Interview: Pierce the Veil
Hailing from San Diego, California, Pierce the Veil are a well established band with their fourth album not long released. They grew to fame in the US when they played Vans Warped Tour alongside some of the biggest names in the post-hardcore and pop punk circuit.
Since establishing a dedicated fan base world wide, the band have went from success to success and are proud to be able to headline their own European Tour.
Prior to their Mandela Hall show on the 4th of December, I sat down with Pierce the Veil’s bassist, Jaime Preciado. We talked about everything from tour life and their latest album, Misadventures to the recent announcement that they’ll be playing the main stage at Download Festival 2017.
Kelly: How are you finding the tour so far?
Jaime: “Good, it’s like the tail-end, I think we have three shows left including today. It’s been a long run, we’ve been here for almost seven weeks. It’s been long but the shows have been great. We’ve played a lot of places – it’s our first headlining tour in Europe and also going back to the UK and playing in Ireland so it’s cool to be back. We’re really excited to be back headlining and the shows have been awesome.”
GNI: Misadventures has been out about six months now, what has the response been from fans?
Jaime: “It’s been great. I think for us it was such an amazing feeling when we finally finished the record. The record took a lot longer than all the other records and we definitely took our time with it and it was really cool to see how patient the fans were – they were with us every step of the way. I think we, personally, are just happy that it’s finally out and you feel like a new band, like a brand new person.
“You feel like it’s finally done and all the hard work has paid off so now I think the highlight of it is just being able to play the new songs live to kids who had never heard them before or had only heard them on the record. It’s a really cool experience for us. Last time we came to Dublin was three or four years ago so it’s good to have new material and that the fans were so supportive of it from day one.”
GNI: So personally for you, what would be your favorite track on the album?
Jaime: “Favorite track, wow, it’s like who’s your favorite child? I like them all, in their own respect. I really like the first track on the record called ‘Dive In’. It was one of our earlier ones that we had written and I think with that song if you’ve never heard Pierce the Veil before you can be like this is what they sound like. That song has everything from like really pretty chorus parts to heavy stuff to fast stuff. Everything that we kinda do on the entire record is in that one song. Also, to put a six minute long song as the intro track is pretty ambitious. It’s been nothing but smiles in our camp. It’s a really cool record as far as like for us to try new things. Every song has its own special unique kinda of feel – that’s what we want, we wanted every song to be different and have it’s own style and that’s what happened with Misadventures.”
GNI: ‘Floral & Fading’ from Misadventures takes somewhat of a different vibe than previously released tracks, how did this come about?
Jaime: “That one started of with a guitar riff that was just so cool sounding and we built the song around that. At the time we didn’t know what the song was going to be and it was such a different side of us. The entire Misadventures process was let’s take a chance, lets do what we want to do and see how it goes.
“I think that’s what we did, especially with a song like ‘Floral & Fading’, that would not fit on any of our albums at all but for some reason it worked and it just flows as one of those songs that you go, “oh they’ve tried this and they’ve tried that” so we definitely took a chance with that song and it turned out to be one of my favorite songs on the record. In all honesty, that one, when we made it, we let it sit for a while but now it’s like one of our favorite songs.”
GNI: ‘A Fair for the Dramatic’ will be celebrating its 10th anniversary next year; how do you guys think you’ve progressed over the last decade?
Jaime: “Ten years always freaks me out because it’s like yeah we’re getting old – it’s old old guy season. But you feel like a new band with this new record so we feel we’re wiser, we’re stronger, faster. It’s so hard to believe that that record was created such a long time ago where I think with every record we’ve made a small change.
“I really respected bands that did a slow change like with every record being a little bit different. Bands, back in the day like when Thrice put out a record, every record was a little bit different. You know if you listen to Thrice’s first album till their last album, it’s almost like a different band but in such a cool positive way. You always will respect what they put out whether or not you love it or not, the fact that it’s their art.
“So with us, we were trying to figure out our sound for the first couple of records then I think on Collide With the Sky, our third record, we kinda were there. Then with this record, I think we found what we can do and obviously our producer Dan Korneff is a huge part of that so he helped us with the last two records. It’s been good.”
Kelly: Your fans are dedicated to say the least, so often on Twitter, I see fans saying how you guys have saved them and helped them through dark times. This somewhat stems from songs such as A Match Into Water & Hold on Till May. How does it make you feel?
Jaime: “Yeah, honestly, when we first started in that direction, we were a couple of friends playing music and it soon turned into more than that. For us, it’s a great thing, we’re always really excited to play for fans that have that passion and that love for music that makes them feel a certain way, that’s how I was when I was growing up going to shows. You would sing these words like they were written for you and that’s why I think a lot of these kids, they feed of that and they and this is their escape, their paradise.
“That’s what we always say, we’re living the dream and this is paradise for us. I feel the same way when I’m playing the songs and find kids who are really passionate, I really lock eyes and we really connect. I mean for us, we’ve always been really into the live aspect of the show and we don’t want you to feel you’re in a room with a bunch of sweaty kids, we want you to be able to get away from from home or from work or whatever and just feel free. To express yourself is one of the coolest parts about going to shows. I turn into a maniac on stage and it’s a fun thing to really connect and people enjoy that – they enjoy when you get to be yourself and no ones there to judge. It’s a really great time.”
Kelly: You guys have just been announced to play Download Festival main stage alongside Biffy Clyro & Of Mice & Men this summer! How did it make you guys feel?
Jaime: “It’s so unreal, I think this year was one of the first times we got to be in some of these rock festivals. Last year, we did Reading & Leeds which was like an eye opener of what we are doing here – it was amazing. Yeah, I think that’s what we’ve always wanted, we’ve always wanted to do those things because when you’ve been a band for ten years, you wanna keep growing. For us, our next step is to do stuff like that, to try to play these festivals.
“We’re still new as far as being a festival band, I mean we’ve been a touring band and done Warped which is like nothing like Download, it’s on a different scale so being able to do these things for the first time, like play Download or Reading & Leeds, stuff like that is where we wanna go. When we did do the Warped Tour, at that point, it was like the pinnacle of “Holy Crap, we’re playing Warped” whereas now, it’s almost like starting over and playing these crazy festivals and gaining more fans so next time we do come around to where we’re playing, more and more kids show up. It’s been the goal, but it’s easier said than done, you’ve gotta put in the work and hopefully the show does the talking for you.”
Kelly: Your talents have allowed you to travel the world? Where is your favorite placed to play?
Jaime: “I love playing Ireland, I mean honestly we’re so glad it’s at the end of the tour because you almost feel like when you’re going to school and it’s your last year and you kinda relax and you’re just coasting. Sometimes, it kinda feels like that on tour but it’s good to have the last three shows be in Ireland and I know they’re gonna be insane, they’re gonna be mental.
“I mean, every place is different in their own way and we always look forward to come here because you guys have those cool chants. Then you go to like South America or Mexico and they have their own ferociousness about them, that’s like any artist that goes through there is like The Beatles. They treat you like that, it’s so different every place you go and it all goes back to just having a good time at the show. I think for the most part, when they go to shows to see a band, it’s always a good time.”
Pierce the Veil played at the Mandela Hall, Belfast in December 2016. Read our review here.