MICHAEL 'MOOSE' THOMAS Says He 'Couldn't Go Back' To BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE Now: 'They've Lost Their Way A Bit'

May 8, 2024

In a new interview with Graham Finney of V13, founding BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE drummer Michael "Moose" Thomas was asked how being in his current band KILL THE LIGHTS is different from how it was with his former group. He said: "It's just fun. [There's] no, 'You can't do this. You can't do that.' You're expected to act this way. I don't know. It got a bit… I don't wanna badmouth them at all. [That was] a big part of my life. I wouldn't be here now if it wasn't for my time in BULLET. But I don't know, man. It just ran its course, I think, and it was time to go — I think on both sides of the fence. I definitely know I wouldn't be enjoying playing the music they're writing now and I would have been vocal about that. I would have been, like, 'I'm not playing that music.' I just thought they were just following a trend which is popular now. And, to me, I think they've kind of lost their way a bit."

Asked if he feels "freer" to be himself in KILL THE LIGHTS than he did in BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE, Thomas said: "Yeah, it's kind of like it was in the early days of BULLET. It's just, like, there's no pressure, there's nothing to prove. It's all about having fun, and that comes through in the music. BULLET got so big at one point, it was just like a machine… I don't know, man. It was fun, but looking back on it now, I couldn't go back there now. It would just be too… nah. [Laughs]"

This past March, Thomas was asked by Omar Rodriguez of The Metal Mixtape about the recent announcement that BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE will embark on a 2025 world tour celebrating the 20th anniversary of the group's debut album, 2005's "The Poison". He said: "It is what it is. I mean, I'm glad I did 'The Poison'. I guess it's a classic album now and everyone's enjoying it. A lot of people use that album to get into metal, which is awesome. But whatever they wanna do. I don't care. I've signed off. That chapter is closed now, and I'm on to KILL THE LIGHTS. So I wish them well."

The year of "The Poison"'s release, BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE graduated from supporting FUNERAL FOR A FRIEND on their U.K. run in the summer, to ending the year headlining the very same venues just months later. Dropping in October 2005, "The Poison" hit number 21 in the U.K. album charts, becoming a late contender in end-of-year polls, placing at number seven on Kerrang!'s "Albums Of The Year" list, and since achieving gold status.

In December 2017, BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE announced that it was officially parting ways with Thomas and replacing him with Jason Bowld (PITCHSHIFTER, AXEWOUND). Bowld had toured with the group since November 2015, filling in for Thomas, who had taken a leave of absence as he and his wife were expecting their first child.

In a February 2020 interview with MACHINE HEAD frontman Robb Flynn's "No Fuckin' Regrets With Robb Flynn" podcast, Thomas spoke about his departure from BULLET FROM MY VALENTINE for the first time, saying that he didn't leave of his own accord.

"We'd done the last album [in 2015], which was 'Venom', which was kind of more back-to-the-heavier-roots type of thing, which I was a lot happier with; I think everyone was," Thomas explained. "And it was on that album we left — Jay [bassist Jason James], and then I left a year later. So we finished 'Venom' and then started touring 'Venom'. It was on the European tour cycle of 'Venom' that I left and didn't return. I would have gone back [on tour], but no one answered my e-mails."

Elaborating on how his dismissal came about, the drummer said: "My wife was pregnant with our first child together, so I went on to be with her. So that was December 2016, when I was supposed to come back, for the American tour in January, the following month. And they said, 'Oh, no. You still mind the baby.' And I said, 'Okay. Cool.' And then I was gonna come back for the Japan tour. And I was, like, 'Okay, guys.' [And I heard] nothing back. Then I started thinking, 'Okay. I know what's going on here.' And then the drummer started doing a drum solo, and I was, like, 'What the fuck?' I was, like, 'This is fucked up. These are my friends for the last fucking 20, 25 years. So I e-mailed them, and no one came back to me. And they came home for a few days. And I meet up with them, and I'm, like, 'What the fuck is going on?' And they're, like, 'Okay. Cool. Come back then.' Then I find out — the manager takes me out to dinner — that they boys are going to record a song. And I'm, like, 'Cool. When am I needed?' They were, like, 'No. The other guy is gonna do it. But they want you to be in the video.' And I was, like, 'No. I'm not doing that.' That's not the way I work. That's when I knew they didn't want me back. And then they called me up to London and said, 'We want you to step down.'"

Thomas is currently involved with the aforementioned KILL THE LIGHTS, which also features another former BULLET FROM MY VALENTINE member, bassist Jason "Jay" James, along with singer James Clark, guitarist Jordan Whelan and guitarist Travis Montgomery.

KILL THE LIGHTS' sophomore album, "Death Melodies", was released in March via Fearless Records.

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