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I had the second opportunity to sit down with Andy during their time headlining the AP Tour this year and already since our first interview, they have grown to three times the amount of the success they had then. Last July when we first spoke, the band was still in the Durango Andy speaks of and they have come so far since then!
The new release drops June 14th and we talked about how the writing process went for the record along how it will sound sonically. Along with touching on the record, we talked in depth about their time on Warped Tour this summer along with their upcoming touring plans that will take them all the way to January of the new year. Read on for our exclusive with Andy and definitely pick up the new record when it hits shelves!
Now that it has been, I think it was like the day before the record dropped, so it has been getting close to a year that the full length has been out. Has it met your expectations for your first record being that you have had this band for so long?
Certainly I mean I think that with the record selling as well as it has been, I don't think I can be disappointed with that. In terms of what the album is on a musical level, we were happy with it. I think that we had a limited budget and means with which to make the record so it obviously has signs of that because we were on a very small independent label but now going into this tour we had just finished our second record which will be coming out June 14th. That is sort of I think a continuation of everything that we wanted to do on our first album. We're sort of bringing all those elements together but yeah I think the first record, it's everything. It started our career. We can't really think badly about something that really jumpstarted our career and I still love all those songs to death. They mean a lot to me.
And then so you have already finished your second record and it's already coming out?
June 14th it comes. We'll actually have two records out in one year because the other one came out on July 20th of 2010 so (laughs).
Do you think things have changed a lot? Since I know you started this project when you were fourteen I believe.
When it was just starting yeah.
Do you think the writing has changed with this second record?
Sure I think like anyone, I mean I've had a lot more experience in the last year of touring and being on the road and everything. I think that all of us have really matured in what we do and in our writing style. Just improving as a band and I think that we've really grown and in a way that it was just natural. It was never wanting to write something that's different or better. It was just taking all the elements of the first record that we loved and we're happy about it. We're putting them in and bringing them to a bigger scale. Sort of like Black Veil Brides on steroids. We've enjoyed what we've previously written and we're just making it bigger and better.
And then you have been touring really, really steadily since that tour. Like constantly.
Yeah we've been touring pretty much every day (laughs) since then. I mean I think we've had a couple weeks off here and there but yeah we've been on tour all year and then honestly it's not really any different. When this tour's over, we go to do a headliner or first we actually do a festival run in Europe and then it ends at Download in England and then come back and the record comes out. Then we go on Warped Tour. We're on the second main stage at Warped Tour and then after that we go to Australia where we do Soundwave Festival and then after that we go to mainland Europe and do a headlining tour there. Then we come back and do a headliner in the states and we go to South America and that puts us toward the end of January and next year so (laughs).
That's awesome that it's already all planned!
Perfect and then actually I talked to Kevin at the Warped Kickoff and you guys are one of the bands that he's most excited about. About having you on this summer and despite the controversy and the fans that follow you and he's really excited about having you out. What are you guys most looking forward to being out there?
We're really not a controversial choice though considering what the band is. It's only a controversial choice if you look at Warped Tour in the context of it just being mosh metal bands. Like when you consider that a band's main influences are The Misfits and The Dead Boys and like punk bands, it's really not that controversial but when you take away that context and you look at what is essentially a punk rock festival and you put in only like christian mosh metal bands for five years, you sort of, I guess, become controversial and that's great! But I mean, you know, we embrace it. We just see it as we went to Warped Tour when we were kids and we saw bands that we loved. It's nice to know that we can be there and then bring something that is our own brand of rock and roll and have fun in that way. You know we're all excited for it. I mean it's a great opportunity and we're stoked.
And then maybe, this is kind of different, but who would you say is like the most similar band to you on this tour and maybe the most dissimilar?
On Warped Tour? Jeez I don't know.
Hard to say similar because you guys are so different.
I can't really think of anyone that, I mean there are certainly bands that work in the context of what we do, but I can't think of any that are on that tour. There's bands that I look forward to seeing that aren't like us at all though but I took influence from like Street Dogs and those kinds of bands but yeah I think that in terms of there being some one like us, I think we're kind of polarizing in that sense. We just don't really see like another Black Veil Brides on that tour which is maybe why everybody's so up in arms about it (laughs).
And does that just make you more excited to have that experience because so many kids are like emailing and saying 'why did you book them?' 'what is this choice?!'
Certainly! I think it's going to be fun. We're scrappy dudes too so there will be some interesting days on that tour where some hardcore kids can get real tough. It's very embarrassing to get your ass kicked by a dude with mascara. I just got to say that it's a tough thing. Need be, it will happen but more than anything we're excited about our audience being there and having a good time and a positive time as far as that. If there are people that throw things at us, we'll throw them right back at them.
Going to stand up for yourself.
Obviously. We have to! That's the message of the band. Be yourselves and be who you want to be. Don't let anybody mess with you. Grab the world by the throat and if it's in rebellion or in these rock and roll tendencies, people lose. People lose sight of the idea of what rock and roll was. It was dangerous! It was music that was about rebellion. We're not interested in being the most dangerous band in the world but we just want to have fun. By like our basic moral code, we have rebellious tendencies. We like to just stand up and be who we want to be. If we want to wear paint all over our bodies and make up on stage, it's because we enjoy it and we're going to do it! If someone has a problem with it, we're the first to ask them why and usually they don't have a real response so it's all part of what the message of the band is and we agree that we would be disingenuous if we were anything else. We can't talk about it ourselves but we can talk about it in interviews and everything else that goes with it. We can't just say 'oh go be yourself'. It's easy for us to say because we're in this bus and we're up on stage but if someone messes with our audience or messes with the army as it were, we take that very personally.
Perfect then obviously you are headlining this tour and with it, you're with pretty some big bands like D.R.U.G.S. whose members have been in this scene for a while but you do carry a lot of the fans obviously as you can see from the make up and the shirts in line. How do you think you've grown maybe just over this past year since the first record came out?
A natural progression I think. The way that we've come up is sort of strange because we had fans before we had any money or means of touring. It was just because of the nature of what our fan base loves about the band sort of the community sense that we have where you throw yourselves into the make up and feel like you're part of something literally. At the shows and with the band and you feel like you're at home and that's something we had when we were still touring in a Durango that fit five people. Trying to get to shows and book shows wherever we could but there were always kids there because there's an excitement about being part of this band. There wasn't a disconnect of band and fans, it was more like a community and I think that that's something that just over time has obviously changed to the point where we can't obviously spend as much time now with our audience as we would like to because of the natural progression thing. The audience getting larger and the shows being in bigger venues but I think that for us this progression, it was natural, and that's something that we were surprised by. I think that everybody wants to grow and when you have a message to give somebody, you want everybody to hear it so I think that by word of mouth and because our audience has become so dedicated to the band, to the fan base of the band and the band itself, I think that that's sort of something that just had to happen.
When we talked and since then I've talked to a lot of bands that always want like a piece of you, like taking a piece of your clothing and I talked to Chris of Motionless In White recently about even taking skin. Maybe what's been one of the crazier things that some one has done on this tour? Like grabbed your shirt?
I don't really wear much clothing on stage anymore to be honest. I just wear suspenders and nylons and it's become my new stage thing and I normally lose the suspenders. It's more practical then anything else just because I can't even wear shirts on stage anymore because our audience likes my shirts I don't know why. I smell pretty bad on stage but they enjoy the cloth. Maybe they're making something out of it. A doll or something!
An Andy doll.
Maybe not even an Andy doll. Maybe some sort of crazy black voodoo doll made of black t-shirts.
Then you were on the cover of AP last month and I know you've been doing this band for a really, really long time and maybe for the rest of your band to be on the cover. You've already been the top of the top in your careers while for most bands that is the top but what was your reaction to that?
It was great but it was just another step. It's not really the top, is it?
No it's not the top (laughs)!
We've already established that!
No it's cool but I want to be on the cover of all the magazines. I'd like to be on the cover of like some sort of magazine that isn't even music related. Yeah I mean it was a great feeling. Obviously, I'm not dogging the idea of being on the cover of such a cool magazine. It's some sort of an institution in terms of rock magazines. In the states, especially. Especially, you know, when I was younger it was a huge deal and I would read it all the time but the people were at AP were very complimentary I suppose and we're very much appreciative. I don't think any of us were like 'wow, we've made it.' We were like 'wow, that's great. What's next?' That's just sort of always our mentality. Maybe it's the ego or something. We may be a bit too cocky but we think we can take over the world and to this point, nobody's really trying to stop us.
That's what I was going to ask because I was going to say some people would see that as huge but you guys have been steadily progressing. Where do you want to be in like one year? I was going to ask for the record but obviously that's so quickly coming out.
This. Just being in the band. Ultimately, I mean, at the end of the day what I want for my career is to feel like I was able to maintain my sense of bringing a message to an audience and just getting bigger and bigger and then eventually playing like a giant stage or the entire world. Like if we could just build a stage on the clouds where everyone was forced to listen to us play all the time, I think that's the top. I don't think I could get much higher then that. Maybe! Maybe we could figure out something after. Maybe if there were like giant Black Veil Brides shaped fireworks going off at the same time. If we could maybe somehow project our logo over the entire ocean. These are things that..these are long term.
Then you have been doing this for a pretty long time like pretty much your entire adolescence. You're only twenty but did you ever think it would get to this point? Like was this always something you knew was going to happen when you were younger?
I don't think anybody should do anything if they don't think they are going to be the best at it. If they weren't going to be the most successful at it. If you don't for see yourself having the most success then just don't do it. If you want to do something, do it well and then practice and work your ass off. Rock stars and bands aren't crapped out of the sky. It's people that work really hard and really is just a regular person and that's something I realized very early in life. My heroes weren't magical people. They were just guys that knew what they were doing and they worked their butts off. So I think that for me, it was always about work and making sure that I didn't lose sight of what I wanted to do and while other kids were maybe being distracted by stuff and not putting their all into being in a band, for me it was always a hundred and twenty percent what I wanted to do and I don't really think there was anything that distracted me. So in terms of the success happening, I think it's something that you have to expect if you want it and then if you put in the work you can always expect results. There's never been a situation where someone did all the work for something and they had it in their hands and then it just disintegrated. So if you work your ass off for something, it's going to happen. It might happen in a different kind of steps then you want it too but that's more relative. I think on the base level of what we do in terms of being in the band, if you work for it then you obviously increase your chances and then there's got to be luck. Well not necessarily luck but there's got to be a way to resonate the audience and that audience then carries you. You work up to a point and then it becomes your fans. You continue to work your ass off and tour, your fans and the band sort of become one giant sort of emblem of all the work that's been put in.
And then just a small one. I know Matt Good is on this tour who was the front man for From First To Last. How has that experience been, just a little quickie one, coming back with him on this tour and him being in a completely different project?
It's great! He's my best friend in the world. We have like four matching tattoos together. No man it's great! He usually rides in the bus. We have an extra bunk in the back that he usually stays in and he's usually with us but yeah no Matt's the best. We love him! Honestly, it's never been a weird situation because that was the only support tour that we ever did.
With From First To Last?
Yeah we started headlining right after that and in terms of states, we've done some support in Europe and stuff but we've never supported in the states again and that was our only one. So he sort of takes a little bit of pride and joy in knowing that his band was the only band that ever took us on tour. Even though he didn't know who the hell we were when he took us out on tour. His booking agent just agreed to put us on as like second of five. However, we sort of made that as our entrance into touring and showing people how a band who no one's ever heard of has a lot of fans (laughs)!