By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
British metal band Bullet for My Valentine's drummer Michael Thomas is lucky he still has his lungs--or at least that's what his P.R. people want us to think. The band was filming their last video in a cave, and Thomas contracted a "deadly lung disease." OK, caves are full of airborne nasties, but how deadly could it have been if he's on the phone with us a few weeks later, talking about the group's first Texas visit?
Dallas Observer: So what was it like recording your video in that cave?
Michael Thomas: Well, we [were] in Slovenia, and it was three miles [underground]. It was so damp and cold, I caught something there. Then a couple of days later, we had a 12-hour flight to Japan, so that didn't help. I got really, really ill in Japan. I thought I was going to die.
I would think it couldn't be too safe, being in a cave and then playing a lot of loud metal music. Didn't you shake up the cave a little?
Exactly! That's why I didn't want to do it. Me being a drummer and then there's these huge, spiky things waiting to fall down and impale me. Really, I was sure that something was going to snap off and kill me.
You've known the other members of the band for a long time...
Yeah, I'm 25 and I've known Jay for at least 24 years. (That's Jason James on bass and vocals.) I've known the other two guys 12 or 13 years. (The other two guys are Matthew Tuck and Michael Paget, both on guitar and vocals.)
How has the fan reaction been on the European part of your tour?
It's been incredible. Everyone seems to be digging what we do, which is really nice. We turned gold here (in the United Kingdom), and we'll be turning gold in Germany soon as well.
Is success what you thought it would be?
Kind of yes and no. This is what we had hoped would happen, what we dreamed about, but I think we didn't really expect it to actually happen, so we're a little overwhelmed by it.
Why didn't you think this would happen for you?
Because of the style of music we play. I wouldn't think that there was much room for more metal. But I guess I've been proved wrong. People are liking us. The band has been called "glam metal." Is that what you call yourselves?
We're just metal. [Laughs] End of. Just metal. Nothing emo, nothing fucking core, it's just metal. We got called "fashion core" in Germany. What the hell is "fashion core"? It's just stupid. People just like to put names on things, no matter if they fit or not. It's annoying. We're metal. That's all. Plain and simple, we're the new wave of British heavy metal. That's it.
So I read that you are appearing in an upcoming issue ofPenthouse. Is that true?
In Penthouse? I have no idea. What is that?
Sorry,Penthouse is an American magazine likePlayboy.
So your article will be right next to a lot of naked women.
Nothing wrong with that! [Laughs]
We don't have a lot of naked women in our newspaper...
But I could ask my boss if we can run this next to our ads for stripper clubs and hooker chat lines, they have semi-naked women in them.
Yeah, that would be nice! Thanks!