A deep, mile a minute voice came through the phone from across the country. It had that underlying charm that makes it impossible to keep from hanging on every word. That voice came from Andy Six, singer of Black Veil Brides, whose dramatic, old school metal voice sounds more fitting for bands that were in their prime before the BVB members were even born.
Match this vintage sound tucked neatly into the band’s modern metalcore style along with a look in the vein of Alice Cooper and Mötley Crüe stage wear and you will find a band that is fast on the rise. Currently headlining the AP Tour, guitarists Jake Pitts and Jinxx, bassist Ashley Purdy and drummer Christian Coma, along with Andy Six are getting ready to unleash their sophomore album early summer.
From the House of Blues in Los Angelos, Andy Six took time before that night’s show to speak about every aspect of the band.
You’re headlining the AP Tour. How has that been?
It’s fantastic. Our audience is one of the key elements of what makes this band really work; it’s the dedication of our fans. Our fans dress up like us for the shows and it’s sort of an event for us all. It’s a really great honor for us.
Next up will be Bamboozle. Have you played before?
This will be our first time. We’re excited because it’s actually Mick Mars from Mötley Crüe’s birthday that day and he’s been a great supporter of us and Mötley Crüe is playing the same day.
You’re kind of opening for them.
It feels great. Like I said, I’ve written a little bit with Mick Mars and he’s been a great supporter of us and it’ll be nice to have a rock ‘n’ roll party there at Bamboozle.
Are you making him a cake?
Hopefully. I’m not much of a baker, but I’ll try my best.
How did that come about writing with Mick Mars?
He’s been writing a solo record for a while and was just looking for writers to write rock songs. We have the same attorney, he suggested me, I went over to his home and he’s the nicest guitar player I ever met. Honestly, a hero of mine growing up, so very cool for me.
Has there been anything you’ve learned from working with him?
I think, if anything, the number one thing I learned from him is determination. I’ve always been very single-track minded about this band and what I wanted this band to be. But looking at someone who’s been dealt the cards that he can’t really help in terms of his physical health, he’s still just as crazy rocking as he was 30 years ago and still wakes up everyday and that’s what he loves to do.
Can you think of any bands or tours from the past that you wish you could have experienced?
I’d love to have [seen] one of my favorite bands Lords Of The New Church. I wish I could have been around to have seen them and Corpse and my dad has seen all those bands and I get to relive those stories and find out about them.
When did you first get into music and realize you could sing? Your voice has this old soul to it.
In terms of my voice, I’ve always had a deep voice and I guess when I sing it comes out that way. I started singing and performing at a very young age and I sort of figured out what I wanted to do when I was about four years old, the first time I saw KISS. My dad had a collection of cards in the house and I saw the KISS trading cards and that sort of changed everything for me and from then on.
Is KISS who you look towards for performing and your look?
I think our look and our sound is definitely about all the things we love. We’re probably just as influenced by Metallica as we are by The Dead Boys as we are by KISS. We kind of wear our influences on our sleeves. KISS definitely has its place and influence for us, but it’s not the soul place we take influence from. Musically, we’re obviously a heavier band; we have a darker vibe.
Could you ever see yourselves being turned into action figures or a cartoon like KISS?
Of course. Those are things that are very viable and we’re working on now. But I can never quite say if it’s exactly what’s happening and everyone knows that you never give too much information.
Your band name is a Catholic reference. So did you grow up Catholic or were interested in religious traditions?
I grew up Catholic—I mean my family was Catholic—but it was never really forced on me. I was always fascinated with religion. I love the imagery and was always sort of interested in the inner workings of what makes someone believe something. I love the devotion that people have especially when you’re talking about someone like a nun, where our name comes from. It’s definitely a place of devotion whether the devotion is something I would devote myself to or not.
Like nuns taking their vows, were you ever scared about jumping head first into the music scene?
No, I don’t think so. Maybe if I was a different person. But I think I was always too hardheaded to ever think of anything. I never thought that I would fail at anything [laughs]. So, I mean I always just saw all the positives and how great things were going to be and I think that’s important. A lot of people take that as being cocky and whatever else, but to me it’s about always believing in yourself and I mean that’s strictly hand-in-hand with our message as a band—to not let anyone else tell you what you can and can’t do.
Are you proving people wrong who said you guys weren’t going to go far as a band?
Maybe, but it’s never been really my concern. All I want to do is what I want to do. I don’t really care about proving other people wrong, so much as I just want to continue to improve myself. I don’t really ever think about ‘Well, I’m glad we’re doing this because all those mean kids that bullied me, I get to show them up.’ That’s a weird way to look at the world. You just want to do something because you want to do it and if the by product of that is that the people that messed with you as a kid or didn’t understand you can now ‘eat crow,’ I guess it’s nice, but I don’t think about on a day-to-day basis.
You seem so positive when you talk and in your lyrics. Are you the one people go to for advice?
I try to be. I always want to be helpful in any way I could to people who felt similar to me, but I’ve never really been Dr. Phil, it’s never been my intention. I can only just write the things that I know and so, the things that I know happen to be things that a lot of other people have gone through.
You have a new album coming up. How can you compare it to your previous?
Everything is just bigger. Our attempt was just to take what we loved from the first record and try and make 11 songs out of our favorite moments from our first album. And in a way we’re doing it on a larger scale, there’s obviously more money in for the production and we had more time to craft things, make it bigger. Our thinking going into this record was not necessarily sound, but in style, Def Leppard’s Hysteria, how that record has so many elements and layers of vocals and things underneath and the production quality of that record is kind of what we wanted this record to be.
And how would you describe a performance from you guys?
I feel strongly that you can’t understand our band until you have seen us live. I think that rock ‘n’ roll music is probably the last art form that really is a live thing. I love for people to listen to our record, we’re recording artists we’re incredibly proud, but we also put on one hell of a show and try our best to make you feel a part of something.
With no money limit, what would your dream stage set up be?
I couldn’t even describe it to you. At that point, with all the money in the world, I don’t think people would even understand what was going on. We would have so much on stage [laughs].
Black Veil Brides will play Bamboozle on Sunday, May 1. For more info, go to myspace.com/blackveilbrides.