Interview: Pierce The Veil – Stoked to do it right

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Tuesday, November 11, 2014 at 2:17 PM (PST)

Pierce the Veil, Gold Single Presentation, "King For A Day" - 11

When we were going to shows, the four of us all the time when we were younger, we loved the nervous energy before a show. What’s gonna happen?! – Jaime Preciado

Pierce The Veil are a band who are capturing the world by the ear, but they’ve truly earned it.  The hard working act was just awarded a Gold record for its track “King For A Day” in recognition of sales of more than 500,000 units.”King For A Day” was included on the band’s 2012 album Collide With The Sky (which reached the #1 spot on Billboard’s Hard Rock, Modern Rock/Alternative and Rock Albums charts, and has sold in excess of a quarter-million copies in the U.S. alone).  The track,
featuring guest vocals from Sleeping with Sirens‘ Kellin Quinn, was a top 40 rock hit, and its companion music video has, to date,  reached 37-million-plus YouTube views.

Those are some crazy numbers for a little post-hardcore band from San Diego but the love of life and fan-centric attitude plus the tour or die nature of the band has converted legions. These guys may not be as heavy as the heaviest bands we cover on this site, but they have my vote for totally awesome.

Click HERE for a talk with Jaime Preciado about their influences, The World Tour and next album!

I’m psyched to talk to you today. How’re you doin?

Jaime – I’m doing great, man. We’re in Lubbock, TX and we have a tiny green room. Let me step outside. (A moment later) I had to get my jacket on. It’s cold outside!

That’s funny it is cold in Texas and not that bad in New York, where I am today.

We’re from San Diego. Anything below sunny is freezing for us (laughing).

Bundle up for your Albany show, cuz it should be cold when you get out here.

Yeah, we don’t know what weather is.

I have to say, on Metal Riot we usually cover bands a little heavier than you guys.We do hard rock too and I love Pierce The Veil. There’s big hooks but also some grit in there.

Thanks, man.

And all the hard work you’ve done and seeing the This Is A Wasteland DVD, the love from your fans. How does it feel to be starting this next chapter for the band with your new album next year and this big tour with Sleeping With Sirens?

Yeah, I mean…we’re just honestly so busy and we’re stoked. It’s awesome to think looking back that we started in a van just trying to play as many shows as possible. It’s awesome. We’re stoked and our fans are awesome. For us, we haven’t played a show in eleven and a half months, so coming back to being on tour and being in the swing of things, we’re 100% ready to get out there and start playing again.

I just watched the new Sleeping With Sirens video (“Kick Me”) and it’s awesome to see real bands breaking through who have worked so hard in the real scene. Not just put together stuff. Anybody who has followed the story of Pierce The Veil knows that you did work really hard.

Every year is a little better than the last. We always joke around that we wanna be the biggest band ever but we wanna work for it. We want to take our time and do it right.

It’s funny, I remember once I was talking to Dr. Know from Bad Brains and Doc was talking about how Ric Ocasek or somebody gave them all these amps for free and he sold his for weed (laughing). He regretted it later but at the time didn’t care cuz he hadn’t worked for it.

Yeah, right! It’s one of those things where we look back and saw This Is A Wasteland…just seeing the reactions of kids and stuff. We don’t always get to see that. The kids on line. The kids back stage. It makes you realize it’s bigger than all of us now. It’s a movement of rock bands like us. It’s crazy.

Your fans relate to material from every record. People travel from all over the world to see you and they know the lyrics to stuff, whether it’s “The Boy Who Could Fly” or something that was a bigger recent single.

True. That’s always kind of crazy for me to think. And like you said earlier, we aren’t a metal band but we’re not a pop band either. There’s something for everyone to grasp on to.

Yeah, for me…it’s about great energy. You guys bring it. What does it feel like for you when you hit the stage and see the audience giving back so much love?

It’s pure anxiety getting ready to go. I think the crowd feels it and we try to pump it up even more by having cool intros and production and stuff. When we were going to shows, the four of us all the time when we were younger, we loved the nervous energy before a show. What’s gonna happen?! “What song are they gonna play first?” It pumps us and everyone up. That’s the best kind of feeling you want to have before going on stage. The same kind of feeling we had just watching shows stoked. As soon as the first note hits, kids are in it! Instant ,”Yess!” Especially for us, since we haven’t played a show in a minute. It’s kinda good to come back to that.

You’re ready to blow your live load (laughing). Pardon the expression.

(laughing) We always joke around that we have cycles, y’know? You’re in your tour mode and towards the end you want to go home and get in the studio, but when you go home you miss playing shows. It’s this back and forth thing. We’re in the mode to start playing shows.

It’s the musician’s conundrum. You’re home and can’t concentrate cuz you love to gig but then when out playing shows it’s like A Day To Remember’s Homesick.

Yeah, yeah. We like coming home and resetting batteries but after a couple days it’s like…”We should maybe get back on tour again”.

“I wanna check out that taco place we didn’t get to eat at back in New Mexico”.

(laughing) Yeah.

Pierce The Veil & Sleeping with Sirens - "THE WORLD TOUR"

Pierce The Veil & Sleeping With Sirens

I love the post-hardcore side of the band but there’s also this big, dramatic energy you bring to the stage. Kids connect to that, wanting to feel part of something.

We try to. It’s in the kid’s hands but we do take the extra steps to make everything about our tour and set better. by spending the extra time. Be it from production on stage to even just the bill itself. We take a lot of time in picking the bands who are gonna open. Bands with great potential that we really enjoy. For example on the first leg of the World Tour we have This Wild Life and Beartooth. Two completely different bands. This Wild Life is acoustic and Beartooth is this thrashy, punky crazy band. We feel that and as soon as the doors open kids can see good bands. We loved going to good package tours. When I was going to shows it was Thrice, Thursday, Coheed & Cambria. That show was beginning to end awesome.

For sure, I remember that tour. I missed the Roseland show cuz I went and saw the band Vaux at Mercury Lounge in NY the same night. That was a great tour, though. I grew up with the Coheed guys, actually. Cambria is my sister’s real name. Lots of history there.

Oh, nice. That’s awesome. Very cool.

It’s cool you brought up that tour because I remember the big spread for that tour in Alternative Press. Thursday, Thrice, Coheed. You could learn more about each band and it felt like a new movement, a new wave of emo. Every band was awesome and unique. I think the same thing is happening now with your band and some of your peers. Or bands just collaborating more. Caleb from Beartooth was just on a great song “Survive” with the band Facedown band Gideon, who I love. That kind of unity is awesome.

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Yeah, man. Exactly. It’s a very cool thing. I always wondered when I was younger if bands were friends or jammed. Not only for us because we enjoy it, but kids enjoy it. For example, involving Kellin from SWS for our song “King For A Day”. It was a lot of fun making that song. People really enjoyed it.

Absolutely. Is it daunting writing for the new record since “King For A Day” was such a huge hit?

We get that question a lot but it’s not so much pressure as that it’s a natural progression for us. We’re going to write what we right and it’s gonna be different just because we’re different. We’re at a different spot in our lives and career, I think. Um, we try and still be us but after doing this for however many years you make mistakes and learn from them. We are just trying to make a “better” record. I don’t know if that’s the word I wanna use but make a more “real” record for us for this moment. For where we are now. It’s just us learning and trying to be better musicians and band mates. We’ve found the formula to be us with Collide With The Sky. Also, having the same producer we worked with last time, Dan Korneff. That’s something we’re really stoked on. So yeah, we’re ready to show it to people for sure.

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How does it feel to have a producer you can trust?

It wasn’t always the case. This is the first time we’ve gone back to a producer. When we were younger we always heard about bands having a producer they liked. The Used had John Feldmann as their guy. You knew it was the power team. I think we found someone like that who is our dude. Dan kind of goes above and beyond. I’ve never seen anyone work that hard on anything. It’s really awesome to go ibto the studo and not have that awkward getting to know each other kind of vibe.

The ice breaking! You’re past the first date stage.

Yeah, we’re on to movie nights.

Ha, ha…holding hands or having a big bucket of popcorn together.

(Laughing) He’s always so stoked to try different things with us.

Do you have any advice for kids starting bands now the way the musical climate is. I think bands should have publicists or go play live a lot.

It’s a crazy world now with all these websites and social media. For us, we tried to recrod as many demos as you possibly can and go to shows and just hand them out. Physical copies will always be more than something online. That tangible piece of the show. CDs are almost obsolete now. It’s kind of crazy. It would be kind of tough but try to stick with it. And take your time. It’s not gonna just happen. you have to be dilligent and work hard at it. we toured for several years just kind of going for it. Playing to 15 kids at a show. We know what it takes and that it’s not gonna be easy.

I think you’re right about the human connection. Every once in awhile, my old band Divest…someone will come up and be like ,”Yo, I have this two song CD you gave me at a show in Poughkeepsie still.” That feels cool.

Yeah, dude. People tell me about Pierce The Veil demos we were handing out at shows. Just to have it and see the name and remember it later. Nowadays, I wouldn’t know what to tell bands. There’s so much you can do with every social media. You’d have to have like seven different pages to be relevant.

Just stay on your grind, right?

Yeah. You have to work hard. You have to go 100% and try to write good songs. Be hard on yourselves. We sat in a room and said,”if we’re doing this we’re doing it 100%”.


Pierce The Veil - Fall, 2013


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