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Interview – Michael ‘Padge’ Paget, Bullet For My Valentine – February 2013

| 27 February 2013 | Reply

By Shane Pinnegar

Shane’s interview with Bullet For My Valentine’s Padge was Xpress Magazine’s cover story on 27th February 2013 – READ IT HERE

Bullet For My Valentine Xpress cover story


By Shane Pinnegar

Welsh modern metal giants Bullet For My Valentine dropped their fourth full length album through SONY on February 8th, and will be appearing at SOUNDWAVE FESTIVAL around the country through February and March.  Expect a tsunami of sound, and sore necks aplenty the next day.

Bullet For My Valentine Padge 01

100% ROCK MAGAZINE: Hey Padge, how are you doing today?

Yeah good thanks mate, and yourself?

100% ROCK MAGAZINE: Yes, not bad at all. It’s nice and sunny here in Australia, so you should have good weather when you get Down Under.

Good one!

100% ROCK MAGAZINE: So where are you at today?

I’m sat in my house, just woke up, so early start.

100% ROCK MAGAZINE: What can you tell us about Temper Temper? From all reports it’s a pretty amazing album. I’m really eager to hear it.

Yeah, we’re all super stoked with it, pretty proud.

Bullet For My Valentine 01

100% ROCK MAGAZINE: Recording took quite a while, didn’t it – most of 2012? Was that a matter of having a bigger budget and being able to do it right, or did you just run into some issues along the way?

No, no.  We normally start off recording in the studio and then we kind of finished up there and then go into various studios out there, then we’re sort of patching up parts, or re-doing little parts because we’re not happy with them, or writing more stuff, or re-writing. So it took about eight months.  We went to about five different studios, you know?

100% ROCK MAGAZINE: Yeah right. So how would you describe the sound? Is it similar to your previous work? As I said, I haven’t had the luxury of hearing it yet.

It’s similar to Fever but I think the song writing and the songs in general are a lot more stripped away and a lot rawer and a lot fresher this time. We really wanted to not sort of re-write stuff from the past and try and come up with some sort of fresher vibe.

100% ROCK MAGAZINE: And have you brought any new influences into the mix, or is your overall sound still going to… you haven’t radically moved on from that or anything like that, is what I’m trying to say, I guess.

No no, the sound is pretty much the same. Same amps, same guitar pretty much, same drums, you know, so it’s all pretty much the same.  I think we use a different bass on the songs.

Bullet For My Valentine Temper Temper CD

100% ROCK MAGAZINE: So I’ve heard some pretty big praise for the album already, people are talking about it being a modern classic. How does that fit with you?

Yeah, that sounds great!

100% ROCK MAGAZINE: [Laughter] Not too intimidating or anything?

It’s great to get feedback like that, especially when people have heard it for the first time and stuff, I mean we just hope that the fans feel the same way.

100% ROCK MAGAZINE: We’re pretty lucky in Australia because you’re coming down for Soundwave, so you’re going to give us a chance to be amongst the first people to hear the album played live. Have you started talking about your set list for the Soundwave tour?

We have. We just got back last week and unfortunately due to the weather it’s kind of set us back a little bit, but we have started putting together  a list. Obviously US are going to get the set first, then we’re in Australia, so we’re excited for that. I don’t know really, every first tour we do is always weird because playing our new stuff live is a  bit different, but it should be a lot of fun.

Bullet For My Valentine Padge 02

100% ROCK MAGAZINE: Yeah for sure. And when you first play some new songs live, do you find they change a little bit and you sort of iron them out a little bit, or stretch them out maybe?

There has been sort of, a song now n’ then that we do open up the middle section live and just make it a little bit more for the crowd. You know, it’s sort of that breakdown section where they know what’s coming but we just kind of open it out and stretch out just to add that bit of crowd participation and stuff, you know?

100% ROCK MAGAZINE: Well hopefully everyone will have had a chance to listen to the album by the time you land, so it should be pretty good. We’re looking forward to seeing you. You were last in Australia, I think, for Soundwave in 2009, is that right?

Yeah, yeah, Soundwave, that was our last one.

100% ROCK MAGAZINE: So is there anything special you are hoping to do off stage that you perhaps missed out on previous visits?

Yeah, there’s another bunch of shows called Sidewaves, so there’s going to be a bunch of those that we’re going to be doing also around the Soundwave shows. That will be a bit more intimate for the fans, a little bit smaller venues and they can be closer to the stage etc. But yeah, in general, we’ll be going to beaches and going to zoos, and seeing as much as we can. We’ve got a few days off in Sydney and stuff. So we’ll see a little bit of country, a little bit of city and try our best to enjoy as much as we can while we’re down there.

Bullet For My Valentine 02

100% ROCK MAGAZINE: Make it a bit of a working holiday?

Yeah. It’s a beautiful country. It’s one of the most beautiful countries in the world I think, so having a few days off to see a little bit of it is great.

100% ROCK MAGAZINE: When I was researching the interview I found a good quote from Matt Tuck, and it goes “Without sounding harsh, we’re more interested in what our music sounds like than what our fucking hair looks like”. Have you felt any major label pressure to pretty up your image in the past few years, as sales have increased?

No! With all respect to them, they’ve kind of left us along in that sort of thing.  To be honest we haven’t really stayed on one particular label throughout our career. We have been signed to Sony but we’ve been around to other sort of [subsidiary] labels and stuff. But no, as soon as we were on the way we made our own decisions. Matt decided to cut his hair, but that’s nothing to do with the label, that’s just a personal preference.

100% ROCK MAGAZINE: You’re a band who has seemingly defied the trend in that you still sell records – three million plus and counting so far, and I’m sure this album will sell a shit load as well,.  Do you wonder how that would translate into sales in the pre-file sharing era?

I’m sure it’d be probably two or three times more, you know, unfortunately. But this generation physical records aren’t being sold so much. It’s very unfortunate for bands, but at the same time we never would have thought we were going to sell three million records any way. For us not having the pre-download sort of stage in our career, we’ve never known anyway, so it’s awkward for us, you know?

100% ROCK MAGAZINE: Yeah, it just seems like the industry is so unbalanced nowadays, isn’t it? Because the recording and touring expenses are still the same, or getting higher, but your revenue coming in from traditional streams is just so much less.

Bullet For My Valentine Padge 03

Yeah, I think big bands these days are more relying on saving on tax and utilising the internet as best as possible so that nobody else can take any revenue away from the band. We just try our best to cover everything so we don’t lose any more, if you know what I mean.

100% ROCK MAGAZINE: So with merchandise being so important to a band in terms of the sales revenue, how do you approach the merchandise side of the business when you consciously don’t have a ‘image’ in terms of prettying yourself up and pretty hair, and all that sort of rubbish?

Well our current merchandise company called Bravado, and our management and ourselves there’s always sort of ideas coming through and they’ll always ask us to confirm that we like them first and stuff. But we have been trying to get away from the sort of skull and roses, it seems that every rock or metal band is going down that road over the last ten years. We’re trying to get something fresh, working with this company and stuff. We want to know what’s sort of current and relevant on the market and stuff, so it’s just a bit 50/50.

100% ROCK MAGAZINE: What do you think sets Bullet For My Valentine apart from the rest of the modern metal bands?

A different sound, you know.  We definitely toured our arses off over the last ten years, and it’s got to have something to do with the songs, and how we put them together. I think a combination of the both is pretty much why we are still around today, and putting a lot of melody into the songs regardless of if they are heavy or not.

100% ROCK MAGAZINE: So talking about Tuck, have you heard his Axe Wound album?

Yes I have.

100% ROCK MAGAZINE: It’s awesome, isn’t it?

Yeah, I think it’s pretty good, man. I like the sound of the drums, its cool.  We were fortunate to have Jason sit in for us when our drummer was sick a couple of years ago and we needed a drummer, and I think  he’s an amazing drummer and anyone would have wanted to do a side project with him you know? I think he wanted a break and just thought, you know, I want to do something really heavy, a bit different from Bullet, and came up with the AxeWound record. I think it’s really good. I think it’s really good, I think it’s really positive, because I think at the end of last year he was very angry and very negative, sort of very burned out from touring. He needed to just do something different and get away from Bullet for a while, and I think, in hindsight I think that’s going to be a very positive outcome for our band as well.

100% ROCK MAGAZINE: Cool. So what about yourself, did you feel the need to do a little side project?

Well I currently record bands up in my garage. I’ve got a pretty cool home studio up there. I love seeing the developing bands, rather than [working with] bigger bands, especially since there’s such a great scene here in Wales, and it’s just nice to get ‘em in and make ‘em approach music in a professional way. I think that’s important for a musician these days.

100% ROCK MAGAZINE: So a bit of mentor/ production.


100% ROCK MAGAZINE: Awesome, very cool. I believe you had back surgery late last year. Hopefully they fixed whatever was wrong, were you just head banging too much on stage or something?

I don’t know exactly how I did it, but I slipped a disc in my lower back and I think it was, I fell off a motorcycle and didn’t quite hold the weight very well, and the disc popped and obviously we’d been touring at the end of 2011 and it just made things worse. So yeah, I went to the doctors and he told me I’d slipped a disc. They offered surgery as the only way to fix it.

100% ROCK MAGAZINE: Wow. So when you’re touring the world and you’re very popular, and all these kids are coming to see you, how hard is it to not get so run down and unhealthy, or overindulge and let the music suffer as a result of that?

We’ve just kind of got over it. There always seems to be beer on the rider, there’s always beer in the fridge wherever we go, there are always bars etc. and after a while you don’t realise but you’re drinking all the time. So I think on this run, especially after the end of last tour, I think we’re going to all be a lot more aware of how much we drink and when we’re drinking, and try to look after ourselves a bit more. Because like you said, it does drag you down a little bit. It’s not ultimately for us, it’s mainly for the fans. I think we’re all a bit more conscious about how much we’re drinking. None of us want to get drunk before we put on a show, we’ll have a drink afterwards.

100% ROCK MAGAZINE: Finally mate, what for you is the meaning of life?

What’s the meaning of life?

100% ROCK MAGAZINE: Yeah, big stuff for first thing in the morning.

Just don’t be a dick!

100% ROCK MAGAZINE: [Laughter] that might be the best answer I’ve ever had to that question.

If you can wake up and not be a dick all day then you’re on to something.

100% ROCK MAGAZINE: Fantastic, that’s worthy of a tattoo right there. Great mate, look, thanks for your time and good luck with the album. We’re really looking forward to listening to it and we’re really going to enjoy your set when you get to Perth.

Cool man, thanks very much.

100% ROCK MAGAZINE: Have a good one.

Alright, bye.


Category: Interviews

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Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

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