Having dealt with their fair share of criticism over the years, Black Veil Brides are back to prove that they are more than just eyeliner and hairspray. ‘CC’ talks about the recording process of the new album and how they are “super excited” to be playing back in Ireland.
OD – Can we talk about the name Black Veil Brides and it’s meaning?
CC -Well, the meaning of Black Veil Brides – it’s a religious ceremony that happens when someone marries the church. So, well, Andy (Biersack), when he created the band, there was a lot of very visual concepts, and he’s very into religion as I’m sure you can tell by the lyrical content from a lot of our songs. So, the ceremony of when a nun marries the church, there’s a religious ceremony and that’s what they wear, their particular attire for that ceremony.
OD – Did you have any other names that you were considering before picking this?
CC -Yeah there was a band – it was called “Biersack” before that.
OD – Biersack? As in Andy’s last name?
CC – Yeah Biersack…. this was years and years ago before the band was relocated to Los Angeles and Andy moved out here. It was called Biersack and they only played a couple of shows under that name.
OD – Can you talk a little about working with producer Bob Rock (Metallica, Motley Crue & The Cult) and how this came about?
CC – Well actually Bob heard Andy on the radio and he was very interested in working with us. He really loved the sound and he checked the band out a bit further and was very interested in working with us. HE contacted US to work with us, and you know – that’s a HUGE compliment to us. Management came to us and said “Hey – do you wanna have a meeting with Bob Rock?” We were like “Of course!” Like we were definitely fans of his other work: the Black Album, Motley Crue, The Cult. We’ve listened to all that stuff, so we had a meeting and ever since the meeting, we talked over a couple of things and we were just feeling each other out and we were definitely like “Yeah we can do this!” And now, its like we’re family now.
OD – Was it a different experience to working with the producers in the past and if so how?
CC – Sure – I mean, with every producer we’ve worked with, like “We Stitch Theses Wounds” was self-produced, so that was all of us doing the writing. On the next one we had a guy named Josh Abraham producing “Set The World On Fire”. He was absent, largely…. like, he’d come in with just a couple of suggestions and that was it! So, it was almost like it was another self-produced. We worked more with the actual engineer and other people. So, with “Wretched and Divine”, we went into the studio with John Feldmann and he was pretty controlling and he was really “hands-on” and wanted to be involved in the songwriting process and every step of tracking everything. And so we went with Bob, and working with him, it was different. I mean – I know that every producer is different so far in our career, but working with him, it was almost like he was the 6th member of the band. I know a lot of bands say that; its almost a cliché about working with Bob Rock. However, it really was – I mean he was just kind of pushing us and orchestrating us rather than controlling us. Such a sweet guy: nothing but the best disposition, and very laid-back, and easy to talk to, and more like “let me bounce some ideas off you”, instead of “do this, do that”, you know? It’s definitely about us being 100% ourselves and he just kinda oversaw the whole thing.
It was an absolute pleasure to work with him and I think we’re all very proud of the record and I’m sure fans will be as well once it comes out. He’s a rock star in his own right. He can go places and he gets “Oh you’re Bob Rock!” It’s a little bit different for us to work with a producer that’s so accomplished and so recognizable, and that’s such a huge influence on the whole rock community.
OD – Can you talk about his methods?
CC – Going out with him, we started tracking drums in Hollywood, and finished tracking drums there. And then we went up to Vancouver and Jake finished tracking guitars back in LA in the meantime before we went to Vancouver. Then we finished up guitars and vocals in Vancouver, and the record and son we came back down to Hollywood to mix the record. We went out to a couple of shows in Vancouver when we went up with Bob and one of them was Dwight Yoakam, and it was so funny to see people approach him. Like “I’m a producer” with that rock star quality.
OD – The title of the new album is simply IV (Four) is this a tip of the hat to the likes of Led Zeppelin?
CC – Well technically it’s a self-titled album. We went with the self-title because we’re most proud of this record. Obviously, we’re proud of every other record we’ve put out, but this one – its like: with all the others, we were achieving something different. So we thought it was time to produce an album that was self-titled and name it that. We do simply refer to it as “4” because it IS the fourth record.
OD – It was reported that you recently filmed two videos for the forthcoming album, one being “Heart of Fire” (See below), what was the second video?
CC -Yeah, we do have a second single in the works, but we don’t really want to release the name of which video will be coming out. We’re gonna let “Heart of Fire” get its time of day and let people start writing “Oh I can’t wait for the new one!” We’ll definitely leave this out there and get it to the market. But yeah we did shoot 2 videos in the same day as a matter of fact. We had 2 days for 2 videos, and primarily had 2 videos in 1 day. They’re both awesome from everything we’ve seen so far. We just released the video for “Hearts of Fire” and that’s getting a pretty positive review.
OD – From all the tracks on the new album what is your overall favorite?
CC -(Laughs) You know, every single day I get asked this question! Granted they are like children (the songs), that’s the answer. But you know – it kinda depends on what mood I’m in. There’s almost – the melancholy songs on the record, and then there’s that “foot on the gas pedal/drive a car fast” song, you know? It kinda depends on what mood I’m in. “Heart of Fire” is pretty good, like – they all have different elements. There’s a song called “Walk Away” that’s very heartfelt, and I can relate to that one. I don’t know if I would say that’s my favourite, because I listen to other songs like “Crown of Thorns” or “Stolen Omen”.. like “Stolen Omen” is a very aggressive song. So I like the energy of a song like “Stolen Omen”, but also the lyrical content of a song like “Walk Away” that I personally relate to. I don’t think I could pick just one.
OD – Regarding the album artwork, I believe that Richard Villa was drafted in to work on this as he did with your previous album “Wretched & Divine”, does Villa get 100% creative freedom when designing or do you have specific ideas that you would like brought to life?
CC – It’s definitely a collaboration – like, he’ll have an idea and there’s elements that we would want to kinda focus and hone in on. I think on this particular album cover, there’s a lot of clues – I don’t want to give them away. But there’s certain things that, if you search hard enough on the album cover, you’ll see that they’re all from our previous albums and music videos. There’s a lot of little elements, like “easter eggs”, if you will. I’m not gonna give them away, but you know, there’s definitely the face of a character called “Legion”. It’s like the blend of all of our faces. We’re all real happy and proud of the album artwork. Like, this band is very art-influenced, all of them, any one of our albums. We’re huge on art, and we all love vinyl. So, every record that we do, we produce a limited number of vinyl albums. There’s not a lot of bands that are doing that.
OD – Since we are talking about album covers, what is your all time favorite?
CC -Aw man! I don’t even wanna say it! It’s so…. uh… I dunno. I guess the first one that pops into my mind is Nirvana – “Nevermind”, but it’s definitely not my favorite! I love all the Iron Maiden art through their whole career. I would take any one of those! Like every one – I was so excited when they had a new album coming out to see what they were gonna put on the cover. I’d say any one of the Iron Maiden albums!
OD – Do you have a message for the Irish fans?
CC – Yeah! We’ll see you soon in Dublin and “Heart of Fire” is out now and Black Veil Bride’s self-titled album comes out October 27th so go pick it up – you will definitely not be bummed about it! It will blow you away!
Win a pair of tickets to Black Veil Brides on Wednesday November 15th at Dublin’s Olympia. All you have to do is click on the graphic below and share / like / invite / tag. Winner picked later today (Monday 13th October). Words – Oran O’Beirne
Transcription -Shaun Martin