It’s hard to dispute the recent emo/post-hardcore revival. But how much can be credited to new music? How many of those artists are gaining new fans? It seems most bands are cashing in on a 10th anniversary tour, or releasing new material with few original members—hoping no one will notice. Pierce The Veil, however, not only managed to weather the storm, but are continuing to thrive through a combination of creativity and live shows worldwide.
On the coat tails of their 4th full-length, titled Misadventures, San Diego natives Pierce The Veil are at it again with unique merch, a rare U.S. tour concept and a trip to the U.K. set for the fall. All of this with the band’s original cast—Vic Fuentes, vocals, guitar; Mike Fuentes, drums; Tony Perry, lead guitar; and Jaime Preciado, bass, vocals. After wrapping up in Mexico, recently, Vic found some time to bring Music Connection up to speed on the new album, the Fearless Records buyout and what upcoming post-hardcore acts can do to remain relevant.
Music Connection: You traveled a lot while writing lyrics for the new record, and even took a break mid-way so the band could throw a major tour. Was this the plan all along?
Vic Fuentes: I never planned on staying in a bunch of Air BNBs or traveling around, or doing a world tour right in the middle of recording our album. It was all really unexpected and we just felt like we needed to make [an album] that would really blow our fans’ minds. To achieve that, we went through crazy misadventures, which is why we called the album Misadventures––it was all these little journeys that we took to get where we wanted it. We didn’t want to put out something mediocre. We wanted to make something that had a neat story to it. I almost think of it as a method actor’s approach to making a music album. We became obsessed. We really pushed our minds and bodies and mental state over the edge. Every little turn presented itself in a different way and, looking back, they were all puzzle pieces that helped make the record.
MC: “Today I Saw the Whole World,” among other songs on the new record, is very guitar driven. A theme that’s remained constant over the years with Pierce The Veil.
Fuentes: I think one of the things that shapes our sound is the fact that we make the music first. I still consider myself number one a guitar player, over a singer. It’s just what I learned first and what comes really naturally to me. … I like to be able to feel the song before there’s even a single [lyric] on it.
MC: What influences drew you to that writing style?
Fuentes: I’ve always been a fan of Spanish music and jazz because they can bring out emotions without having words on songs. You can laugh, smile, cry from hearing certain chords in a Spanish song. So when making our songs, before there’s even a word on it, I’ve got a lot of emotion and attachment to these songs. All these songs have to have riffs everywhere, that’s what I love.
MC: “Today I Saw the Whole World” is very riffy.
Fuentes: That chorus was probably the most challenging song for me on the record, vocally, because it’s almost like a Rage Against the Machine riff. It’s really heavy and single note driven. I tried a million different singing choices over it, to get what it is.
MC: We couldn’t help but notice the album’s fadeout as well. Paying homage to ‘90s hip-hop song “Back in the Day” by Ahmad. How did that fall into the record?
Fuentes: It was me just messing around in the studio. I was practicing the song and found a cool spot to use that line. I used it just because I’ve always loved that song and that line, it’s always meant a lot to me.
My best friend Curtis Peoples, who is also a co-writer on the record, I’ve known since kindergarten. I remember when we were 14 listening to Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Salt N Pepa, Ahmad, Warren G and that was just one of the many songs we would get our VHS recorder and act like we were making music videos. It was sort of like a throwback to that time too.
It ended up being a perfect wrap-up to the record. I hear it now and think, “Man, that really does kind of wrap it up and it feels right.” It feels like putting out this record, we feel like we’re starting out a new life. I almost feel like a new man after going through so much making it. It feels like a fresh start and I think it’s a nice representation [of that].
MC: You guys worked with producer Dan Korneff (The Devil Wears Prada, Breaking Benjamin, Crown The Empire) again. How did he play a role into the development of Misadventures?
Fuentes: I would be surprised if any producer went through more making a record than he went through making this record. He’s the kind of producer who gets on your level. As far as your passion and how much you put into the record, he puts in the same or more. It’s crazy to see him be as devoted to it and excited about it as we are. He would be up working day and night and would just tell me over and over, “Dude, I just can’t wait for people to hear this record. Do you think they’ll appreciate it what we’re doing right now?” And I think so. I think people are gonna care about what we’re doing here. What we put into it. It was cool to have a guy by your side like that, helping shape your dreams. He’s like the dream maker guy, he makes it all happen.