Bullet For My Valentine talk new heavier album and festival headliners

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Jason Bowld is bang on time for our scheduled Zoom chat. Not all musicians are quite so punctual. “I’m a drummer, see… good timing.”

The Bullet For My Valentine sticksman is also in good spirits and rightly so. The British metal band just released their seventh album and it’s been seen as a return to form after 2018’s divisive Gravity record. They’ve shifted back to a far heavier sound. I ask Jase if this was something they discussed or if the songs just came out that way naturally.

“It happened naturally actually. One of the first songs we wrote was Knives and that was back in 2019. And we also reignited an old idea that we were going to put on Gravity, which was a song called No Happy Ever After on the new album. And it’s very brutal. And I think we just used those songs as a catalyst for moving forward. Then lockdown happened, Matt (Tuck) got on his own writing. And I think he definitely writes better when there’s no pressure. So the lockdown really favoured him because he could just go to a studio and he knocked out four or five ideas and then it was quite apparent there was a vibe and a definite angle. And I think once we found the angle, it was really easy to keep it going. The last song that we wrote actually was Rainbow Veins, which has written in January, February this year. So yeah. I mean, this is great that the thread continued consistently over two years with a lockdown. And you know, a lot of metal bands, in particular, they say, yeah, it’s the heaviest thing we’ve ever done. And it’s like, well, it’s not the heaviest thing you’ve ever done. There’s three heavy tracks on there, but this time, every song, hand on heart, is heavy.”

Seven albums into their career, Bullet For My Valentine this time chose to release a self-titled album. Was the decision just laziness and they can’t be bothered thinking of a different title or is there a more profound reason?

“I don’t think it was any major decision-making on why we self-titled it because originally it was going to be called Shatter. But then I think we’re so confident with the sound. It just felt right to do it. You know, it was not a big statement thing. I suppose it is a statement album in a way. It’s almost like we’ve pushed the reset button on the band sound and feel confident that we could move forward with these sounds in different directions. So you’ve heard the album, there’s a lot of different directions. Can’t Escape The Waves is one, Bastards is another different direction. It’s exciting, really exciting.”

This summer Bullet headlined the UK’s legendary Download Festival, albeit a streamlined version due to COVID. Are the band getting a taste for topping festival bills now?

“Yeah. That’s where we want to be. You know, we’ve been on the edge for years now, gradually making our way up the bills on festivals and we’ve got some amazing summer festivals planned for next year and yeah, there’s going to be some steps up the ladder. And hopefully, in 2023, we can go to headline even more. That’s what we want to be doing. So obviously we might not ever get there, but we’re hopeful, we’re going to do our best. And you’ve got to have ambitions as a band to always get as big as you can.”

There has been a lot of discussion about who are the new breed of bands who will be the festival headliners of tomorrow. Jase struggles to think of many bands ready for that position.

“I think Bring Me The Horizon definitely, you know, they should be headlining festivals. They’re a great band with an amazing following they’ve established and they’ve built it up as well. There’s a band called While She Sleeps. I think they’ve got potential, you know, in a few years’ time. If they keep on doing what they’re doing, then they could get there. Cause they’re a hard-working band, they’ve got a really amazing work ethic, do a lot of stuff on their own and I’d love to see a band like that headline a festival. I can’t think of any more off the top of my head, but they’re the two that come to the forefront of my mind.”

In support of the new album, Bullet are already back on the road and Jase is keen to get back to Canada, in particular.

“Canada’s such a sweet spot for us. We always do well at the festivals over there. Always had a great time, every time we’ve gone to Canada. So I know me and Matt have always sort of said, it’d be cool to do like a Canadian tour rather than just the couple of dates when you do America. I want to focus on really strong areas, you know, and cause we have a great time there. That’s what life’s about. Isn’t it?”

Indeed it is.

Watch the full interview with Jason below:

Bullet For My Valentine (the album) is out now via Spinefarm /Search & Destroy

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