Bloody Valentine

Album: Tickets to My Downfall (2020)
Charted: 51 50

Songfacts®:

  • This pop-punk song finds Machine Gun Kelly hooking with a girl for a night of passion. He wants a real, lasting relationship with someone, but he's running hot for this lady and happy to "play pretend" with her rather than having nothing.
  • Machine Gun Kelly penned the song with his regular writing partner Nick Long, rapper and musician Mod Sun, and blink-182 drummer Travis Barker, who also produced the track.
  • It was Mod Sun who came up with the song title.

    I can't stay forever, let's play pretend
    And treat this night like it'll happen again
    You'll be my bloody valentine tonight


    In-studio footage showing the making of the song revealed the hook originally ended with the line:

    I'll take the blame, won't remember your name

    MGK wasn't happy with the lyric and he told Mod Sun he wanted something "more iconic." MGK proposed "I'll be your Valentine massacre tonight."

    Mod Sun then suggested "my bloody valentine tonight."
  • Speaking to Kerrang, MGK referenced a key line in the song that sums up his persistently bleak headspace despite his successful music career.

    I'm overstimulated and I'm sad
    I don't expect you to understand


    "I do this thing where I bury how dark my thoughts are and don't use my platform to show how low and depressed I feel when the cameras are off," he explained. "I fake my smiles and my happiness, and because of those things, people move on past my issues and go on to the person who's waving at everybody saying, 'Hey, look at me, I'm sad.'"
  • Tickets to My Downfall finds MGK departing from the rap-style he used on his first four albums in favor of a more guitar-driven sound. The Ohio artist first experimented with pop-punk on the Hotel Diablo track "I Think I'm Okay," which is a collaboration with Travis Barker. Kelly decided to explore the sound further and hooked up with the blink-182 drummer again for this song.

    After Kelly recorded "Bloody Valentine" with Barker, the pair agreed to work together on an entire studio album. "There's a renaissance of guitar-driven music happening in the mainstream," Kelly told Apple Music. "This song has been kicking down the door."
  • Tickets To My Downfall topped the US albums chart, giving MGK his first #1 long player. It was also the first rock album to reach #1 on the tally since Tool's Fear Inoculum over a year previously.
  • Shot in Los Angeles, the video co-stars MGK's girlfriend Megan Fox as his dominant lover. She gets a kick out of torturing him and (spoiler alert) eventually electrocutes him in the bathtub. The clip won the prize for Best Alternative at the 2020 MTV Video Music Awards.
  • Billboard named this their best rock single of 2020, calling it "an explosive 3:30 of galloping bass, chugging guitars and siren synths." They added that "Bloody Valentine" mainly works because of Kelly's vocals, "A brilliantly sneering and hard-lived delivery of the toxic love song his entire career now seems to have been building towards."

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