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An Interview with Vic Fuentes of Pierce the Veil

Formed in 2006, Pierce The Veil quietly built up a fanbase with their first two albums, before suddenly bursting into the limelight with their third release, Collide with the Sky. Reaching #12 on the Billboard Top 200 and giving the band their first Gold-certified single in “King For A Day (ft. Kellin Quinn)”, the band headlined Warped Tour 2015 and performed sold-out tours all year. In order to keep up with their success, Pierce The Veil was determined to deliver a follow-up album that exceeded everyone’s expectations. Misadventures did just that, receiving critical acclaim and being the band’s best-performing album so far. We had a chance to ask the band about their evolving sound, Comic Con, and being in Rock Band VR.

Pierce The Veil Logo

How was Pierce the Veil formed?

The band started out with just my brother Mike and I. Our old band had broken up and we wanted to start a new project. We still had a record label, but no band and no album. So, Mike and I recorded the first PTV record on our own, not really knowing what was going to happen after that. Once the album was done, we found our guitarist Tony and bassist Jaime back home in San Diego. They were playing in a local band together at the time. Once we joined forces, we started touring and never stopped.

Who were some of your musical influences?

My dad taught me how to play guitar when I was around 15 years old. He taught me blues and jazz, which wasn’t easy for a kid, but I’m glad I stuck with because it really helped mold my style of playing. I learned the beauty of vocal layers by listening to Queen at a pretty young age. Then, my brother introduced me to the wonderful world of punk rock by blaring Pennywise, Lagwagon, and NOFX from his bedroom. We both became addicted to fast beats and aggressive songs. Third Eye Blind is also one of my all-time favorites ever since high school.

You released your fourth album Misadventures last year to critical and commercial success. How do you feel your sound has evolved on the new album?

I feel like the more albums that we make, the more comfortable we all get in the studio. With Misadventures, we naturally wanted to make it sound different and better than the last one. We were trying to make one of the best sounding rock records we possibly could. So, we worked our asses off every day for months finding the right sounds.

You headlined the MTV Comic Con party last year at Petco Park in your hometown of San Diego. What was that experience like?

It was incredible playing a show on our hometown baseball field. I remember a million flashing lights and cameras on us at once and then before I knew it, it was all over, haha. I guess that’s how those TV award shows go though. It’s like 5 minutes of complete adrenaline and then you're done.

Your current tour is taking you all across Europe before returning to the States this fall. Any favorite places to play in particular?

I’m really looking forward to playing Download Festival in the UK. It’s an honor to be invited to play that stage. I can't wait to hear the crowd. That's my favorite part. It's an unforgettable roar that's unlike anything I've ever heard.

What do you enjoy doing in between shows, when you’re on the road?

Lately we’ve been renting cabins and boats and hitting lakes on our days off. We like to BBQ and relax with our crew. I also enjoy going to shows when I'm not playing them.

Where can folks find you online?

What’s it like having your song in a game, specifically in virtual reality?

We appreciate how much work and detail goes into creating each song for the game. Gaming has come such a long way from when I was a kid, it truly blows my mind.

Have you tried virtual reality yourself? What do you think of VR as the next gaming tech?

I tried this deep sea shark diving VR demo at my friend's house the other day and it scared the shit out of me. I am totally afraid of the ocean and all of its unknown mysteries as it is. My heart was racing and I almost gave up halfway though the demo.

Have you played Rock Band before? What do you think of the game?

I went to a Toys "R" Us specifically to try one of our songs and I failed miserably. The VR band was super pissed at me and the crowd boo'd me the whole time. I think I will stick to playing real guitars.

Are you gamers? What are some of your favorite games?

My band mostly play sports games. Madden and NHL are running pretty regularly on our bus. Jaime loves that playing PGA golf game. We’ve also been known to have some Mario Kart tournaments with the other bands.

Anything else you’d like to say to the Rock Band community?

Thank you for playing our songs on Rock Band and making this whole thing such an unreal experience.