It’s been nearly four years since post-hardcore band Pierce the Veil released their last album, Collide with the Sky. The album outsold their previous albums thanks in large part to the gold-certified single King For A Day paired with their relentless world touring. Given that many of their peers regularly release albums in half the time, the wait for the San Diego band’s fourth album has likely felt like an eternity to the PTV faithful. But all great things take time and, according to the band, they are about to release their greatest album yet. The San Diego quartet—Vic Fuentes (vocals, rhythm guitar), Mike Fuentes (drums, percussion), Tony Perry (lead guitar), and Jaime Preciado (bass guitar) – will staunchly uphold their tradition of upping the ante with the release of a new album. Pierce the Veil will release their highly-anticipated new album, Misadventures, on May 15 via Fearless Records.
When we caught up with Jaime Preciado, bassist of Pierce the Veil, the band had just wrapped up their first world tour while simultaneously recording their 11-track album. With all that the band has achieved over the years, Preciado still had an audible excitement in his voice; it was the kind of enthusiasm which would lead one to believe the momentum will not be slowing down for PTV anytime soon.
Stemming from seemingly ordinary beginnings, the band has developed its’ project into something extraordinary. Drummer Mike Fuentes and Vocalist Vic Fuentes first started Pierce the Veil back in 2006, unaware of how far the project would go. Preciado explained, “They actually picked out our name and started working on material. At the time, they had a band through Equal Vision that had broken up and they were just kind of looking for people to play with at the time. They were in the punk rock scene at the time and were into the really fast stuff. Me and the guitar player, Tony, were in kind of the opposite. We were into really metally stuff at the time. Both of our bands broke up and we were kind of left with empty musicians and were just waiting around to figure things out. At the time, Tony worked at a guitar shop in San Diego that Vic and Mike would always go to get supplies and stuff. They started chatting and realized that Tony played guitar and that he also knew of a bass player, which was me, and so we all kind of got together just randomly through mutual friends and just started jamming. From then on we just kind of made it our thing. The first couple times we realized that this could actually work and everybody was kind of good at what they were doing individually. We just kind of made this our lives. It was a big commitment at that time. I left a job and all of that stuff just to start from scratch and it’s been a crazy ride ever since!”
While Pierce the Veil has reached a cult status with their fans, they’re not ready to rest their laurels on their many achievements just yet. According to Preciado, the band-mates have done a lot of learning since they first got together and continue to strive for even more growth. “In general, just as humans, I think we’ve grown a lot. We started out completely green. We had no idea of the right and wrong way to do things. We just kind of did everything the way we thought we should do it. And since day one, it’s kind of been our goal to do things the way we want and to not let anyone tell us what to do; though we’re always open to advice. We’ve always been that band that learns from being on tour and learns from watching other bands, just from the perspective of musicianship. Being on tour when we first started, we had no idea what we were doing so we just toured with a bunch of different bands playing gigs every single night and opening for other bands, we did a lot of learning. Just learning how to be exciting and be entertaining and be fun to watch. Really, as a band, we just try to do as many things as possible to get people’s attention that may not have cared to hear us at the time. As far as learning stuff and growing as a band, I think we’ve figured out all the wrong ways to do things and I think that’s what makes our band what it is now. Being able to own up to things and learn from our mistakes. We have made mistakes. Any band that says they’ve never made a mistake is straight up lying. We’ve made tons of mistakes and bad calls but those are what kind of made us the band we are today.”
Among Pierce the Veil’s other impressive projects, the band had just finished up a worldwide tour with post-hardcore band Sleeping with Sirens amidst the recording of Misadventures. “We had a really good time! It was kind of in a weird spot because we were still trying to finish our new record that’s about to come out. We were trying to figure that record out and trying to finish it while we were touring, as well. So that was kind of a weird spot to be in. Being fully committed to the tour but also kind of in the back of our heads we still had this album that still wasn’t quite finished yet. It was tricky but the tour itself was just awesome. We love those guys, Sleeping with Sirens, and it was a really cool tour to do, especially with our song Kings for a Day. I think we both looked at it as a way to end our year together.”
Long-time followers of Pierce the Veils’ music may hear something familiar in their new album. The band reunited with the producer of their last album, Dan Korneff, for the creation of Misadventures. It was stated that lead singer, Vic Fuentes, would focus on writing wherever he could while staying at Airbnb’s across San Diego, Santa Monica, Big Bear, and New York. Preciado elaborated on more of the process behind the band’s latest album. “First off, this has been the most interesting journey of an album to make we’ve ever done. We always say this every time we come out with a new record but this one’s truly, by far, our favorite record we’ve ever done. It’s the most work we’ve ever put into any record we’ve ever done. And with this one, we went back with our producer from Collide with the Sky and recorded it in Long Beach. And I think our goal for this record was to make it sound, sonically, like the best rock record we could possibly make at the time. With the instrumentation and the way everything sounded, we wanted it to sound way above and beyond any recording we’d ever heard. We spent a lot of time trying to get the right sound and pretty much everything for the whole record, so that was a big deal for us. But also, we wanted to make a record that stays with us. It’s a newer version of us and we always joke around that when we made that record, we literally couldn’t play any more melodies, any more notes, any more sounds. Everything we did was on that record. We couldn’t have done a single thing more. For us, looking back at it now, that’s what made the record so interesting for us was the process behind it. There’re 30 different places behind every album. Not necessarily to create it, but to actually find it. We knew it was kind of ready but we just needed that extra piece that was just floating around. We had to find it and I’m happy to say that we have. It’s been a trip.”
The band had initially planned for Misadventures to be released earlier, but between touring commitments and a conscious decision on the bands’ part to take their time in reaching the full potential set a different course for the album. Preciado explained some of the challenges the band faced during the creation of their latest album. “We wanted a certain amount of time and, for us, we always hit deadlines and that’s always been kind of the model for this band. We’ll have a two to three-month window to meet something and we’ll spend just about every second of it playing music. That’s just kind of how we work. But yeah, I think for the whole process of it, we kind of started out where we were working hard to get a really good-sounding record and so we spent a lot of time on tones and different instruments and with different equipment. At that time, we also had to scrap two songs in the studio and we had to create two new songs in the studio from scratch. Normally we have a really good idea of what we want to play when we head into the studio, so it was definitely a challenge. We stood in the room in a big circle with all our instruments and jammed. We jammed for days and days and days. It was definitely a challenge for us, especially with us trying to be creative on the spot in front of everyone. That was definitely a challenge. We sort of set up different and just kind of focused on developing parts of the songs. Those songs wound up turning into some of my favorite songs on the record. With doing all that and trying to develop those songs and then also having the other obligation with touring and also we had to do the Alternative Press Music Awards in the middle of all that. So that was another curve ball. We were pretty much isolated for a couple of months being completely surrounded by all your friends you’ve ever toured with. It kind of threw us for a strange ride. It’s good but then it’s also kind of bad at the same time. But it gets you out of the studio and also kind of gives you a little bit of inspiration, especially those tours and getting the chance to play music again while you still have to finish your record.”
While each of the band-mates has their roots in punk music, they also like to explore different genres of music and typically gather influences from all ends of the musical spectrum, according to Preciado. “We listen to all kinds of different music. I think with the song that we just put out, our second single, Texas is Forever, you can kind of hear where we were going with it. It has super-fast riffs and is almost like a punk song. We grew up listening to that kind of stuff and we think with the whole making of the cover concept… the sort of cut out pieces of these hand drawn blades… it sort of goes back to the hand-made flyers that kids would make on those Xerox machines. It was a big part of our lives. All of us going to shows with the punk-rock mentality of going to shows with your friends and kind of brings us back to that ‘safe place’ that shows provide. For us, that’s always been our main thing is being able to put a song on record that’s sort of a nod to that. Obviously, we get inspired by everything, though,” Preciado said thoughtfully. “Me, personally, I’m always trying to find the weirdest sounds ever [laughs]. Maybe it’s a pop song that has like a weird synth to it and I’ll be like ‘What is that? I want that!’ I’m always trying to explore music. We’ve always tried to kind of stay the same band but also make sure we adapt and grow along with the technology and times.”
Regardless of how hectic life on the road can be for the members of Pierce the Veil, they each still find time to stay connected to their fans via social media. The band spent years actively developing relationships with its fans through meet & greets while on tour and through extensive social media outreach. Because of this involvement, the band has organically built a massive and fiercely loyal fan-base. Preciado said that the bands’ social media pages often serve as a reminder of why they play music in the first place. “I think it’s just kind of a little reminder every day that what you’re doing is good and what you’re doing is helping someone,” said Preciado. “At the end of the day, we started this band to make music for ourselves and make this our life and make it an art form. We had no idea that this would turn into such a business vibe towards the later end where you have to start thinking about all these other things that come into play. For us, it was kind of crazy the way the band kind of grew and grew and we kind of had to ground ourselves and say ‘the fans are the reason why.’ Kids have been coming to our shows since day one and we try to thank them in every possible way, shape, and form. One example is when you look at the back of the CD… where it says ‘Pierce the Veil thanks,’ we don’t thank our families or close friends because we know we think about them all the time. We thank our fans because sometimes our fans don’t know how much we actually care about them. I think it’s good. It’s such a different time now where you can actually be so connected to people where it’s a positive thing. If you’re a positive person and you have that kind of vibe, which I think all of the guys in our band do, it’s a good thing. We’re all really happy to be where we’re at and happy to be playing music for a living, so I think it translates onto our social media. We never take any of that stuff for granted. It’s a good way to keep connected to thank them. Whether it’s us making contact or us just saying ‘hi’ or doing video chats or whatever… it’s the way to keep connected.”
Pierce the Veil recently revealed their first single from the album, Texas is Forever, on YouTube. Preciado went on to describe the story behind the track. “That was one of those songs that was inspired by the kind of old-style punk rock music that we used to all love. It’s got that fast-paced sound to it pretty much the whole song. The song actually started out as a bass riff. The intro of the song was going to be on bass but, in the studio, we kind of made a change to it. Our producer said it would sound a lot better on guitar… that it would make more sense on guitar. And sometimes, in the studio, you forget to look at the song as a whole. Our producer is really good at doing that stuff so he kind of helped put that in perspective and said ‘Trust me on this one,’ and he was right! It definitely changed the whole vibe of the song in a good way. It upped the ante a little bit. Lyrically, I’m sure Vic has mentioned it in other interviews but it’s kind of closing the book on a relationship that had kind of been dwindling and kind of puts an end to it. It’s kind of the final chapter.”
The band has toured with other wildly popular bands like All Time Low, the Devil Wears Prada, Mayday Parade and Sleeping With Sirens throughout their career. Now, having just finished up with their first world tour, Pierce the Veil already has a plan in motion to try new things and continue touring, according to Preciado. “We actually just announced a tour called the Misadventures Tour and we’re going to be playing in the US and we’re playing smaller venues but we’ll be playing the whole record in its’ entirety which is something that we’ve never ever done before. It’ll be a first time thing. I think we’re only going to do it this one time but I think it’ll be a great way for us to kind of wrap up this crazy two-three year journey,” explained Preciado. “It’ll be a fun time! We’re playing at smaller venues and just keeping things really intimate and just playing the record front to back. That’ll be the start of a ton of other things to come. We’ll definitely be doing a lot of touring to come.”
Preciado said he is certain that fans of PTV will enjoy the coming tour and that they are each looking forward to seeing their loyal fans at the shows. “Just like I say every time, man. We’ll see them at the shows! We’ll be doing a lot of touring. We’ve been home now for quite a bit of time so it’s definitely time to get back into touring. From what I’ve seen so far, we’ve got a lot of good shows to come!”
Things seem to be going pretty well for Pierce the Veil. They are about to release their long-awaited fourth studio album after having experienced their first world tour. Additionally, their recently announced Misadventures Tour is selling more and more tickets every day. Even though they’ve been busy, all of their hard work is paying off (as evidenced by what they’ve accomplished so far this year), and they really have nowhere to go but up.
PTV fans need yearn no longer. Misadventures is here.