July 1, 2016 Interview – Tony Perry of Pierce the Veil
Success takes time, patience, and hard work. While some are fortunate to rise to “overnight success,” it is those who build a strong foundation that sustain longevity far beyond instant gratification. That can be said for the Southern California band known as Pierce the Veil. Initially formed ten years ago, the band’s rise to stardom has been a steady one with each album release, attaining more success, currently peaking with the massive hit, 2012’s Collide with the Sky. Looking to build off the album’s buzz, Pierce the Veil continues to reach for the stars with one of their best records to date, 2016’s Misadventures. An album their ever-growing fan base has patiently waited for, Pierce the Veil were daring enough to perform the tracklist from start to finish on their recent headlining tour across the USA. A success, they sold out venue after venue, and now look to continue burning the candle at both ends toward the top of the Rock-n-Roll food chain. Recently we sat down with Lead Guitarist Tony Perry to talk the work the band has put in through the years, the process behind Misadventures, touring, and much more.
CrypticRock.com – Pierce the Veil came together a decade ago now, and in that time, the band has really established themselves as a leader on the scene with one chart-topping record after another. First, tell us, what has this incredible ride been like thus far?
Tony Perry – It’s been awesome. It’s been a slow ride. It’s been 10 years, it wasn’t like a quick jump, it’s been a slow build. We’ve been carrying a lot of our fans for a long time, they’ve grown up with us. It’s crazy to see fans that come to our shows now that are twenty-five years old and say they’ve been listening to us since they were fifteen.
CrypticRock.com – Absolutely, honestly, the best way for a band to build a fanbase is over time. It is nice when you have a flair and you rise right to the top, but longevity comes with years of hard work. Pierce the Veil’s style has certainly morphed through the years. Would you say the progression has been a very organic process?
Tony Perry – Yeah, it’s been natural, as time goes on we learn about different type of music or different things spark our interest. People we tour with, bands that we’ve followed for a long time changed. It’s just kind of natural that we want to try different things, you don’t want to keep writing the same record.
CrypticRock.com – Exactly, that makes perfect sense. As an artist, you do not want to keep writing the same record, you want to challenge your fans. The level of progression has certainly been evident, and the band’s latest effort, Misadventures, is being dubbed by many as Pierce the Veil’s most complete album to date. What was the writing and recording process like this time around?
Tony Perry – We didn’t change too much about the process, we went in with the intentions of booking the same amount of studio time as we usually do and write the record the same way. The only difference is that it came out there were two songs that didn’t quite fit. So we had to write two new songs while we were in the studio, which we didn’t expect. That took a lot of time. By the time we were finished with instruments we had tours we were supposed to do. We had Warped tour, we had the world tour with Sleeping with Sirens, and there were just a bunch of things that broke up the record process so it could have slowed things down. I think it worked out for the better, it gave us time to sit on a lot of songs and go back to a lot of things later and make changes, which I think worked out for the best.
CrypticRock.com – Understandable. Seeing the process was broken up as you stated, were there ever times where it was an anxious feeling this record would never get done?
Tony Perry – We all had faith that it would happen. I think most of the anxiety came from pressure from the label and things like that, they are the ones that are on your back to get it done. We knew we could get it done, but we knew we had to wait till it was right.
CrypticRock.com – It all worked out for the best because the record really is very strong. While Misadventures is the band’s fourth overall studio, it is in fact the third album with the entire lineup. With that said, do you find yourselves discovering new aspects about one another as musicians this far into the game?
Tony Perry – Yeah, definitely, we always are. For instance, one of the tracks on Misadventures was inspired by a riff that Jaime wrote; he wrote the main riff on “Texas is Forever” on bass. It’s things like that, we are always trying new things, everyone put in their influence. I think, as we go, our influences change, we discover new music and things like that. It’s interesting to see what everyone has to offer, what ideas they’ve got when we actually start getting together again.
CrypticRock.com – The end result is a very cohesive album from start to finish. There are heavier moments, more subtle ones, and plenty of texture. Is it difficult to create a cohesive piece of music start to finish?
Tony Perry – Yeah, I mean it’s definitely difficult. A lot of times we will have songs that we think are done. Like our pre-production process, we will have songs that are put together on Vic’s computer that are recorded one piece at a time, and that’s when we take a lot of time to actually play them live in the studio for a couple of weeks before we record anything. That’s when we figure out if they really flow, they may sound right when the demo is there. When we actually play it live as a band, it tends to be a lot different. That’s a bit of a process trying to make sure everything works completely.
CrypticRock.com – Right, and the next big challenge is making it all flow as one record, right?
Tony Perry – Yeah, and that’s exactly why we had to weed out a couple of songs because they just didn’t quite hit the flow. We will save them for something in the future hopefully.
CrypticRock.com – That would be cool, maybe a future record, or a B side, or something like that. As a musician, one can image you are always looking to challenge yourself to write something bigger and better than you had done before. Do you have a ritual in place each time you sit down to write a song?
Tony Perry – Not really. I think we just kind of try to switch it up and see what we can do differently each time. For instance, there is one point in the record process that we were kind of stuck so we thought we would just switch instruments. We don’t know each other’s instruments that well, but just to see if any sounds or anything would happen that would spark a new idea. We are always trying to do whatever we can differently to see where we can get.
CrypticRock.com – It is always interesting to hear how different bands go about putting their songs together. The band just concluded a successful North American Tour through June where you performed Misadventures in full. What inspired the decision to play the album from start to finish?
Tony Perry – Since we had our fans waiting for new music for so long, there was a bit of pressure there for the new record, and we thought what better way to get it out to them than just play it all at once. They’ve been waiting long enough, so let’s just go for it. We thought, let’s give them all the new music straight away. They wanted it, so we gave it to them.
CrypticRock.com – That is really cool, it is not too often that a band will play a record from start to finish. Perhaps maybe for the anniversary of a record, but it is bold to see you guys are doing it with the initial release of the album.
Tony Perry – Yeah, it is a bit risky.
CrypticRock.com – It is risky, but it seems to be working. Many of the dates were sold out on the North American tour. Are there any particular songs off Misadventure you are excited to share with the fans live?
Tony Perry – “Texas is Forever” is definitely my favorite track to play live. We all grew up on SoCal Punk bands, and it’s all really fast-kicked drums. It’s what we were listening to when we were in high school, so it’s cool to be able to play a song that has that kind of rhythm to it in front of our fans, and it’s going over well. It’s almost nostalgic to play that kind of fast, Punk music.
CrypticRock.com – It sounds very exciting, it must provoke a lot of energy. As stated, many shows were sold out. How did the initial run of shows go?
Tony Perry – They were great. We were actually pretty amazed to see that even the first day, the record was only out for a week and a half at the time, kids were already singing along to the entire record. As more time goes on, the audience has been so loud singing with this record. It’s just so crazy that everyone knows the words already.
CrypticRock.com – That is pretty crazy and very cool. That has to be pretty cool to see, this early, people already know the songs. You guys have done a lot of touring through the years. You have been to a lot of places. With that said, what are some of the more important things you have learned of life being on the road?
Tony Perry – It becomes pretty important to try and keep up with everyone back home. Even though it seems like a short period of time to you, because you are out traveling, you get home and a lot of things go by. Relationships have changed and people are engaged, people are having kids. You miss out on a lot and have to make an effort. Luckily, nowadays, it’s a little bit easier to do that, but you definitely have to keep up and not get lost out here. You have to make sure you keep up will all your friends back home.
CrypticRock.com – It has to be difficult, especially if you have a family yourself or you are wanting to build a family. The positives outweigh the negatives, you are getting a vast amount of experience on the road. You are experiencing things that people would not normally experience.
Tony Perry – Definitely, we are doing what we love.
CrypticRock.com – You are doing what you love, how much better can it get? You mentioned a little bit about your influences. Tell us some more about your personal musical influences?
Tony Perry – It started off with Green Day. They were the first band that made me want to play Punk Rock music. That stemmed into all the Epitaph bands back in the early 2000’s. Epitaph had Rancid and Bad Records had all the melodic Punk Bands. I was into all that stuff. Then, someone showed me Thrice and that was a huge influence because it was the first time I had really given any thought to Metal. Obviously now, a lot of the heavier parts in our song are inspired by Metal. Thrice is definitely a transitional band that made me open my eyes to that type of music and made me want to play more technical guitar.
CrypticRock.com – It sounds like you have progressed and your tastes progressed. Was there a particular concert that you have been to in your life that really stood out for you that made a big impression?
Tony Perry – I remember going to an As I Lay Dying show and that was just insane. It was at SOMO, which was one of the bigger venues at the time. I just remember being blown away with how heavy those guys were and how crazy their crowd was. I think it was also the night they were shooting one of their music videos. At the end of the night they announced, “Who wants to be in a music video tonight? If you do, everyone stick around.” The whole crowd stayed and they went even crazier because they knew they were being filmed. It was a pretty insane night.
CrypticRock.com – Those are the type of experiences you take with you the rest of your life. My last question for you is pertaining to movies. CrypticRock.com covers music and Horror/Sci-Fi films. If you are a fan of these genres, what are some of your favorite films?
Tony Perry – Star Wars (1977) is one of my favorites. I saw Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) and thought it was great. It was definitely a throwback to the plot of the first movie in the trilogy before. I thought it was still good. I thought they still managed to make it funny without being cheesy. It was an amazing movie, pretty bummed that Han died though.
CrypticRock.com – The new film certainly revived the series. There is actually another Star Wars, entitled Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, set for release December 16, 2016.
Tony Perry – That will be awesome too. The story of how they got the Death Star planned and it looks insane. I heard that one is being filmed more like a War movie too, might be pretty intense.
Jul 10 Carioca Club Sao Paulo, Brazil
Jul 12 Vorterix Buenos Aires City, Argentina
Jul 14 TEATRO LA CUPULA Santiago, Chile
Jul 16 Café Iguana Monterrey, Mexico
Jul 17 C3 Guadalajara, Mexico
Aug 16 Eatons Hill Hotel Brisbane, Australia
Aug 17 Big Top Sydney Nsw, Australia
Aug 18 Thebarton Theatre Adelaide, Australia
Aug 20 170 Russell Melbourne, Australia
Aug 21 170 Russell Melbourne, Australia
Aug 23 Astor Theatre Mt Lawley, Australia
Sep 10 High Elevation Festival Denver, CO
Sep 16 Riot Fest & Carnival Chicago, IL
Sep 17 Riot Fest & Carnival Chicago, IL
Sep 18 Riot Fest & Carnival Chicago, IL
Sep 24 Open Air Houston, TX
Sep 25 Open Air Houston, TX
Sep 30 Chill on the Hill Festival Sterling Heights, MI
Oct 01 LOUDER THAN LIFE Louisville, KY
Oct 02 Sonic Boom Janesville, WI
Oct 29 Trabendo Paris, France
Oct 31 Sala Cats Madrid, Spain
Nov 01 Sala Noise Valencia, Spain
Nov 02 Sala Razzmatazz 2 Barcelona, Spain
Nov 04 Kofmehl Solothurn, Switzerland
Nov 05 Magazzini Generali Milan, Italy
Nov 07 Theaterfabrik Munich, Germany
Nov 08 Arena Vienna, Austria
Nov 09 Durer Kert Budapest, Hungary
Nov 11 Huxleys Berlin, Germany
Nov 13 Gruenspan Hamburg, Germany
Nov 14 Amagier Bio Copenhagen, Denmark
Nov 15 Fryhuset Stockholm, Sweden
Nov 17 Melkweg Amsterdam, Netherlands
Nov 18 Live Music Hall Koln, Germany
Nov 19 Zeche Bochum, Germany
Nov 20 Batschkapp Frankfurt, Germany
Nov 22 Substage Karlsruhe, Germany
Nov 23 Trix Antwerpen, Belgium
Nov 25 Great Hall Cardiff, United Kingdom
Nov 26 O2 Academy Birmingham, United Kingdom
Nov 27 O2 Brixton Academy Brixton, United Kingdom
Nov 29 Rock City Nottingham, United Kingdom
Nov 30 O2 Academy Newcastle, United Kingdom
Dec 01 Barrowlands Glasgow, United Kingdom
Dec 02 Academy 1 Manchester, United Kingdom
Dec 04 Mandela Hall Belfast, United Kingdom
Dec 05 Academy Dublin, Ireland
Dec 06 Academy Dublin, Ireland