There are more practical places to conduct interviews than besides giggly (and possibly flirtatious) band member Christian ‘CC’ Coma also being interviewed, as you will notice from a few misunderstood moments throughout this transcript.
Both myself and interviewee Jake Pitts of Black Veil Brides were slightly distracted from the very beginning.
Me: How are you?
Jake: I could be better but I’m doing OK.
(I notice the interview schedule of the wall…)
Me: So, am I the first of a few interviews today?
Jake: Oh good. Good luck!
And CC shouting things such as “I’ve snot all over my shit!” throughout the proceedings didn’t make things particularly easy.
This interview was conducted on 7th February 2013 at Southampton Guildhall, for ELECTRIC BANANA.
Your latest record (Wretched and Divine: The Story of the Wild Ones) is a concept album. Is that something that just happened, or did you plan to make a concept album all along?
We originally started out just meeting with different producers and everything. Andy just kind of came up with this idea when we were on tour in Europe. Andy just started writing and put down some ideas. We got back, we really started focusing on it and said ‘OK, we’re going to record another album now’. He came to me and Jinxx with these ideas and said ‘what do you guys think of this?’, and we said ‘that’s cool, we really dig it’. It just came from an idea that Andy had. One idea turned into another idea and then another idea. It just grew like that. We didn’t really know that we were going to do that until we actually got in to the studio with John Feldmann (the album’s producer) and we were like ‘OK, let’s not just write songs. Let’s write a story.’ It was definitely a different writing process and everything. It was cool. Something we all had never done. Awesome.
Is it something you would do again?
Yeah, I think so. I don’t know if it will be the next one, we only just did this! We don’t even know what the plans are for that one yet. We just put this one out. Who knows?
Along with a new theme, your style of music has evolved. Again, was that intentional or just something that you let happen?
Before, Jinxx and I would write the music first and then do vocal melody over that. With this concept idea, we had a story and kind of ideas of how the story was going to go and what the songs were going to be about. We really started with more vocal ideas, lyrics and melody, and then building the songs around that. Really, it was a completely different process of writing to what we’re used to, so obviously it’s gonna change how the songs sound from what we had done before a little bit. At the same time, we didn’t want to put out the same record that we put out before. I think the change is cool and people seem to really be taking it well. We just put out what we write. We just write whatever comes out.
You’ve certainly got a lot of touring to do before that, it seems. Do you still get nagged by people saying ‘Oi, why haven’t you been to my country yet?’.
Oh yeah. Every day, but it’s not down to us. What they don’t understand is that we don’t book the tour! We go where we’re booked at, and where we’re told to go. There’s tons of places that we haven’t hit yet where people are saying ‘come here, come here, come here!’. We would love to go everywhere, so I hopefully we will get there soon.
What is the surprising place that has said ‘why haven’t you come to X yet?’.
I don’t really know. Nothing too strange. There have been some places that I really didn’t expect, like Turkey. ‘Guys, why haven’t you come to Turkey?’. We’ve been through the airport in Istanbul but that’s about it. I don’t know if we’ll get there any time soon, but who knows? I imagine they don’t get that much metal out there.
What is the hardest thing about touring?
Lately for me, it’s been sleeping. I haven’t been sleeping too well lately, but… I don’t know. I can’t really complain about much. For some people, they probably have a lot to complain about. We’re doing what we love. I have to say that sleeping is the worst thing for me now. I haven’t been sleeping on the bus very well. And showering not very often.
There’s a shower right there. And a washing machine. (Yes, the interview took place right next to a shower cubicle).
In venues like this it’s fine. There’s a shower in every venue, which is nice. But sometimes we will be on tour in the States and we’ll go a good week before we’re in a venue that’s got a good shower. Others might have a shower, but they’re really nasty! You don’t even want to step in there!
It’s a funny thought, just how many stars might have used that shower.
Yeah, which is also bad, so I think we’ll wait until we get to a hotel or something.
Do you get recognized without the paint?
Yeah. I think it’s a little easier now because our whole eyes were completely covered up and everything. I had always wondered that, and thought ‘they probably won’t recognize me and I’ll put a hoodie on, or whatever’, but I’ll go out and get ‘oh my God, it’s Jake!’. So yeah, they know.
Did you ever worry that your image might overtake your music in what people thought of when they thought ‘Black Veil Brides’?
No, because people are stupid. Not everyone, but people in general, because they’ll look at us and go ‘they’re gay’ or whatever and they won’t even listen to our music. They’ll just automatically assume that we suck because we look ‘crazy’. I think that a lot of people are just too afraid to take a chance. I think now that’s turning around and those people are giving us a chance and listening to us and thinking ‘OK, they’re actually good’. That’s the thing. You listen to our music, our songs, and I think we write very good songs and there’s a lot of bands out there that I don’t know how they can call their songs ‘songs’ and don’t look like bands. I think that image is important. You have to strike a pose. You have to catch peoples’ attention whether it’s good or bad. Whether they choose to listen to you or not, I think it sparks a lot of interest and people will want to see what all the commotion is about. Maybe it’s not for them, or maybe they will be surprised and catch on. I don’t think has any negative effect at all.
I’m sorry. Your image probably gets a mention in every interview.
Sick of it?
Yeah. Well, it is what it is.
And on the subject of irritating questions, despite them being fans in the queue, this was still suggested to me outside. I won’t ask the question itself. When were you last asked where your band’s name came from?
I have no idea. We don’t really get asked that anymore because I think everybody has already asked that. I don’t know the last time we were asked that.
Well, that can only be a good thing.
Yes, it’s a plus for me!
Publications can’t seem to make their minds up, so just to clarify… how many ‘X’s are there in Jinxx’s name? (Yes… I know that this question doesn’t really translate into text)
I believe he uses two, but sometimes he uses like… thirty when signing. He’ll just keep going until he runs off the poster.
Well, everything is better with more ‘X’s. It would score well in Scrabble too.
Speaking of the fans, what odd questions do you get from them directly?
We get so many that I don’t even remember. When we are doing signings for kids we’ll get the whole ‘will you marry me’ kind of thing, but I can take it, and just say ‘pfff… sure’. It’s kind of weird are the things they’ll get you to sign. We’ve signed dirty socks before. OK, we’ll sign it. We don’t really want to but we’ll do it! Please don’t bring your dirty socks to our signings.
If you and your band were a food, what would you taste like?
Probably dog food.
Eww… oh dear…
We all like so many things so I don’t know.
If a film was made about you, who would play you?
Myself! We made a movie! Erm… Brad Pitt. He’s growing his hair, but he’s got this goatee thing going on that he would have to get rid of. He’s getting old too.
How did you get involved with the WWE, and do you follow the wrestling at all?
No, and I have no idea. That was the label. It came as a surprise. The marketing department gave our music to the WWE, and they like it.
If there is anything you want to say to the readers then here is your chance…
Come out and see our live show. It will blow your mind.