Photo Credit: Getty Images / Gary Miller
Despite losing two permanent members since their last record in 2015, Bullet For My Valentine are marching on to release their sixth full-length album Gravity on June 29 via their new label Spinefarm. We had a yarn with the band's co-founder and all-round good dude Michael "Padge" Paget about their sixth upcoming offering with the new lineup and label, the state of metal in 2018, celebrity BFMV fans and more! Scroll down to read the full chat:
You're about to go on a string of huge festival dates in Europe, so I imagine things pretty hectic at the moment, but how are you feeling as we inch closer to Gravity's release date?
Yeah I'm quite excited, we're really pleased with what we've achieved so far and we've got a new label, pretty much a new band and it's exciting times moving forward. We start rehearsing on Sunday for these big summer festivals and when we've done those then Gravity will be out at the end of June, so it'll be flat-out for a while (laughs).
With the new label and lineup, to me it kind of feels like BFMV is entering a new era. Would you agree?
Definitely, you know with a new bassist and drummer and a new exciting team around us ready to push and show what we can do with the records - it's really happy days at the moment.
Your last album Venom was really dark and aggressive, while I feel like Gravity places more emphasis on a contrast between quieter electronic passages and heavy riffs. Was there a different approach to the songwriting and recording process with the new lineup this time around?
Yes, very different. We wanted to stay away from the traditional formula and try something completely new and incorporate some electronics, samples and just approach songwriting a little differently than we've done in the past. We felt like with all the changes in the band that now was the perfect time to try something different. There was a little reluctance at first, you know, a little bashing of heads and disagreements but it always works out and it's worked out really well here. Hopefully everyone digs it and here's to another two years on the road!
How do you discover new music in 2018?
Umm...it's very different discovering new music these days I think, rather than years ago when word of mouth was so strong. Now I think it's a bit over-saturated because there are so many sub-genres so it's really hard to find something in particular, but it's definitely out there. There is plenty of new music, but unfortunately the music scene has kind of changed a lot even since we've been in the game.
In what way?
I think just with social media the magic around bands has disappeared, you know? Everybody is within reach. I mean, you can look online and see Slash doing the dishes at home and stuff like that, and years ago all you would have is a poster or a magazine and you'd see, I dunno, (the band) Death wearing a t-shirt and you'd run down to the local town just to get a t-shirt just because a band member's wearing it.
It's interesting you say that, because a few weeks ago Maynard James Keenan said that heavy music isn't as dangerous anymore and we've almost completely outgrown it as a culture. What do you think of that?
He's 100% right. I mean, rock and roll used to be dangerous and there were a lot of risks being taken and it was naughty music years ago. But now there's no danger to the music anymore, everything's safe, and nobody wants to take those risks anymore because it might hurt their career. So yeah, I agree with him. You know like when Slipknot released their first album? That was dangerous music and I do miss it all the risk-taking bands and the bands that just don't give a fuck, man. That energy and vibe is missing.
Would you still encourage younger artists trying to forge their way into metal?
Absolutely, I think it's a great outlet for emotions and creativity. It keeps people from staring at blank screens, like if you're looking at guitars you're not swiping down looking at Instagram and comparing yourself to somebody else. It keeps people together and the benefits of something like that is priceless.
We recently saw a video of Margot Robbie freaking out over a Tears Don't Fall performance dedicated to her at a concert in Canada. Were you surprised to find out she was such a huge BFMV fan?
Yeah it was really funny how I found out actually. I think she was on Conan or one of those American shows and she mentioned that when she was younger she used to listen to emo bands, and when she said our band name it was like whoa, that's really strange! But then the BBC Radio 1 guys asked us if we would dedicate the song and we were like yeah of course! So we dedicated the song to her, they strapped her to the heart rate monitor and showed her the footage and it's a funny reaction! It was a good laugh. But at the end of the day, she is just a person like the rest of us.
Having said that though, there's surely someone who would make you stoked to find out is a secret fan.
Hmm I dunno...maybe Justin Bieber or someone like that. It would be cool to take him for a beer!
Apparently he's into Metallica, so technically it's only one degree of separation seeing as you've played with them. We've heard Prince Harry is into metal as well, we bet he's given you a spin at least once...
Oh really? I haven't heard that but that's really cool.
Have you heard the new Parkway Drive album?
I haven't heard it yet because we've been so flat-out. I haven't really had much time to listen to any new music at the moment while we get our own stuff together with Gravity. But I hear it's really good and we've got a couple of shows with them on a few of the festivals coming up so I'll definitely be checking them out.
We've heard you're a fan of hanging out at the beach. Any chance you'll be back on our famous beaches and maybe play a show or two on the side anytime soon?
Yeah I like the beach! I'm not too fussed on the sea though because I'm afraid of sharks, so as long as I stay on the sand I'll be fine (laughs). I remember when we came down a few years ago, I went to Bondi and made the mistake of trying to surf there so that didn't work out very well. All I remember is crawling back to the beach trying not to drown because I ate shit big time (laughs). It's a real shame that Big Day Out and Soundwave Festival's stopped but it's good to know that there's still festivals going down to Australia with Download especially. Hopefully we'll be down sooner rather than later!
Gravity is out everywhere on June 29. You can check out the video for 'Over it' below.
Listen to Bullet For My Valentine now.