BLACK VEIL BRIDES AND VV
BLACK VEIL BRIDES
Committed to uncompromising expression, with a foundation in hard rock tradition and rule-breaking iconoclasm, Black Veil Brides is a transcendent celebration of life-affirming power and anthemic catharsis. A gothic vision first summoned in a small town by an isolated kid fascinated with death, rock, theatricality, and monsters (both real and imagined), Black Veil Brides is now a postmodern heavy metal institution with a legion of like-minded fans and supporters worldwide.
A new chapter in the band’s ever-evolving story arrives with The Phantom Tomorrow, an ambitious sixth album pushing the music of Black Veil Brides forward without sacrificing their beloved signature sound. Built around a thematically rich story, written by singer Andy Biersack, The Phantom Tomorrow combines imaginative worldbuilding with unrelentingly catchy and melodic bombast.
The twin-guitar attack of Jake Pitts and Jinxx cut through with sharp precision, overtop the steady pulse of powerhouse drummer Christian Coma and the fluid, rhythmic dynamics of Lonny Eagleton. Biersack’s rich baritone croon and soaring passion are anchored in the biggest hooks of the band’s career. Recorded in Los Angeles, with producer Erik Ron (Godsmack, Bush, Dance Gavin Dance), The Phantom Tomorrow excels as a series of standalone songs and a cohesive conceptual album.
The band’s strident opposition to conformity and obstacles (from both within and without) strikes a chord with every outcast who felt drawn to the allure of the dark. It’s evident in the 160 million-plus views of “Knives and Pens,” an early demo committed to video before singer Andy had found his band of brothers. The RIAA-certified gold single “In the End,” which itself boasts over 150 million views, is proof that the group whose merchandise dominated Hot Topic stores before they’d even dropped their debut album was no mere passing fad or ill-fated “scene.” This was built to last.
The Phantom Tomorrow follows five cherished full-length albums and 2019’s The Night EP, a body of work that boasts modern hard rock anthems like “Faithless,” “Wake Up,” “Perfect Weapon,” and “Goodbye Agony.” The first taste of The Phantom Tomorrow, “Scarlet Cross,” put the band in the Mainstream Rock Top 20 for the first time. Biersack, star of the 2017 film American Satan and follow-up 2021 TV series Paradise City on Amazon Prime, made his directorial debut with “Fields of Bone.” The music videos for both songs illustrate pieces of the story told across the album, mixing the tone of cult comic books, old English horror films, atmospheric thrillers, and thought-provoking ideology.
The world envisioned with the band’s sixth album, accompanying music videos, and related media is rendered with loving detail and nuance. There’s Blackbird, the watchful protector, a champion of justice. 9, leader of the Ninth Circle, an equal but opposite foil to Blackbird. The Phantom Tomorrow is an uprising from the underground, working tirelessly to shake the yoke of authoritarian oppression. Black Veil Brides, the band, plays the role of narrator, the overseeing Brothers Grimm of the dark tale.
Even broken away from the sprawling and immersive story, the songs stand on their own with equal might. Tracks like “Torch,” “The Wicked One,” “Crimson Skies,” and “Kill the Hero” are mighty new entries to the Black Veil Brides canon. Each song released by the band in the decade-plus since their first full-length album serves as an empowering anthem, whether wrestling with existential angst, looking inward at heartbreak and despair, or challenging the status quo via post-apocalyptic allegory.
The lyrics, symbols, and imagery associated with Black Veil Brides adorn the bodies of a diverse legion in tattoos and t-shirts, going back to the very first record, We Stitch These Wounds (2010). Set the World on Fire (2011), their major-label debut, became the band’s first Billboard Top 20 album. Sprawling hard rock opera Wretched and Divine: The Story of the Wild Ones (2013) hit the Top 10, as did the stripped-down and straightforward follow-up, simply titled Black Veil Brides (2014). Vale (2018) topped Billboard’s Hard Rock chart, with significant chart success in Europe and Australia.
The roar of BVB’s unshakeable devotees is too loud to ignore. Rock music tastemakers like Kerrang! and Rock Soundput Black Veil Brides on their cover multiple times. Revolver added Biersack in their list of “100 Greatest Living Rock Stars,” alongside Axl Rose, Ozzy Osbourne, and Gene Simmons. No other artist has graced the cover of Alternative Press more times than Andy and Black Veil Brides. In the magazine’s nearly 40 years of publication history, only Trent Reznor comes close.
Before collaborating with Erik Ron, Black Veil Brides worked with several other A-list producers, including John Feldmann (Panic! At The Disco, Blink-182, 5 Seconds Of Summer), Bob Rock (Metallica, The Cult, Mötley Crüe), and Josh Abraham (Linkin Park, Velvet Revolver, Weezer). Pitts produced The Night EP and the anniversary redux of their debut, Re-Stitch These Wounds.
The pushed aside, marginalized, and misunderstood have a kindred spirt in Andy, the driving force and voice of the band. As detailed in his No. 1 Amazon Best Seller rock biography, They Don’t Need to Understand, Andy crafted a platform and an image with the same DIY spirit that drove Generation X, the Misfits, and KISS in their early days. He reached out from beyond the confines of Cincinnati, Ohio, at the dawn of social media, moving to Hollywood when he turned 18. Biersack has made six records with BVB; two solo albums as Andy Black; hosted the Alternative Press Music Awards; created The Ghost of Ohio graphic novel; and collaborated on various songs with Patrick Stump (Fall Out Boy), Gerard Way (My Chemical Romance), and Matt Skiba (Alkaline Trio/Blink-182), among others.
Jinxx and Pitts also fought to make their dreams come true in Hollywood through a series of false starts and empty promises. The unique chemistry between them is palpable. Together they forge a guitar sound worthy of their peers and idols, from Metallica to Avenged Sevenfold. Jinxx is also a film composer. Pitts is one half of the DJ duo Dr. Cool and Babe, whose credits include the remix of the Papa Roach song “Elevate.” Both guitarists often help develop and mentor younger artists.
Jake and Jinxx played with Coma in a previous band and knew his combination of sizeable charisma and devastating chops would make him a perfect fit for Black Veil Brides. He sat in with Falling In Reverse for a US tour and performed as part of a one-off exclusive Andy Black lineup at the APMAs, with Mikey Way (My Chemical Romance), Quinn Allman (The Used), and Feldmann (Goldfinger).
Like Jason Newsted or the movie Rockstar, BVB’s newest member was a fan first. Already an accomplished live and studio musician who performed on the Juno Awards in his native Canada, Eagleton was tapped to play guitar on tour in support of Andy’s second solo album, The Ghost of Ohio, in 2019. When the bassist position opened up, he was a seamless fit as a performer and person.
The band’s tour history reads like a textbook of subcultural mile markers in the modern heavy music scene. An initial hardscrabble headlining outing in 2009 paved the way for multiple mainstage runs on the Vans Warped Tour; treks with Slash, Mötley Crüe, Avenged Sevenfold, Bullet For My Valentine; a co-headlining run with Asking Alexandria; multiple US rock festivals, including Rock on the Range and Aftershock; and several appearances at the UK’s acclaimed Download Festival.
Black Veil Brides champion the isolated, dismissed and forgotten ever since the band’s inception. That spirit persists in the fully realized modern incarnation of the band. They’re an object of devotion and obsession for those who sing their anthems in unison, a diverse legion who refuse to surrender.
In the annals of 21st century alternative rock history there are few artists who cast a longer or more peculiar shadow than Finnish Love Metal pioneer Ville Valo. After all, his band HIM were easily among the most iconic and idiosyncratic groups of the millenium. Zealously revered, gleefully reviled but impossible to ignore, their music left an indelible mark on a worldwide legion of fans. The scarlet letters stood for His Infernal Majesty. Their founder stood for something delightedly out of step with the status quo.
"We only hoped to temporarily redirect hard rock's blood flow from the nether regions towards the heart", reminisces Ville Valo, the singer, songwriter and primus motor of HIM. Judging by the monolithic presence of the Heartagram in any account of music this side of the millennium it’s apparent that he succeeded.
Inspired by everyone from Poe to Bukowski and tinged by a penchant for perfumed Sabbathian gloom, Valo’s creative lovechild would produce eight era-defining studio releases and over ten million record sales, not forgetting a Grammy nomination, countless magazine covers, critical acclaim, and the veneration of a generation. Thus it came as no surprise that the news of a farewell tour in 2017 was greeted with shock and disbelief among devotees and endless speculation as to what or who was to take up the velvet mantle.
“As fun as the funeral rites for HIM were, it took me more than a few moons to lick my wounds in the shadow of the Heartagram and come up with an excuse to strum and hum again. Eventually I decided put a leash on my beloved black dog and we started howling together instead of barking at each other. That's how Loveletting was born".
Loveletting, the first single off VV's debut album 'Neon Noir' out in early 2023, suggests this new infernal mix of light and shade is nothing short of a landmark release from one of modern music’s most distinctive and intriguing voices. It belongs to the same forlorn world of woe and whimsy once conceived and governed by Valo in HIM, but with the nuanced notes of a fine aged Cabernet.
"Artistically speaking the main difference between HIM and VV is the extra line in the Heartagram, but what an exquisite line it is! It’s the Mamas and the Papas dressed up as Metallica on their way to a Halloween bash at the Studio 54, and now who wouldn't want to witness that?"