Black Veil Brides’ Andy Biersack Talks Touring Behind ‘Wretched and Divine,’ Making a Film + More
The year 2013 is off to a great start for Black Veil Brides, who had their biggest chart success to date with their ‘Wretched and Divine: The Story of the Wild Ones‘ album, saw large crowds turning out for their early year touring and released their ‘Legion of the Black‘ companion film to plenty of fandom. Plus, the band is currently watching the single ‘In the End’ climb the charts.
Loudwire recently spoke with Black Veil Brides frontman Andy Biersack at the press conference for the 2013 Vans Warped Tour, which was covered in the first part of our interview. Part two focuses on some of the band’s recent successes and what the future holds.
You’ve had success with your latest album ‘Wretched and Divine’ and an early 2013 tour in support of the disc. How are the new songs translating for the band in a live setting?
The new record is, obviously when we wrote it it was a more orchestral and strong record. There’s more parts to it. It’s something that I think at first we were not scared of, but definitely intrigued. It was like, ‘How are we going to make this happen live?’ And I think through the course of doing 10 weeks, it’s sounding great, it’s feeling great and all the things that are there are there. We’ve got Jinxx playing violin on the violin parts, we’ve got a harpsichord onstage. We’ve figured it out and I think by the time that Warped Tour rolls around, you know we’re leaving in a few dates to do Europe and we’ve got some one off dates in May, and I think we’re going to try and translate the record as best as possible.
It’s feeling good and I generally feel at this point in our career, like any band, we’ve been playing long enough that this is the best we’ve ever sounded. We are tighter and stronger and more confident onstage than we’ve ever been.
With that comfort level and the band sounding as tight as ever, do you appreciate the moment as it’s happening live?
It’s a whole different experience than it used to be, ’cause when we first started, we were the black sheep. My mentality is how can I defend the band against the detractors and I go up onstage with a certain chip on my shoulders because I grew up being this more rebellious kid that people f—ed with and I never back down from a fight or whatever, but now it’s like as success comes and the community of fans grow, it’s no longer about me growing up and huffing and puffing. It’s more about, and that’s been something that’s been really fun and cool is to go and be really in a community where people are just hanging out with you.
They’re there to see you and they’re there to have fun with you and you can really talk to them and have an enjoyable experience and it’s escapism, it’s rock and roll, it’s that one night a week that they don’t get to be at work or school or whatever else and you get to perform for them. As much as it’s really your millionth show on the tour, it’s always their first show on the tour. So I think that because of our new growth of the band, we have more of an opportunity to perform in a fun way and really enjoy and embrace the community with the audience.
You mention the growth of the band, and I have to wonder what it felt like when you saw the overwhelming reaction to the Black Veil Brides movie, ‘Legion of the Black’ that guys made in conjunction with the ‘Wretched and Divine’ album.
Yeah, I think it was one of those things where it was easily as childish or as silly as, ‘Let’s make a movie!’ And it was like, ‘Oh s—, how do we actually do that?’ And in this day and age, we’re not Taylor Swift and getting bags of money thrown at us, but we were fortunate that Universal was down with the idea and they finances helping us get it done and we did in the best possible way that we could and we screened it in theaters and it’s just the coolest thing.
I will say that beyond anything, sitting in a big ass movie theater and watching my movie that I helped write and direct is one of the coolest things I’ve ever experienced. And not to take away from any experiences I’ve had in music, but that was like a moment. For someone like me, music is all I’ve ever thought about — playing big shows and then when you take something that is based around your music and put it in a completely different medium, it’s a really interesting and cool emotion to watch. You’re like 50 feet tall in front of you and it’s like, ‘Damn, this is cool.’
And my parents were affected by it in a way that I haven’t seen at my shows, ’cause they’ve been seeing me at my shows since I was a kid and now there’s just a lot of people there and oh wow, that’s awesome. But bringing my mother to one of the screenings, my mom is crying. And it was a very cool and interesting kind of emotion that we all went through.
That’s gotta be gratifying.
To be able to do something like that is a true testament to the fans. You know that cause you’ve covered us through the years. This is not a band that is praised. We’re not the darlings. We had to keep knocking down the door and our audience has a lot to do with that. There’s a reason why a band you wouldn’t see at the American Music Awards or any of these other places has a No. 5 record when it debuts. There’s a reason for that and it’s because of the audience.
Speaking of the fans, ‘In the End’ keeps on climbing due in large part to their support. Can you tell me a little bit of where that song comes from lyrically?
‘In the End’ was the last song that was written for the record, appropriately. And it came together fairly fast lyrically. We were all sitting around writing and started throwing out these ideas and my grandfather died about two weeks before that song was written. One of the things that dawned on me because I had never had anyone that close to me die, and I had spent a great deal of time with my grandfather as a kid, and in as much as my parents both worked full time jobs, I would go to school and always be at my grandparents house. They were always very intelligent and interesting and insightful people with great stories. And those sort of things and what they taught me about life stayed with me, so when he died it was a very hard thing for me to deal with.
I started to think about, I was raised in Catholicism, but I’m not personally religious anymore. I see the merit in religion and I see the need for faith and hope and sometimes people who are more snide look at people who are religious, particularly people in rock bands, and they’ll say, ‘Oh that’s dumb, you believe in whatever,’ but I think everybody believes in something. And my family being Catholics and being at the mass, and [my girlfriend Juliet Simms] had never been to a Catholic mass before and the funeral and everything, just seeing that these are things that we go through on our end make it feel more comfortable when someone dies because we want so desperately for them to be in a better place. Whether I believe in it or not, the mutual feeling of, ‘Okay, grandfather is in a better place now,’ that comforts people. And the reason that we do that is that this is a person we loved and cared about, and the reason we do is because often times these people have done something that has left a great effect on our life.
For me, the greatest legacy you can leave is being kind to the people around you and to me, that’s something that many people have touched on before, but it came to me very strongly at that funeral, is that in the end, as long as what you’ve done is important and you can justify the actions of what you’ve done in your life, you can always sort of live on in some fashion. And heaven, if it is a place, that’s great, and if it isn’t a place, it certainly exists in the legacy you leave with the people that are still there. So ‘In the End’ is sort of based on that.
What’s on the immediate horizon for Black Veil Brides?
We’re leaving in about five days for this European tour for about a month in Europe and then we’re coming back to the States and doing a handful of [shows]. We’re doing Rock on the Range and we’re doing a few other radio fest things around and then it’s Warped Tour all the way. And that’s a long road, so it’s very exciting.
Our thanks to Black Veil Brides’ Andy Biersack for the interview. The band’s ‘Wretched and Divine: The Story of the Wild Ones’ album is currently in stores and can be ordered here. As for the group’s European and North American shows, their full itinerary can be found here.