Lifting the Black Veil
Black Veil Brides are a modern rock phenomenon. In a few short years the facepaint-clad crew have amassed an almighty, fiercely loyal following (or the BVB Army as they like to be known), so it’s little surprise that the band’s new album, titled Wretched and Divine and slated for release in January, is eagerly anticipated to say the least.
With that in mind we got on the phone to guitarist Jinxx and got the lowdown on what you need to know about the new record.
It's a rock opera concept album
“We’ve taken a different approach on this record. We wanted to do something much bigger. We wanted a concept record and to tell a story. In the past we’ve written the music and Jake [guitar] and I would sit down and write the music and demo it, then Andy [vocals] would write lyrics. This process was a little different, we had the story pretty much written then we wrote music to the storyline. It was like we were writing an opera to libretto. It turned out like a rock opera.
“We wanted to make the songs great. The root of the songs and the melody was written first and then the complex guitar solos and structures came after that. Then there was the matter of tying the songs together with musical interludes.”
It's a record no other band could have made
“It’s like nothing we’ve ever done before, and [it is something that] none of our comrades and peers in the music industry right now I don’t think have the potential [to do]. I think we really outdid ourselves with this one in trying to make something bigger than ourselves.
“We didn’t want to make the same record twice. We were proud of Set The World on Fire and how do we top that? We wanted to make the most epic album we could. There was pressure and we had to think outside the box and not isolate ourselves to one genre.
“I think a lot of bands do that and that’s why they end up putting out the same record twice, they isolate themselves in one genre. We’ve never considered ourselves as a genre band. People like to polarise us and say we’re this or that and we’re like, ‘No, we have many different influences from wide sources.’ One of us might want Bach and the other is really into brutal metal. Out influences are so wide. You can’t say we're one thing or another.”
“The one thing we never want to be is boring. We don’t aim to shock, but the album just grew and we’re growing, it’s a process. It’s years that we’ve been making music together and we always want to outdo ourselves and grow as artists. This record, to us, is just a statement of, ‘This is our best piece of art that we’ve made to date.’
“You want people to respond to it and relate to it. I grew up with concept albums like The Wall and Tommy. I don’t think there has been a lot of that in the modern day where it relates to anybody or they accept it as a concept record where it told a story.”
A lot was done in two months
“The one thing we used as a tool [in the studio] that was very beneficial in getting this record done in the time was the Kemper Profiling amp. It’s technology we’ve stumbled on to and it profiles the sound, frequency and signal chain. So say you go in the studio and take an amp, head and cabinet and run through the board to preamps - you take that chain and you’re able to copy that exact sound into this little robot!
“Jake and I were able to capture the sound of every amp that we had in the studio. We spent a day just getting tones, just getting really good tones. We took those into Jake’s home studio and did most of the guitars there.
“That enabled us to get all of the guitar work done while they were doing vocals in the studio, so we could multi task. I did most of the orchestration in my home studio and did a lot of strings while Jake was doing guitar at his studio and they were doing vocals. We were able to get a lot done in two months. I think most people would spend six months to a year doing the amount of work we did.”
“The guitar tone is a lot bigger than the past. The last record was pretty guitar heavy, the heavier side of metal. On this we wanted to branch out and explore different avenues. We have a lot of ballads, we have a lot of epic sounds.
“In The End was put out as the single and that is pretty epic in itself. It’s got it all - strings, shredding guitars and we just put our all into that. That is just a precursor for what people are going to hear for the rest of the record. It’s that big sound, big chorus, singalongs and we pulled out all of the stops, it showcases everything that we can do.”
Jinxx shows off his string skills
“I was able to showcase something I haven’t been able to in the past - I’m a string player and I’m into orchestrating. I was able to score string sections, violins, cello and all of that. To me it felt like I was scoring a movie soundtrack and in the end we did make a movie to go with the record! I’m really proud of what we’ve done.”
Yes, there's also a movie
“People are really turned on by movies. They go out to see movies so we thought, ‘Let’s make a movie’. I’ve always wanted to do a movie soundtrack and film scoring. It was really exciting. It felt like we were making something much bigger than a record.
“It was a natural progression [to make a movie]. It was the story of all of our lives metaphorically. We needed the visuals as well and it all goes together. It’s pretty epic. It’s the story of each of our lives, in the sense of here we are, this band of five rebels, and we’re in this world overrun by this force that is controlling all of mankind and we’re the five rebels breaking free of that.
“It’s representative of all of us that grew up in small towns and were told we had to live a certain way in a certain code of life and you can’t be who you want to be. It’s us breaking free of that, being who we want to be. Anyone can do it, you just have to be brave enough to fight against the system.”