Pierce the Veil were playing Warped Tour in Pomona, so MEB staffer Ridge Breil was lucky enough to interview this already legendary post-hardcore band? After Kellin Quinn (Sleeping With Sirens) makes an unexpected stop, Vic Fuentes talks about their stellar new album, Warped Tour, and the possibility of an Isles & Glaciers reunion.
MEB: You guys have a brand new album called Collide With the Sky coming out soon. First of all, what is the meaning of the album title?
Vic: The title kind of goes with the album artwork. You see a girl above a house and it’s supposed to look like she’s jumping off the house, which is like jumping off of things breaking beneath you. There’s a bunch of paintings of people doing that. The person kind of looks like they’re floating there, they could be falling, they could be flying. The idea is to instill a little bit of hope amidst the chaos and connect to people’s lives. A lot of kids write to us about their depression or problems at home, so it’s like trying to keep a little bit of hope.
I’m really blown away by the quality of it and how different it is compared to your previous albums. It’s a lot faster and more in-your-face than before. What was the songwriting process like and what made you want to write in this fashion?
This record came together more aggressive-sounding and that is probably because of all the touring we’ve been doing. There’s so many different bands we tour with, and most of them are pretty heavy. Even our producer, this is our first time working with Dan [Korneff] and Kato [Khandwala]. We really meshed well with those guys and they really brought the best out of us.
What are the meanings behind the songs “Bulls in the Bronx” and “The First Punch?”
“Bulls in the Bronx” has a crazy story to it. It’s a sad story, but it inspired the song. It’s about this girl who is 16, and her friends wrote to me and said she recently committed suicide, along with a link to her Tumblr page. It was one of the most haunting things I’ve ever seen. It’s so sad because she was such a sweet-looking girl too. There were things on there where she would say how she thought she was worthless, ugly, and all this crazy stuff. That whole thing really stuck with me for a while, and I wrote this song about her. “The First Punch” is about a few different things, but I’ll tell you about one of them. We tour with a lot of bands that act like little rockstars and treat their fans like shit. It’s kind of a ‘fuck you’ to those kinds of people. I don’t ever want to be like that.
That’s one thing I’ve always liked about you guys is that you’re really down to earth and know how to connect with the fans. So how did you get hooked up with Kellin, Jason [Butler] and Lindsay [Stamey] to do vocals for the new album?
Lindsay happened to be recording with her band [Oh No Fiasco] at the same time we were in the studio. We never planned it, we just heard her voice and were like, “she’s like a mini Mariah Carey.” We needed a girl vocal to be on the song and I was like “We would love to have you on it.” I was so happy she did it, she really killed it. We’ve always loved working with other artists and we, along with our fans, really enjoy it. Well, that was Kellin who walked by earlier and gave us the prolonged creepy look [laughs]. Kellin was a really unique situation in that our fans brought us together from both of our bands and started hitting us both together on Twitter on the same tweet saying that we need to do a song together. I called up Kellin and said “You know, these kids want us to do a song together. We have a new record coming out, so let’s do it.” So we did the collaboration and are on Warped Tour together.
For a genre that’s known for having a revolving door of musicians, how is it that you all have managed to keep it all together throughout the years?
We have an underground fight club where we get real crazy. Well there’s me [Vic] and Mike [Fuentes], we’re brothers, but I’m sure everyone knows that by now, and we’ve been friends with Tony [Perry] and Jaime [Preciado] since we were younger. I feel that we’re all in it for the same reasons, which is the reason why it’s been easy for us to keep it together. Everyone’s loving what they do every second. We’re one of the lucky ones I guess.
Being known for making excellent covers, is there a song you guys plan on covering next?
We always like to keep it fun and fresh, so we never really plan to do anything – it just kind of happens. We’re not playing any covers at Warped tour, but after Warped, on our other tours, we might play some live.
In the future, is there any chance you will re-release the pre-PTV Before Today album A Celebration of an Ending? It’s a CD that I see people wanting to have and always asking for it, but no one has it.
Honestly, I haven’t thought about it, but it’s not a bad idea. We’re always looking towards the future and putting our best foot forward, and we try to make everything better than the last. I look at that album and I look at where we are now, and we’re doing so much better than that.
*Kellin walks by again, staring intently at all of us*
Vic: Go to sleep! You need it! Creeper! I love you! Kellin says hi everyone. Telling him to go to sleep at 2:30, what am I thinking?
After the whole rehab stint with Jonny Craig, he seems to be doing a hell of a lot better. Is there any chance of Isles & Glaciers getting back together to make something new?
If I&G doesn’t get back together, we will still be writing music together. I still want to write with them. We’ve all actually talked about it, so it’s a possibility. Since Jonny got out of rehab, he called me up while we were recording and said, “I’m ready to do this again. I’m ready to write songs together again.” On the new record, the song that Jason sings on [“Tangled in the Great Escape”], Brian Southall co-wrote it, and he’s also in I&G.
Any last words for the fans who came out here to Warped to see you play and what people can expect from the new record?
July 17th, go get Collide With the Sky. You can get the first and second singles now from that record. Come out and hang with us on Warped Tour!