BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE Talk Gravity – “We Just Wanted To Create Something Different That Was Heavy And Edgy”
June 25, 2018, a year ago
When original Bullet For My Valentine drummer, Michael “Moose” Thomas, exited the band in 2016, they didn’t have to look far for a suitable replacement in Jason Bowld, who had previously filled in for Thomas, and even played in a BFMV side band. And on the group’s sixth full-length overall, Gravity, the line-up switcheroo has not prevented the band from expanding their sound, as well as retaining what fans have come to expect from this hard hitting yet melodic British band. Mr. Bowld filled in BraveWords correspondent Greg Prato about the new album and touring plans.
BraveWords: How did you come to join the band?
Jason Bowld: “My first involvement with Bullet was in 2010, when I was asked to play on the band’s arena tour in the UK - their first-ever arena tour. I literally had a day’s notice to get ready for it. It was a last minute thing, and I jumped at the chance. Then Matt and I started a project called AxeWound, a few years later. So, we built a bit of a relationship from that, and we stayed in touch. Then, I was asked to sit in for Moose in 2016, and I’ve been with the band ever since, really. It just evolved naturally.”
BraveWords: And you were also a member of the band Pitchshifter, right?
Jason Bowld: “I was, yeah - back in ’98 I joined Pitchshifter and did a few world tours and an album. And then really after that, I disappeared into ‘session drumming wilderness,’ because I didn’t really want to join a band. So, I was free to play with a bunch of different bands and projects. And then when I was asked to join Bullet at the start of last year, we just felt like it was the right thing to do.”
BraveWords: Which brings us to the new album, Gravity.
Jason Bowld: “We started writing Gravity last April - in 2017. We got into a studio, we started jamming what came naturally - which is obviously metal riffs, metal sections. And then it started feeling stale - tried and tested. We figured, ‘We’ve got a bit of a problem here, because you don’t want to tread on old ground. We want to keep ourselves excited - to excite the fans.’ So, writing went on for about nine or ten months - in about three or four different recording studios. We experimented writing with a producer - that’s how the songs ‘Letting You Go’ and ‘Under Again’ were born. It was slightly an electronic feel, but we reigned it back in to the heavy side of things - which is what we love. We just wanted to create something different that was heavy and edgy, but had those massive vocal melodies, and something that was ‘arena compatible,’ without wanting to sound like a sellout. But the reality is - I believe - if we had written another Venom album, we would have plateaued. You’ve got to keep yourself challenged, and you’ve got to challenge the fans, and just push yourself and try something different. And I think we’ve succeeded with Gravity. It’s an eclectic album, it’s current, it’s got the heaviest moments of any Bullet album, but also, the lightest moments. So there is a good amount of light and shade on there. I think it’s very much to the point, as well - the songs are to the point. All the fat has been trimmed - there are no guitar solos. That was a bit of an issue for Michael, but when we pointed out that the most streamed Bullet songs in recent times were ‘You Want a Battle?’, ‘Worthless,’ and ‘Don’t Need You’ - none of them have got guitar solos. They’re just kickass songs that get to the point quickly and get a clearer message to the fans, really.”
BraveWords: The song “Over It” is the album’s first single and video.
Jason Bowld: “‘Over It’ was kind of one of the last songs to be written in the studio, actually. It’s quite different for Bullet - a song of that tempo. I think the words ‘festival bounce’ were very much in our minds when we wrote that. We just wanted to create something that had that big bounce to it, and we are playing it on this tour at the moment, and it’s gone down a storm - seeing everyone jumping up and down to it. It’s the right tempo to do that. Lyrically, it’s obvious what it’s about - most of the songs have this quite dark theme of separating from someone, having something in your life that maybe brings on a bit of depression. They’re all pretty dark themes, and a lot of that is coming from where Matt’s head was at - he’s the vocalist, and needs to write lyrics that he can convey in a true form on the album. But I have to say, although the songs have got dark undertones to them, there is also a positive message on the album. But ‘Over It’ is a riffer - there are a lot of songs on the album that are chord-based, because the most important part is the vocal melodies. But this song is a definite riffer. It’s just a good festival bouncer.”
BraveWords: Touring plans?
Jason Bowld: “At the moment, we are on a headliner in America - with Trivium and Toothgrinder. Both amazing bands, super nice guys to get on with. And we get back in a couple of weeks, we have a week off, in June we do the festival circuit in Europe. We have our first festival headliner in Germany - we’ll be doing a couple of those, which we are excited about. Then in July we’ve got a little run with Avenged Sevenfold in Canada, and then, Summer Sonic in Japan, some more Europe festivals in August, in September back to the States for a four-week tour as a headliner, and then a three-week tour in October in Europe and November. And then we do the same for next year, as well. It’s a long cycle - we’ll be doing this until the end of 2019, easy.”
(Photos by: Ville Juurikkala)