It’s an exciting time to be a Pierce the Veil fan — today marks the release of their poetic, heartfelt, fourth rock album Misadventures. Two days ago, AMBY had the pleasure of hopping on a phone call with the San Diego foursome’s charming frontman Vic Fuentes. Indulge in our conversation as we discuss all things Pierce the Veil — including online bullying, great advice, personal lyrics, wild journeys, and release parties.
AMBY: Hi Vic! Thank you so much for chatting today. My staff and I love you guys and I’m so stoked we’re doing this.
Pierce the Veil: No worries, thank you. I appreciate you calling!
AMBY: In just a few days, you’ll unleash your fourth record Misadventures. Congratulations on that.
PTV: Yea, thank you!
AMBY: Do you have any plans to celebrate its release? I know you have a show in Mexico City happening!
PTV: Yes! I have no idea if we’ll survive and make it back from Mexico after celebrating. It will be insane.
AMBY: It’s going to be one big party for the record.
PTV: I am actually a little scared of what is going to happen that night.
AMBY & PTV: [laughs]
AMBY: How long do you plan on being in Mexico for? Is it just the one night and you’re traveling back?
PTV: I think it’s just for that one night but we’ll see what happens.
AMBY: Very nice [laughs]. You’ve mentioned how you wanted this new album to top the last and keep pushing yourselves to set the bar higher and higher. What was something you did differently or experimented with more on this album to, in the end, push yourselves?
PTV: Oh, man. What didn’t we do differently on this record? I think this process was unlike anything we’ve ever done. Probably unlike anything another band has done. We called it Misadventures because it was such a wild process, such a journey, such a crazy thing. We set out in the beginning to do this record, we booked a normal amount of time at the studio. We set out trying to make one of the best sounding rock records that’s out there. We had a producer, we had all this studio experience, and we felt like we could do it. So we spent a lot of time on the music and it actually took so much time that by the time we got to the vocals it was five months into the thing and I was ready to get out of there. I think the studio was just not going to be the place for me to finish this record because this record was going on for so long.
We already had some tours booked so we had to go on tour — we had this world tour with Sleeping With Sirens that we had booked, we had Warped Tour. We ended up doing a world tour right in the middle of our recording process which was actually kind of exciting for us and a bit helpful because it got us out of there, got to see fans and be with each other, and play some shows. Then once all that was done I kind of went home and finished all the lyrics, I went on my own kind of journey. Think of it as searching for all the lyrics. I stayed in different houses, different Airbnb’s, I worked at some amazing studios, and I traveled all over the place to get out of my own life. I ended it all by taking a trip up to Seattle. I just flew up there by myself to work on the rest of the lyrics and then finishing it all up there. It was cool to keep working on these songs and making sure they had some crazy story and personal meaning to them.
AMBY: Being that there were so many misadventures that lead to it’s creation – the different studios, cities, spots where things were written – is there a stand out moment to you where you realized, “things are coming together now”?
PTV: Yea, I think once I took that last trip up to Seattle that was probably my biggest thing. I’ve never really taken it upon myself to be like, “oh let’s go and fly somewhere” or “let’s go to another state”. My best friend knows me really well and he knows I love Seattle because of the old rock grunge vibes and pop inspirations so he was like, “Why don’t you go up there and book a cheap ticket?” I had a self-realization like, “Yea, you can do these things, it’s not a big deal. Just go do it!” I went up there and stayed there for a couple of weeks and stayed at this hotel and traveled around it and worked on the rest of the songs. I ended up finishing them all there and that was a real moment. Being be up there with all of those musical inspirations in the air up there.
AMBY: That’s awesome. From diving into some seriously deep subjects like the Paris attacks to a song like Gold Medal Ribbon which is lyrically such a great song, there’s so much emotion poured onto this record. Does it come easy for you to write about more personal stuff, knowing thousands of fans are going to be listening?
PTV: That’s what is actually easiest to write about — when I feel like I’ve got something that I really want to write about. I think that was one of the things that when we went to make the record in the first place I had a few songs done but I didn’t have enough to make the record that I felt was really like, “I need to write about this”. I was in a place in my life where I didn’t have the stories that I wanted to tell. When all these different things happened along the way, things just kind of kept weighing heavier and heavier on me, and I knew what I wanted to write about.
AMBY: When I was listening to the album, I heard a few lyrics where you sing about faking your own death on the album. What’s the reasoning behind writing about that and going into that topic?
PTV: That was a song called Floral and Fading. I actually wrote it about my girlfriend because when we first got together she would get kind of tormented and attacked by the general public online and stuff like that.
AMBY: That’s horrible.
PTV: People were just tearing her apart.
AMBY: It was probably some odd envy thing from the fans in the end, which is awful.
PTV: Yea, I’ve been used to it; being in a band we’ve been dealing with random internet stuff for years. To me, I just ignore everything and it’s not a big deal but she’s never dealt with anything like that and it’s really unfair and it really made me angry. So I wrote that song for her, like a love song about letting her know none of that matters and her and I can live on another planet if we wanted or live in the woods, it just doesn’t matter. That song was for her to kind of convince her that it’s just her and I.
AMBY: Floral and Fading is my favourite song on the album just because of how comforting it comes off. For me, it’s weird because I feel like social media is such a necessary evil. What are your thoughts on that?
PTV: I think you just can’t take it seriously. I’ve always been a huge fan of the idea of being close to your fans and when I set out with that concept for our band to always be really close to our fans there wasn’t anything like Instagram, it was MySpace. I know bands like to feel really close to their fans and let them know what they’re doing all of the time. Now things are just to the next level where you can literally see what I’m eating for breakfast if you wanted to.
AMBY & PTV: [laughs]
PTV: It’s just that crazy. But I do love the idea that we can let our fans get to know us and our personalities. I think that’s cool.
AMBY: I’m sure your fans appreciate it. You’ve been known to give advice to your fans whether it’s through social media or different columns that you write. What’s a great piece of advice someone has given you?
PTV: I think we’ve learned a lot from the bands that we’ve toured with, especially early on. Those are some of the biggest lessons that we’ve learned from people. We’ve learned early on from bands that treated us well and also from bands that treated us poorly, and I think they both taught us really as much of how to treat the people that you are around and working with and people that you tour with and stuff. How you put on a headlining tour, how do you take care of the supporting bands, and I think that was one of the biggest lessons we learnt. It’s been really helpful for us over the years because we’re a big touring band and it’s a big part of our lives. It’s helped us grow a reputation as being a good and to tour with. It’s helped us gain success on our own level.
AMBY: When you aren’t working on Pierce the Veil, what are some things you enjoy doing for fun or just when you have that rare occasional downtime?
PTV: I love traveling and taking road trips because a lot of our traveling we do on our own, with the band, it’s so hectic and I don’t really get to stop and smell the roses and really chill and check out a city much. When I’m home I’ll go camping with my friends or we’ll go on road trips. We used to tour in an RV and we still own this big RV, so I use it for surf trips and stuff like that.
AMBY: I love that, simply taking it easy. To wrap everything up today, is there anything you would want to say to all of yours fans who will be reading our interview?
PTV: Yea, absolutely! Thank you to all of the fans for sticking with us and helping us inspire this album. We can’t wait to get on tour and play some shows for everybody.
Thank you Pierce the Veil, for giving us your answers!
Interview by Alicia Atout | @AliciaAtout