Andy Biersack of Black Veil Brides Talks "Set the World on Fire", "Batman" Movies, and More
Mon, 20 Jun 2011 13:18:45
"We're actually in the middle of a Wal-Mart parking lot. I'm not seeing a whole lot," says Black Veil Brides frontman Andy Biersack while on tour.
That Wal-Mart parking lot was probably never the same after Biersack and Brides rolled through though. Black Veil Brides have practically flipped rock 'n' roll upside down and inside out since they dropped 2010's We Stitch These Wounds, however, the competition will be razed for good with their new offering, Set the World on Fire.
It's an anthemic, arena-ready collection of fist-pumping rockers that's bound to get audiences worldwide chanting their name. Think of it as Shout at the Devil 2011 and you're only halfway there. Biersack infuses a vibrant storytelling style that gives the songs serious depth, and the band's rabid following continues to follow him down the rabbit hole. Nobody's coming back from Fire though…
Andy Biersack of Black Veil Brides spoke to ARTISTdirect.com editor and Dolor author about Set the World on Fire, his favorite Batman film, and so much more in this exclusive interview…
Where are you going on Set the World on Fire? How do you feel you've grown since We Stitch These Wounds?
We wrote the whole thing at once. It's a little more cohesive. Overall, it's a better record. We’re upping our game considerably. Like any first record, the songs were an amalgam of all the things that we had written over the first 20-something years of our lives. I was only 16 or 17 when I wrote most of the songs for that record, and I recorded it when I was turning 19. It was an interesting situation because you have far more time to write your first album than your second. We were able to bring together the moments of our lives that meant something to us and hopefully capture them with the songs on the record. There wasn't as much of a theme running throughout. I think our second record has more of a theme because we were able to sit down and do it all at once. We were able to improve upon everything we liked about the first album going into the second.
How have you grown as a writer?
My writing style will always be mine, but I tried to make a concerted effort on this record to hopefully write a little bit more based on how I felt the emotion in the moment as opposed to spending time trying to come up with the coolest sounding metaphor and those kinds of things. My lyrical style will always stay the same. I hope that's part of what people enjoy about the band. I know I enjoy writing. It's evolved a little bit more. I learned more about how to write about the human condition and hopefully capture what I’m trying to say in a much more succinct way.
If Set the World on Fire were a movie or a combination of movies what would it be?
It'd have to be the Black Veil Brides movie! We can only thing in terms of how our things would happen. Cinematically, I could tell you what the songs look like in my head but I couldn’t compare it to something else. It's a foreign concept to me. We know what our creation is and we’re very proud of it.
"Carolyn" has always stuck out though. What's the story behind that one?
It's an interesting song. It's the first song that I ever wrote lyrically from someone else's perspective. It’s about Jake's mother who has struggled with illness and how he felt. When you find out that someone’s sick, there's nothing you can really do except say that you're there and you’re going to try to help or do whatever you can. At the end of the day, you can't really cure someone if they’re sick. I took Jake's story and tried to put my own perspective on it. Like anything in life, if there's a situation where you see something terrible is happening and you can't necessarily stop it, the least you can do is promise you're going to be there for the person who’s being affected by it. That's what that song is about.
What are some of your favorite movies?
Our look is obviously very much inspired by Mad Max and post-apocalyptic warrior movies with body paint and all of that. We enjoy that image. I'm a big fan of comic books and comic book films. I've always been a big fan of anything with a cinematic, larger-than-life feel. I enjoy the films of Tim Burton, but I've never been The Nightmare Before Christmas guy. I take more inspiration from Batman films and those kinds of things though.
What’s your favorite Batman movie?
Since it’s the grittiest of the Batman films, Batman Returns would be it. It's a very dark movie; they even wound up firing Tim Burton because it got too dark. I also like it because there were two versions released. My mom wouldn't let me see one version but my dad would’ve [Laughs].
Find out when Andy first discovered Metallica here!
What's your favorite Black Veil Brides song?