19 mar. 2011

Entrevista a Andy Six ·

In the midst of their first ever trip to the UK, Black Veil Brides have had a fantastic string of dates supporting Murderdolls on their anticipated return. Needless to say, it’s a humbling experience to support a band in a country you’ve never been to before and find flocks of your own fans turning up, and vocalist Andy Six appreciates it fully.

Not long before doors, Andy took a little time out to explain how it’s been touring the UK for the first time, the aims and message of Black Veil Brides and what he wants you to get from him and his band. Personally, I think you’ll find a very intelligent and grounded person and a band full of energy, self-belief and high hopes for the future.

IS: So, how are you?
ANDY: How am I doing? Fantastic! How are you?

IS: I’m great, thanks. How has tour been so far?
ANDY: Great. The shows have been sold out so far and it’s all been fantastic. We’ve never been to the UK before, so this is our first time and we’ve had an absolute blast.

IS: How have you found the UK for your first time?
ANDY: It’s great, great. It’s really cool. I was a fan of the Murderdolls growing up, so getting to tour with them and watch them play every night is great. I mean the crowd response has been fantastic. It’s nice to come here and to see people that are into our band or have already liked our band even though we’ve never been here before. So it’s been great.

IS: With your album ‘We Stitch These Wounds’, how did you approach writing? This is your first full release, isn’t it?
ANDY: Yeah, you know when you make a first record you sort of have like 20 years of writing and stuff to write about, life experience and stuff. Making the second record has been good. We’re currently working on our second record and that’s been probably more both fun and challenging because I’ve got to write about more specific things rather than just like life experiences of the last 20 years.

IS: Are you finding any major differences in how you wrote your first album and how you’re currently writing your second?
ANDY: I think obviously the first record was a collection of experiences, you know 18 years of being on the earth. Whereas the second record is probably more focussed lyrically, more just about specific instances where things that have happed over the last year and a half has shaped who I am now. Obviously the band has found success or our lives are a little bit different than when we made the first record, so more road experience and more things in our lives. I mean honestly, it’s much of the same. Growing up, nothing really changes in your life internally so you always remain the same person. It’s just about how you project who you are internally outside.

IS: Is there any particular message you aimed to put out with the first album, or any you’re finding throughout the second?
ANDY: Yeah. Well it’s always just sort of that our message is very cut and dry. It’s to always believe in yourself and don’t let anybody else affect you. Sort of the initial idea of Rock ‘n’ Roll over the years was about rebellion and it’s about doing what you want, you know? Just not listening to anyone else: not listening to authority, not letting people tell you what to do basically. That’s basically what we hang our hat on. It’s basically the idea that we’re a rock ‘n’ roll band, for better and for worse and we want people to have fun and be themselves with whatever they want to do in their life.

IS: I’ve read before that your music videos are loosely based on parts of your life growing up. Is that something you’d look to keep doing?
ANDY: I’d love to. But I think ultimately, we sort of had a storyline for the first two videos that we made where it sort of got wrapped up. The idea of the first video was that here’s this lonely kid, very much representing me as a kid, and the second video was more about inclusiveness and showing all the people that he was now a part of it, so I think that maybe it’ll loosely stay that way. I figure we’ll keep the same sort of storyline feel that it had. I feel like we’ve sort of finished that book.

IS: I noticed, and assume it’s pure coincidence, but your videos both came out mid-June the last two years…
ANDY: We do love the month of June… Honestly, it’s just coincidence how things worked out but it turns out we do like the summer time and the summer time months to release stuff.

IS: As you said you grew up on Murderdolls, what other bands did you grow up on? Any you’d love to tour with like this too?
ANDY: Honestly this is the first band that we’ve ever toured with that I grew up listening to. I’ve obviously respected a lot of people that we’ve toured with but this was like the first band that I really enjoyed as a kid that, now, I get to tour with. But I mean ultimately most of the bands I loved are all dead or too old to tour anyway.

IS: You grew up loving KISS. Is that not perhaps a dream?
ANDY: Oh, yeah. I love KISS. I don’t necessarily think I’d want to tour with them because to me it seems a whole different entity. I feel like Black Veil Brides is a different animal, inspired greatly by KISS but I don’t necessarily know it would fit. If given the opportunity it would definitely be something I’d love to do but it’s not like a dream that I have to do right now.

IS: Are you looking forward to playing Download Festival this year?
ANDY: Yeah, it’s exciting. We’re definitely excited. It used to be Monsters of Rock which is the big Castle Donington thing and you see all those images and all these huge bands growing up and playing there, so it’s exciting.

IS: Is it true you’re also playing Warped Tour? I’d heard you’d self-confirmed but not yet been confirmed by Warped.
ANDY: Yeah, we’re playing Warped Tour. The way they do it in the States is that they roll out numbers of bands like ‘Oh, this band’ and then they announce it and I think it’s in like groups of twenty. The headlining bands they do last, so we should be confirmed soon I think.

IS: How are you feeling about touring for Warped? It seems to have been edging towards more of a pop-punk festival in the last few years. Do you think it’s maybe beginning to change again?
ANDY: I don’t know if it’s changing. I certainly think that having us on it is a good move. [laughs] No, I love Warped Tour though. I mean I went to it as a kid. I remember there were days when I’d see bands from the likes of Rancid and Dropkick Murphys to AFI, those kind of bands, all on one stage on one day. So for me that was a huge part of my childhood. I stopped going in recent years because of my band and I’ve been focussing on that but I do love it and I’m very excited to play it. I think if anything, maybe we can bring a little danger back to the tour.

IS: If someone was coming to their first ever Black Veil Brides show, what would you want them to take from the experience?
ANDY: I mean, honestly? It’s a standard, high-energy rock ‘n’ roll show. There’s a lot of audience participation and a lot of singing. I just want people to maybe let out some stress or let out some anger that they have in their day to day lives. I mean, to me, that’s what shows are for really. We’re performers that feel that you guys are paying us to perform for you, so we should always put on the best show we possibly can.

IS: Watching your videos, etc, I see that you have a prominent darker aesthetic than many bands. Is that something bands you grew up on had a strong influence over?
ANDY: Yeah, certainly. Bands like the Misfits are obviously a huge influence, Dead Boys, Lords of the New Church, The Damned – those kind of bands.

IS: What would you like to see in the near or more distant future of the Black Veil Brides?
ANDY: Just to keep going, man. Every day is a new experience and we have more fun every day. Shoot for the moon.

IS: If you could say one thing to describe Black Veil Brides to any potential fans, what would you say?

ANDY: I honestly don’t care if someone is sold on us or not. [laughs] The way I feel is that if you listen to it and you hear our music and like it then that’s great, but if you don’t then we’re going to keep playing, you know? I think too many bands get too hung up on wanting to sell themselves on something. For us – our fans and people who like our music have found something whether it’s musically or aesthetically about us that they enjoy, so they follow it. And if they want to tell other people about it then by word of mouth then that’s how things grow, but it’s not our goal to try and put out a commercial for Black Veil Brides.

IS: Lastly, what would you consider to be your greatest achievement so far?
ANDY: I don’t know. It’s hard to say. Getting the chance to play in front of a bunch of people who know the words to my songs and feel the same way about life that I do every night is a great achievement to me.

You can catch Black Veil Brides at Download Festival in June of this year

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