“Like a rocket punching through the stratosphere”: Inside James Sharrock’s epic Bullet For My Valentine photobook
Following the release of killer 2005 debut The Poison, the Welsh wonders hit the road to truly mark their arrival – headlining the inaugural Kerrang! Tour in 2006 – with James also heading along to capture everything.
“In early January 2006 I was asked if I would like to shoot an on-the-road feature for Kerrang! on the magazine’s 25th anniversary tour with Bullet For My Valentine headlining,” he recalls. “Bullet’s debut The Poison had been out about four months, and in that time the album had gained a huge fanbase that was getting bigger and bigger.
“By the time the Kerrang! Tour came around on January 15, the excitement and anticipation from the fans was electric,” James continues. “The tour started in Cardiff, Wales – being the boys’ home country. Matt [Tuck, vocals/guitar], Padge [Michael ‘Padge’ Paget, guitar], Moose [Michael ‘Moose’ Thomas, drums] and Jay [Jason ‘Jay’ James, bass] – who were back then a bunch of young metalheads partying it up and enjoying every second of the attention their new album bought – had no idea how far the band would go.
“I knew as I was photographing the tour that Bullet were taking off like a rocket punching through the stratosphere. Every night ended up in a party at different rock clubs around the UK with all the bands on the tour partying it up big time, headbanging on the dancefloors and drinking copious amounts of snakebite, cider and beer. To give you an idea of the time this was before the iPhone had even been invented, smoking everywhere was normal, Facebook wasn’t really known and everyone was using Myspace. It felt like a very innocent time for a band who literally had no idea where things were about to go, and I’m so glad I was there for the ride…”
Now, James is sharing his wild ride with the band in a stunning new 200-page photobook, The Poison To Venom, capturing Bullet’s journey within a 10-year period between 2005 and 2015. He says it shares two sides of their tale: “the story of a band, and a story about people”.
“I was a witness to Bullet’s incredible rise to fame – from tiny venues, to top billing at festivals, to magazine front covers. It was a rollercoaster and I hope the book brings fans along for the ride they went on during this time.”
“James was part of the very early years of BFMV capturing us on and offstage and watching the rapid rise of a band who didn’t even see it coming,” explains Matt Tuck. “Those early days were so special in so many ways and to have those memories in picture form are so priceless, we were just young guys living in the moment and enjoying every second of it.”
Check out James’ The Poison To Venom Crowdfunder here, and see just a snippet of the chaos below…
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