By Andrew Catania
Emo-band, posers, there have been several words that internet trolls have used to describe The Black Veil Brides. Words I’d describe them are talented, intelligent, focus-driven, team-oriented, and great musicians.
There is a lot more to Black Veil Brides behind the image they portray. Their albums are a commercial hit, they fill up venues nightly with the “Black Veil Brides Army.’
I spoke with guitarist Jake Pitts the other day. He was gracious enough to spend time with me even though he’s been under the weather.
How’s the tour going so far? I was looking at some of your guy’s photos on Instagram, looks like you packed houses.
JP: Yes, it’s been awesome. Especially the last few shows we’ve played. It’s the ballroom at The Rave in Milwaukee, and we played there before, but I think it was in 2018 with Asking Alexandria, was the last time we played there, and they had the whole ballroom like… Had the stage in the middle, and we played the whole thing this time and I think it was sold out. It was just an unreal crowd and sold out in Minneapolis, we played there. Great crowd, but just last night’s crowd was insane. It was cool. The tour’s been great.
I know that you’ve got some producing credits on some of the Black Veil Brides albums. Did you have anything to do with this album that’s coming out tomorrow?
JP: I have a coproducing credit on it, and it started with me being the producer, and when we were first in my studio and all of us, we were just kind of… It all started with… We just got together, we had done Restitch These Wounds that I did we did The Night EP, so we knew that like, “Okay, we’re vibing. Let’s make a real album,” and Andy started putting together this concept idea, and we just got together in my studio, and we’ve just spent a little time experimenting, throwing out ideas, and for me, I was just like, “You guys… Where were you all at? What album do we want to make? Like what do we want it to sound like? What songs do we want to have?” And we just discussed elements.
We wanted to bring back from Wretched and Divine, from that album that we feel that we lost, and
just really bring back a lot of string elements and just do some impressive arrangements. Like in the song “Fall Eternal”, I had this programming, beat, and piano progression that I had down. I mean, it is what the song is, but Jinxx and I were talking like, “Dude, it’d be cool to have it go into this moment where it just turns into a movie score and just throws in these ideas, like these crazy ideas out there,” and everybody was on the same page,
So, Andy gave us this reference to… I can’t remember what it was, but he was saying, “What if we… this kind of vibe,” and then we just went, “Oh, okay, yeah, we can do that,” and it was a minor key, and we just went with that, and then changing that, we started the whole intro to the record in my studio. I got to like the base of it down, and then I was like, “Jinxx, this is your specialty. I know you can score… You do scary movies, so why don’t you take this and work on this for a while and see where you can take it?” And he ended up doing what the intro is, and it’s just absolutely insane and so cool.
That’s how it all started, and we realized it was a huge undertaking, and for me as a producer, because I do so many other things and all this time in the band and we’re touring, I don’t
have an assistant engineer or editor or anybody that helps me with that, like… When we did “Re-Stitch These Wounds“, I did everything, and so it’s just very, very time consuming.
So we had co-written a couple of songs with Erik Ron, and he was really, really
excited to want to work with us, We brought him in, and he’s got his engineer, Anthony, and we just kind of like teamed up, and we just brought the capability of my studio and me, being able to work there, we were able to use Erik’s studio, which… He lives close to me, he’s like a 10 minute drive away, and then Jinxx has his place out in Ventura where he’s doing all of his string work, so in a sense, it was kind of reminiscent of how we did “Wretched and Divine“, where we were kind of running three studios, and we were doing the same thing here because it was a pretty big undertaking, but at the same time, it was… When we did “Wretched and Divine“, it seemed like we were always at three different studios. This was a little bit different, the aspect of it. It was like we were always at Erik’s studio, all of us together, and then it would be like, “Okay, he’s got a session with somebody else for the next couple of days, so I’ll be tracking guitars at my place or whatever,” that kind of thing.
It wasn’t like we were split up the whole time, it was just we were able to maximize the process.
When Erik was working on something else, we were still working on our album and
I was doing my thing.
I know you produce them and I know you’re intimately involved with all the albums, but from the outside, looking in and listening to this, I think you’re playing shines more on this album than they have in the last couple ones, I don’t want you to take that as an insult, it sounds more polished.
JP: Oh, I don’t at all, and I take that as a compliment. I agree with you 100%. So, I appreciate that, thank you so much.
I’ve grown as a songwriter, as a producer, and everything, back in those days, I was very, very guitar-focused, and drum-focused, and you know it was like I just want to be fast, heavy and everything. And over time you know, I’ve gotten into so many like… I listen to EDM music, I listen to ambient stuff, I listen to a lot of different things, where back then it was, I listen to like Lamb of God, and just the heaviest stuff ever. So getting into EDM really kind of opened me up as a producer, and learning how to do that kind of music, which I’m not a master at it or anything, but I did spend a couple of years learning to produce EDM stuff as well, and I think that t helped me grow as a music producer in the sense of I started writing songs differently, like when I would start one where before it was always just pick up my guitar, and c sharp and write a riff, and start from there.
I think with The Phantom Tomorrow, you’re going to attract a diverse and older audience.
JP: Yeah, that’s always the ultimate goal, is to be able to reach an audience that, I mean this band has been a pretty polarizing band throughout the years, and I think Oh yeah.
If we go back to the early days, I would read YouTube comments where people wouldn’t even give us a shot, they would just talk crap, leave a comment, this band sucks, and then I would see a couple of years later people are like, “Oh, I decided to listen to a couple of their songs, and they’re not that bad, I kind of like them.” And I’m like, “Whoa, that just doesn’t make sense, how you can just go say something sucks without even like trying.
I deal with it daily on our social media accounts
JP: We’ve had people come up to our meet and greets, and be like, “Oh, I used to troll you on the internet,” and we’re like, “What?” Like “Yeah, I used to be a hater, but you’re my favorite band now.” It was a surreal moment, and this was several years ago but I think a lot of
people who never gave us a shot before… I think this album like you said, I think it could bring a
lot of new people in, and we’re seeing that out here. We’re seeing in the VIPs, people are
like, “Oh, I’ve been listening to you for five months and Scarlet Cross got me into you guys,” and
it’s like, “This is awesome.’
To read my review of The Phantom Tomorrow, please click here
11/5 — Stroudsburg, PA — Sherman Theater
11/6 — Montclair, NJ — Wellmont Theatre
11/7 — Worcester, MA — The Palladium
11/9 — Philadelphia, PA — Franklin Music Hall
11/10 — Silver Spring, MD — The Fillmore
11/12 — Myrtle Beach, SC — House Of Blues
11/13 — Cherokee, NC — Harrah’s Cherokee Events Center
11/14 — Nashville, TN — Marathon Music Works
11/16 — Richmond, VA — The National
11/17 — Greensboro, NC — Piedmont Hall
11/19 — Tampa, FL — Hard Rock Events Center
11/20 — Lake Buena Vista, CA — House Of Blues
11/21 — Atlanta, GA — The Tabernacle