When we interviewed Black Veil Brides lead singer Andy Biersack last week, ahead of their performance at Warped Tour on Thursday, lots of fans -- from in and out of town -- wrote in to talk about how much they loved the band. A smaller, very vocal contingent, though, wrote in to talk about how much they hated the band. That's not an uncommon occurrence in music, but it got us wondering: Why do so many people hate Black Veil Brides?
The majority of this hate, I'm convinced, stems from misunderstanding and jealousy. Now, before you stop reading this, don't get me wrong -- I'm not a Black Veil Brides fan. As much as I've tried, I'm just not enthusiastic on any level about their music. It's kind of like Lil Wayne, for me . . . I want to understand why these people are so loved and famous and revered, but no matter how much I listen to the music, it just doesn't compute.
Which is completely fine. It's not my place to understand certain bands, just as the Black Veil Brides -- consisting of Biersack (lead vocals), Ashley Purdy (bass, backing vocals), Jake Pitts (lead guitar), Jinxx (rhythm guitar, violin) and Christian "CC" Coma (drums) -- don't care whether everyone accepts their music.
People tend to get subconsciously jealous of those who brag about a party lifestyle -- they covet the experience of people who are doing what they love for a living; they're envious when they think one of the members has a record-producer father. There's been controversy over negative comments made about the band by people as well-known as Five Finger Death Punch's Ivan Moody and All That Remains' Phil LaBonte, who've hinted that Black Veil Brides are anything but metal.
Granted, Black Veil Brides' lyrics deal with typical heavy metal topics. They are aimed at those who feel like outcasts in society, the underdogs and disenfranchised. They like to embrace the weirdos, and they constantly tell their fans to believe in themselves and make the most of their lives. However, I finally figured out that my problem with Black Veil Brides has nothing to do with the argument over whether they are or are not metal. They clearly are.
The problem here seems to be that the band edges a little closer to the "emo" tag than the world of old-school metal fans would like -- that's all. Their name even tells all: Black Veil Brides is a Roman Catholic term used for when a woman marries into the church, giving up all the pleasures of life in order to devote herself to God. It's both positive and negative, a wedding and a funeral.
Combine that dark, heavy (nowadays deemed as "emo," in a lot of cases) with music that reaches a younger generation and a fuck-you attitude, and the older generation of metalheads -- pretty much the largest -- gets rubbed the wrong way. And the band has also evolved immensely. Each new record is quite different from the previous one, and those changes in influences, style, and attitude have also affected their physical appearance as well. Sometimes, that makes it hard to take a band seriously when A) they're so young and B) they demand respect for their "consistent" music.
The band's first album, 2010's We Stitch These Wounds, consisted of melodic metal with a lot of harsh screaming. With the release of 2011's Set the World on Fire, their appearance had evolved to be more glam metal, and their sound switched from harsh screams and melodic solos to more growled vocals. 2013's Wretch and Divine: The Story of the Wild Ones, has more of a punk influence with symphonic additions.
Then again, if we discriminate against bands who switch styles early on, we would have to target Pantera's early glam-metal spandex ways as well. And instead of Dimebag Darrell, we'd be talking about Diamond Darrell. Don't worry, guys -- I'm not comparing the two. It's just an example.
On that note, there are three things I find enjoyable about the Black Veil Brides:
1. Their attitude. I saw this firsthand at the Golden God Awards, where the band won a Golden God for the third year in a row (it's fan-voted, so if people don't agree they should get out there and vote, dammit) and were repeatedly booed and pelted with objects while standing side-stage.
BVB walked out with swagger, pretty much told everyone to fuck off because they're fat and bearded (they've since apologized), thrusted crotches into faces, and flipped the bird. If nothing else, they embody the epitome of the rock 'n' roll attitude.
2. Lead singer Andy Biersack's charming aura, which drives hundreds of tween girls to attend metal shows to scream and cry. If there ever was one, Biersack is the heavy metal Justin Bieber. Watching the crowd is just as amusing as watching the band perform.
3. The band members, or at least the three I've seen speak in interviews and have spoken with personally, are intelligent, insightful, and easygoing, and have supreme confidence in their music.
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