Back in 2010, Musicalypse was a bit more widespread, and on November 17th of that year, we met up with Matthew Tuck of BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE all the way over in Olso, NO, when they played at Rockefeller. Now, they’re playing a “Black Box” show at Jäähalli (the Ice Hall) in Helsinki, and we were able to get a few minutes with the band’s newest addition, Jamie Mathias, to chat about what’s new.
It’s been 5 years since we last had a chance to speak with you guys and back then BFMV had just put out “Fever.” I suppose the biggest thing that’s new with you guys in this moment is that you’ve joined the band. How did that happen?
Well, obviously the guys were looking for a new bass player, probably at the start of this year, in January. I’ve been friends with Padge for a couple of years and when the time was right for them to look for a new bass player, I auditioned, and now I’m on tour!
You’re from very nearby where they’re from aren’t you?
Yeah, same country, about a 30 minute drive.
Was it at all an open audition or were you privately asked to audition for them?
It was kind of private, because as I said, I’ve been friends with Padge now for a couple of years and he basically just gave me a text that they were looking for a new bass player. I just thought anyway that they had a replacement straight away, being the band that they are, and he gave me a text and I got a couple audition tips. I played three songs, sent them to the guys and the management, and then they invited me in to do a live audition.
Good stuff, congratulations!
The new album is called “Venom,” and it was just released back in August. How do you think it compares to their older albums?
I definitely think it’s gone back to their roots. You know, listening as a fan as well. I was always a fan of the band; I quite enjoyed them. I definitely think it’s a lot darker, heavier. Obviously from “Temper, Temper” they’ve got the aggression back. I can definitely hear that straight-away off the new album. It captures where the guys are at this time in their lives and I think it’s a smashing album.
Had you participated at all in the making of the album or no? Do you know much about their recording process?
Basically, they finished recording the day they asked me to join. They had pretty much written and recorded the album and then I joined. The song, “Run for Your Life,” on the album, me and Matt had done the vocals together.
For the process, I think the guys went into Studio London just to start writing and recording, I think back in January, and they finished in May. That’s all I know! [laughs]
Do you know much about their music-writing process? Does one person mostly do everything or is it quite collaborative?
I think it’s anyone who’s got an idea. Padge could have one, or Matt, any ideas they have they get them down. I think when they get a bit of time off they get a room and jam it out.
Are you looking forward to when the time comes for the next album, to get in on that?
Yeah, I’m excited! I’m a writer anyway. I constantly write music, even if it’s just for myself. I write anything. On this tour I might come up with some ideas I showed to the guys and, “Yeah, that’s pretty cool!” So I’m really excited for the next step and actually jamming with the guys and see what we come up with.
The first album was called “Poison.” Do you know if there’s any thematic association between that and “Venom.”
Yeah, I think that’s a question they’ve been asking the band a lot, and I think they’ve been saying that there isn’t really.
Is there much of a general concept to the album or is it more song-by-song?
I think it’s song-by-song. I mean, a song like “No Way Out” and “Army of Noise” are two different concepts. I think there are different things in there.
What are the plans for the future? Is it going to just be to continue the tour and then back to the studio or is there anything else coming along the way?
I think we’ve basically been on the road now since June, so we’re going to have 2 months off at Christmas and then next year it’s back on the road around the world really. Just constant touring.
Have you done much touring or performing outside of the UK yourself, before joining BFMV?
Yeah, I was in a band called REVOKER. I started that band when I was about 16. We had our debut album and toured with Rob Zombie and Ozzy. We did Sonisphere in Finland actually, in 2011! I believe SLIPKNOT was there. So I’ve done my fair share of touring in the past.
Is there anywhere on this tour that you’re looking forward to going or anywhere that you haven’t been yet that you really enjoyed?
Basically, this European round has been really… I’ve done Europe before but I got to do a place like Sweden. Coming back to Finland was really exciting, and we’re going to Japan next week! I’ve never been to Japan.
Ah, and they’re supposed to have great crowds over there!
I’m looking forward to that one, oh yeah!
The last time we did an interview with these guys, we spoke to Matt, and he said that this band is all for opening the doors to the metal genre, which is known for being quite exclusionary – you have to look or dress a certain way to be considered a “real” metalhead, and BFMV is encouraging anyone to listen to their music. Do you think that the metal scene has opened its doors at all? In the last 5 years or so, do you think it’s gotten more inclusionary? Do you think there are more people in the crowds who don’t look like traditional metalheads these days?
Yeah! There was a show we went to the other day and a guy was there with a suit. I think he had just come over from work! You don’t have to have that image. It doesn’t matter how old you are or the way you look, you could [still] be the biggest metalhead in the world.
Well, thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us, congratulations again, and have a great tour!
Interview by Bear Wiseman
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