One of the biggest metal bands to emerge from Wale in recent years has been Bullet For My Valentine. After the much well earned success of the band’s third and most recent album, Fever, the band will deliver a special deluxe CD/DVD edition of the album titled Fever: Tour Edition in February. The album will accompany tour dates for the band which will also include US dates sometime this year.
The deluxe set will feature three new songs recorded live at XFM radio in the UK (Fever, The Last Fight, and Bittersweet Memories) and a DVD of Your Betrayal, Fever and Waking The Demon
that was recorded live from Graspop Metal Meeting 2010 in Dessel, Belgium. The DVD will also include videos for Your Betrayal
, The Last Fight
and The Making of The Last Fight as well as a Bullet For My Valentine track-by-track commentary of Fever.
Since its release in April of last year, Fever has sold over 500,000 units worldwide and gone on to become the band’s most successful to date. In its first week, the record landed at #3 on the Billboard 200 album chart and went Top 5 in Australia, the UK, Japan, Germany Austria and Switzerland. On the eve of the deluxe release, Joe Matera spoke to Michael “Padge” Paget about the band’s success, the evolution of Padge’s guitar sound, groupies and where the band are at with the writing process for the next studio album.
UG: I want to start the interview by asking you, what is the status of the writing process for the next album?
Michael: At the moment there is nothing as of yet, but we do have a couple tracks left over from the last recordings that we’re looking at. When we finally get to it, I can tell you that it will, definitely going to be in a similar vein of Fever. So we will definitely start writing it sometime this year and hopefully start recording it nearer towards the end of this year.
Is there pressure building on the band to try and top the last album’s success?
I think there will be pressure for sure, but so far we are not expecting too much of it. We just want to work hard and do the best at only what we can do. And I think that’s all we can do.
For the last album Fever, the process you chose for the writing and recording of it was different to all your previous efforts in that you took time off and worked with a new producer. Because it seems to have worked so well, will you be utilizing that same process?
Yeah, I really think that we will be doing that again because Don [Gilmore, producer] really changed things around for us. And he took a lot of pressure off us as musicians and as a band which really helped things breathe a lot more, both musically and obviously in the vocal sessions, which is where Matt [Tuck] and Don really shined. But that is what Don is all about really. For him it is all about the vocal melodies and crafting songs.
Last year  was quite a big year for the band, the best yet and the culmination of the band’s hard work ethic.
"There will be pressure to try and top the last album’s success, but so far we are not expecting too much of it."
Yes, it was great and a really amazing year. To be honest, I really never thought we would ever get this far. I remember back to many years ago, before we got our deal, we had just a couple of friends and used to play in a bar back home. If Matt had said to me then that we would be playing arenas in a few years time, I would have gone, ‘yeah, yeah, sure, but I’ll hold you up to it’. But funnily enough, it actually happened and it is really great.
Matt recently did a guest vocal on the new upcoming Black Tide album. Have you got plans to do something similar as well?
I have started doing that already, just a few bits here and there, but nothing worth mentioning just yet. But to answer your question, yes, I would. I am actually working on a couple of other things myself but nothing too serious as yet.
Would you ever consider venturing out and doing a solo album?
Yes I would. I would be very happy to do anything at the moment. I do program drums at home but I would definitely get a drummer to play on the record. It would be pretty much a metal outing.
What has been an integral part in the evolution of your guitar sound during the course of the band’s career?
It has been mainly about controlling and keeping in check the gain aspect of my tone. Playing through the Mesa-Boogies, they have a very high gain output and so to control the Mesas, you need to add a lot of components to the chain, things such as noise suppressors and similar type things. And that is just one aspect, because then when you add distortion pedals as well and similar pedals, it then calls for more noise suppressors. My guitar tech knows a lot more about it than me. But basically we have to have compressors and things like that for solos so that they don’t lost, in a sea of high gain. This process also lends itself to you working out the parts in the song that you find, may shine a lot more so again, you just add more things to the equation.
Do you like to experiment with gear when you are in the studio?
There wasn’t that much experimenting on this last album. We did more of that though with Colin [Richardson, producer] on our previous albums. Nothing too much though. We really tried recording more from a musical perspective this time around as Don left us to do pretty much what we wanted to during the sessions.
You have affirmed that Nirvana was the reason why you picked up a guitar in the first place, how did the journey from Nirvana to metal happen for you?
At the time I picked up the guitar, the bands were Nirvana and Metallica. They were the main bands for the group of people I was hanging out with at the time. Then after that, I came across Pantera and Machinehead, especially the Burn My Eyes album of theirs, and those bands helped me find a new direction which was metal. I still love rock and blues but metal has got, and always will, a bit more edge for me.
The band are known for doing a lot of touring, so how do you keep your sanity on the road for lengthy periods of time?
It is hard as some days are really shit but you know, you have got to snap yourself out of it. You have to get on with it really, because being down isn’t going to help anything or the situation. You have to get on top of it all and think of the time you will be on stage.
What kind of groupies does the band tend to attract. Are they mostly music and metal lovers or do you get also some of the ore out there types?
There are definitely some hardcore ones and there are some fuckin’ wacky ones too!. We do try and keep away from those ones, because we all have girlfriends and stuff, and are engaged and/or married back home with families and babies and stuff, so we keep away from them as much as we can.
It must be hard to have relationships and then go on the road and come across fans like the freaky types especially with how the internet is today and how an innocent photo can take on a life of their own and seem to the outside world something other than what it really is.
"I would like to leave a nice, deep metal footprint in music and metal history."
Dude, that is actually so amazing that you actually said that, because in the last few weeks I have found myself in that exact situation. It is incredible what people say, or presume, about you and in these days with the internet, you just can’t really stop it from getting out of hand.
How do you feel about the fact that many of the old school metal bands such as The Scorpions and Judas Priest are all planning retirement, and considering the enormous influences these bands have had on bands such as Bullet For My Valentine, what do you feel about it all?
It is obviously very sad to hear as they are all legends but they will be leaving behind a quite a legacy. It is not such a bad thing you know, as it is good for the new breeds of metal bands to come through the ranks themselves, which in turn allows each band to leave their own a legacy too. Through this process, each time metal continues to build upon those that came before.
So what kind of legacy would you like to leave?
One that is very similar to those bands, I would like to leave a nice, deep metal footprint in music and metal history.
You have achieved a lot in your career thus, so what is your dream gig that you’d still like to achieve?
I want to play the Milton Keynes Bowl festival as that would be a really cool gig.
What is one of your most prized possessions?
It would have to be my signature model Stevie Ray Vaughan Strat guitar. I have had the guitar for two or three years now, and it has such a great neck, and is really chunky with good frets. I love it. And the Texas Special pickups fitted in it are also great.
Finally, any message you like to pass onto all your fans out there?
Yes, that we will continue to give you as much as we can with our music. And that I want to thank you all for being with us there all along the way and that we will hopefully see you sometime soon at show this year.
Interview by Joe Matera
Ultimate-Guitar.Com © 2011