Black Veil Brides Singer Andy Biersack: I Think Everybody Is ‘Wretched and Divine’
The Black Veil Brides army continues to march strong, especially with the band’s third studio album, ‘Wretched and Divine: The Story of the Wild Ones,’ due out on Jan. 8.
Loudwire had the opportunity to catch up with Black Veil Brides frontman Andy Biersack after her surprised 20 fans with his presence at a listening party in New York City. Biersack talked in-depth about ‘Wretched and Divine’ and how circumstances in his personal life helped with the creation of the new album.
‘Wretched and Divine: The Story of the Wild Ones’ is a very epic sounding album name. What does the title mean to you personally?
Growing up, I wasn’t like the kid in ‘Breakfast Club,’ but I was like the weirdo like “Don’t let your kids around that guy” – I had like a James Dean complex when I was a kid and I wanted to be this rebel person but it wasn’t because I wanted to rebel against things it was just that my inclinations were more towards rock ‘n’ roll, leather jackets and that kind of stuff.
I wasn’t a kid who got into trouble, I didn’t get into drugs as a kid but just the way that I looked and my interests made me into this social pariah. So at a young age I was already fascinated by the social dichotomy of if someone looks a certain way or someone has certain interests they can be labeled as a bad person without any actual knowledge of who they are. The older I got, I started to realize more it’s not necessarily that any of us are inherently bad or good, you just kind of carve your own way and you are your experiences and your surroundings and what you grow up in.
I think on any given day somebody could help out a homeless person and cuss out somebody that cut them off in traffic and I think that everybody has that inside them, it’s just how you live that balance – so I think everbody is ‘Wretched and Divine.’ Our band also, we’re a very polarizing band in opinion – people either tend to love us or hate us, there’s not really anything in between. We like to think of ourselves and the people that support us as people on the fringe, we don’t care to be part of one group or another. We kind of exist on our own bubble so to speak and with that I think that may be where the title came from.
Can you talk about the brand new single ‘In The End’ musically and lyrically?
The song probably came about two or three weeks after my grandfather died. I was very close with my grandparents and through the course of writing the song, I started to think more and more about – just from my personal perspective because everyone in the band has their own feelings on when songs are written. But when I was sitting outside writing lyrics to it, I was feeling — I’m not a religious person but I grew up in a religious family. I went to the funeral for my grandfather, a person that I love very much and everyone is speaking about how he went to heaven and how he’s in heaven. I always fight with that because I would love nothing more to believe that my grandfather is in the clouds playing Xbox 460 or whatever awesome stuff they have up in heaven but I can’t.
I remember sitting around in my grandmother’s house afterwards and everbody’s doing what you do after — you all go back somewhere and you talk about the great stories of the person that died and that came to me very clearly: Whether you believe or don’t believe in an actual physical afterlife, you cant deny that there is a certain element of an afterlife in the legacy that someone leaves.
A bunch of people sitting around a room talking about how wonderful this person was and how positively they affected their lives is always going to, in a sense, be heaven — heaven on earth. I think heaven and afterlife is for the living, it’s for the people that continue on and remember that person and if you’ve done something that is substantial in your life then you can leave a legacy and do something positive.
It obviously applies to the storyline and this battle and being at the end of it and not having won or loss — just knowing that you did something for what you thought was right.
Artists such as Bert McCracken from the Used and William Control are on the album. What did these other musicians bring to the table?
With this we were doing something so different than anything we’ve done before, it opened itself up to inviting friends and different people in. In the past we never really had guest vocalists but this felt like it was bigger than just the five of us – it’s almost like doing a play and you only cast you and your friends, you have to have stuff that exists outside of the base where the story was written. If anything else, it was bringing people in that had different perspectives and different sounds so that we could play more with the sonic level of the record and have different sounding things.
Can you talk about the F.E.A.R spoken word parts of the album and the idea behind those sections of the disc?
I’ve sort of just like the whole Orwellian, dystopian future – I like the idea that it doesn’t seem to crazy or far off that there could be someone who is this omnipotent, omniscient power that tells you what to do. I think that people always make the metaphor pretty readily with television or media brainwashing and the people with the tinfoil on their heads think that everything’s brainwashing them.
So, if you were to have a situation where it’s an all sweeping political, religious, psychological just this entity that exists on every level to where you get your food, you get your God and you get your health from this one entity and they kind of control everything — that just always interested me. I like the idea of having the narrative told through the perspective of the bad guy more than anything else. You rarely ever hear something narrated through the villain’s perspective and it was fun. If nothing else, this record boils down to stuff that I just thought was fun and cool and what we could have fun with as a whole.
Where did the idea of the Black Veil Brides film ‘Legion of the Black’ come from?
Again just fun, honestly it was as simple as just the childishness of “We should do a movie” and then the reality of, “How do you do that and how do you get the financing for that?” We were very fortunate to have great friends Patrick Fogerty and Richard Villa, who have worked with us from day one.
Richard does our artwork and Patrick has directed every video I have done since I was 17 years old and so they have a lot of friends and were able to pull a lot of favors and we were able to agree with the label on a budget. So instead of doing these promotional videos, we decided that we would do a cohesive film to compliment the album because it is this larger than life kind of thing.