DOING THINGS DIFFERENTLY
A CONVERSATION WITH TONY PERRY OF PIERCE THE VEIL
When it comes to bands like Pierce The Veil, none is as ambitious, forward-thinking, or consistent. Collide The Sky and Misadventures were success stories that continued to prove why the band was successful in its genre but that they were bold enough to expand their horizons within their soundscapes, incorporating different elements that go beyond the scope of traditional post-hardcore. Pierce the Veil can’t and won’t be boxed in, and they show this with their newest release, The Jaws of Life.
The Jaws of Life has a sonic resonance full of distorted guitars and charismatic cadence while always containing that raw emotional power that has always been prevalent throughout their careers. If there is anything about Pierce The Veil is that they never look back, only forward to what the future holds. They have understood that through experience, they have embraced a deeper part of themselves that respects the genres they love making music in but continuously reinforces the aspects of themselves that are effortlessly evolving instrumentally and lyrically. While they are a band that is audacious enough to try new things, like with every album cycle, there is something you take with you as an artist that shapes and defines you, and lead guitarist Tony Perry feels for the band that process was meant to do something they have never done before.
“I think for ourselves as a whole as a band, we set out to do something different with the process of this record,” replies Tony. “It was the goal to try to go with Paul Meany and all those things to do something we have never done yet.” Through that process, we learned that there were a lot of other ways to work and track a record that we liked better. We also learned, and it seems like it has taken a long time, but we realized how to play on each other’s strengths and take advantage of the things we are capable of. We have done this enough times to know the routine. We know how to do a lot of the engineering ourselves and things like that, so we were able to take advantage of that. It was nice to not completely rely on producers and everyone else to do things. It was cool, and we learned that we liked tracking differently. We had a lot of guitars in the room at the same time, so if someone came up with an idea at that moment, we would be ready to go. “We never really tried things that way; we always had things planned out before we started tracking, so it was fun to do things that way.”
The Jaws of Life is a dissonant experience, but it feels like they’ve arrived in many ways. While the band has accomplished and done so much in their careers, it’s difficult to tell from a band standpoint what you’ve accomplished and what you still feel you need to do when you’ve had an illustrious career like theirs. Pierce The Veil has always had a raw, confessional style of telling their stories. Pierce The Veil has always found a beautiful common ground in which everything feels the same, effortlessly flowing from personal to connecting with others. Songs like “Even When I’m Not With You” and “Emergency Contact” have an infectious dualistic approach that shows confidence in one’s self and the band, leading to more gorgeous movements and individualistic tones in “Death of an Executioner,” “Damn The Man Save The Empire,” “So Far, So Fake” and “12 Fractures.” While all of these tracks take us on a journey through various themes of depression, stress, and anxiety, trapped in a world where time itself is in suspended animation and people are disappearing before our very eyes, Pierce The Veil finds a way to display these emotions with authenticity without sacrificing who they are as artists.
“It’s interesting that you brought that one up,” exclaimed Tony. ” For those types of themes musically. “When I’m Not With You” is a song that stood out most to me and one of the ones I was most excited about. It was one of the songs I think we finished earliest. As much as I felt that this was one of my favorite tracks I have ever done, there was an element of fear. You mentioned feeling like we ‘can do anything.’ We don’t always know that. So there is a feeling that goes into making a song like that. Yes it is one of my favorites, and I’m so excited about it, but how will Pierce The Veil fans react to it? I don’t know what they are going to think because it’s unlike anything we have done before. We have done slower songs before. But that song was a lot different for us, I’m glad that stands out as a track that proves we can do it. We are hoping people receive it well. We are not always that confident. We may love something, but we never know how people will react.”
Although no band’s album cycle is complete without its share of physical or psychological challenges, what emerged is a profoundly emotional album stratified with inventive instrumental skill. Even though The Jaws of Life touches on many crucial themes, Tony wants listeners to take away this message.
“We’re talking about everything we’re going through,” Perry says openly. “We feel for all the people that hit that same wall of COVID, you know, and that’s not the only thing that happened to us at that time, and it’s not the only thing that happened to other people. I hope it resonates with people to know that we can get through anything and come out on the other end. “I hope we feel stronger and closer, and that we really can survive the worst.”