"It felt like we had a good chance to give those characters a proper ending" - Black Veil Brides return to concepts with new album Vale...
California hard rockers Black Veil Brides spent the first few years of their career in prolific form. From 2010 to 2014 they released four studio albums, toured the world countless times and made their way to the top of festival bills and into arenas. But for the last three years, it’s all slowed down.
The last three years have seen frontman Andy Biersack produce a solo album, guitarist Jake Pitts branch out into producing and the other three members busy themselves with other projects. Now though, it’s back to the day job.
For their new album Vale, the band have picked up where they left off with 2012’s Wretched and Divine: The Story of the Wild Ones, a concept record following The Wild Ones, a group of outcast leaders trying to defeat a unified church government. In the new record, we're off for another journey of wild adventure and rebellion…
We spoke to Biersack about why they decided to revisit The Wild Ones, working with producer John Feldmann and their plans to take the album out live...
When did you start work on Vale?
“We started production on the record in December 2015 and we’ve been working on it steadily ever since, there have been a few breaks in between, different tours for me and Jake’s project with his wife, so it’s been a steady process.”
You’ve returned to the story of The Wild Ones for this new album, why did you decide to continue the story?
“It never really felt like there was an ending. We had it in our minds that we’d do a graphic novel, but that opportunity never came up and with this record, it felt like we had a good chance to give those characters a proper ending.”
You made the album with John Feldmann, why did you settle on him and what did he give you as a producer?
“John is one of my best friends and there’s no argument about what impact he’s had on us. He produced the record that’s done the most for us and it felt really comfortable, especially as we were going back to the story of Wretched and Divine, so it seemed logical to go back to John.”
Which song on the album took the longest to get right? And which came together most quickly?
“‘Dead Man Walking’, which is the record’s eight-and-a-half minute epic, there’s a lot going on in that song and that took a long time to come together. ‘The Outsider’ was the quickest.”
Did you find the lyrics easier to write as you were working to a story?
“Unlike the 2012 record, this isn’t a strict concept album, there’s not a direct narrative. This is more my personal feelings about the characters. It was the same level of difficulty as the lyrics for any other record, but it was nice to know I was working to something bigger.”
When did you settle on the title of Vale? And were there any other titles in contention?
“Last Christmas, that’s when the title came around. There was never another. The Catholic/Latin translation (It translated in Latin to “be well, be strong”) is just so perfect for what this band is about that I knew it was a great fit.”
What are your plans to take the album out live? Can we expect the album to be played in full?
“Not on this tour, it’s been a while since we’ve toured and we’re all in the mood to give the fans the song they know the best and love. Maybe one day though. We’ve got five and a half records now, so it’s more like a couple from every record.”