Ashley and Brandon here to bring you the newest and greatest sounds of the music world. November 15 we caught up with San Diego rockers, Pierce the Veil, right while on their very first headlining tour. Here’s what we could pump outta the guys.
Ash: How did you guys meet?
Vic: The band was originally me and my brother Mike. We met Tony…
Tony: I used to work at a guitar store in San Diego. They used to come in all the time, and they needed someone to play guitar, so…
Jaime: At the time, I was in another band with Tony, and that band kinda stopped playing together. Then Tony told me about this band, so I thought I’d try out for them. We kinda just met that way. It was a cool thing — we just joined forces.Brandon: So what happened with the two band members in your last band? Why didn’t they follow? What happened?
V: Mike and I were in a band called Before Today. We put out one record and toured a little bit, but the other two dudes were just friends from high school.B: So they weren’t really that serious about it?
V: No, they weren’t into making their life into it or anything like that, so that band fell apart that way.A: How did you guys come up with your name? It’s pretty unique.V: It was something I jotted down in school. It kinda means there’s a problem or something building up inside you. Sometimes the best thing to do it to completely cut it out. Like get rid of the problem at the source and not to let things bother you over time. That’s pretty much what it is.
A: What were you biggest influences growing up? What made you want to be musicians?J: I think it’s different for everybody. I really started listening to music in middle school. I was kind of late into the whole music thing. Someone mentioned The Offspring, and I was like “Who are they?” I think my first record was Mariah Carey, Boyz II Men or something my mom had. There was a band I heard when I was younger from Sweden, they were a pop-punk band, every time I heard them I was like “Oh my God, I want to do that. I want to play shows with that kind of music.” The fact that it sounded so raw, it was just what I was into.
Mike: My first big show was Blink 182 and Unwritten law. I was like 15 or 16. I just couldn’t believe the crowd. It was my first actual concert. I started going to local shows and then started playing drums after that.T: I got into music kinda accidentally. I used to skate with a bunch of friends, and one by one they all picked up instruments around me, and I learned from them.V: Mike and I, our dad plays guitar and he taught us. We had a pretty musical upbringing.M: I got thrown into high school band as a senior. I was already playing music in bands. My counselor was like “Oh, you play drums? You should try out for band.” It was not happening. They wanted me to read music and do all kinds of crazy stuff. I just say in the corner and listened to my own music the whole time. My teacher knew that I could play drums, so he passed me.A: When you found out that you were getting signed, how did you find out?
V: Mike and I’s old band was signed with Equal Vision records. The way that happened was they flew out from New York to watch us at a local show, then after the show they took us out to dinner and gave us the whole talk. Yeah, it was crazy.A: What was going through your mind?
B: Were you pretty nervous?
V: I was really happy that finally happened. We’d been playing locally for a year or two. We were just at a point where we were like maybe we’ll get somewhere one day, and maybe we won’t, but hopefully we will. It was cool cause everyone was on the same page. We all wanted this to be our life; we all want to tour like crazy.
B: Is there a certain meaning or theme behind your album, “A Flair for the Dramatic”?
V: It was written over a long period of time. Most of it was about relationships. It’s all pretty personal stuff. That’s about it.A: How was Warped Tour? Every day the same thing over and over. Did you get annoyed?
V: You just get in your routine. The weather definitely takes its toll.M: It’s definitely the most tired I’ve been in my life.J: It was pretty stressful for me because I took the responsibility of tour manager, waking up to see what time we played, getting everybody water, dealing with interviews and all the regular stuff. It’s hard to do when you’re in the band because you also have to worry about all the band stuff. I had to wake up at 8 a.m. every morning then load the stuff. Sometimes you play at 11 a.m. and sometimes you play at 6 p.m.. It’s hot outside, and sometimes it’s miles to get where you’re going to play. Some venues are crazy huge.M: Sometimes you’d need a plane just to get to the bathroom. It was crazy.J: But it was definitely a dream for all of us.M: It was a lot of fun. It puts club shows like this into perspective. Before Warped, it all seemed like cake, but it’s actually hard work. It’s routine every day from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
V: It’s perfect that we get our first headline tour right after Warped. It feels like all our hard work paid off.A: When you guys aren’t being rockstars, what are you doing?
M, V, J: Who’s a rockstar?
A: You guys are rockstars! You’ve earned the status.
J: At home, I have a studio. I dabble a little.
V: Now, we’re at the point where we are home very little, so when we are home we’re preparing for our next thing. Right now we’ve just been very busy with our first Warped Tour, and now our first headlining tour, we should be writing a new album, we’ve been working on it a little, but there hasn’t been much time lately.A: What’s the strangest thing that a fan has ever done for you?
J: See that giant bin of cookies? Yeah, a girl brought that to us at a show. That’s probably the weirdest.
V: We definitely have the best fans in the world. We keep all our fan art up on the walls of our RV.B: The weirdest thing I’ve see is that there is actually a MySpace for Mike’s legs!
M: That is definitely the weirdest thing.V: No way!
J: Yeah, I’ve seen it.M: Yeah, the default picture is just from my waist down.
A: What’s the most stressful thing about being a fulltime musician?
V: Being away from friends and family.
M: It’s definitely hard, and you definitely get homesick.
A: I do work with a lot of independent and local bands. What advice would you give to a band that’s 100 percent dedicated and wants to get where you are.T: Quit!
M: Just focus on what your band is doing, not endorsements, work hard, record a GOOD demo and just get those CDs out. Give them to everyone you know, hand them out at shows. Just get your name out there first.J: Record the best sounding demo that you can possibly get. You don’t want to sound like a local band, and like Mike said, just hand it out. If it’s good, someone will notice it.V: That’s what we did, and ours made it all the way to New York.J: And MySpace. It’s the biggest thing right now. The best free marketing toll. Bands are just blowing up on MySpace. Just promote the crap out of it. If you take the time to make a good recording, people will take the time to listen to it.M: Another point is your live show. If you’re not doing it live, no one will want to watch you.V: Practice you music before you practice your moves.
A: That’s all we got guys. Thank you so much.