|Jeff Killed John|
Moose and Jay have been around for years...they became each others first friend. Matt and Padge met at the Moose Gesamtschule.
At the age of 15, Moose was in a band with Matt called "trauma", where they both played guitar. Moose, however, had no real desire to play guitar and left the band. Matt, as you surely can imagine, was not exactly happy.
Moose then began to be jam with Padge and sat down to take up drums.
When Moose went to college, he met Matt once more, and they decided to draft another school friend of Matt's: Nick Crandle. This led on to the ceation of "Jeff Killed John" in 1997.
Jeff Killed John (1998-2003)
In its initial phase, the boys wrote few songs of their own and played a lot of covers, most notably Metallica and Nirvana songs. Their first cd Better Off Alone was released in 1999 with four songs.
Their next cd Don't Walk Away was released in 2001 with only three songs.
Moose said in an interview, that the first few years with the band were very hard. They often drank a lot, and had lots rehearsels...almost every weekend...then to finally to come to a label. They needed to sign a two year contract with a small record company.
In 2002, their next cd, You/Play With Me, was released by Pynci Scheme, an organization to help new Welsh bands emerge. It was produced by Greg Haver this time instead of Matt like the first two. This two track cd was given to British radio stations, such as the BBC Radio, and were played quite a bit. This still did not help Jeff Killed John with getting a major music label.Their style of music back then was more in the direction of Nu Metal, but they nevertheless secured a live-radio-1-broadcast at Newport's TJ's. They where even managed by Visage singer, Steve Strange, for some time.
In 2003, their first real self-titled EP was released with five songs. Most of the songs became precursors of tracks from The Poison. This was a promotional cd and was shipped to different record companies, as well as being given out locally in Bridgend. Unfortunately they were not successful, probably due to their playing of "nu metal" genre type music, which was becoming less popular. Thus making Jeff Killed John, one of the millions affected by the nu metal genre.
On a Saturday before going into the studio to start a new four song EP record, their bassist, Nick Crandle, left the band. His reasons for leaving crushed his band mates, saying: for him it was just a hobby...nothing serious, such as a career. Crandles exit from the band hurt the other members, all considering to dissolve the band completely. They eventually pulled together thinking this would make them stronger.
They covered their strategy and tried for a new sound which came "directly out of their heads." But they still were missing a bass player, they then searched for their old school friend, Jason "Jay" James, and asked him if he would help them out...
Nuke (Jay's first band)
Jay was at this time in a different band called Nuke (now disbanded). Like Jeff Killed John, also from Bridgend, Wales. After much thinking he decided in Jeff Killed John. The other band members of Nuke, however, did not agree. Therefore they decided, and Jay left the band...after five years of playing with Nuke.
Jay later found out that they took him after Crandle's upset. He then simply asked Matt and the guys, whether he become a full member of Jeff Killed John or not. Of course they voted for, and Jay was not only the new bassist, but also another front man for the band.
There was a change of name due ti finacial troubles and such: "Jeff Killed John" became "12 Pints of My Girlfriend's Blood," that was changed due to it's gory nature, to "Opportunity in Chicago" and finally they agreed with "Bullet for My Valentine." The idea for the name came to the four, as they once again one evening sat around in a pub. Matt liked the words "bullet" and "valentine" and wanted to combine them. Somehow it was therefore "Bullet for My Valentine", and they all thought it sounded pretty.
Bullet for My Valentine and the long road up
With their new identity now, everything seemed to work how they wanted it to. Bullet played in a London showcase in February 2004, where some agents of large major labels attended and were immediately attracted. They got an offer from Roadrunner Records, but rejected, because the band felt that Roadrunner is a great musician & label, but was that artists under the label fail after their first album and are no longer supported properly.
Later that year in October 2004 they got another offer from Sony BMG, it was a five album contract, with a UK licensing deal with Visible Noise, the personal house label of another Welsh band Lostprophets. "The songs speak for themselves," says Matt. "So many other bands would look pretty good for awhile, but sound really bad, but we are the total opposite of what you probably see or hear! It's just about the music and the riffs! But enough said."
Their self-mini-album, "Bullet for My Valentine" was released on November 15, 2004 in the UK, and immediately went over all loading tables. Due to high demand but low production of the self EP, it was until August 22, 2005 it was re-released under the name "Hand of Blood."
Their first single "4 Words (To Choke Upon)" was published in March 28, 2005. This song really was written because of the hard struggles and such they had in Jeff Killed John, "The song is a big middle finger to all those who had always claimed that we would anyway never get anywhere." - Matt
And October 3, 2005, the first studio album The Poison was released in the UK. There was no question anymore that BFMV was a forthcoming star in the metal world. Everywhere they were the metal-newcomer of the year...finally the Welsh quartet had accomplished a great goal...