Metal eats its young.
A recent stateside Guns N' Roses concert found the audience booing opener Eagles of Death Metal because, well, they weren't GNR. But it's a dog-eat-dog world out there: Later that evening, Axl Rose pandered to the crowd by asking if they had enjoyed the "pigeons of shit metal."
The supporting band was subsequently kicked off the remaining tour dates.
It's not exactly an isolated incident. This type of thing seems to be happening more frequently as when fledgling Welsh act Bullet for My Valentine experienced a rough few dates opening for GNR and, later, for Iron Maiden.
Mind you, Bullet for My Valentine is one of the more important metal acts to emerge from the U.K. in the past few decades. Add in the fact that the band members look up to both Guns N' Roses and Maiden and, well, it made for an interesting few weeks.
"When we got offered those [gigs], we didn't even think. We were just like, "Yeah, we'll do it because it was such an honor,'" says Bullet drummer Michael "Moose" Thomas, from his home in Bridgend, South Wales. "But as a band, you just see the first six to 10 rows and they're all giving you the finger. It was quite distracting, and they were shouting and abusive."
While Thomas is clueless as to why metal turns on its own, he's confident Bullet for My Valentine will come out victorious in the end. The act's 2006 debut album, The Poison, twists heavy riffs and guttural screaming into a new-millennium din that has increasingly attracted a large audience to Bullet's shows. And things only look to be getting bigger with the upcoming release of the band's highly anticipated sophomore effort later this year.
Early on, the media pigeonholed the quartet as a metalcore act a backhanded way of bestowing the dreaded emo tag. But, Thomas says, "in-your-face metal" is the only label that fits the upcoming untitled album. Fans can expect to hear new tracks "Wake the Demon" and "Scream, Aim and Fire" when the band plays its sold-out Colorado Springs show.
"On the last record, you had "Tears Don't Fall' and "All These Things I Hate (Revolve Around Me),' so there are a couple of tracks on there like that," Thomas says. "We just want to take a step up, and there will be, like, screaming vocals on the record, but we're going to try to make it more of a classic record than the last one."
The notion of making a classic album in the vein of Iron Maiden's Somewhere in Time or Judas Priest's British Steel is something the members of Bullet for My Valentine take very seriously.
In fact, Thomas feels as though it's his birthright.
Considering three decades have passed since the emergence of the new wave of the British heavy metal scene which brought Maiden and Priest to the masses Thomas feels it's about time a new U.K. metal band was taken seriously.
"There's no one flying the flag for British metal at the moment," Thomas says, "and we need to keep this thing alive. Other countries are into metal, but this is where it came from."
Bullet for My Valentine with Escape the Fate and The Confession
The Black Sheep, 2106 E. Platte Ave.
Saturday, April 7, 7:30 p.m.
Tickets: This all-ages show is sold out; look for tickets outside the venue.