Pierce The Veil
As Vic Fuentes can attest, there truly is no rest for the wicked. When Fuentes is reached on the phone from his San Diego home, he’s in good spirits, but quickly admits he’s running on fumes. “I just got in from being on Warped Tour about an hour ago,” he says casually, almost overshadowing the fact that come-down time after a tour of that magnitude is a necessity. Perhaps Fuentes, the lead singer/guitarist for hardcore punk outfit Pierce The Veil, is still on a high from the last show of the tour, the day before in Portland, Oregon.
“We got to close the very last show of Warped Tour 2012,” says Fuentes, after the band drew the lucky straw in Warped Tour’s longstanding tradition of deciding the festival line-up on the morning of reach respective tour stop. “It was an honour to play that slot,” he says.
Still, Fuentes and the other three members of Pierce The Veil, including brother and co-founder Mike Fuentes won’t have much downtime before they hit the road again, spending nearly all of September, October and November touring North America and Europe. And come February, Pierce The Veil will return to Australia for Soundwave. While that kind of schedule may appear exhausting to some, Fuentes revels in the opportunity to stay on the road.
It’s his belief that by touring and engaging in every opportunity, Fuentes and Pierce The Veil will become better people and ultimately, a better band.
“Touring has a big influence on us; we’re able to pick up stuff from different bands we tour with. We’re always being influenced by different things around us,” he says. “One thing my Dad taught me was to always tour with a lot of different artists because you’re going to learn from these people and that’s the only way you’re going to get good. We’re also influenced by our fans; what they dig, how they react to songs. That influences our writing, big time.”
The influence of Pierce The Veil’s fans on the band has never been more present than on the artwork for Collide With The Sky, their third and most recent full-length.
Fuentes has been quoted as saying that “The theme to the album artwork is jumping off the ground that is breaking beneath you.” When pressed on this idea, Fuentes admits how powerful an effect their fans have had over the last few years. “The idea behind it was messages and letters that fans have sent us over the last few years. A lot of heartfelt letters about how music has saved their lives, or how in listening to our music, they don’t cut themselves anymore. That kind of stuff makes it very real; it becomes more than us just touring and making music. It’s about what people need. The artwork went along with that, we hope.”
Pierce The Veil also made efforts to ensure the artwork was in tune with the sound of the record. Piercing and punishing choruses are held afloat by ultimately hooky choruses that constantly reach for higher ground.
One might attribute this refreshed sound to switching labels. Pierce The Veil now resides on Fearless Records, who also house acts like Lostprophets and Tonight Alive.
Still, Fuentes insists that Collide With The Sky was not a result of the band’s new record label. Not totally, at least.
“Regardless of whatever label we were going to be on, it was going to be the same record,” he says assuredly. “[Fearless Records] did help a lot with finding the right producer. They recommended Dan [Korneff, producer], and they also provided us with a lot of time, which certainly helped the writing process. The owner of the label let us use his cabin in Big Bear, California for months at a time. We’d go up there and just write. I’d go up there alone and just write for hours. They put a lot of themselves as a label, into this record.”
Collide With The Sky now out in the world, the band can continue on a search that, considering the band’s relative youth, is quite a noble one. It may be a tiresome approach, but getting better is and will remain the name of the game for Pierce The Veil.
“We’re always trying to improve our records and bring our work up to speed. This record is just an example of us as a band growing up and learning from our past stuff. It’s a natural progression and we’re just trying to get better as a band.”
BY JOSHUA KLOKE
Pierce The Veil perform as part of the massive Soundwave Festival lineup, with the Melbourne leg taking place Friday March 1. Collide With The Skyis out now on Fearless Records.