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I got the chance to sit down with Andy in the ghostly downstairs room and I got to see a different side of the extremely dynamic front man. When one on one with this talented musician, you see the intelligence and thought behind the lyrics that kids were shouting through out the set. We talked about everything from the debut record to their writing process to their dream tour. The band will be on the road for the majority of this next year so be sure to catch these act when they come through your town and pick up the record!
So like you said the first record comes out tomorrow and then you're on this headlining tour. It's your first one, correct?
Yeah it's our first official headlining tour. We did, you know, a few runs where it was just you know a couple dates here and there headlining but as far as like a full, fully routed headlining tour, this is our first one.
How has it been going?
Well, I mean since we started playing really, the response from most audiences has been very centered on us in a sense that our fan base is really dedicated in a way that most others aren't. You know we went on a tour with good friends of ours in a band called From First To Last and you know every single night they would all, you know, tease and joke about the fact that the crowd was ours. You know, we were able to, on our first major tour, carry a tour because of our fan base. You're looking at kids that have a level of dedication that you just don't see anymore. We don't even have a record out yet. Just the list of accomplishments that the band has grown through is staggering because of that fan base. Because they feel a connection to that band that's something greater than they feel with a lot of other bands and I think that that's awesome.
So you started Black Veil Brides when you were fourteen?
Yeah and I'm nineteen now. The intention was to create something that you know I wasn't seeing. I grew up sort of a loner in the sense that you know I didn't really have very many friends or any social life to speak of because I listened to weird bands and I wore weird clothes. Especially at the time, you know, things like KISS or Motley Crue or the Misfits, they weren't as common place as they are now you know. Not that long ago but the mid to early nineties, you just didn't see you know younger kids have that kind of interest but a lot of what I, you know, experienced and the kind of hatred and bullying that I experienced, I wanted to be able to make something that you know represented a visual and an idea and the theatrical side of music that I liked but also have a lyrical message that you know musically and lyrically meant something. To kind of be like a rallying for all people who felt disenfranchised like myself.
How do you normally go about the writing process? Is it one person, a collective effort, etc.?
Uh, with this record Jake and Jinx will come up with a guitar part or something and we'll kind of together we'll craft the melody of the song and they obviously, they write their solos and you know they write the bulk of the song. Jake writes the drum parts and then I will come in and write my melodies and my lyrics. So for every song on the record, apart from like two which I wrote the melody and the song for as well, it's pretty much a group effort between the three of us.
If you could maybe collaborate with any other band/artist that you've toured with, who do you think they would be?
Bands that we've toured with. Yeah no I mean obviously, well one of best friends is Matt Good from From First To Last and you know we always talked about doing something together so I would love to do that one day.
What can fans look forward to when coming out to one of your live shows? I know you've never played here before yet right?
No but it doesn't really matter if we've played here before or not. The thing is that every city that we play in, it's the same show. I mean whether if we have five kids here or five hundred kids here, we put on the same show. What we describe it as, it is the ultimate show that you can see outside of an arena. I mean honestly because we, in ways that KISS can blow shit up, we can entertain you a lot better and the thing is once we have the ability to blow things up, I don't think there's anything that's going to be able to stop us. We are the band that I think is carrying the torch and creating the show again in ways that we don't do choreographed crab core bull shit. We're not running in place. Everything that we do on stage is passionate and real and it feeds off the energy of the kids that are watching us so it's the best show that you can see for the price of admission.
Then maybe the craziest thing you've seen so far on this tour?
Craziest thing I've seen in my life? Craziest thing I've seen on this tour? Really nothing surprises me to be honest with you. We play these venues with kids just packed in. Like we played in Allentown, Pennsylvania and the room probably would have only held about two hundred kids and there was through the door about five hundred kids. So they had to keep the house lights on in the venue because every one was so afraid that something was going to happen and security wouldn't be able to see it so the entire venue with house lights on. It's a thin, hallway like thing that goes all the way back so you have the stage and then you can imagine almost like a cylinder so you're standing at the end and you look straight forward and there's walls on either side of you and just if you can imagine just a mass of people leaning directly towards the stage. There was nowhere really to fit in so it got so bad that the security had to come up on stage every couple minutes and remind everybody that you know you shouldn't kill the people in the front row. It was really insane. We took a kitchen thermometer up on stage and it clocked in at about 205 degrees on the stage so it was pretty insane but I mean whatever it's rock and roll. The thing is that one thing that our band has is that a lot of people sort of realize when they watch us play is there's very much a punk rock aesthetic. Our fans are very, let me say passionate, about wanting to have pieces of us whether its' our clothes or our instruments or sometimes like last night I got injured. Like our body itself. So half the time we'll wind up with broken strings, broken mike cables. It doesn't matter ultimately. Last night, I had a broken mike cable and the audience sang the last two songs of the set with us. We didn't even have mikes on the stage. I mean I think it's that they love us every bit as much as we love them and they want a piece of what's going on. It's like we love to go out and talk to them and they give us gifts in the same way they take stuff from us and they can go home and have that and it's part of the show. That being said, it isn't always easy to finish a guitar solo when your strings are torn off the guitar but that's alright. We love it!
If you could tour with any three dream bands, who do you think they would be?
See, to me it's like I think the ultimate show for me is just a giant Black Veil Brides show. If there's just the biggest Black Veil Brides show, if we could just take over like a whole country, I think that would be good. That would be the ultimate show and then it's just us playing for two hours. That's what I think would be my favorite tour.
I believe you have two music videos out now-
Yeah 'Knives and Pens' and 'Perfect Weapon'. That's our new video that's the single off our record that just came out about two weeks ago.
I know both of them are pretty crazy but if you could pick any other track off this record, what's the craziest video concept you could think of?
Um, craziest video. I mean really you could make any song into a crazy video. Just takes an imaginative band and director so ultimately I have a concept for a song called 'Sweet Blasphemy'. I think that would be perfect. It would be pretty nuts but I'm not going to talk about it because then it would be giving away the surprise.
Of course not, you don't want to ruin a surprise!
If there were one message you wanted your fans to take away after watching one of your live shows, what would it be?
That the weird kid from Ohio did this and is standing up on the stage and singing the words that he wrote and gets to do what he loves every day and so can you. There's absolutely no difference between me and them. We're a mere reflection of you know each other and so honestly the number one message is that no rockstars in bands are shipped from the sky and if you want something, you can never let anybody tell you otherwise. You have to work your ass off every single day and every band on this tour is still working their asses off to get somewhere and I think it's important to remember that the people that have the most respect for their job or what they do in life, they weren't handed it. They worked their ass off and I think that when kids feel down or they feel like they have nothing left, it's always important to remember that with hard work, you can get somewhere in your life. Regardless of what it is. Regardless of whether you want to be a school teacher or a football player or a rock star, it doesn't matter. If you worked towards something and ultimately, you put in your heart one hundred percent then you can do it.
Then with the new record dropping tomorrow, clearly new music is here but what can fans look forward to these next few months? Maybe more touring?
Yeah I mean we're going to be touring all through out the next year so we'll be announcing the next tour pretty soon. It's going to be pretty exciting. Just touring all through out this record cycle then going in to make another one.