The BVB founder and frontman discussed the latest release, social media, their stage show, and the fans.
Andy Biersack, the lead singer for Black Veil Brides, took time to speak with Erich Morse before sound check for a show later that night at the House of Blues in Las Vegas on Oct 30th. They are currently touring to support the new BVB release, IV, on the Black Mass 2014 Tour.
NRR: I just wanted to thank you for giving us a little bit of your time today. I know it must be a kind of a whirlwind with the new CDÂ coming out and all.
Biersack: We’re in Las Vegas. I haven’t even sound checked yet, today. I’m up and just eating lunch. And I’m happy to talk, so there’s no conflicts. We’re all good.
NRR: I was listening to SirusXM radio a few weeks ago and I heard the first cut off the new CD, “Heart of Fire.” Can you explain how special that track would have been to be the first one released off the new album entitled, IV?
Biersack: Ah, thanks. First of all, thank you so much for being so kind about the record. I really appreciate that. Ah, second of all, as far as “Heart of Fire” goes, it’s a song that came together pretty early in the process of making the record. It was one of those ones that just always felt like it was very special. Certainly I wanted to take time with the lyrical content and it’s one of the ones that I, in terms of getting the lyrics finished on it, it’s actually something I’d finished right before I wound up tracking it. There was not that level of I’m writing and singing it at the same time kind of thing, so.
The lyrical content of the song is from about the significance of a person’s, I guess, you know time and circumstance change people. And you use that whether you’re four years old, or forty years old, or four-hundred years old; there’s something within you contextually that relates to who you were as an adolescent or the fire that you have something that you’re passionate about. So that the way we relate that is the idea that, you know, we’ve always wanted to be in this band and touring and having fun and getting to do what we wanted to do. My flame, or my fire, for that has not burnt out. Certainly, things change and experiences change. And I think that is something that is true of anyone. But, I like to think we’ve all remained very true to who we’ve wanted to be.
NRR: Was music really the only option to be successful [for you]?
Biersack: You know, I think that for me, I’ve always… really the only thing that was… that I ever wanted to do, you know, from a very young age. I looked at bands and I saw musicians as just the ultimate thing. .But really when it came to what I wanted to do with my life, there was really only one ultimate goal. And I’m very happy to say I’ve been able to do that with my life and I hope to continue to be able to spend my life making music. But, I guess to speak to your point, it is certainly the biggest passion that I have.
NRR: With the buzz this album is already getting, are you more excited to give the loyal fan base something that they can possibly hold up as the new stand for BVB music to come? Or does it kind of excite you a little more that there is still a huge potential to get more fans, to get more people interested in the band going forward?
Biersack: I think this is our best work, it’s certainly what we’re most proud of. But, I always I like to say you can’t eliminate the possibility of things getting better for yourself in the future before you know what they’re going to be. Who knows what a few years time will give us? Maybe we’ll wind up writing songs ten times better then these ones. I like to think we’ll keep trying. But as far as where I’m at right now in my life, this is what I’m most proud of and I hope that it’s the standard at which people are hearing the band.
NRR: What would you say is the major difference from the first LP that came out for BVB versus the sound in IV?
Biersack: I think we’re better song writers now. But I also think that just comes with time. [I know] I wouldn’t have had the capability to write these songs when I was eighteen years old or seventeen when I was writing the bulk of the material on the first record. So, for me, there’s really no way to compare the two because I don’t fault myself for not being as good as I am now at that age.
If someone were to sit down and ask what does Black Veil sound like I would certainly be more inclined play the newer songs or stuff off the new record as opposed to the original record.
: How does social media play an important role with you and the BVB Army
, that your fan base is called? Is that an important part of the band?
Biersack: Well, all things considered, the “BVB Army”, as they refer to themselves, started because of social media. We did not name our fan base that is something the kids, particularly the younger audience, started calling themselves. Over the years it developed into that just being kind of the moniker they exist under.
It really is, it is an army. It’s a bunch of people that are fighting for something that they feel is right and true. Whether that’s their love of music, or their love of a particular band, or a physical fight, I think you can see there is certain similarities in terms of the impassioned nature of it. Â So, yeah, social media has developed that entire cult following for us and given us a career.
We’ve never been a band that was very easily accepted by mainstream culture or, you know, public appeals. So we were really a band that almost had to be broken down by our fan base [to others]. And they used the tool of things of like Twitter, Instagram, even back in MySpace days, and Facebook, whatever else. They used those tools to get the name out. And they were very effective in doing so.
NRR: I’ve read some of the stories about how you fashioned your stage presence after the early Kiss or the early Motley Crue with the make-up and one of the things I noticed more then anything on the “Heart of Fire” video is that some of that make-up/stage presence wasn’t there. Is that part of the evolution of the bands image?
Biersack: When I try to describe the reasoning behind not wearing the make-up or not having the kind of theatrical, over-the-top imagery, I think for me it’s very simple. We just got sick of it. And it got to the point where we felt disingenuous. We felt like it was a cartoon of ourselves. And it no longer seemed exciting. So the idea was that we would really strip it back to the point where it would become a band that was centered around just kind of the more rock and roll ascetic. That’s not to say I don’t have respect for what it was. And the kids come to the shows and still do the make-up and everything. Â I think is great because it’s a nice unifying and signifying thing towards the band.
NRR: If you could say anything about the new album, and once again I really, really, highly recommend the album, is there anything that you can give us that someone hasn’t asked you already that you think is important with the album?
Biersack: To be honest with you, I think the most important thing to consider with when it comes to the record, is just that you know, like anybody, we live in a time where it’s very hard to sell music. People don’t really buy records anymore. People don’t pay attention to the full album. If nothing else I want people that are fans of rock music to try to listen down to the entirety of this album and understand that, you know, we really did do our best to put together a complete piece.
Photo credit: Adam Kennedy
Black Veil Brides
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