BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE / TBA

Bullet For My Valentine 2017
[Photo by: Paul Harries]

EXPECT IT: Mid-May
LABEL: Search And Destroy/Spinefarm
WE SPOKE TO: Matthew Tuck (lead singer/rhythm guitarist)

WHAT’S DIFFERENT: There’s a lot different about this record, actually: the way we’ve approached, the way we’ve written it, the sonics used, the instrumentation that we’ve added. It feels like it’s a whole new beginning for the band, so it’s a very exciting time. We’ve really gone to town on electronic production, which is not something we’ve indulged in before, but we gave it a go on a few songs on early writing sessions, and it just brought a new piece of life on the creative process on how to write a song and to make heavy music sound—especially our band, a bit more contemporary—and it just snowballed. We added a lot more of that electronic production to our sound, which we’ve never done before and was, for the band, a completely different beast.

BIGGEST CHALLENGE: Same as always: just being creative, trying not to rewrite anything we’ve done in the past, just trying to break new ground creatively. That’s the gist of it, especially with a band of our history. We’re in album No. 6, and we really wanted to reinvent the band. So definitely the most difficult part of it was finding that balance between reinvention and keeping the band’s integral past still there.

IS IT MORE VENOM OR TEMPER TEMPER? It’s neither. It’s a massive step up in every department. Sonically, because we’ve incorporated this new production elements, it’s nothing like we’ve done before, which is amazing. We’re so happy with it. So, I can’t really compare it with anything in the past. It’s a whole new thing, which is great. —Stevie James

CANE HILL / TOO FAR GONE

Cane Hill
[Photo by: Rise Records]

EXPECT IT: Jan. 19, 2018
LABEL: Rise Records
WE SPOKE TO: Elijah Witt (vocals)

WHAT'S DIFFERENT: I think we took the polarities of Smile and just kind of extended them past the boundaries that we had set for ourselves. So if we had a heavy song on Smile, we’ve got heavier songs on the new album—the softer side of us. We’ve stretched that into being softer, even, or more experimental. The content of the songs is a lot more honest and a lot more deeply rooted in how we genuinely feel about ourselves. I think Smile was extrospective, and the new album is far more introspective as far as how we feel about ourselves as people, and less about worldly problems that we’ve seen. I think only one song touches on religion. We’ve tried to kind of stay away from that side of us on this because the way I see it lyrically, is that I’d like to keep myself talking about myself because it’s what I know best. I don’t like the idea of overstepping my boundaries anymore and trying to be a little bit pushy with what I’m saying. It seems like I have a better grasp on myself than I do on the world. Back then, I had this opinion of myself that I knew what I was talking about, and I realized over the past year and a half that I really had no idea, and I was a bit bold with my lyrics.

BIGGEST CHALLENGE: Writing the songs, honestly. We’re hard on ourselves. James [Barnett, guitarist], will sit there for three hours trying to work on one riff if no one’s there to tell him that he should stop and choose one. I think one of the hardest parts was getting the material down in a manner that was efficient [and] that we were all happy with. Everybody in the band is a perfectionist, and sometimes that is a big burden. —Taylor Markarian

CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE: DON BROCO, GOOD TIGER