Pierce The Veil Talks ‘Misadventures’

Pierce The Veil bassist Jaime Preciado chats with Pollstar about the band’s long-awaited new album, Misadventures, which just came out today. The band is celebrating with a record release show in Mexico City and a 16-date U.S. tour featuring the LP performed from start to finish.

Misadventures is the follow-up to Pierce The Veil’s third studio album, 2012’s Collide with the Sky. The band initially said the LP would be released in 2014 and then early 2015.

Reviews from publications on both sides of the Atlantic indicate that the new music was worth the wait. Kerrang! calls Misadventures the band’s “best offering to date” and Alternative Press declares, “Pierce the Veil somehow sound as especially lavish and theatrical as Muse or Queen, but also punk as f*ck.”

The album’s first single,“Circles,” was written as a tribute to the fans who tried to save each other during the terrorist attack at the Eagles of Death Metal show at Paris’ Bataclan. BBC Radio 1 named the tune as Annie Mac’s Hottest Record in the World April 26 and Vulture included “Circles” in its May 3 list of the “8 Best New Songs of the Week.”

Pollstar talked to Preciado as the band was preparing to return to the road for its first performances of 2016. The June 5-26 U.S. excursion is followed by a September appearance at Texas Mutiny and a fall European tour.

Photo: Jonathan Weiner
Mike Fuentes, Vic Fuentes, Tony Perry, Jaime Preciado

The band’s new album comes out on the 13th so that’s exciting.    

We’re very excited. It’s finally here – the time we’ve been waiting for. We’re so pumped. You have no idea.

The album was initially going to be released in 2014 and then 2015.

(laughs) Yeah, it’s been a long time coming. … As soon as we finished the entire record, you know – got it mastered and we had the final in our hands there was a huge weight lifted from our shoulders. And then as soon as the time kept creeping, we were like, “Man, we want to show this to people as soon as possible.” We’ve been waiting a very long time to show it to everyone. I think our fans and kids that are into this style of music have been waiting for it too. … I think for everyone [it’s] a big hurrah.

You’re going to be performing the album in full on tour. Have you played any of the songs live previously?

No, this will be the first time we’ve played any of these songs live. We did do some stuff in the U.K. but that was just for press and that we released our new single “Circles,” but other than that, this will be the very first time people will actually hear us play these new songs. So it will be a first for them, a first for us. And we’re really excited to be doing something like that.

Some bands have already played a bunch of songs live by the time the album is released so it’s more anticlimactic. 

This record took so much work and kind of took us on this crazy journey that we want to share it with everyone and make it a cool night, make it something special. We’re playing more intimate venues, they’re on the smaller side of things. I just think, if I was a fan of a band and I went to go see them and they did this I think it would be a really cool experience. We’ve always tried to make ourselves a little different and … to keep kids kind of excited for shows and things to come.

Looking through your press, you have a quote where you said you wanted everyone to shine on the record and it was important for every band member to stand out. How did you go about achieving that?  

Yeah, I think in general every time we make a record we go into it kind of thinking about what we did on the last record – the things we liked, the things we maybe didn’t like or [that] didn’t work. And we try to just kind of expand on that. I think with every record it’s kind of like a little stamp in time or a time capsule of where we were as a band and as musicians and songwriters. So for this record we went in kind of with that mindset of we can actually do some of the things we wanted to do on the last record but didn’t have the opportunity. … I think with this record we took a lot of chances and did a couple things that were kind of outside the box for us. We had a lot of fun doing that and that showed on the record.

What’s one of your favorite things about playing bass and your role in the band?

I mean, everyone in the band … we all just really love what we do. … I don’t know if it’s the reason why we’ve been doing what we’ve been doing and we’ve been working on things the way we have but I think when you have a group of dudes who are totally involved and totally in the music aspect of it, you know making it pretty much their lives from day one, I think that was a good starting point for us. And me personally, just the fact that we get to play and be ourselves, that was the one thing that we learned kind of from the very beginning. … In the beginning it’s really hard because you don’t know exactly what’s going on and someone’s trying to tell you how to look or how to sound or whatever, so for us … we’ve kind of just stuck to our guns and remained ourselves and I think that’s what made our fans relate to us more. We’re just four dudes just having a good time playing music.

Photo: Joey Foley / OSDAILYNEWS.COM
Vans Warped Tour, Riverbend Music Center, Cincinnati, Ohio

The band worked with producer Dan Korneff on Misadventures. He also co-produced your last album. What did he bring to this album?

He’s just one of those guys that the moment you meet him and the moment you start working with him, you know he’s a grinder. He doesn’t let anything go as far as he doesn’t take the simple way out on anything. … He does it right, you know what I mean? He doesn’t half-ass anything. So for us, having that kind of work ethic, having that guy who will literally be there with you the entire time while you’re making a song because he cares that much about the song, almost as much as you do, that really kind of inspires you … to just step it up. He’s really good at making stuff sound great and the fact that he works so hard to achieve it. It’s not by accident. I think his work ethic really rubbed off on us and made us like, I want to say better musicians and better people. You can admire somebody like that.

I’ve dealt with producers in the past that it’s just a job for them. It’s kind of like, “I’m only here for my allotted time and then I go home and it’s like whatever.” Dan takes this stuff home with him; he thinks about the songs. He lives these songs with us so it’s like everything we do resonates with him, as well. We call him the sneaky fifth member. (laughs) He’s great.

How does songwriting work in the band? I was looking over the tracks and a few of them have your name listed as co-songwriter. Is that just for the music or the lyrics as well?

Well, for our band … we always tackle the music together. We pretty much construct the song and the music together and then we’ve always had this confidence in our singer, Vic, to just take on the lyrics. It’s worked out for the last couple of records so it’s one of those formulas that we didn’t want to mess with. So he handles all the lyrics and we all together handle the music and I think it’s been working great. And the way we do it too, we always like to have an idea, whether it’s a riff or just something cool, a part that’s kind of developed. And then we’ll sit in a room in a circle and literally jam it and play it a million ways. And that’s kind of when we actually come alive and start creating interesting things when we’re all together like that. I think we feed off each other very well and come up with crazy ideas and stuff. That’s how we’ve always done it. It’s one of those things where if it’s not broken, you don’t need to fix it.

You mentioned earlier that the first single you released was “Circles.” That was written about the terrorist attack at the Eagles of Death Metal show at Paris’ Bataclan. Pierce the Veil played the venue just two years before that. How did the attacks affect you as a musician?

Obviously all that stuff is just horrible and hits super close to home. Just because, you know, we’ve had so many friends that are in bands and we’ve toured. That’s kind of our lives. For that to happen, it’s just horrible in general. Actually, the song is more about the story of two fans going to the show and kind of saving each other. If we look at [it] in a positive light, the fact that they came together to do something good and help each other out in a horrible time, I think that’s the message of the whole thing.

It’s a reminder that there’s more good in the world than bad.

Yeah, and that was our main thing. We get a lot of questions about that, like, “Did you write it about that and that?” The main thing is the hope – the fact that these kids helped each other out and saved each other. Sheer positivity. We want to keep it on the positive side of things.

The track “Sambuka” is about trying to make relationships work while on tour. How do you balance your personal life and commitments with the band?

I mean, it’s definitely hard. Obviously we’ve all been through different relationships and all that stuff. It’s obviously not like a regular job. It’s kind of one of those [things where] you kind of have to be on all the time. But that’s what we signed up for. As I said in the beginning, we sat down in a room and said, “If we’re going to do this, we’re going to do it 100 percent. We’re going to do it right.” I think it’s always been that way. We’ve been so fortunate and so lucky to have the guys in the band that are all on the same page. I think it’s very rare nowadays to have that.  There’s always a couple people in bands that don’t like the touring aspect or whatever. There’s so many bands that are doing so well and then all of a sudden start switching members and doing all that stuff. I think it’s just because it’s not for everyone. For us I think we got really lucky with the situation we have and the guys we have in the band. And we’re ready to go. We kind of joke around, we’re like, “Man, we feel like we have a new life we this new record. It’s finally done. We can kind of start from the beginning again and start touring and having fun.”

Were there any other tracks you’d like to mention as favorites? Or favorites to perform? I mean, I know you haven’t had a chance to perform them in front of fans yet.

Yeah, I mean, we’ve been playing the songs and jamming the songs kind of here and there. I think one of the songs that will be really fun to play, for me, personally, is track four on the record called “Floral and Fading.” It’s a little bit more in the pop realm for us. We kind of took an outside-the-box approach, kind of making it and putting it on the record. Normally our songs are very guitar-based, very guitar-driven. And this song the guitar takes a backseat to the bass and the drums and the groove of the song. It’s a really cool song. I really like the way it turned out. That’s probably one of my favorites right now.

The band has such a great relationship with your fans. I was reading that stories that fans have told band members at meet & greets have even worked their way into songs like “Song for Isabelle.” Are there any other stories that have stuck with you over the years?

Not every story, obviously, goes into a song. It’s more of the stuff that hits most personally, obviously. And when [Vic] writes stuff that’s personal to him it affects everyone in the band because we know each other very well to the point where you could read a lyric and be like, “I know exactly what you’re talking about.” … There’s a ton of people that go and do road trips of it and follow us for like 10 shows in a row or something. And that, to me, is really cool, man. I think when I growing up that was like a dream, just to be able to follow your favorite band and watch them play in different cities. It’s just so cool to see them doing that. For me … it just feels really great. … You become friends with them. You see them at every show and you say hi to them at meet & greets and stuff. You definitely remember faces and I think that’s really important to have that kind of realness about [touring]. It’s not just like show up, play and leave. You have people you’re looking forward to seeing.

Photo: Jonathan Weiner

Is the first time you’ve played an album in its entirety on tour?

This is 100 percent the first time we’ve ever done that with any album as a band ever. Yeah, we’re definitely excited for it. … Every time we make a record we obviously have the record before anyone else. We had this tradition where every time we make a record we’ll go in my car and we’d drive around aimlessly for the 45 minutes and we’ll listen to the whole record. And now with how long it’s taken to put this record out for us, and this crazy journey it took us on, and all these kids who are patiently waiting, I think it will just be a fun time together. We can have this listening party but we’re going to actually be playing the songs [for fans].

You guys have sold out shows in New York, L.A., Boston and several other cities.

And the record’s not even out yet so I really hope they really like the record, otherwise, it’s going to be (laughs), it’s going to be a long night. No, we’re really excited. I think it will be good.

Are there any cities you’re especially looking forward to playing?

I’m really looking forward to being able to release our record in Mexico City. We’re going to be playing a show there that Friday, the 13th. For us it’s been a dream to do something like that. We’re all Hispanic so … releasing the record there and all over the world … I think is going to be really special.

Did you guys get to give your input to your agent that you wanted the record release show in Mexico City?

Yeah, absolutely. We’re pretty much hands-on in everything we do. We’ve come to the point where we can pretty much do everything we’ve wanted to do now so we try to take advantage of anything we possibly can. We talked to the necessary people and we’re like, “We want to play a CD release show in Mexico City. Can we make this happen?”  And everything kind of worked out. We got super lucky.  

This is your first time back on the road since last summer.

We’ll definitely be sore probably for the first couple of shows but (laughs) it will be a good time. It’s like riding a bike.

Anything else you wanted to add?

Just that we’ll definitely be announcing more tour dates soon and we’re going to be touring a ton so stay tuned. We’ll be there soon.

Upcoming dates for Pierce The Veil:

May 13 – Mexico City, Mexico, Palacio De Los Deportes    
June 5 – Las Vegas, Nev., House Of Blues    
June 7 – Denver, Colo., Summit Music Hall    
June 8 – Lawrence, Kan., Granada Theatre
June 10 – Chicago, Ill., House Of Blues        
June 11 – Detroit, Mich., St. Andrews Hall   
June 12 – Cleveland, Ohio, House Of Blues
June 14 – Boston, Mass., Paradise Rock Club
June 15 – New York, N.Y., Irving Plaza        
June 17 – Philadelphia, Pa., Theatre Of Living Arts
June 18 – Norfolk, Va., The NorVa
June 19 – Atlanta, Ga., Heaven At The Masquerade
June 21 – Houston, Texas, House Of Blues   
June 22 – Dallas, Texas, House Of Blues
June 24 – Mesa, Ariz., Nile Theater   
June 25 – San Diego, Calif., Observatory North Park          
June 26 – Los Angeles, Calif., Mayan Theatre          
Sept. 24 – Fort Worth, Texas, Texas Motor Speedway (Texas Mutiny)          
Oct. 29 – Paris, France, Le Trabendo
Oct. 31 – Madrid, Spain, Sala Cats   
Nov. 1 – Valencia, Spain, Sala Noise
Nov. 2 – Barcelona, Spain, Razzmatazz 2      
Nov. 4 – Solothurn, Switzerland, Kofmehl Halle
Nov. 5 – Milan, Italy, Magazzini Generali     
Nov. 7 – Munich, Germany, Theaterfabrik    
Nov. 8 – Vienna, Austria, Arena Vienna        
Nov. 9 – Budapest, Hungary, Durer Kert      
Nov. 11 – Berlin, Germany, Huxleys Neue Welt
Nov. 13 – Hamburg, Germany, Gruenspan  
Nov. 14 – Copenhagen, Denmark, Amager Bio
Nov. 15 – Stockholm, Sweden, Fryshuset Arenan      
Nov. 17 – Amsterdam, Netherlands, Melkweg
Nov. 18 – Cologne, Germany, Live Music Hall         
Nov. 19 – Bochum, Germany, Zeche
Nov. 20 – Frankfurt, Germany, Batschkapp  
Nov. 22 – Karlsruhe, Germany, Substage
Nov. 23 – Antwerp, Belgium, Muziekcentrum Trix    
Nov. 25 – Cardiff, Wales, Great Hall
Nov. 26 – Birmingham, England, O2 Academy Birmingham           
Nov. 27 – London, England, O2 Academy Brixton   
Nov. 29 – Nottingham, England, Rock City   
Nov. 30 – Newcastle, England, O2 Academy Newcastle       
Dec. 1 – Glasgow, Scotland, Barrowland     
Dec. 2 – Manchester, England, Manchester Academy          
Dec. 4 – Belfast, Northern Ireland, Mandela Hall
Dec. 5 – Dublin, Ireland, The Academy
Dec. 6 – Dublin, Ireland, The Academy

Visit PierceTheVeil.net for more information and be sure to follow the band on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.