Halloween, the one night of the year where you can dress up however you want, put on as much make-up and be whoever you want to be. And no one will say a negative word to you. Yet, as much as I would have liked to dress up this year, I had business to attend to. And I use the word “business” in the lightest sense possible.
Black Veil Brides are a band which almost everyone has heard of, and everyone has a very definite opinion of this band. You either love them, or love to hate them. There’s no middle ground or on the fence scenario with these guys, your feelings toward them will be one of two extremes.
That is a word which summarises the band quite well: extreme. Their shows are some of the most talked about, and the most chaotic. And they love it. “We want to make a statement” says guitarist Jinx, “whether it’s exciting people or pissing them off!”
I met Jinx and fellow band member and guitarist Jake Pitts ahead of their Halloween show, which was almost a no-show. Earlier in the tour, lead singer and frontman of the 5 piece, Andy Biersack, broke his nose due to his antics on stage.
The man, credit to him, did work up the strength to perform at Shepard’s Bush on the 29th of October. However, following the show, he was having trouble breathing, and under doctor’s orders, was sent home.
So, what now? The band, with out a lead singer, could just have easily said “Yeah, lets all go home” And, even though he remaining gigs of the tour were cancelled, they didn’t go home.
The rest of the band waited in the UK long enough to make it to this Halloween gig, which was set up for their fans. At which point I asked, if this is no longer a concert, what’s your plan for the night?
The band held a meet and greet, which saw a queue snake around the venue and back out the door – there’s no denying that these guys have an immense fan base. After the meet and greet, drummer Christian “CC” Coma held a costume contest, which featured everything from devilish ghouls to drunk cattle.
“Our fans mean so much to us, they’re the reason we’re here tonight” said Jinx, who came to the event dressed as a “zombie me!” These fans are also the reason the band’s latest effort, Set The World On Fire, had such a phenomenal response. Between reaching 17 in the Billboard 200, and number 3 in the UK Rock Chart, these guys are doing better than most.
And yet, even though Set The World On Fire was back in June, the guys are already taking about their next EP. Jinx mentioned that they “have to have an entire album written by April”, which is when the band are looking to record again. Workaholics isn’t the word.
Jake said he can’t remember the last time he had a day off. And anytime he does have, he finds himself writing music. These guys want to beat the success of Set The World On Fire, they want to beat it bad. And how are they planning on doing that? Oh, there’s a few surprises in there.
When I brought up the subject of collaborating with other artists, I was met with a smirk from the two guitarists, while the phrase “guest guitarist on the EP” was thrown around. Sadly, that’s all they were willing to tell. No matter how much I wanted one, I was never going to get a name out of them. So, we’ll have to wait. “You won’t be waiting too long”
The band have already toured with some amazing bands, a list which includes D.R.U.G.S. and Murderdolls, and are soon going to be touring the U.S. with Avenged Sevenfold, a band who Black Veil Brides hold in high regard, counting them as an influence. Another influence is, with obvious reason, Motley Crue. “Nikki Sixx once told us that he hopes people fucking hate our band! A lot of people hated Motley Crue when they first came out, but that’s how people talk about stuff like this. Nikki wants people to hate us, ‘cos he knows that’s how we’ll be successful”
But above all else, according to Jake, these guys want to “put on a show” and have people enjoy themselves. That’s why they continued with the intention of this Halloween party. To meet the people they wouldn’t normally meet, and have them enjoy themselves.
The night was a complete success, with all fans getting to chat to the band, who did hang around until the end of the night and mingle with the crowd. It was quite odd to be at the bar with Jinx standing next to me, not that I’m complaining! The guys had nothing but time for their fans who may have wanted to have a conversation, or simply just take a photo with someone they idolize.
The day that was in it may have played a part in the band’s good nature that night, as Halloween is definitely their time of year. Hell, Jinx turned to me and said “It’s Halloween every day for us!” when I mentioned dressing up in costume. They take their work very seriously, adding a dose of theatricality which most bands don’t bother to do. Many other bands just skim the surface, where as these guys are making a real dent in the music industry.
People are talking about them, and they know it. People are talking about them, be it for the right reasons or the wrong. In a positive light, or in a negative one. Talking in extremes.