Pierce the Veil’s Jaime Preciado Offers New Album Update, Talks Sleeping With Sirens Tour + More
It's been a whirlwind year for Pierce the Veil, who have been balancing time between the concert stage and spending time in the studio writing and recording their next album. Loudwire had a chance to speak with bassist Jaime Preciado from the studio and he pulled back the curtain a bit on their progress and process. The bassist also spoke about the band's upcoming world tour with Sleeping With Sirens. Check out the chat below.
Let's start with the obvious. You're working on a new album and you're finally in the studio after pre-production back in May. So, how far along are you?
Well, the music pretty much is finished. Vic [Fuentes] is actually still in the studio doing vocals and all of the final touches.
You're out in Long Island, which is a far stretch from San Diego. How's the process been getting away from home to record this album?
It's been great. The studio is in Long Island; it's in a little town called West Babylon, and like I said before in other interviews, for some reason the place that we were at, the studio where Dan Korneff built his studio is surrounded by graveyards in this weird little area. For some reason, that is where he decided to build his studio, so it was a very strange yet cool experience to be out there and recording in that spot.
That's a little spooky. Does that give you a darker tone to this whole thing?
I wouldn't say that. Maybe if we were Marilyn Manson then it might help, but we are pretty much locked in there 24 hours a day just kind of working on the new stuff and honestly we didn't really leave the studio that much, unless for food, so we were in there working everyday and it's great. Coming back to Dan, showing up on this record, was really awesome for us. We had a really good feeling coming into this record; a lot of momentum.
Can you talk about what he brings to the table? Is he like another member of the band? What's his role?
I think when we first decided to go with Dan for 'Collide,' we knew we wanted a producer to be bold and really get us, to push us, to push ourselves and almost have a realistic side of the whole process, because for us, when we are in there, we aren't really worried about the outside world. He is kind of like the guy that says to us, "Hey guys, we have to move on, we have to kind of continue this." I don't want to say we are slow writers, but we are slow writers. So we like to take our time and if you give us a year to make a record then we will definitely take a year to make the record.
Dan is the type of person to make sure we are on schedule and keep us in line so we are not going too far from the actual idea. But he definitely pushes us and he makes us kind of, I guess you could say he is like a fifth member of the band at times because if we really like a part, he plays the devil's advocate. So we build the song up to break it down and we build it up again just to see how many different versions of the song we can actually create and make sure that the song that we are making is the right version. So it is a really cool process.
People have different ways about going about recording. Is it everyone in the studio at once? Broken into parts?
I'm not really sure how most bands do it. I would assume that this is how a lot of bands do it, but you would be surprised that everyone has their own technique and variations. For us, we have the whole band in the studio and the first thing we do is we set up a room in the big wide room and it's a pretty good size room, so we set up all of our equipment in a circle and we kind of just pick a song. Cause we demoed out a bunch of songs and then we cut songs from there and kind of compiled our favorite song. Then we just take those songs and we start working on them. So we would take a song and then sit there and play it, like I said, play it all of the way through. Try different tempos, try different speeds. And then from there we would add different parts. Whether we need a better chorus or better verse or better ending. And we just start, we literally break down the song to its simplest form and then try to build it back up again. We did that on the last record and it was a lot of hard work, but it was also a lot of fun seeing how the song got from point A to point B cause the songs do go through some crazy transformations after we all actually sit down in a room and mess with them and stuff. It's really cool. I really enjoy it.
You did pre-production earlier this year and went out on tour this summer. By coming back to it several months later and being in tour mode, did that affect your playing at all? Did it bring up new ideas?
I think we get inspired every day we're on tour playing for different fans, different kinds, whether it be here in the USA or out in the world. Last year I think we got to play a little under 300 shows, which is a ton of shows. We were on the road for nine months out of the year. It was a very inspiring thing. You learn what kids really like in songs and what they don't and I think we take that into the studio. We take it to heart, so when we are making songs and trying to think of ideas, we always think of the fans first. How can we make this song more fun to play live? How can we make this part exciting? We want the kids to sing this part, make it a chant or something. We always have that in the back of our heads, it definitely keeps us going in the right direction.
What's the experience of hearing the music come back through the live speakers the first time in the studio and hearing what's coming together with a song?
It's cool. For us, when we are jamming we become a very tight-oiled group. But when we're actually trying to write the song, we sound like a bunch of newbies playing instruments. So it's a bunch of newbies coming through everything, cause everyone is trying to figure out exactly what to do. It's definitely a very fun process and what we do is we set up, I have my laptop set up with mics in the room so we're literally recording 24 hours a day just in case someone hits something that we're like, "Whoa what was that? That was cool, play it again." So we have some very funny ridiculous sounding stuff on my laptop. Some quite good and some terrible. [Laughs]
You mentioned some of the things you might have on your laptop. I think I saw that there was a studio dog named Raven. Will he turn up on the album?
You never know. You might hear a scream or something but it might just be a dog yelling in the background. It's actually a rescue dog. One of the engineers, Alex, rescued the dog and he has a foundation and stuff; doing that for injured animals and rescued animals. It was a cool experience, we never actually had a studio dog before.
Anything in terms of maybe direction or songs that might be standing out at this point?
As of now, we don't do a lot of themes for the record. We kind of write of what we know, whether it be lyrically or moods. We're not a political band or a crazy metal band that sticks to a certain formula. We have a lot of different influences and styles that come together as one. I think that's what makes our band so fun for fans, we're not just a punk band. We're not a metal band. We're something in between that has a little bit of everything. I think this record has a little bit of everything. We have some definite fast stuff, heavier stuff and also on the other side of the spectrum we have some chilled out stuff that everyone needs. I think the trick was, and this is where Dan Korneff comes in, the trick is to make it sound like the same band and I think we did a good job of doing that.
Because 'Collide with the Sky' was a big album for you guys, is there anything you take away from that experience that'll play into the new album? Do you carry anything over or is it a blank slate?
We always try to outdo ourselves in every aspect of the band. I think that's why our band is at where we're at. We've put a ton of work in every aspect, be it our live shows or our merch or our records. We put a lot of effort and time to make sure everything is as good as it possibly can be. We literally grind, man. We do everything that we possibly can to do that. For this record there's no exception. We spent days and months, weeks and years making the best songs we can. Hopefully people agree. [Laughs]
Congrats on the AP Award.
Does that up the ante a little bit? Are you angling for more bass solos?
Yeah. [Laughs] It was crazy for us. That was the first time for us leaving the studio mid-recording and we were like kind of like, you go from one extreme to completely isolating yourself from everyone in the world in this room recording a record and the next day completely being surrounded by everyone you toured with or have ever been on tour with or played a show with in just a matter of hours. The studio one day and then you're at an award show with everyone so it's like, it was definitely weird. I don't know. It was a very overwhelming experience. The fact that we won a couple of awards, we couldn't have been happier. We were so shocked and I think just the fact that a lot of bands, they go in the studio and just disappear for a year and no one knows what's going on with them until the record is done. For us, that was the same, we kind of disappeared and worked on the record. The fact that kids voted and we were still relevant at that time, it's awesome. It was very shocking and we thank all those kids for voting and getting those awards. We were in the studio working, so we had all this news that we got nominated for this and that, it was just an awesome experience.
You're going on tour with Sleeping with Sirens. Obviously big, huge monster tour you've put together.
I wouldn't say monster tour, but it'll be a fun one for sure.
A lot of dates out there, that's a lot of time to spend with a band. You must like those guys.
We've got a lot of stuff going on this year and next. A lot of shenanigans, as they say.
You've worked with Sleeping with Sirens before. Kellin Quinn has been on your songs before. Can you talk about that relationship?
It's been great, man. Since touring with them in 2012, we did a tour supporting the 'Collide' record and they came out with us. We had a blast, man. I think at that time our bands were at different points in our careers, so it's kind of cool to look back a few years when they're about to put out a new record that I'm sure will sound and do amazing. We're going to have a record coming out, we both have new albums out soon. I just think it'll be a really cool tour. I know I'm excited and so are a lot of kids. I can't wait to see and play these shows. It'll be special.
As you said, you both are at different points in your career with co-headlining this tour. Does that offer more opportunity for production for the live show?
Yeah, for us we're always trying to cover new ground and outdo ourselves in every way we can. Live shows are no exception. We're going to try and do as much as we possibly can for these shows. We'll have a good time. There will be new music from both bands, so it'll be a lot of fun.
Anything else to mention?
Yeah, just that we have that new record coming out sometime next year. The world tour. We're going to be announcing more dates as the tour starts and there are a lot more legs on that tour and the ones we have announced is obviously the U.S. tour that starts in November. But also the U.K. tour, so they'll be a lot more shows coming soon. Stay tuned.
Our thanks to Pierce the Veil's Jaime Preciado for the interview. As stated, the band is currently wrapping up a new album, but you can catch them on the road this fall. Check out the dates for the U.S. leg of their co-headlining trek with Sleeping With Sirens by clicking the button below.