With Black Veil Brides’ UK tour kicking in off in little over a week, I luckily had the chance to catch up with Jake Pitts, guitarist of the band, to chat about what’s been going on recently, and what to expect both in this tour and in the near future.
Chris: So, how are you?
Jake: I’m awesome man, you?
Chris: I’m good, thanks. So, you’ve got you’re UK tour coming up with D.R.U.G.S., how excited are you?
Jake: I can’t wait. They’re all really good friends of ours. We love touring here, the crowds are insane. The shows are always awesome. Just feeling really good to be back here. The last tour we did was in October, every show sold out. So, now we’re stepping up the venues a little bit, selling more tickets, so it’s all just growing and growing. It’s awesome that every time we get here, it gets bigger and bigger.
Chris: And, this tour also includes your first dates in Ireland.
Jake: Ya, we’re playing in Belfast and Dublin. Both shows have sold out. It’s always cool to go to places you’ve never been to play shows, we’re really looking forward to it.
Chris: You’ve been in the UK since January, what have you been up to?
Jake: Just chilling out, doing a little bit of writing but also kinda taking some time off. But, there’s never actually any time off when you’re in a band, when there’s time off from touring, you’re doing other things. It’s kinda like vacation to me when I’m here doing press. We’re writing for the next record we’ll be recording around April, so, there’s always stuff to be done. But, definitely just relaxing and having a good time.
Chris: So, you’re recording the next record in April?
Jake: Ya, we don’t really know what the date will be when we enter the studio, cos right now we’re just doing pre-production, writing, coming up with song ideas. Probably meeting with several producers to see, kinda, how it’s filling out. But, basically, April 1st is the last show we have on the tour. So, after, we’re going to do the next record. It could be 5 months, or it might be real quick again where it’s a month and a half later and we’re done with it. Who knows, you know?
Chris: And, with regards to the song writing process, how do you approach that? Do you do your own thing, or do you work together for one particular song?
Jake: The last record we did, I don’t wanna take credit, but musically, I wrote probably about 90% of it. As far as vocal and melody goes, that was in done in the studios with Andy, the producers, you know, everybody coming together. But, this one is definitely a fresh start, you know, where we really want everybody to just be involved. I want everybody to be involved. I want CC, he plays guitar a tiny bit, but I’ve heard him struggle some weird ideas out, and I’m like “ya, I totally hear where that could be, it could be cool”. He shows me that. Like, I write a lot of the drum parts too and he can play them fifty million times better than I can ever do. So, it’s just being a band where each individual has ideas in other people’s parts. I really just want everyone to bring out their best. I guess, it’ll kinda take a little bit of the pressure off of me. I have a lot of stuff written already, that was just like “cool, we could do this record, let’s do it, let’s write the vocals, let’s go” but, this is definitely a fresh start. It’s all brand new ideas, so it’ll be interesting to see what comes out, I think it’s gonna be darker, different, but it’s still gonna be Black Veil Brides. The crazy guitar solos, the crazy drums, and there’s gonna be the songs with the big, hooky melodies to sing-along to. But, its gonna be brand new. We’re really in the very early, beginning stages of working on those songs, so, we’ll see what happens.
Chris: Excellent. Going back to you’re last release, Rebels, was there any particular reason you picked those songs by Billy Idol and Kiss to cover?
Jake: Well, basically the way that started out was the song ‘Coffin’. That was a song we tracked all the instruments to when we were doing Set The World On Fire. And, it was kinda last minute, like “can we get this done for the record?” And started vocals on it, and they kinda wanted to do more of a screaming song over it, and I just said “I don’t like it at all”. And, you know, people may have been bitter here and there, but I’m just saying it for the best outcome. So, we had that song, the instruments tracked, everything, and we didn’t end up putting it on the album co it wasn’t done. There just wasn’t time. Basically, we were like “Ya, we’re gonna do this EP”. The Billy Idol song, ‘Rebel Yell’, it was kind of a perfect match. The way we did it definitely kicked it up to a more modern song. It’s definitely our style, Andy’s voice fits it great, I completely wrote a different guitar solo in it. We really took the basics of the song and then made it our own. Kiss’ ‘Unholy’, that was a whole different song cos that song is so weird and unique. Nobody would think to do ‘Unholy’. It’s an awkward song. The riffs are cool in it, but you can’t really change that around too much cos that’s just how the song is. And, we got Zakk Wylde to do a guitar solo over it and that just took it over the top. Strange solo! It was a brutal three songs, I guess you could say.
Chris: It’s unreal that you got Zakk Wylde to go into it with you.
Jake: Ya, we didn’t even know if that was going to happen. Boss actually brought the idea to us, like “hey, maybe Zakk Wylde could do a solo…” and, we were like “That’d be awesome”. And then, we put one down just in case he didn’t. Then, we were on tour and basically, he’s got his studio, we were in post-recording, doing that stuff. Sent stuff back and forth, and when we came back, ya. He did it. He sent it to us on tour. We were like “Ya, cool, nothing wrong with that!”
Chris: After you’re previous UK tour, you joined Avenged Sevenfold in the US, how was that?
Jake: Man, that was my favourite tour we’ve ever done. First of all, big fan of Avenged Sevenfold. And, now even a bigger fan after learning how down to earth they are, and actually becoming friends with those guys. Hanging out I their dressing rooms, making drinks and just being stupid together. Knowing that they’re exactly like us and just super cool people. It was just a really great experience. Beyond anything I’ve ever experienced before. I remember seeing them at Warped Tour, 2004. They were bad ass! Now, I’m sitting there in their dressing room, hanging out and just talking to them about their million dollar houses and cars, and then thinking about my car! But, they’re just super nice, down to earth people. It meant so much to me when, at the last show, I just wanted to leave straight after because basically, I had to go home, unpack, repack, and then I was flying again. The only way I had a way home was with Jinxx. They wanted to stay, and I was like “That’s cool”, cos there was nothing wrong with watching them again. I was side stage for Avenged every night of that tour. Anyways, after we played, I was on the bus, just chilling out. And, I was like “eh, I dunno if I wanna go back in there” but then, I got a text from Jinxx. He was like “Hey dude, Brian (Synyster Gates) is asking where you are, he wants to say goodbye cos he’s leaving right after he gets off stage”. Well, alright, I had to go! Ran inside and as Brian came off stage, he gave me a big hug and was like “Dude, lets do this again”. I’m like “Ya man! That’d be great”. He offered to like sit down and exchange ideas and stuff. And, it was kinda intimidating. I kinda wanted to do it, and I kinda didn’t want to do it. And, any time I actually really wanted to do it, it wasn’t able to happen cos of interviews or he was in San Francisco or with his wife or something. Basically it never ended up happening. I think we have a good relationship with them, I think we’ll do some tours with them again, hopefully very soon.
Chris: Cool. Apart from the UK tour, and the record, do you have any plans for the rest of the year?
Jake: We’re playing Download, and a bunch of festivals on our run. We’re focusing on the record though. I mean, it’s in it’s very early stages. Start recording in April, through to June. Might do some dates here and there in the summer. I think the record is supposed to be released sometime in October. And, when you put out a record, you gotta tour, so… we’ve nothing scheduled yet, but we’ll be doing a lot of it.
Chris: Awesome Jake. Thanks, looking forward to seeing you guys in Brixton!
Jake: Ya, looking forward to it. Thanks man!
Black Veil Brides are touring the UK from the 24th of March, with support from Destroy rebuild Until God Shows (D.R.U.G.S.), dates of each show are as follows:
24th March – Wolverhampton – Civic Hall
25th March – Belfast – Mandela Hall
26th March – Dublin – Academy
27th March – Glasgow – Barrowlands
28th March – Edinburgh – Picturehouse 02
29th March – Leeds – Academy
30th March – London – Brixton Academy
1st April – Bristol – 02 Academy