Pierce The Veil discuss hanging out with koalas, ‘Made To Destroy’ tour and the supernatural

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Photo by Benjamin Robson

Pierce the Veil are on top of the world. In a few short months, the post-hardcore foursome released their fourth studio album Misadventures, appeared on Conan and toured in two different continents. They’ve reached heights recently that most bands only dream about. Life is moving 100 mph for Pierce The Veil and there’s no signs of stopping anytime soon. After a few days off, the San Diegans are back on the road, touring North America with Neck Deep and I Prevail on the Made To Destroy tour.

We hopped on the phone with bassist Jaime Preciado to talk about Pierce The Veil’s present tour, their newest music video for their smash hit single “Circles,” and their journey around the world and back over the summer.

First off, how was Australia?

It was great man! It was really, really good! The shows were fantastic and we’re pleased to be home again.

It looked like you were making some local friends too, particularly koalas?

[Laughs] Yeah, we went to the sanctuary there and we haven’t done that in seven years, since the first time we went to Australia. It was a good time.

Ever since the Misadventures release, everything’s been going 100 mph for you. You’ve been down in South America, over in Australia, on the road in the United States. You even played on Conan! How has this summer compared to those prior?

It’s been hectic, but I think we were waiting for that. We were so stressed out trying to release this record with all the deadlines and trying to make the record right. As soon as we got the record done, we were so relieved and we thought, ‘when this record is released, we’re new men.’ We felt like we had a clean slate and wanted to hit it as hard as possible. We’re very fortunate to be in the position that we’re in – as you said, playing Conan, South America and Australia. All of that was an awesome experience.

When you do get to spend a few days home in San Diego, how do you spend your time? Other than enjoying the beautiful weather.

That weather’s great! As soon as we got home, my girlfriend and I went to Disneyland just on a whim. We like going to Disney a lot. That’s one of my favorite places to go and chill out. It makes you feel like you’re 10 years old and a little kid again. I enjoy those things and then it’s back to the real world. But, I think everyone needs a break every once in a while to spend time with friends and family. Now we’re just rehearsing and getting ready for the Made To Destroy tour.

You talk about those rehearsals and you guys have spoken about always raising the bar higher and higher. How could you possibly raise the bar higher than you already have at live shows?

We’re gonna do it! It’s about being creative and making a show that’s memorable. Also, having four albums to choose from to put together set list is really cool. We always try to think outside the box when it comes to playing shows. We want kids to walk away and say, ‘Wow, did you see that?’ We definitely want that feeling because we were those kids and we know what that feels like. We’re going to pull out all the stops, even though as you said, we did a lot of crazy stuff on the Misadventures tour.

What’s the process leading up to a tour? What do you need to go through to prepare yourselves and put on a show that crowns you “Best Live Band” at the APMAs in 2014.

[Laughs] Just playing – we have what we want to do. Rehearsal days are more for the crew to get comfortable with everything on the set and everything else that’s going on. Whether it’s the lighting or the fun things we’ll do. None of that is done haphazardly. We actually spend time on it and need to get the show right. We need to make sure the show is what we want and what we thought of and created. For me personally, my bags never really got unpacked. We’ve been touring for 10 years so it’s really just a drill.

With how much you guys are on the road, you definitely need to keep a few bags packed.

Yeah, I think everyone has their two different suitcase sizes. One for two weeks or less and then one for a month or more. We’re just excited to play these shows. It’ll be the first real show we’ve done playing both new songs and old songs.

I can’t imagine what you go through picking a set list. Especially with Misadventures considering all 11 songs are high quality and can be thrown into a set anywhere.

Obviously, the more albums you have, the more difficult it us to pick which songs to play. We take a lot of time to plan that and if a song doesn’t feel right in a certain spot, we’ll change it with another song. Whether it’s an old song or new song, we take a lot of time to make sure the set flows well and is a good time from beginning to end. We’ll play some new songs, but also some old songs. It’ll be a great time.

You’re going out with Neck Deep and I Prevail. How do you go about picking the bands you tour with?

For us, it’s more about the personality of the band and the people who are actually in the band. For Neck Deep, we toured with them on Warped Tour and they’re just good dudes. What kind of people they are is really important to us because when you tour with so many bands all the time, they become friends. We’ve toured with bands that aren’t very cool and it’s just a miserable time. It was a really easy choice to pick Neck Deep and I Prevail. We know those guys and we love them. I Prevail is also our label mates, they have a new record coming out and they’re doing really well right now.

And fans appreciate it. When you put together a line up like this, the whole four hours is a good time.

Yeah, that’s always in the back of our heads. I know a lot of bands that don’t really care who’s opening because it’s their show anyway. However, that’s not necessarily the case. The show starts when the doors open. For us, we always want to have a great show from the moment you walk in, to the moment you leave. We want to make sure the show as a whole flows well. Almost like picking a set list, you need to select the right bands.

You just released a new music video for “Circles” and it’s creative! It has a movie-like feel to it with the acting in the beginning and the end. It also really accentuates how long the band has been together. It’s almost been 10 years – looking back, how does that feel considering other bands swap members along the way whereas you’ve remained together.

It’s kinda crazy. That’s definitely been one of the things everyone has been talking about lately – how long we’ve been together. It’s honestly flown by and now we’re the old guys. It blows my mind! We still feel like we have a lot left and I’ve only done half the things I want to accomplish. It’s a good feeling and the guys in the band have always loved what they do. If you want to call it a job, it’s been a really easy job. For us, it’s about creating music and crossing off goals along the way. For example, that song “Circles” is the first song we’ve had in rotation on radio. It’s a really big deal and means the band is growing. When you’re growing, you check these things off – having a song on radio, playing on Conan O’Brien and our first TV appearance. There’s still a lot of fire there and it’s awesome.

It sure doesn’t feel like you’re the old guys. You jump around stage like you’re 20 years old.

[Laughs] Until my body can’t do that, it wont stop. When you’re feeling it, you’re feeling it and it’s a good time. I want kinds to take that away from our show. We’re having an awesome time on stage and none of it is forced.

Lastly, touching on the “Circles” video and theme. Have you ever had any personal experiences with the supernatural or other oddities that are in the video. Vic [Fuentes] pins you as the scaredy-cat.

I’m a scaredy-cat in real life. I have a weird imagination and as soon as it gets dark, my mind gets weird. That shit just freaks me out and I don’t understand the ghost stuff and don’t think I ever will. It’s creepy!

Where did you find all the props for the video?

The director, Drew Russ, had an amazing team. We had the idea and just showed up at this fun house full of things to pick and choose from for the video. It was a fun video to make. Fun fact, we filmed that video in one day. We shot it the day before the Misadventures tour started.

About author

Jared Allen

Jared Allen

Jared is a music journalist, photographer and avid music listener living in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys live music, long car rides with Kellin Quinn and trips to the local record store, even though he still doesn't own a turntable in fear that his roommates will evict him.

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