I had the pleasure of hanging with Moose, the man behind the throne with Bullet For My Valentine. Moose shared some great advice and put on a rockin’ show.
OLD: What advice would you give people looking to do what you do?
Moose: Have the biggest drive to do what you want to do. That’s what I had. I knew this was the only thing I wanted to do, and it’s still the only thing I’d want to do with my life. Have a big ambition. Don’t let anything stand in your way.
There were loads of people telling me what I was doing was pointless, but I believed in what I was doing. The band started in 1996, but we didn’t land a record deal until 2003. We sacrificed a lot but knew it’s what we wanted to do.
OLD: When you landed your first record deal, what do you think the advantages were?
Moose: They loan you a bunch of money to record, make videos and get your name out, but it’s a loan; you have to pay it back.
OLD: Can you tell us how you got started on the drums?
Moose: As a kid, I had nowhere to practice, so I just kept tapping my hands and tapping my feet. I got kicked out of class a lot because I was constantly tapping. The person that sat next to me was a drummer (good thing).
My advice for practicing is to practice when you can even when it’s not on a drum kit.
I’m self taught. I used to watch a lot of Dave Grohl videos when he was playing drums with Nirvana. It’s only been in the last 3-5 years that I really started doing different rudiments. I didn’t even know they existed because I was self-taught. As a self-taught, I was really limited.
OLD: Tell us about your warm-up routine before a show.
Moose: I never used to warm up at all, but now I have to. Maybe it’s a “getting old” thing. I used to come off and say, “Why can’t I do the double kick part?” It was because I was going on stone-cold after having sat down all day playing video games. Now, I have a double pedal and a practice pad, so for an hour before the show I do some paradiddles, doubles, get my feet going on 16ths, etc. I do that for about an hour.
Our last UK tour, I was drinking a lot and not warming up. We played, and I just collapsed mentally and physically. We had to pull out of shows. I was lucky to have good members and friends in the band. I enforced the limited drinking rule.
OLD: Sounds like you guys are a very close group.
We’ve known each other for a long time. I’ve known Jason since I was 4, Matthew since I was 13, and Michael since I was 15. We knew each other from school. We lived in a tiny, tiny valley in Whales. In that valley you either played rugby or sports or you smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol and smoke weed and listen to rock n’ roll. We were all in that group. There were only 2 drummers in the area and about ten bands. It worked out great!
OLD: What advice do you give the next generation of drummers?
The biggest piece of advice I can give any drummer is don’t panic. I used to panic a lot. The biggest advice I could give is to relax, enjoy what you’re doing and don’t get tense.