The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world
Interview-Andy-Biersack-Black-Veil-Brides-July-2011

INTERVIEW - ANDY BIERSACK, BLACK VEIL BRIDES

 

By Todd Jolicouer

 

 




Toddstar: Andy, how are you today?


Andy Biersack: Hey, I’m doing alright. I recently broke a bunch of ribs you know, in my side so I am healing. I missed the first week of Warped Tour, and tomorrow is my first time back on stage so it’s kind of been an exciting day while packing. (Laughing)


Toddstar: I bet. Yeah, I’ve seen everything on the internet. That actually was going to be the first question other than saying Thank you so much for taking the time out for the Rockpit today. We’re huge, huge fans of Black Veil Brides.


Andy Biersack: Ah, thanks man.


Toddstar: Wrote a huge review for the new disc. Kevin [Chiaramonte, Black Veil Brides' PR - Ed] actually asked if I was on the payroll when he read the review of the new album. We just love it, it was actually the classic of the month and it’s already got my vote for classic of the year so, Kudos man. This album just tears it up.


Andy Biersack: Ah, thanks man. I really appreciate that. We’re really proud of it so it’s nice to hear.


Toddstar: Well, let’s kind of build up to it, you kind of hit on the rib thing. Everybody’s already seen the different videos. I think of it, and, I mean nothing really left to say other than its good to know that you’re healing. What did they say about you moving forward and jumping onto Warped Tour? Any restrictions or anything on you?


Andy Biersack: Ah, you know I’m supposed to sort not do too much movement on stage. Yesterday I went to the doctor and they told me that basically anything sort of like what I do can affect the healing process. I’m probably going to be in like a lot of pain which is sort of evident every day. I mean, it’s hard to do quick movements or the basic, you know, bending over to pick up stuff, that kind of thing, but I’m actually I’m healing, surprisingly fast. I think that a lot of that has to do with the fact that I made it a point to want to get back on tour and I got a hotel room and just sort of stayed in bed for the last 2 weeks. I just took the medicine and slept and fortunately I’m on the mend, so I’ll be in pain and I won’t be able to move much on stage, but I’ll always be there giving to the fans what they paid for.


Toddstar: Awesome. Well having seen you several times live now, I don’t know how you’re gonna stand still man cuz you’re always all over the place.


Andy Biersack: I know that I have to come up with some sort of hand gestures. (Laughing) How else can I entertain the audience?

 


Toddstar: (Laughing) Cool. Well let’s build up to the album. Let’s go back a step. You guys were awarded the Revolver Golden God award and now Kerrang crowned you guys Best International New Artist, I mean, did you ever in a million years think…


Andy Biersack: Ah, I did, I did. I did think that all those things would happen. I think, honestly, it’s because of an honest point in your life. Why the awards especially I think that, it’s because those things are fan voted. You’re looking at, you know it’s not even in terms of talking to us or anything; we just really won because they were voted on by fans bases. We connect on such a level with them that when you looking at awards that are voted by fans, another band doesn’t really stand a chance up against our fans. They’re so devoted and they spend so much time, you know, showing their love for the band that we were 100% confident going into both awards here and we were going to win and of course, we’re very pleased that we won and certainly other members of the audience at the awards were not as happy as the leather and make-up group carried their whiskey bottles up to accept the award. But you know, I think that what we did, and what we are doing is sort of showing that you know, the fan base is the most important and though we might not be accepted by the sort of “cool dude theme” that’s not what we really want. We’re not the cool guys, were not… we’re the outcasts. We believe that rock and roll is about kids believing in themselves and not really caring what society or the general American society, especially think.


Toddstar: Well that’s so true what you say about what you call the BVB army. I’m probably one of the older members because I’m an original member of the Kiss army myself but you guys have musically just turned my life on its ear. I can’t get enough of it. So you know speaking of your fans, someone who’s been around and watched rock and roll, you really do have a diehard set of fans. Its fun to watch you guys interact with them.


Andy Biersack: Yeah, another thing is that you know that it’s always funny whenever people talk about the age of our fans. The age of our fans, sort of like Kiss, it spans generations. I think other bands like Kiss and other bands we’re influenced by you know, the people that tend to be the original form of rock and roll music or what, I believe is the best form of rock and roll music. They seem to really appreciate and respect what we do and actually makes me very happy because the devotion and those things it’s not that crazy of a thing to think of but when you look at it… I mean, what we have now especially in music is lead bands of the last decade or so they sort of run rock music into the ground. Music has no presence really in pop culture anymore. You watch the music awards shows, you watch the other things and you’re lucky if you see it, you know, Nickelback or something on there, and it’s sort of hysteria and the fan devotion is sort of something that seems to only be saved for people like Justin Beiber or that kind of thing and I think it’s about time that rock and roll music has a band that really has those sort of people as devoted to it. I think that, you know, the t-shirt and jeans crowd, the sort of boring non-entertainer’s crowd has had their time and look what they done with it. It’s time I think for theatrics and rebellion and sort of real, you know rock and roll to come back.

 


Toddstar: Well thank you for grabbing that torch and being willing to run with it Andy.


Andy Biersack: It’s the best. It’s all I’ve ever wanted man.


Toddstar: Well that’s cool. Let’s talk about the album. Like I said, it’s fucking killer, from start to finish and actually I was so geeked, I got home the other day and my Japanese version was in the mail. So I actually have “Smoke & Mirrors” now…


Andy Biersack: Oh, Awesome. I saw the Japanese’s versions for the first time the other day and I got a copy, couple copies of the vinyl which is pretty sick looking.


Toddstar: Yeah, I’ve got to get my hands on that. I try to put my hands on everything. I’m still trying to find the original EP that you guys recorded. That thing is impossible to find but…


Andy Biersack: Oh dude, the “Sex and Hollywood,” yeah. (Laughing)


Toddstar: “Set the World on Fire” - quite a change sonically from your first album moving towards more of the rock, less of you know, what I would call more of like a screamo or hardcore, metalcore. You went more into a rock vein which I think was a great move for you guys. Especially you, it really brings out the fact that you can sing.


Andy Biersack: Oh, yeah, I appreciate that man, but I think that for us the whole metalcore thing, the screaming and all that was something we were never were really totally comfortable with. It’s like we went to what sort of influenced us to make music. I think it shows a lot more on this record, but in terms of the screaming, we always thought it was a way of accenting a lyrical point. If you listen to our records, our old stuff we’re not one of those bands that just screaming and stuff. For me the screaming sort of represented the kind of thing and you look at Sebastian Bach, especially in the old days. A lot of what he was doing was very similar to the screaming and something happens or Billy Idol had those little growls and thing. We just always kind of saw it as an extension of the music and there was some of it obviously on the new record, I feel like I have improved as a singer and as a songwriter to the point that I didn’t need it anymore. I sort of learned how to write a better song and I felt like, it got to the point where if a song called for it we weren’t going to not put it in but it just seemed like less songs and more and more songs were you know, sort of fine on their own and didn’t need the screaming.


Toddstar: That’s a great point, thank you for pointing that out because I think lyrically you guys just went leaps and bounds. You can tell that you guys are working together and the touring and the bonding with your fans and just the life experiences that you had between the last album and now. Lyrically you can see it and you can hear it.

 


Andy Biersack: Yeah, I think that you know, for us the old notion you have 20 years to make your first record and then you have a year to make your second and that second year is sort of the most eventful year of your lives. You are touring and doing all those things. I mean, we definitely grew and I think matured as better musicians but we just had to write better songs. I’m incredibly proud of “Set The World On Fire” in terms of us. It’s the true representation of what I’ve always wanted to do musically and you know, all 11 tracks are literally my favorite songs and I’m very happy that the fans had such a positive reaction to it and that inspired us to want to make a 3rd record. Obviously we’re going to be touring you know, well up into next year but as soon as we can we want to get back and make a 3rd record cuz you look at bands like Kiss and those bands and they would put out records every year and the fans always had something new to listen to. Bands are sort of lost; they put out a good record that has some positive reaction and will do well and start well and then they sort of you know, rest and rely on the fact that they had something positive in their lives, then they sort of lose everything that was good. We’re hungry; we want to keep pushing while we’re at this point in our career.


Toddstar: That’s so good to know as a fan. It’s unfair to ask you to pick a favorite so let me ask you of the songs on “Set The World On Fire”, which song came easiest?


Andy Biersack: Lyrically for me, “Savior” probably came easiest just cuz it’s a song that I had sort of in my head as a combination of things for the last 6 months to a year. That’s a song lyrically that I had, I mean I think it took me like literally like 15 minutes to write. I walked out, smoked a cigarette, came back in, and had all the lyrics to like 3 different variations. Lyrically the chorus in that song means so much to me, I thought about it endlessly and how I wanted to sort of portray the notion of you know, what happened in terms of the band, and the message, which is believing in yourselves. Just the way that our messages have struck a nerve, or struck a chord with our audience, we sort of become like therapists. I guess especially to our younger fans. They come to us with these problems of things in their life’s that we’re not really equipped to answer you know, we’re just guys in a rock band that we don’t really see ourselves, never wanted to be role models. We want to have a good time and play rock music. Now so many kids rely on us you know, especially the younger audience rely on us for help in their lives and you know, I wanted that song to sort of show maybe we don’t always know what to say but we’re always going to try our best to be there for our audience in regardless of their age or gender or interest. We’re always going to be there and be the band that writes the songs for them. Our songs especially are the way we can offer you help because we’re musicians; we know how to write songs, that’s our way of sort of offering our hearts and what we feel.


Toddstar: Well, very cool. I want to talk to you a little bit about a tour, or at least the tour stops mini tour that you got coming up later this year. Soundwave Revolution.


Andy Biersack: Ah yeah. That’s going to be fun - that’s Australia; our first time in Australia. Very few places now that we haven’t visited yet. We spent a bit of time in Europe touring, but now we’re going to get to go down to Australia. We’re going back to Japan, then another European tour. Then we’re going to go to South America so there’s a lot of cool stuff coming up this year and a chance to really see fans all over the world.


Toddstar: Well, cool. Well the reason I bring up Soundwave Revolution is because actually The Rockpit and my editors are based out of Perth, Australia so they’re really cheesed cuz they hear so many things from me and they see the pictures I take at the shows and they read my review…made them both run out and buy a copy of the disc immediately just when they read my review.


Andy Biersack: Awesome.

 


Toddstar: So, I want to throw a couple questions at you that they had, if you don’t mind?


Andy Biersack: Ok.


Toddstar: While you’re there are you planning on any side trips in Australia or is the timeline just going to be too tight from this far out?


Andy Biersack: I want to hold and see a koala. That’s all I want. So my sole purpose is to try to hold and see a koala. I have a koala bear tattooed on my arm and it’s just been a running joke within the band that I have a koala bear drinking a bottle of whiskey with my stage name tattooed on my arm. It’s just sort of an inside joke that the crew and the band have. I’ve always sort of wanted a koala bear. We want to have a koala bear to dress up like us and wear little leather gloves to cover its talons, but I just want to see a koala that’s my only thing. Other than that, playing shows, having fun, and drinking - but a koala bear would be great.


Toddstar: Well, cool ok. Well they want to know if you’re packing industrial strength grease paint for the heat.


Andy Biersack: You know, our make-up in particular we don’t really like it to look too perfect so we put it on and it sort of kind of sweats off naturally and the body paint, the grease paint I like to have it look like its running and kind of shitty so we’ll be packing our normal stuff and we’ll see where it goes from there.


Toddstar: Cool. Last Australian question, then we’ll get back to life here - If you had to describe your sound to some of the Australians, the whole 3 that don’t know who you guys are yet, how would you describe the sound of the Black Veil Brides?


Andy Biersack: You know what I’ll do you one better. Anyone that wants to hear what Black Veil Brides sounds like, in this day and age it's so easy to do so - go on the internet or go anywhere and pick up our record, I agonize over bands that try to describe in words what their music sounds like, it’s an audio thing, and people can go listen to it. Cuz ultimately I could go here and say it sounds like “an explosion, a volcano” but it doesn’t, it sounds like rock music…so go pick up a Black Veil Brides record, go online, do whatever you have to do then you can know what it sounds like.


Toddstar: Great answer. When you guys were in Detroit on your last stop which was the AP tour, you hung around a lot with a guy that actually showed up at the Detroit gig in November of 2010: Matt Good. Is he like your best friend man, everywhere you see you on the internet you see Matt.


Andy Biersack: Yeah, he is definitely my best friend. He’s like the brother I never had. We tease each other and fuck with each other every day. He’s my best pal. He lives with me and yeah we’re very close. He’s a very similar person to me, but a bit more… I think he’s a bit more naïve. He’s a bit more optimistic, I’m a little bit more of a realist so we sort of balance each other out in that regard.


Toddstar: Cool, cool. Well, Warped Tour, you’re getting out there tomorrow. What are you hoping to get out of this, cuz I mean not exactly uh, not exactly farfetched for Black Veil to be on this but you guys aren’t typically known like as a skater band either so I mean, are you hoping to get out there and make a couple more fans?


Andy Biersack: You know, I think honestly more than anything I saw it as an opportunity to, the funny thing is and I’ve been asked this before, people say that what we are is being sort of a scene band or whatever. The idea of bands like Nirvana those things sort of killed off the scene that we sort of associate more with and then people say Warped tour as being something that spawned from that. But to me, Warped Tour is more about punk rock and I think that we’re a lot more punk rock than any other like Christian mall formed band that is on that tour, so I’m looking to bring chaos to the Warped Tour. To bring things that maybe you know, aren’t usually seen. I mean, you look and when we walk in anywhere, looking the way that we do, being the band that we are, we have a reputation I think. So that’s a thing that I think a lot of bands don’t understand. We’re ready to lay it down and get on with it. You know it’s never been about trying to make new fans, cuz we’re not trying to pander to an audience. We go out there and play our show and people enjoy it and that’s great, but we know who our fans are. We’re there to perform for them. If people want to join in on the army, it’s great for us and we would definitely welcome them with open arms so we’re not going out there to try to win over a different crowd cuz we’re Black Veil Brides and if people like that then that’s great.


Toddstar: Well cool. Let me wrap up. I’ve got a couple questions, I know you probably got a busy day going and you’re still chilling out before you hit the road tomorrow.


Andy Biersack: Yeah man, I got to pack; it’s the last packing day before the tour.


Toddstar: Yeah, so I’ll be quick and wrap up a couple. If you weren’t doing music, what would you be doing Andy?


Andy Biersack: I can’t, I can’t imagine what I would be doing, you know. Maybe I’d be Batman, that’s the only other career that ever seems viable. (Laughing)


Toddstar: Ok, well to Andy, what is the meaning of life?


Andy Biersack: Ah, I think the meaning of life is whatever you make it. I mean we’re only here for so long. There’s so many things, so many variables and things that you do on your life but to me the meaning of life is just being who you wanna be and enjoying your life the way that you want to, you know. Doing what you want to do and whatever makes you happy. If you find something that you enjoy, don’t ever let anybody tell you that it’s wrong.


Toddstar: Well cool, great answer. Thank you so much. Well listen, if you get a chance hit Kevin up, he’s got the link to the review I did, I’d love for you to see it just to know what kind of, what kind of impression you made on a guy that’s been listening to music for 30+ years. I mean, this is, in my opinion, one of the best albums I’ve heard in 20 years. So…


Andy Biersack: Oh dude, that’s …that’s defiantly killer. I really appreciate that man.


Toddstar: Thank you for all you do. I’m very proud to be a member of the Black Veil Brides Army and I look forward to marching many years into the future with you.


Andy Biersack: Well, you’re in Detroit, we’ll see you there.


Toddstar: Yes, you will. Thanks again for the time, Andy.


Andy Biersack: Thanks brother. Bye.

 

To read The Rock Pits review of Set The World On Fire, go to http://www.therockpit.net/2011%20Reviews/Black-Veil-Brides-Set-The-World-On-Fire-CD.php

To see photos from the Black Veil Brides AP Tour show from Detroit, MI, go here => http://toddstar-photography.smugmug.com/Music/Black-Veil-Brides-April-9-2011/16707611_ZjCF2G#1260178823_w7p4qmG

 

BLACK VEIL BRIDES tour Australia as part of the SOUNDWAVE REVOLUTION super-festival.

 

Sat 24 Sep - Brisbane

Sun 25 Sep - Sydney

Fri 30 Sep - Melbourne

Sat 1 Oct - Adelaide

Mon 3 Oct - Perth