On Feb. 6 at 8 p.m. PT/11 p.m. ET, Yahoo Live will live stream Pierce the Veil's concert from the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago. Tune in HERE to watch!
For close to eight years now, the men of San Diego post-hardcore quartet Pierce the Veil have been pushing themselves to the limit, playing endless tours with acts as wide-ranging as pop-punk band Mayday Parade and metalcore outfit the Amity Affliction, and putting their all into every gig with little regard to their well-being. The most injury-prone member seems to be bassist and songwriter Jaime Preciado, who has broken his toe, fractured his foot, and, perhaps most spectacularly, taken a guitar headstock to the face.
“We had two songs left to play in the set when I wandered into the wrong place at the wrong time and wham!” Preciado tells Yahoo Music. “A guy in the front row thought it was a trick; he was totally into it. I was like, ‘No, dude, I’m losing blood here!’”
Preciado finished the show looking like a victim from The Walking Dead, then hailed a cab to take him to the hospital to get stitched up while his bandmates drove to the next city on the tour. “We were driving ourselves in an RV back then and had to leave at midnight every night,” Preciado says. “So I stayed stay behind and got a ride out with the headline band, Scary Kids Scaring Kids. “I crashed on the back lounge of their bus because they didn’t have to leave until 3 a.m.”
Fearlessness and over-exertion have been two major elements of Pierce the Veil’s success. The band played about 280 shows last year, and between dates they worked on the follow-up to their 2012 album Collide With the Sky, which has brought the band the popularity they’ve longed for. The video for “King for a Day” has accrued almost 43 million views on YouTube, and their clip for “Bulls in the Bronx” has garnered more than 12.5 million views. Just days before the stream of their Feb. 6 show at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago, Preciado talked about winning over crowds, being in a band with two brothers (frontman Vic Fuentes and drummer Mike Fuentes), and the developments the band has undergone as they prepare for the release of their yet-untitled new album, which is tentatively scheduled for release this summer.
YAHOO MUSIC: Two-hundred and eighty dates a year is a lot of time to be on the road. Don’t you get tired of touring?
JAIME PRECIADO: We love playing different cities every night and traveling to different parts of the world. We’re always trying to be on tour and our booking does a good job of not letting us come home. I think a huge part of the success that we’ve had is because every show we play we try to do something a little different, so kids want to come back for the surprises. Some things don’t work as well as others and you learn from that and try something else.
What kind of changes have you added to the production?
Whether it’s stage production or how we start a show or end a show, we always do something. We did a tour with a band called All Time Low last year and our stage setup was really theatrical. We had huge mechanical gears and things that are totally not supposed to be onstage. We just wanted to make it fun for the kids to get them to ask themselves, “What are they going to do next?”
What’s the strangest bill you’ve played?
When you’re starting out you do a lot of shows to try to make a name for yourself. And there have been times where we’ve had to fight to win the crowd. The first time we went to the U.K. we were playing with A Day to Remember. No one knew who we were and people weren’t 100 percent stoked on us. So instead of being down on ourselves and getting depressed, we made a goal to try to win the crowd over. That became a challenge. By the end of set we wanted everyone to feel, “OK, these guys are not terrible.” That’s the way we look at it. We’re very much positive thinkers. Now we have a U.K. tour coming up that’s all sold-out, so it’s all come full circle and that makes us really excited.
Your third album Collide With the Sky came out three years ago. Do you have a new record on the horizon?
Yeah, we’re at the final stages of finishing it. We just have to add the last little pieces. We’re always really excited to release new material. We’ve been playing Collide since before it came out, so it’s always exciting to have a new arsenal of songs to throw in the set.
How will the new album be a development from Collide?
We’ve always admired bands that have progressed naturally from one album to the next. So we aim to do that ourselves. We try to become better in every aspect — songwriting, playing, lyrics without changing too much — so this record is going to have all the elements we like in our music. There’ll the fast stuff, the punk stuff, the heavy stuff, the midtempo songs. Hopefully it will come out this year and we’ll hit the ground running.
When did you write the new songs?
We were in the studio all of 2014. We were in Long Island, New York, for four or five months writing and recording everything. We went with our producer Dan Korneff, who did Collide With the Sky. This is our first time working with the same producer twice, and it was great because we already knew each other and there was no weird get-to-know-you phase. It was like meeting an old friend and getting right to work.
Were there any unexpected challenges working on this record?
Yeah. We like to push ourselves, so we definitely spent a lot of time on each song. We like to sit in a room and set up our practice space in a circle. We literally play the song as many different ways as possible. We’ll cut pieces, we’ll add things, we’ll play it in a different style. We exhaust every possibility just to see what works best.
A lot of bands have featured brothers, and with mixed results. Do Vic and Mike fight?
After being in this band so long, we almost forget they’re related because of our relationship with everyone. It’s almost like we’re all brothers. They’re so different, but when it comes to playing a song they have this internal connection. And me and [guitarist] Tony [Perry] have become part of the process. A lot of people don’t get along, but we’ve come to the realization that this is what we all want to do and we’ve having a blast doing it. You can’t be upset with that.
Do you hang out when you’re off the road?
We’ll do a long tour and when we get home we joke around. We’ll be like, “Don’t call me. Don’t text me. I do not exist. You do not exist.” And then three days goes by and we’re calling each other saying, “Dude, I’m bored. What are you doing?” We like to keep it pretty close.
Do you enjoy down time or do you itch to get back on the road?
It’s nice to be home for a couple days, but then we’re always like, “OK, now what do I do? I want to go back on tour. I want to go in the studio.” So we’re never home for too long.
What do you do when you’re not working with the band?
Since I was a little kid I’ve always wanted to get my pilot’s license. Over the last year I actually had time to do it. I’ve logged 35 hours in a four-seater Cherokee single-prop. I’m 15 hours away from getting my actual license now, which is pretty cool. Also, I have a studio at home that I like to dabble in and help friend’s bands record. I actually went to school for studio production before the band started.
Will your bandmates get in a plane with you?
They have done it with our booking agent. He’s a certified pilot and he gets really gnarly. He’s got an old Russian fighter plane and he’ll do backflips and intentionally stall the plane just to freak us all out. I’m sure once I get my license I’ll be doing as many trips as possible. Everyone asks, “Oh, are you going to start flying the band to shows?” And I’m like, “I don’t know, man. Historically it hasn’t been too hot for bands in planes. We might take the bus.”