it’s definitely where we wanted to go and has taken us where we want to be. It’s ticking all the boxes so far and hopefully the next record does the same thing.
Alex: How do you think the album as individual musicians and as a songwriting group?
Michael: Yeah, totally, you know we strive to write great songs and I think “Fever” comes across as a great album, not just songs, and a complete album. You can sit down and listen to the whole thing as opposed to “Scream, Aim, Fire”. We tried to take it back to the roots to the “Poison” sort of thing on the new album if you know what I mean.
Alex: Yeah, and revisit it from a more mature standpoint. What do you think are some of advantages of seeing an album that way and treat the songs like chapters in a book?
Michael: It just goes to show we can make good albums as opposed to “Scream, Aim, Fire” and stuff. That’s definitely what we set out to do is write a great album and I think we definitely achieved that.
Alex: How do you think some of the songs, like “Your Betrayal” added to the band’s diversity on stage?
Michael: It’s just the next step, you know? To be honest, I prefer to play these songs compared to some of the old songs. I think that’s an indication in itself but I think we were just happier as a band with this album than the other albums.
Alex: Absolutely. What was it like to get such a huge response on this side of the ocean?
Michael: Oh it’s great, man! Four guys from Wales, we’ve known each other since high school and stuff, and I still wake up every day and it’s like, “Fuck! We’re kicking ass”. It’s a good feeling.
Alex: What was it like opening for bands like Iron Maiden on your first North American tour to two albums later headlining a festival like this?
Michael: It’s great. It’s an indication of how far we’ve come and that all the work we’ve put in is paying off.
Alex: What do you think the next step is, or the next milestone you guys are aiming for on the next album or next tour?
Michael: Again, we just want to step everything up, take everything to the next level, and in two years time be able to headline stuff like this. That’s what we want as a band.
Alex: With the way metal is now with older bands making a big resurgence and on top that, new waves of bands coming from America, the UK and Canada, how do you guys manage to maintain your own place in such a big genre with so much competition?
Michael: I think its songwriting, good musicianship, strong albums and hunger to go on and be better.
Alex: Not just rest on your laurels.
Michael: Definitely not, we’re definitely still hungry for more. We definitely want more than what we have now.
Alex: How do you think having an emphasis on melody in the guitar playing and vocals really play to your band’s advantage?
Michael: We’re definitely conscious about melodies in every part of the songs and I think that’s one thing we bring to the table that a lot of bands don’t. The infusion of melody on lead guitars is a trademark for Bullet and heavy metal in general. I’ve heard a few bands try, but they don’t quite get it, if you know what I mean. It seems that we kind of mix them both and we’re doing something right you know.
Alex: What do you think is one of the biggest advantages of having most of your influences being classic old school heavy metal rather than your peers?
Michael: A lot of people still love that old school metal vibe. It’s obvious that it’s still in our blood as well and that comes through in the music. We still love that sort of music as well.
Alex: Is there anything you’d like to tell your fans on the upcoming tour, or any ideas of what to expect from where you guys are at now and where you’re headed in the future?
Michael: If you’re a fan of the band, grow with us and don’t doubt us.