By Geoffrey Rowlands
Fans have waited a long time for the release of Misadventures, the fourth studio album from San Diego-based post-hardcore rockers Pierce The Veil.
It is two months short of four years since the quartet issued their hugely successful third album, Collide With The Sky. But fans had been told the songs for Pierce The Veil’s fourth album had been written as long ago as December 2013.
“It’s true, we did have tons of new stuff written back then,” admitted lead singer, rhythm guitarist, keyboardist and songwriter Vic Fuentes. “But much of it was pieces of songs which had to be put together rather than fully finished material.”
“We still expected to have the album out some time in 2014,” remarked drummer, co-songwriter and Vic’s brother Mike Fuentes. “But sometimes things just happen to cause delays. We played music festivals, did tours, collaborated with other artists and wrote some new songs which we thought were better than those we originally planned to put on the new album. A 2014 release date got pushed back to 2015 and then to 2016.”
The postponements only served to increase anticipation for Misadventures. The album debuted at number four on the Billboard 200 and shot straight to pole position on the US Rock, Hard Rock, Alternative Rock and Independent Albums charts. It also hit top spot on the UK Rock and Metal Albums chart.
“The response has been incredible,” smiled lead guitarist Tony Perry. “Our fan following has grown enormously since we released Collide With The Sky. It was like people had just discovered us even though we were on our third album.
“A lot of the delays in releasing the new album were caused by the demand for us to play concerts. It was crazy. We were in the process of recording the album and still doing world tours.”
One of the more recently written songs is their latest single, Circles. It details Vic’s reaction to the terrorist attacks in Paris last November.
“I often write about things which weigh heavily on my mind. Some bands are very political, others will only write about love. But my songs tend to deal with events in our lives, our relationships and our friends. I’ll write about whatever seems important to me at the time.”
Some of Vic’s songs are inspired by fans. The band frequently receive word that their songs have helped fans who were going through a bad time. Some of their stories have become Pierce The Veil songs. But there is one tale which haunts Vic to this day.
“We got a message from friends of an Australian girl named Olivia Penpraze. She was a massive fan but our songs couldn’t save her. She had been the victim of constant bullying throughout most of her schooldays. She had made a video chronicling all the bullying and posted it on her Tumblr page.
“It was one of the saddest things I’ve ever seen. She was such a sweet-looking girl but the bullies had convinced her that she was ugly, worthless and all sorts of crazy things. In the end, she committed suicide. I was so moved by what happened to Olivia that I wrote Bulls In The Bronx, a track on our last album, as a tribute to her.”
Floral & Fading, one of the songs on Misadventures, is dedicated to Vic’s girlfriend, model Danielle Victoria.
“It’s a risk-taking song for us in that it’s stylistically very different and much slower than anything we’ve ever done. I wanted my girlfriend to know how much she means to me. The vast majority of our fans are great but, when we first got together, some of them attacked her online, sent her nasty letters and even made threats.
“She was reduced to tears. I wrote the song as my way of trying to tell her that none of this stuff matters. The only important thing is the love we have for each other.”
The band will celebrate their tenth anniversary later this year.
“Vic and Mike were the original Pierce The Veil,” explained bassist Jaime Preciado. “They wrote and recorded our first album, A Flair for the Dramatic. Tony and I joined in 2007 as the musicians who were needed to perform the songs in concert.
“We all became so tight so quickly that there was never any question of us leaving the band. We must be one of only a few bands in our musical genre who have been together for so long with no personnel changes. I think the reason is we love what we do and we love being together. Here’s to the next ten years.”
An enormous mural honouring David Bowie has been painted on the side of a ruined building in the Bosnian capital, Sarajevo.
It was created by local artists Enis Cisic and Zoran Herzeg but the idea came from musician Vedad Trbonja who describes Bowie as his “spiritual father.” The 13 metres high by 10.5 metres wide mural references Bowie’s songs Heroes and Fashion. It carries the words “Fashion changes but you’ll always be my heroes.”
The site of the mural is near the street which became known as Sniper Alley during the 1993-95 war when civilians were targeted by Serbian marksmen. The building has been left in ruins as a permanent reminder of the conflict and a memorial to those who were killed.
In other Bowie news, previously unseen photos of David have gone on display in Los Angeles and Paris. The images were taken by photographer Markus Klinko for the cover of David’s 2002 album, Heathen, and a GQ magazine cover in the same year.
The exhibition at the MrMusicHead Gallery in Los Angeles runs until June 15 while the show at Art Cube in Paris is on until June 25.
Anglo-American duo The Kills have just released their fifth studio album, Ash & Ice.
Singer Alison Mosshart and guitarist/producer Jamie Hince have previously issued two singles from the new album, Doing It To Death and Heart of a Dog. They have now released a third track, Siberian Nights, as their latest single. Official videos have been made for all three songs. Doing It To Death is posted at www.youtube.com/watch?v=498zUzNGQxY
Heart of a Dog is at www.youtube.com/watch?v=urPxe4jxdt8, while Siberian Nights can be found at www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sm1bDP0yNj8
The duo’s previous albums, Keep On Your Mean Side, No Wow, Midnight Boom and Blood Pressures, are all available to hear in full on YouTube.
Ramona Gonzalez, better known as Nite Jewel, is one of those multi-talented artists who seem to have a finger in so many pies.
In addition to her own indie-rock and alternative dance EPs and albums, Nite Jewel has collaborated with a number of other artists in genres ranging from rap to experimental baroque pop. She has also exhibited video and sound installation pieces in art galleries around her home city of Los Angeles.
Having signed to Secretly Canadian after initially self-releasing her music, she is now an independent artist again citing creative differences as her reason for leaving the label. The need to satisfy no-one but herself certainly seems to suit Nite Jewel. Her new album, Liquid Cool, is critically acclaimed as Ramona’s best work to date.
The video for her latest single, Kiss The Screen, is at www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXLGNsc6PUE
This is one of several Nite Jewel videos on YouTube. Type her name in the website search box to find more.
There is only one permanent member of Mutual Benefit. The project was created by American singer/songwriter Jordan Lee who enlists the help of musicians he particularly admires to perform on his songs.
After releasing a number of digital-only EPs, 2013’s Love’s Crushing Diamond was an album which attracted enormous critical acclaim. Jordan is back now with a new album, Skip a Sinking Stone. The surrealistic video for lead single, Lost Dreamers, can be seen at www.youtube.com/watch?v=y80VF06GPt8
If you enjoy Mutual Benefit’s music, Love’s Crushing Diamond is posted in full at www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKx4swZg2s4
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