BETWEEN PLAYING READING & LEEDS AND FINISHING NEW MATERIAL, NOW’S AN EXCITING TIME FOR PIERCE THE VEIL.
WORDS: HEATHER MCDAID.
“I think everyone should try and make their new album the definitive one,” starts Vic Fuentes. The follow-up to 2012’s astronomic ‘Collide With The Sky’ has eluded Pierce The Veil fans so far, with continuous push-backs popping up, but at long last, it’s on the horizon, and everyone is rightfully amped up to see how they’ve defined themselves this time. “I don’t think you should put everything into one album and just be like ‘Hey, this is it for us!’. Just keep changing a little and keep pushing yourself.”
Always finding a natural progression between releases, Pierce The Veil consistently try out new ideas from their eclectic range of influences. “We keep trying to do something different. With us, we don’t really have any set way of writing – we just kind of do what comes to us. Lyrics should come from whatever’s going on in that couple of years of life; that’s always going to change. You can just keep putting out new albums for the rest of your life if you want.”
The thing about Pierce The Veil, if you can condense it in essence, is that they’re honest. Music can often be a visceral experience for the listener, and in the vein of My Chemical Romance and other storytellers, the band reach out to people with glimpses of both reality and hope for even the darkest of moments, nestled in the midst of memorable live shows and great songs. ‘The Divine Zero’, their lead single, deals in such matter: the idea of feeling worthless but having so much more to offer.
“I’ve always felt that way about myself,” Vic begins. “It’s the way I am, quiet. In being a person like that, people tend to think that they can take advantage of you. Being out in the world and trying to be yourself, people try to control you and take advantage of your kindness. I do think that resonates with a lot of younger people. I felt like that when I was younger, and it’s trying to break through and have that confidence. Getting angry about it sometimes can be helpful.”
In the weeks following its release, the single has already become a well-versed addition to their catalogue, kicking off their summer Warped Tour set. “[The response has] been awesome! We really wanted to be able to experience it with our fans and see them singing along and stuff. It’s been awesome from the get-go, a lot of singing along and people going crazy. It’s cool to start the show with something new.”
To the wider record, ‘The Divine Zero’ is what they wanted to release for the live show, but isn’t necessarily indicative of what else to expect. “People know our band as being pretty eclectic – we do a lot of different styles and stuff like that is no different for this record. We didn’t want to put out the power ballad first or anything! We tried to do a few things we’ve never done before and surprise people. We will be putting out the new album really soon – I know our fans have been patient and we can’t wait to play it for them.”
From the response on Warped, it’s safe to say there are many who can’t wait either. Having played the touring festival a few times before, it’s proven an odd one this summer with guitarist Tony Perry forced to take time off after a biking accident. Given how prominent a part of the band touring is, the idea of losing a member even temporarily must notably shake up the dynamic. “Jesse Barrera from My American Heart, he’s brilliant, man. He’s the first person I thought of when Tony got hurt. He learned the songs in like two days and really saved us, but we do miss having that feeling of our band.”
They’re a notoriously dedicated group when it comes to the road, with a reported 280 or so shows played in 2014 alone. When the band walk out on stage at Reading & Leeds this summer, it will be their first time, and it’s got an almost legendary presence in their circles. “I think this might be the most excited I’ve been for anything in our band’s career,” enthuses Vic. “It’s a huge honour to play a festival like that. I know from hanging out with a lot of my friends from the UK and going over there that everyone talks about Reading & Leeds. It’s a huge privilege for us to play it.”
Pierce The Veil have an untameable live energy, the brilliance that comes with a band who push themselves for their fans. “For festivals we try to do everything on a bigger scale, and do it as big as we can. We try not to play a lot of slow songs because that’s usually not the vibe at a festival; everyone wants to party and have a good time. There’s a lot of energy so we try to keep the set energetic and visually make it as big as possible.
“I think each festival has its own vibe or theme, the best way is to embrace whatever that theme is and find your friends and have a good time with it. It’s easy to take things too seriously, and usually you’ll drive yourself crazy!”