Interview with Pierce the Veil

Photo: Siri Svay

It’s 3:30 in the afternoon on a particularly hot October day in San Antonio and fans are standing in two lines outside of what appears to be a closed club. From the looks of it, they’ve been there awhile, many boasting sunburns as they sit on lawn chairs and blankets, trying to hide in what little shade there is. What could have brought them out into the heat when they probably should have been in class? Well, hours from now Pierce the Veil will be taking the stage, and if the excited current running through the air is any indication, it’s going to be one hell of a show.

Things seem to be going pretty well for San Diego-based post-hardcore act Pierce the Veil. A few months ago, they released their third studio album, ‘Collide with the Sky,’ which reached No. 12 on the Billboard Top 200. Additionally, the band played the main stage of Warped Tour all summer, they finished their first headlining UK tour, and their current North American tour has sold out just about every date. Even though they’ve been busy, all of their hard work is paying off (as evidenced by what they’ve accomplished so far this year), and they really have nowhere to go but up from here. With their fall tour ahead of them, the boys found some time to sit down with us and discuss the craziness they’ve already experienced, what they look forward to, and what pop song they would have done for ‘Punk Goes Pop 5.’

You guys just got done doing your headlining tour in the UK, right? How was that? I saw the Stonehenge pictures. They were great.

Vic Fuentes: Yeah, it was awesome!

Mike Fuentes: It was a great tour. We played little 200-cap dungeons there and got really sweaty and had a lot of fun.

Jaime Preciado: Some of the hottest shows we’ve ever played, I think.

Which is weird, right? Because England’s cool.

Jaime: Yeah, I think it was just because the venues were really small, tightly packed, no AC venues.

Mike: I’m pretty sure they were putting like 500 kids in 200-cap rooms. It was a good time!

Were there any great sights? Besides Stonehenge. [laughs]

Jaime: We saw a bunch of castles.

Vic: Jaime’s face every morning next to me.

Jaime: Every morning, waking up.

Aw, that’s sweet!

Mike: We saw some cool art. Some banks and stuff.

Jaime: Banks in Bristol.

Mike: [In pseudo-British accent] In Bristol!

Vic: We saw some street art.

Cool! And this tour, almost all the dates are sold out, which is really awesome. Did you guys expect such a big turnout?

Vic: Nah, we didn’t. We had no idea. That’s why we like San Antonio, for example, because they opened up more tickets like four times. We didn’t know the turnout was going to be that big.

Yeah, the line is already down to the train tracks out there, and the other one is wrapped around the building.

Vic: Wow!

It’s going to be a crazy show. I can feel it. And it’s nice and hot outside. It’s gonna be good.

Vic: Yeah, and I think with this tour too, a lot of kids want to get in the front, so they’re coming super early. It’s just wild to see.

We stopped by around noon and there were already kids out here. I was thinking, “Don’t you have school?”

Vic: I know, right?

Photo: Siri Svay

But they’re totally dedicated. I know the tour just started, but have you guys had any crazy experiences already?

Mike: Someone got run over last night, right?

Oh my God, what?

Mike: Not like… it’s okay!

Vic: One of the Tonight Alive dudes got his foot run over by a jeep last night and chased it down. It was pretty crazy.

That is crazy! I don’t know if you’ll be able to top that later on in this tour. Do you guys have any places you’re looking forward to on this one?

Vic: I’m pretty stoked for New York City.

Jaime: Yeah, I wanna play Chicago. It’s always a good time for us. And I wanna take a day off and go to Disney World or something. Somewhere fun.

Yes! And get the mouse ears with your names on the back.

Jaime: Sure, why not!

Mike: I’ll be at Harry Potter World.

I actually went there over winter break. It’s really awesome.

Mike: Yeah!

You have to get the butterbeer.

Mike: Oh, yeah! I’ve had it. It’s great.

Yes! You guys are obviously promoting your latest album, ‘Collide with the Sky.’ What’s your favorite track to play live right now?

Mike: “Bulls in the Bronx” for me.

Jaime: Yeah, I love “Bulls in the Bronx” too.

Mike: It’s the one the crowd sings the loudest to.

Vic: I like playing the song called “Hold on Till May.” We get our girl from Tonight Alive, Jenna [McDougall], to come out and do guest vocals.

Cool. I was wondering if you guys were going to have her come out.

Vic: Yeah! It’s awesome.

So, like you said, the fans are really into “Bulls in the Bronx,” and that was one of your singles. Do you guys have any plans for a video for that one?

Vic: We’re trying to figure out our next video right now, actually. We don’t know what to do yet.

You should do a sequel to “King for a Day.”

Jaime: We thought about that.

It’s a great video. It looked like you had a great time shooting it.

Jaime: Yeah, we got to rob a bank. It was sick!

Where did the idea behind that come from?

Vic: Jaime wanted to do…

Jaime: Honestly, I wanted to rob a bank. [laughs]

Vic: We just built it around that. We knew we wanted to do a heist.

Jaime: Yeah.

Vic: So we just tried to come up with shit.

Jaime: I think I was trying to imitate my real life, because if I wasn’t in a band, I’d be an awesome bank robber.

Good to know! If anything ever happens, we know where to find you.

Jaime: Or where not to find me!

Because you’ll be in hiding!

Jaime: Yeah, I’ll be in hiding.

Mike: He’ll be super rich and just chillin’.

“King for a Day” was actually on AP’s Best Collaborations of 2012. When you did the song, did you think that it would get as much praise as it did?

Vic: Nah, man, we had no idea. We knew that it was one of the stronger songs that we had written for the record, but we had no idea that it was going to be like that and do what it did.

Jaime: It’s been pretty awesome.

Everyone’s learning your names now, so it’s really cool. And Vic, you were actually just featured on Mayday Parade’s cover of “Somebody That I Used To Know” [by Gotye] for ‘Punk Goes Pop 5.’ How did that come to be? Is it something like what happened with Kellin [Quinn of Sleeping with Sirens], where fans tweeted at you saying “Hey, you gotta get together with this band”?

Vic: No, actually, we were on Warped Tour with Mayday Parade this summer and we’ve known them for years. They’re close friends of ours and we’ve been trying to tour together for a long time and it just keeps falling through, so Derek [Sanders], their singer, just asked if I wanted to do a guest vocal on it and I was like, “Hell yeah, one hundred percent.” After Warped Tour, I went home and laid down the guest vocal and it came out really cool. I think they did a really good job.

They did! They did a great job on it.

Vic: It sounds so Mayday Parade.

It does. It doesn’t sound like an obvious cover. They made it their own.

Vic: Yeah!

When it comes to ‘Punk Goes Pop,’ do you guys get asked to do that, or do you volunteer?

Vic: I think the last time…

Jaime: The last time, they asked.

Vic: Yeah, they asked us to do the last one.

Jaime: Because we were just signing with them at the time, so they were like, “This will be our first release with you guys.” I think they normally ask bands, because I know a lot of bands want to do it.

Is there a particular pop song that you would have done had you been asked?

Jaime: “Gangnam Style”

[laughs] I would have loved to have heard that, actually!

Jaime: [laughs]

Now, one of my last questions, I know over the summer you guys mentioned that a bunch of fans said that your music helped them a lot and I know you also mentioned meeting To Write Love on Her Arms. I was wondering if you guys would consider doing a collaboration with them?

Vic: Yeah, I think that would be pretty cool. We haven’t had the chance to do a whole lot with that organization. We’ve done a lot with Keep a Breast, and on this tour we brought Invisible Children. Working with To Write Love on Her Arms would be great.

Lastly, I’ve always wondered about the album artwork. You guys have said that it comes from the idea of hope in desperation. Was there was any event that specifically brought that up?

Vic: Not really. We wanted the image of a person above things that are breaking. We wanted them to look not as if they’re falling but as if they’re almost suspended or escaping. So that was kind of it.

Yeah, I love it. It’s beautiful artwork and it’s a great album!

All: Thanks!

I’m excited to see the show tonight!

Jaime: Yeah, we’re stoked!

Pick up Pierce the Veil’s latest album, Collide with the Sky.

For the band’s upcoming tour dates, check out their Facebook page.