Many things define the popular hard rock/metal band Black Veil Brides, depending on whom you ask. For some, it's their distinct appearance of black makeup and paint (decreasing more each year), tight black studded clothing and long hair. For others, it's their inspiration (some might call it a blatant rip-off) drawn from such '80s glam metal acts as KISS, Twisted Sister, and Motley Crue. And for others still it may be the band's supporters, which include such legends as Zakk Wylde, and their insanely devoted fans who have garnered the band an array of Golden God Awards over the past three years.
One thing I know for sure is that people love to hate them -- regardless of the awards, the famous fans, and a throw back to a genre of metal that was once highly revered.
Love them or hate them, Black Veil Brides are here to stay for a while.
Black Veil Brides are playing Warped Tour on Thursday, June 27, at Quail Run Park in Mesa.
Whatever your feelings may be about BVB, 2013 is looking to be an impressive year for the band. They released The Wretched and Divine: The Story of the Wild Ones earlier this month, which debuted at number seven in the United States. The band released a motion picture as well, Legion of the Black, and have toured since 2009, performing with such artists as Murderdolls, Avenged Sevenfold, Asking Alexandria and D.R.U.G.S.
Up on the Sun talked with lead singer Andy Biersack about how much he loves himself, the horror film he would love to score, and how he just doesn't give a damn about what you (or I) think.
Up on the Sun: How are you doing today? Andy Biersack: Warped Tour is definitely an animal, so it takes about two weeks to get used to the change of the schedule. I feel like shit, actually. My throat is killing me.
I'm surprised you're doing interviews. Yeah, well, I love talking about myself.
So I know you started BVB around the time you were 14, and you're the only original member. What was your childhood like? It was somewhat normal. I was just always obsessed with rock bands, particularly bands like KISS and Motley Crue. That led to my love of punk rock music, like the Misfits and the Damned. So by the time I was 14, there was really nothing else I could possibly want to do, so I started writing songs. At a young age, they were terrible songs. I mean, you don't have any life experience at that point. It was just whatever came into my head.
My whole thing was that I never believed that bands that I liked were some supernatural thing. I felt that everything they were doing I could do if I worked hard enough and wanted it bad enough.
Were you surrounded by a lot of music? I mean my dad was in a band while he was younger. I don't think my mom can really sing though, but my dad was always into music.
I was at the Golden Gods Award show and thought you guys handled the audience really well, actually. Why do you think there is this disgruntled feeling among some people in the metal world when it comes to BVB? I don't know. Honestly I don't really care. Moments like that are just a culmination of a lot of frustration and anger. Myself, though, I feel like we're positive, and it's okay -- we have a fan base that is the one causing us to win these awards. They are fan-voted.
People can be disgruntled all they want, but it's overwhelming when a large portion of people are such a strong fan base and so devoted to us, [so] I'd rather think about that.
You guys have won a Golden God for Most Dedicated Fans a couple of years in a row. What's the craziest experience you've had with a fan? You know, honestly, we don't really have a specific one . . . We normally have a lot of kindness around us. Fans want to come to the shows and show us their admiration. No one has really acted insane, though.
So no girl fans mailing vials of blood? See, those things -- we take them in stride. We're used to people wanting to be close to the band. So yes, we get the hair locks and panties and letters, but I don't think that's crazy. I think that's just trying to connect with somebody.
Are you guys working on anything new right now? No, just Warped Tour. Like I said, it's a different animal. It's hard to concentrate on or consider anything else when we're on this tour. And I don't think I could even write in this context, even if I wanted to. You know, you get up early in the morning, you're constantly scheduled, exhausted all day, you play a show, and by the end of the day you just want to go to the BBQ and go to bed.
Warped Tour is almost like taking a break from writing. But once it's over, we will certainly start production on the next album.
So with the ever-growing success, as well as how much scrutiny the public and media can really put on you guys, do you find the pressure increases or decreases when it comes to public performances and your albums? I think the pressure always increases. I think that's par for the course. It doesn't necessarily bother me, though. I'm always kinda feeding off of the emotions of people.
I like when people are so passionate one way or the other. With scrutiny or people telling us that we're going to fail, we always say we've succeeded up until this point so I don't see why that would change.
You've said you're really influenced by darker cinema and heroic figures, like Batman. Do you identify with the villain or hero more in films? A little bit of both, honestly. That's why I love a character like Batman, because there's also the road of failure. Then there's the character like Joker who is as every bit as important of Batman, and that duality of positive and negative.
And having a hero of a guy of a guy wearing all black is unusual. I like that. I don't ever have as much interest in something like Rocky, where it's clearly one guy who is the victor, and then everyone cheers for him, and the other person is so terrible. I prefer to have sympathy for both characters.
What's one of your favorite horror films? I like older movies, like Frankenstein and Dracula.
If you could've scored a horror film, which film would you choose? Probably something classic, just like Frankenstein, because there are all those big moments, like when the villagers attacked him.
What's your favorite band and when was the first time you saw them? Alkaline Trio, and the first time I saw them was when I was like 13.
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If you could change one of your personality traits, which would it be? [Repeats question softly.]. Probably none. I love all of my flaws.
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