By Andrew Bansal
Swedish classic hard rock band Bullet are ready to release their fourth studio album “Full Pull” on September 25th in North America via Nuclear Blast Records. Bringing forth a musical style that would appeal instantly to fans of the old school, Bullet is a band that writes massive-sounding tunes, in the process proving that even a simple and straightforward approach to songwriting is successful if done well. Last night, I caught up with bassist Adam Hector to talk about this album, the band’s past adventures including a gig with AC/DC, and lots more. Read the conversation below, check out the “Full Pull” album sampler using the YouTube player, and visit the band’s facebook page for more.
Yeah, absolutely. The songs that we write just kind of come out that way, they really do. It’s also what we listen to, the early 80s style. So I’m happy about the songs. I don’t think we’ve done any major changes from previous albums, but it came out different may be because it had a lot to do with Nicke Andersson and Fred Estby helping us to produce it. So I think it’s the best album we’ve put out so far. I know all bands say that, but I think that’s correct this time, actually. We’ve managed to do better songs, better choruses and the sound is closer to what we sound a live band.
Yeah, I agree with that. I was going to ask you about the producers. This is the first time you’ve used any external producer. What was the reason for that?
Well, one of the reasons was that we had a bit more money. Our budget was better now with the new record label Nuclear Blast, so we actually had money to do it. But also we’re a band we have pretty strong opinions ourselves over how we want to sound, so we have to find people that we trust to include in our process of producing albums. I think we weren’t ready up till now to have anyone helping us out, really. Nicke Andersson said he was impressed with the music on “Bite The Bullet” which came out in 2008, and when we decided that we had to have someone producing this new album for us, we went for Nicke Andersson because he really thinks the same way about music as we do, and we’re big fans of both Entombed and Hellacopters, so I’m happy that we finally got a chance to do it.
You said earlier that this album sounds closer to what you sound as a live band. So, does it capture what Bullet is like on the stage?
Yeah, absolutely because we didn’t use much overdubs this time. A good portion of it was recorded live. We played the songs together in the same time, and were able to have eye contact with each other. That was an important thing for us to do, because often it feels like a big music puzzle when you’re recording drums at first, then guitars and bass guitars. I think this is the way to go for us in the future as well. The process was a lot more fun. So I think the album captures the band’s live sound, and the songs have the same energy as we do live. Not everything is that polished, you know. It makes you feel like you’re hearing the band playing live.
The previous album “Highway Pirates” came out last year. So, it’s been a quick turnaround for you coming out with another album this year, which is great. But how did you manage to do it so quickly this time?
Well, we worked hard on coming up with new songs. We really got into the rehearsal room, shut the door and stayed there for five months or something, just writing. We were trying out lots of different stuff and we kind of pushed ourselves to really come up with the best songs that we could. And this album was written and ready to release within just one year because “Highway Pirates” was put out on a small independent label and we did only a small number of shows supporting that album. So we couldn’t take it any further and when we landed a new record deal, we decided to just go for it, put out a new album and have a fresh start. I’m happy we got to do that. We worked hard and I’m happy that it came out sounding good. We pulled it off well, you know.
Talking of shows, you opened for AC/DC in Gothenburg in 2009. I can’t think of a better band that you would open for. What was that show like? I think you played to a sold-out crowd of at least 50,000 people?
It was one of the biggest experiences we’ll ever have in our lives, you know. It was a really cool day. It was all a blur at that moment because there was so much going on. We played a show in Spain, and the day before this Gothenburg gig we came flying to Copenhagen in an airplane, and we played many shows that summer I remember. So I don’t think that up to that day we were nervous about the show because we had so many shows the week before that one. But when the big day came, of course we felt pretty nervous but we pulled it together and did a great show, and it was a really cool experience. I remember also walking backstage behind the Marshall amps and looking at all of AC/DC’s stuff, the ‘Hells Bells’, the canons from ‘For Those About To Rock’, just being there in that place was really great for us. It was an inspiration in a lot of ways. It was big, you know (laughs).
I think even your music is what I would call ‘arena rock’, and I’d say it belongs to the bigger stages. Do you agree that it would suit the bigger stages and venues?
Yeah, I like playing small rock clubs as well, but of course you dream big. You dream about having a big pyro show and all the stuff that you can do in bigger shows. It’s what rock ‘n roll and heavy metal is about. I remember watching shows on the television with KISS, Guns ‘N Roses and all these big bands, and they had big lights, big amps, and there was something in those stages in the arena shows that’s really magical. We always dream about that, being able to do bigger shows and better shows, of course. That’s what we aim for, you know. But at the point where we’re at right now, I’m really happy about playing small rock clubs as well. Many of them have a lot of spirit in them. So I like both big shows and smaller shows. Playing with AC/DC was absolutely the biggest show we’ve ever played. It was so cool being there in front of 50,000 people. It was tremendous.
You’ve already mentioned that being with Nuclear Blast has really helped you with the production and quality of the new album. Do you also think that now you’ll get bigger shows and tours? They have so many bands, all of whom are actively touring everywhere these days.
I really hope so. The possibilities are definitely better right now because you reach out to so many people, you know. You get a lot of new contacts, being on a label like that. So I’m really hoping for us to be able to tour new countries and reach out to more people, and play bigger shows, of course. That’s been our goal, to make it big. In a way I’m really happy about that. We’ve been playing for almost ten years now, and we’ve been able to build the band. But I think now is the time we’re ready to take a step further. I’m really forward to take that step up. So I hope people like the record, and who knows, may be we’ll go out there if it does well.
Your music is compared to AC/DC and Accept all the time. Does that bother you or are you happy with that comparison?
I’m happy about it, because it’s a compliment if people think we have the same kind of quality as those bands, or have the same sound. That’s a good thing, but one thing we can grow tired of is that some people say that we’re like monkeys who want to sound exactly like AC/DC, and in reviews sometimes we read that. I believe they haven’t really listened to the music that much, and that can be bothersome for us when we stumble upon a review which has that kind of statement. I mean, both AC/DC and Accept are really great bands that we look up to, so I’m happy being compared to them. Those bands are the main reasons why we want to play this music. But we have our own stuff going on as well, you know, our own sound developing all the time as well. So I think it’s unfair to say that we’re just copying those bands.
Lastly, I was reading about the band’s history and I think you joined the band in 2006 when the band was already four years old. Is this the kind of band you were exactly looking for at that point, in terms of the whole image or style, or did it happen by chance?
Well, Bullet was actually the band I was looking for, because the kind of music Bullet was playing was really not common in 2002-03. There were not that many bands around sounding like that. It was not ‘cool’ at that moment, and their record got mocked a lot in the Swedish press. But for me that was exactly what I was looking for because I think most of the music that came out at that time was pretty dull. So, when I found Bullet, I really felt like this is what I need. I was really happy when I got to join the band. Now there are a lot of bands in Sweden picking up on the old-school style of metal, and that’s cool as well. There are some really good bands around today, and a lot of them are younger, which is cool. Before I joined Bullet, I saw them as a band that brought back a bit of happy energy, and brought back the good feeling about metal. Everything at that point from the other bands that came out was focussing on other stuff that was not really what I was looking for.