Pierce the Veil
Vic Fuentes – Vocals / Guitar Mike Fuentes – Drums Tony Perry – Lead Guitar Jaime Preciado – Bass
San Diego shredders Pierce The Veil didn’t intentionally set out to write their hardest-charging album yet—and 2012’s most electrifying release—It was a surprise to even the band’s members just how far they’d take it, and the resulting third full-length, Collide With The Sky, which debuted at #12 on the Billboard Top 200, selling 27,000 in the first week, and over 240,000 sold.
“It came out a lot heavier than our past records. We didn’t plan it that way, but when we got the finished product and listened to it all the way through, we realized that this is definitely the furthest we’ve taken the rock aspect of the band,” says singer/guitarist Vic Fuentes. “We wrote this album knowing that the first thing that we were going to do was Warped Tour, so that put us in the live show mind set right off the bat. I think that idea carried on even further than we thought, because the whole record came out pretty crazy and aggressive.”
Pierce The Veil was formed in 2006 by brothers Mike and Vic Fuentes. The duo wrote and recorded PTV’s debut album, 2007’s A Flair For The Dramatic, as a two-piece, then enlisted lead guitarist Tony Perry and bass player Jaime Preciado soon after; PTV was then forged through lengthy tours, including runs with A Day to Remember, Chiodos, The Devil Wears Prada and Mayday Parade. Their first headlining tour came in fall 2008, and featured Breathe Carolina and Emarosa, before ending the record cycle with Taste of Chaos 2009. Later that year (June 2009) the band issued their sophomore release, Selfish Machines, which peaked at #1 on Billboard’s “Top Heatseekers” chart. Another massive touring cycle followed, including slots on Warped Tour and Take Action Tour, as well as and co-headliners with Escape The Fate and Miss May I, before the band finally had the opportunity to return home and begin writing anew.
Now four years later, Pierce The Veil are ready to up the ante still further. For their latest release and first for label Fearless Records, the band spent an intense three months recording the tracks, collaborating with producers Dan Korneff and Kato Khandwala at the pair’s House of Loud studio in Elmwood Park, New Jersey. Although many extensive work days ensued that ran well into the small hours, the partnership between band and producers was beyond fruitful, and Pierce The Veil emerged with Collide With The Sky, arguably their most impressive and innovative effort to date.
“I think our band has realized over the years that we can’t make records fast. Just physically, it takes longer to record our stuff, because we do a lot of layering and different sounds,” says Fuentes. “[Korneff and Khandwala] have got a crazy work ethic, kind of like I do, where each day doesn’t really end until two or three in the morning. Toward the end, we were staying up all night trying to get a lot of stuff done. It was cool to be on the same page, and not have to feel bad for wanting to work all the time. The guys were just always down.”
Key tracks sure to get listeners’ adrenaline surging include the flamenco-metalcore fusion of “Bulls In The Bronx” and the infatuating melodies of “Props & Mayhem,” while lead single “King For A Day” features a cameo by Kellin Quinn from Sleeping With Sirens, who connected with Fuentes via Twitter. “I didn’t know him at all, and we started getting tweeted together 10 or 20 times a day, just kids saying, ‘Hey, you guys should do a song together,’ so we started talking on Twitter, and that’s how we became friends,” says Fuentes. “I was like, ‘Man, this is a no-brainer: We should do a song together,’ so I put together some parts and he wrote some stuff as well. Since we’re doing Warped Tour together, we thought it would be cool if we put out the song early and performed it on stage together.”
Lyrically, Fuentes was inspired to tackle a broad range of topics on Collide With The Sky, from
relationships to jaded rock stars to friends in serious peril. The album takes an especially personal and meaningful turn with the track “A Match Into Water,” inspired by the singer’s ex- girlfriend, who recently struggled—and won—a battle with breast cancer.
“It’s just been a crazy thing, seeing a friend of yours facing something that could kill them,” reflects Fuentes. “She had a particularly aggressive case and had a lot of treatment to do right away—she lost her hair, the whole deal—and the song is kind of a tribute to her for staying so strong through it all, and me just being so proud of her for getting through it.”
Another track, “Hell Above,” is an open letter to fans, urging them to find a sense of community and support from music and at shows, if nowhere else. “That song comes from a lot of talking to kids over the years—getting letters, fan mail, messages, stuff like that—and kids feeling like they don’t have anywhere to go, or they’re not getting support from their families or friends. The song touches on that feeling of emptiness,” says Fuentes. “I started announcing on stage that if you have nowhere else to go, at least tonight this is going to be our home. I think a lot of people truly need that.”
The band’s deep respect toward fans also colors the more confrontational aspects of Collide With The Sky. There are many places throughout the lyrics, where Fuentes calls out pseudo rock stars who’ve lost their way. The album minces few words when it comes to the band’s opinion on the state of the scene, and “King For A Day”, and “The First Punch” are one of several shots fired across the bow.
“It’s just that whole rock star mentality that I can’t believe sometimes; you’ve got to appreciate the things that are happening around you. Some of the songs are just kind of like a ‘fuck you’ to a lot of those ungrateful people,” says Fuentes. “We’ve worked really hard to get to this point, and I really hate when people don’t appreciate their fans and take for granted all the shit they have.”
After a hugely successful summer on the Vans Warped Tour and a #12 Billboard Top 200 Albums debut for Collide With The Sky, the band stormed into 2013 with a US headline tour, and a sold- out North American routing with All Time Low, and a massive U.S. Sold-out run with A Day To Remember.
The band released their first-ever documentary DVD This Is A Wasteland in the fall of 2013. The film gives fans an inside look at life on the road as the San Diego, CA quartet embark on their worldwide tour. The band chronicles the extraordinary life of international touring through exclusive interviews, previously unreleased live performance footage, travel experiences, and everything-in-between. Filmed throughout the band’s routing through South America, Asia, Europe, Australia, and a sold-out North American headline run on the Spring Fever Tour, the 60- minute power packed film captures what the band does best; a definite fan must-see. The film went on sell to win a Golden God Award for ‘Best Film & Video.’
The band has had multiple appearances on Last Call With Carson Daly, appeared on the cover of Alternative Press’ Most Anticipated Issue 2014, and are nominated for the inaugural Alternative Press Music Awards for Artist Of The year, Artist Philanthropic Award with Keep A Breast Foundation, Best Live Band, Most Dedicated Fans, Best Vocalist (Vic Fuentes), Best Bassist (Jaime Preciado), and Best Drummer (Mike Fuentes).
“We’re definitely looking to push things a little further than we’ve ever gone,” says Fuentes. “We’re always challenging ourselves to try and do things a little more creatively, and take things a little further than what you’ve seen before.”
Sleeping with Sirens
Kellin Quinn – Vocals Jack Fowler – Lead Guitar Jesse Lawson – Rhythm Guitar Justin Hills – Bass Gabe Barham – Drums Now four years into their existence, the post-hardcore quintet Sleeping With Sirens continue to evolve and mature as artists, gradually shaping their unmistakable blend of fury and melody into a sound that’s wholly their own. The band’s third full-length album, Feel, presents another crucial step on the band’s ongoing journey toward their sonic destiny. Sleeping With Sirens—which also includes guitarists Jesse Lawson and Jack Fowler, bassist Justin Hills and drummer Gabe Barham—was formed in 2009. The Grand Rapids, Mich.-based group’s first album for Rise Records, With Ears To See And Eyes To Hear, debuted in March 2010 at #7 on Billboard’s “Top Heatseekers” chart, and at #36 on “Top Independent Albums.” Released in May 2011, their sophomore full-length, Let’s Cheers To This, peaked at #78 on Billboard’s “Top 200” chart, as well as #13 on “Top Independent Albums” and #5 in “Hard Rock.” 2012’s appraised acoustic EP, If You Were A Movie, This Would Be Your Soundtrack, debuted at #17 on Billboard’s “Top 200.” The band has toured extensively, sharing stages with fellow scene stalwarts like We Came As Romans, Falling In Reverse, Alesana, A Skylit Drive, Blessthefall, Emmure, For All Those Sleeping and Motionless In White. The band entered Orlando-based Chango Studios in early 2013 to record Feel with producer Cameron Mizell. Mizell and Sleeping With Sirens were thrilled to join forces once again after having previously worked together on 2010‘s With Ears To See And Eyes To Hear. While Feel sees the band challenging people’s initial perception of their music, Quinn notes, “The songs are grown-up, but still Sleeping With Sirens.” The remainder of 2013 promises to hold even more exciting new developments for Sleeping With Sirens, with the band leaving almost no stone unturned as they tour across the world. First up is a sold-out headlining UK run in Spring 2013 which immediately saw venues being upgraded twice in a matter of days, followed by a full summer with Vans Warped Tour as the main stage headliners and shows all across Europe this fall. “Get ready for this new [full-length] record, because it’s going to be insane,” says Quinn, “It’s going to be the best thing we’ve ever done. We’re excited for our band, and our fans, to be part of it. We’re making music that is still going to be the Sleeping with Sirens that everyone loves, but we’re definitely also growing and maturing. We’re always moving toward bigger and better.”