View the rest of our photos of Andy Six and the live photos of Black Veil Brides here on Flickr.
At the Masquerade in Atlanta on November 5th, Mary had a few minutes to chat with the famous Andy Six of BLACK VEIL BRIDES. Known for their crazy appearances and lyrics centered on helping the outcasts, these guys have found themselves with millions of die-hard fans about two years after the band was formed by a 14-year-old Andy. While they have already had huge success all over the world, they still have one goal; to become the biggest band in the world. Read below for more.
Mary: How was the band formed?
Andy: The band as it is right now was formed about a year and a half ago, but the band initially is an idea that I had when I was about fourteen years old. I grew up idolizing bands like the Misfits and Mötley Crüe and Kiss, just a lot of punk rock bands, so I kind of created Black Veil Brides as an idea that I wanted a band that had those influences and had that sort of image but had lyrics and a tone that resonated with young kids and people that felt disenfranchised.
Mary: Who are your biggest influences?
Andy: I like The Misfits, Mötley Crüe, The Damned, the Dead Boys, stuff like that.
Mary: Black Veil Brides is often referred to as the modern day Kiss, how do you guys feel about that?
Andy: It’s great, it’s fucking awesome. The thing that was so influential and cool about Kiss was that they created something that was outside of just rock and roll music. At the time that Kiss came out there was nothing like them that existed. They created these characters that were almost superhero-like and that you could look up to, or something that they associated with. Everyone in the band has their own image or their own character that they play, and I think that’s important. Especially for younger kids, they feel like they can associate with something that they see visually, and the music sort of supplements them.
Mary: Black Veil Brides was formed in 2006, and has hit a ton of success, especially this past year. How big of a role do you think online marketing and promoting has had in that?
Andy: It’s been huge, I mean I think that any band that denies how important the internet is nowadays is sort of kidding themselves. The importance of me being able to sit in my bus here and write a song on my acoustic guitar and record it and send it to the internet world, where someone in Australia can hear it is huge. I wouldn’t be where I’m at if it wasn’t for the internet.
Mary: Your latest album, We Stitch These Wounds, was released on July 20th of this year. How has the reaction from fans been to the CD?
Andy: Fantastic, I mean we debuted in the top 40 on the Billboard charts, we were in Rolling Stone Magazine, and it was one of the biggest albums of the week when it came out. It’s been great.
Mary: BVB is a fan-driven band, how does it feel to hear how much your music has helped your fans?
Andy: It’s paramount. There really is nothing that’s greater than knowing that you’re affecting someone. I think a lot of musicians are in this for the wrong reasons, and a lot of people get into a band because they want to seem cool to other people or they want to meet girls or something else. To me, the reason that we do this and the reason that we dress up every day is because we think it’s important that kids have something to hang their hearts on. I think that rock and roll is something that is supposed to be about rebellion, and a lot of kids have a very rebellious streak in their heart, and if they want to listen to rock and roll and be themselves, then that’s the most important thing. Our fans are everything to me and I make sure that we always make time for them, because without them, there is no Black Veil Brides. Otherwise I’m just a guy in a lot of makeup, prancing around on stage.
Mary: What is the writing process like?
Andy: It’s usually pretty easy. Jake (our guitar player) and Jinxx, they write a lot of the guitar parts and I write all of the lyrics and the vocal melodies. Jake lives with me, so usually we will come together and he will come up with something, and Jinxx will come up with something, and we just kind of form it all together that way.
Mary: A lot of the lyrics pertain to outcasts. Do you write those songs from experience?
Andy: Certainly! I think that the old adage “write what you know about” is very much true. I think that, for me, a lot of people get hung up on the idea of writing about something epic in their lives that’s happened. But the problem is that that doesn’t really resonate within your heart, and for me, I know what it’s like to be the ‘weird kid’ and the outcast, and the guy that didn’t have any friends, the punk rock kid that no one wanted to talk to, so that’s what I write about.
Mary: In your latest video for The Perfect Weapon, the crowd was portrayed as a BVB Army wearing ‘war paint’. How does it feel to have fans supporting you to the point of wearing the war paint and saying that they’re a part of the army?
Andy: It’s fantastic! I think that anything that can kind of rattle people is good. To know that there are kids that are getting suspended from high school because they go to school dressed in paint, that’s great. It means that they’re finding something within our music or our image that they find so appealing to them and that they feel so much a part of, that they’re doing something that they wouldn’t normally do. Knowing that I can look out into the audience every night and see kids that are dressed just like me, it makes me the happiest guy in the world because ultimately, this is something that I came up with on my couch when I was a kid. I thought it would be cool if I could be this superhero character for these kids.
Mary: What has been your weirdest fan experience?
Andy: I can’t say that there’s any really weird fan experiences, our fans are pretty cool. I could sit here and give you fake stories about “Well there was this one time…”, but honestly our fans are awesome.
Mary: What is your favorite city to play?
Andy: There’s a lot of cities that treat us really well, but I always have a really good spot in my heart for Cleveland, Ohio, because that was the first place that this line-up of the band ever played at together, and we’ve sold out every show we’ve ever played there since.
Mary: What has been your most memorable show to date?
Andy: I’m not really sure, we’ve played almost 250 shows this year and I can’t say that there’s any in particular that are better. Every night is an awesome time.
Mary: What has been your most embarrassing on-stage moment?
Andy: We played in Louisiana and I got all of my clothes ripped off of me by the audience. Jonathan, our tour manager, had to carry me off the stage basically naked. We’re actually playing that venue tomorrow so that should be interesting.
Mary: What would you say is in store for your future?
Andy: I want us to be the biggest band in the world. Black Veil Brides will be the biggest bands in the world.
Interview and photos by Mary Martin