Andy and Jake has welcomed us with warm smile and shaking hands. Andy, of course, has lit up his first cigarette before we even settled down on our chairs.
Andy, first I want to ask you because you formed the band initially in Ohio, am I right?
What was behind the initial idea of forming Black Veil Brides? What did you want to achieve?
Andy: I dunno, I don’t think I developed as many aspirations. When I first started the band, like until later on, I think when I first started the band, I just wanted a band you know, like any young kid wants to play rock music. I think it was as I started to realize what the reality of being a band was, and how kids can come see the show and how sort of the other bands, local bands, were giving a shit, I realized how important it was that, you know, what the music should be about and what the message of the band should be. But I would be lying if I said that when I started the band I was like “I wanna be you know whatever” because I think that when I was a little kid I always wanted to do this thing. It was like something for the outcasts or for the kids that felt like me but I was you know 13 years old, 14 years old, it’s like you don’t really have that strong aspirations when you’re that young. You have ideas but they don’t form more solid until you get older so by the time I was like 16, 17 that’s when I knew what the message of the band was gonna be and what the ideas were.
Your first video for Knives and Pens had huge success and it was your first video. What did you think about it?
Andy: You can’t really get upset about it. We made that video for no money and I didn’t even have a band at that time, I had… It’s sort of funny that people think that Chris Hollywood and Sandra (Alva) and everybody were like full fledged. Sandra was the only one that was like a full fledged member of the band at the time and I asked Chris to come and join to do the video with me. It was like we never played a show live and I don’t even think either of them really knew the song. It’s just sort of a thing like I had this idea where I wanted to do this video and they were my friends so they came and did it with me. We didn’t know it was gonna blow up like it did. And then it became like this huge thing. There was actually a guy who was supposed to be a bass player in the video. His name was like Alan or something and I met him like four days before the video and then his dog died the night before the video so he left and didn’t do the video. And, uh, I’m sure he’s happy with that decision now.
Andy: No. (laughs)
Ok, I know that you’re still in touch with Sandra, right?
Are you still in touch with Chris?
Andy: No, not so much. I mean, nothing against him. I just, you know, there’s people that come and go in your life and if I see him I always very cordial, we hang out, like, you know, he came to a show recently, we hung out. There’s just certain people that, you know, I spent a lot more time with Sandra in my life that I did with anybody else so she’s probably closer to all of us than anybody else.
Jake, I wanted to ask you, why did you join the Black Veil Brides, why did you choose this band?
Jake: Jinxx had started kinda working with them a little bit and I was doing another project with Jinxx and CC so he kinda showed me it and I just saw a lot of potential and decided to check it out and now we’re all in it together so I just knew it was the right thing to do.
Your latest single, Unbroken, has appeared on the soundtrack for the Avengers movie, have you seen it?
Andy: The movie?
Andy: Yeah, it’s great.
Jake: I have not seen it.
– You need to see it! It’s great. I love it.
Jake: I’ll have to do that.
– I love the song more but…
Andy: No, it’s very good movie.
Have you read the book? I know that you’re a fan of comic books.
Andy: Yeah, I don’t really like the Marvel comic books as much but I like when they put my song in their movie so… (laughs) No, it’s funny ‘cause fans were like “Oh, he hates Marvel, blah blah blah” It’s really nothing against it it’s just like I don’t see anything wrong with having your song in a movie of super heroes when you’re as big a comic book fan as I am and as a band we have a very visual thing so… Nothing against it and Avenger’s movie is fucking awesome so.. I just never read the comic as a kid…
I want to ask you about your fans; they call themselves “BVB Army” and I was wondering who came up with the name? Was it you, was it the band or was it the fans?
Andy: It was the fans, I don’t know what started it. It’s just started as, I don’t know, it was like a Twitter maybe we were reading kids saying it and they kinda just formed their own thing. We never said like “This is what you are”, ’cause there’s the Kiss Army, that’s probably the most famous thing… If we would have, if we could have chosen our fan club name I don’t think it would have been the BVB Army, it’s kinda like already done thing. But when your fans call themselves that makes them feel unified so it feels good. I mean, look at it, it represents something too, the idea of fighting against something together; so we like it, you know, and I’m glad that the fans did that, it’s cool. Not a lot of bands have fans that are so dedicated as to give themselves their own fan club, like create their own thing.
What would you call it then?
If it was up to Andy Biersack… :)
Andy:I don’t know, I can’t think of anything…
What about you, Jake?
Jake: I don’t know. I think that’s up to the fans to decide.
Andy: Orange Chicken Parade (laughs)
I know that Black Veil Brides have played with such legends as Sebastian Bach or Mötley Crüe and now you’ll be at the same festival as Guns N’ Roses (unfortunately, BVB were forced to cancel their show at Graspop Metal Meeting just a few days after the interview, autor’s note), is there still some bands you would like to join on stage? You would like to play with?
Andy: Well, you know, it’s funny because there’s always those bands that you look up to when you were a kid but I don’t think any of us have any aspirations of… I don’t know I think we like our band. I don’t think any of us are like “I wish I could play with…” – it’s not the same. Jake can end up playing with Van Halen. I’m sure that would be a fun moment but it wouldn’t be the same as when you were a little kid saying “I wanna be like Eddie Van Halen.”
Jake: Yeah, I wanna be me.
They’re back now, you can play with them.
Rebels EP includes two covers – Unholy, originally by Kiss, and Rebel Yell by Billy Idol, is there some other cover you would like do, or maybe you plan on doing?
Andy: There’s always songs that I hear and I’m like “Oh, we would do cool version of this” but I don’t think we intend on doing any covers, on this record. Maybe we’ll do it as a bonus track or something.
And what led you to the decision to do these specific covers?
Andy: It’s just fun to be honest with you. We’ve had some downtime and we wanted to release something for the fans ’cause it felt like a little while since we’d put out some new music and we’re the kind of band that’s always working. I mean, look, we put out a record every year, we put out multiple videos, even out of cycle we’ve just put out the Coffin video for the fans the other day, we always like to have new stuff for the fans to see and listen to, so the Rebels EP was literally just the thing like “hey, you know, we’ve got little bit of time, let’s do something”. We’ve had that song Coffin, (it) was kinda half way done, I hadn’t written lyrics to it yet but there was something sitting around, something that Jake had really worked on for years and it always felt like a solid song so we kinda built the EP around the idea of making that song. We wanted to do something with that song so we did an EP so we had somewhere to put that song.
I wanted to ask you about the videos, is it like your ideas what the videos are supposed to look like or is it Patrick’s, the director’s, ideas?
Andy: I usually work with Patrick pretty closely. Patrick and Richard; Richard is the guy who does all of our artwork, he does the design for most of them, but for Coffin initially, I wrote the whole treatment and screenplay idea for that and then kinda worked with Patrick and Richard on making it real but with other videos usually I sit with Patrick and work on how they look.
You were playing a concert at Whisky A Go Go and there was a poster for it saying that there was supposed to be like a live DVD filmed there. Are you still up to it? Is it still relevant?
Andy: That was years ago… Here’s the thing, sometimes, when those things are done, there’s issues and audio issues and with that show, I mean, I don’t wanna throw anybody under the bus, but someone that was working for us at that time didn’t do their job very effectively and the audio recording was so off, it was completely unusable. So rather than do what lot of bands do, which would be to go in the studio and pretend that it’s a live show, we just decided that we would rather wait and do something that’s a really nice live video because we could have easily gone (to the studio) and pretended and played it like a live version and then had the video, ’cause the video looked fine but then we decided against it and wanted to just wait.
And are you still planning on doing some live DVD in the near future?
Andy: We’d love to, yeah. We’ve got a handful of videos I think you’ll see some of the songs. We did some filming at Download this year so you’ll see some of that soon. Yeah, there’ll be some stuff out there.
I know that you were also supposed to film a live video for Rebel Yell as well…
Andy: Yeah, we used parts of that for that retrospective video that people saw. There was another situation where, you know, not naming any names or anything, but the company that we were working with, Patrick, our normal video guy, wasn’t able to come out and do that, and the company we were working with just didn’t, they didn’t even film the entire song. Because they filmed the whole set but there was issue during Rebel Yell with their cameras so they didn’t even get the whole song so we could never make it sync up the right way. And I was just never really happy with how it turned out, so we just decided to kinda hold on to that for a little while until it can be better.
Can you tell us something about the next record? What can the fans expect?
Andy: It’s gonna be more Black Veil Brides, but I think we’ve just grown, in terms of song-writing I think things will be just a little bit… We’re taking different stands on song-writing, trying to build the songs around the idea of really solid melody line and then put kind of the metal and stuff around it, so it’s gonna be much more well-crafted record. Because in our career we haven’t really had time to do that, we never really have the time to sit down and make an album that’s a really cohesive unit of songs as opposed to just demos and just kinda throwing stuff over things that already exist. We’re writing all the songs starting from scratch so that’s kind of an exciting thing.
And my favorite question: Is there some question that no one asked you before but you would like it to be answered?
Jake: (After a moment of silence) No.
Like something you would like to say but no one asked you about it yet? I know that you do a lot of interviews but there has to be at least one question no one asked you before…
Andy: Yes, my pants are very comfortable (laughs)
Ok… Now I have some questions from the fans.
So Helena asked: What did you want to do when you were kids?
Andy: This. What we’re doing.
Are you superstitious?
Andy: I’m a little stitious, I’m not superstitious. (laughs)
And Kristen asked: What was your most embarrassing moment ever?
Jake: Hmm, not gonna answer that one.
Andy: Too embarrassed?
Jake: Too embarrassing… Can’t put it out there.
Andy: I don’t know, I don’t really get embarrassed that easily. I mean, I’ve just showed my ass to 120,000 people the other day so… (At the Download festival, note of the autor)
Ok, Michaela asked: I know you’re all involved in the writing process. When did you write your first song and what was it about?
Andy: Fuck me… For me I wrote it probably like 12 or 13… Probably 12 years old, it was about zombies or something stupid…
Andy: Yeah… Misfits thing like that…
Jake: I had started playing guitar for maybe two months and I just came up with a simple riff and thought it was really cool at that time but I look back now and it’s stupid but you gotta start somewhere so…
Yeah, I get it. Thank you.
And now one question that we all agreed about: What do you guys know about Czech Republic?
Jake: The roads are terrible…
-Yeah, I agree with that…
Andy: It was very bumpy, crazy kinda…
-Yeah, like you can always kinda say that you’re in Czech Republic actually; you’re in Germany and it’s all great and then boom, boom, boom…
Andy: Yeah, we were all jumping around in the bus. It’s rough.
Team Black Veil Brides CZ didn’t come empty-handed, of course. We handled the guys a book full of your photography, pictures and letters. We also handed over a red chicken bought and war-painted especially for CC :)
Check out the photo from the gig here.
You will find the pictures of the book here.
Interview courtesy of Kristina Klarissa Sixx and Black Veil Brides CZ.
Photography courtesy of Markéta Mottlová and Black Veil Brides CZ .