In true “Behind The Music” style, Black Veil Brides moved to Hollywood following the rock n’ roll dream; and in three short years, the band has gone from being virtually homeless to having a major label deal, to performing at the 2011 Sunset Strip Music Festival alongside forefathers Mötley Crüe.
Before loading in at this year’s street fest, BVB frontman Andy Six phoned TheSunsetStrip.com from the road to discuss the band’s rags to riches story, recording their first “real” record and partying at The Rainbow with Skid Row’s Sebastian Bach. Read all about it…
So being one of the headliners of this year’s street fest, how does it feel to get the chance to play in the middle of The Sunset Strip?
It’s amazing! I mean, we’re a band that all grew up in parts of the Midwest or the South, and we all moved to Los Angeles around the age of 17, and we were all sort of homeless and went through that thing.
We all just sort of grew up with that classic idea of what The Strip was, with The Whisky and The Roxy… And if anything, we’re just excited to be a part of something that has so much history behind it and to be a part of something that pays tribute to all the great things that have happened in that area, and all the great bands that have come out of there.
With BVB’s look and sound, it’s obviously a bit of a throwback or homage to The Crüe. Have you met the guys before? Played with them?
Yeah, actually I’ve been working with Mick (Mars) for his solo record and he’s a dear friend and a great person; definitely a hero of mine.
The new record, Set The World On Fire, you recorded with Josh Abraham (Korn, 30 Seconds To Mars, Velvet Revolver). What was that process like, working with such a seasoned veteran?
The whole experience for us was amazing! For us, we really think of it as our first real proper record – being that it’s our first major label record, the first time we’ve ever really had an actual budget and time to make an album together as a band.
Josh and the whole production team on the record were all amazing… And getting to record at Pulse Studios in Silverlake and be at home in L.A. was a great experience. We’re excited to hopefully make another record soon.
It seems like the band has gone through quite a few lineup changes in its few short years. Is there a lot of bad blood out there?
I guess that’s not really accurate per say…because when you look at things I’ve performed under the name Black Veil Brides since I was 15 or 16, and growing up it was more just about finding people to play the songs that I was writing with me.
It wasn’t until I moved to Los Angeles in 2009 that we formed what the band is now, and we’ve had the same lineup ever since.
So in the early days, it was just sort of you using the name BVB as a moniker, and finding players to get your stuff out there?
Certainly, yeah. It was an idea I had as a young kid about a band that I wanted to create… I never really had a real band; it was more just a kid’s idea.
But now it’s a real thing and we’re a real band that does everything together, and it’s not just my pipedream anymore. [laughter]
You guys are definitely a band whose music speaks to that young, maybe troubled demographic of kids who are having difficulty sort of navigating through their teen years. Do you get a lot of feedback from fans that feel like you’ve really helped them cope with their problems?
Definitely. And I think that’s one of the big reasons we all do what we do. Cause I think all of us, especially in rock bands, we’ve all gone through stuff as adolescents… I think we write about stuff that is universal, about having things or people in your life that are somehow creating adversity for you and being able to rise above it and never languishing or feeling sad for yourself.
We talk a lot about always staying proud of who you are and taking a stance against depression and finding your self-worth. We’re all about rebellion, angst and just being happy with who you are.
Growing up in Ohio, did you experience a lot of that kind of adversity?
Well, I was never that kid that sort of sat in the corner feeling sad. I just always looked at things like, “I could use other people’s ignorance to fuel me…”
I hoped that if anything the kids making fun of me for wearing a Misfit’s T-shirt would just sort of spur me on to do whatever it was I wanted to do in my life, which from a very young age was always just to be in a band.
Seems like it’s working out for you..?
Yeah… It’s going pretty well. I don’t like to look at things like me being somehow different or better than the kids I grew up with. I just look at it like maybe they just didn’t understand… And the fact that I’m able to do what I want to do…it’s like they spurred me on and made me who I am now, and I have nothing but appreciation for them.
What do you guys have coming up after SSMF? What’s the rest of the year looking like?
We’re going to be on tour pretty much until March. Going all over the globe: full European headlining tour, South American headlining tour, Australian tour. Pretty much everywhere in the world we’ll be… I love touring more than everything, so I’m just excited to have the chance to do all that.
So do you prefer being on the road to being at home?
Yeah, I mean, I’ve been touring since I was 16, 17 years old. So really my sort of transition from adolescence into adulthood really happened on the road for me. So I’ve definitely grown from this world.
When the band is at home where do they like to hang out on The Strip?
Well obviously “The Bow” [Rainbow Bar & Grill]. We’ve been going there a lot more often now cause Sebastian Bach (Skid Row) moved to L.A. and he’s a dear friend of ours, so we seem to be going to The Bow with him all the time now [laughter].
Yeah we love being around; it’s where everything is for us. We love that area. It feels right…
You can catch Black Veil Brides live ON The Sunset Strip during this year’s SSMF street festival on Saturday, Aug. 20. For tickets and more information, visit http://www.ssmf.com
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By : Brent X Mendoza