I recently had the chanced to sit and chat with Jaime Preciado, bassist of the San Diego-based rock act, Pierce The Veil. The band has just completed work on their to-be-released fourth studio album and is currently on the first leg of an extensive world tour alongside Sleeping With Sirens. Here is how the conversation went.
You guys are currently putting the putting the finishing touches on your new album and I was wondering what can fans expect?
Preciado: For us it is never really like we are trying to top our last record. When we go into the studio we never really try and do anything like that, we just try and get better individually, and as a band, and we just try as many new things as possible. With our old records, there are a lot of things we did that we are not that stoked on, we make little mistakes here and there and we always try and fix them as we go on. I think with this fourth record we had sort of comfort zone-thing going on because we were working with the same producer. As a band we have never really done that, we have always worked with different producers. It was a really good experience and going into it we had a real comfort level because he knew what we could do. The new record is still a Pierce The Veil record and has fast parts, heavy stuff, pop stuff, and soft stuff; it is a great big pot of stuff. As you grow up you learn more, and I think that comes out in the music.
Your last record did quite well and I was wondering if there was any pressure to follow it up? Was that something you guys were conscious of?
Preciado: We never really try to top any record because I think it is sort of like your life, you don’t say you want to top the person you were at 15. We just tried to be a little bit smarter about making the record and tried to make songs that were us at this time. I think we did a good job doing that because, if anything, the record sounds a bit more mature, but that is because we have grown and learned from our mistakes. It is still a Pierce The Veil record, though.
What is your writing process like? Do you guys all write together or is it more the efforts of one particular member of the band?
Preciado: In the beginning it will start with an idea and from there we will just kind of jam it out. We kind of joke around a lot because we take a lot of the songs and write them like 50 times, in different ways, to see which way sounds best and to see which way a riff can go. We honestly will write the same song 15 or 20 times and I think at the end of the day we are all trying to make the best record we can, and we are all on the same page and I think that kind of helps.
When you are writing your songs, are you doing so with the live setting in mind or are you writing the song just for the song’s sake?
Preciado: I think in the very beginning that was one of the mistakes we made. We were just writing songs to write songs and we soon realized after that we would have to play those songs for years. I think for us now, we definitely take the live setting into account. We will write a part and think “wow this will be a great crowd part” or “we can do this or that” and it definitely is something we consider now. That kind of stuff really matters to us now because, what do you do after you make a record? You go out and play those songs for a while, so why not make songs that are fun to play? I think we have learned a better way of writing that really works for us.
Do you do anything to prepare for a tour, especially with an extensive run like the one you are about to embark on?
Preciado: I think we prepare for a tour the same way every time. For us though, it is always a little different going from studio mode to touring mode. We always joke around that we have these three modes: First it is tour mode and then towards the end of it you want a change. Then you go home for a few weeks and then you are in studio mode for a year or so, then you start getting restless and want to get back on the road. I think we are ready to go back on tour, we get antsy. It is a funny and vicious cycle when you are on tour you want to go home and when you are home you want to get back on tour.
This is your fourth album and you have been at it for quite a while now. Did you ever imagine you would still be doing this and, along those same lines, was there a plan B, or were you all-in from the start?
Preciado: When we first started this band we had a conversation that this was going to be our lives and we were going to go 100 percent all in. We were going to make it. Our number one priority was this band. Did I think we would get this far, yes. Did I think we would be this successful, no. You always shoot for a goal and for us I think we have achieved little stepping stones every year. We all want to be the biggest rock band ever, but we don’t want to be the biggest rock band tomorrow, we want to earn it and work for it. I think all of us were in the same mindset to push each other everyday. I think it has been a slow ride for us and I think that has helped us. Every year has been a little bit better than the previous and now I think with this tour it is one notch up and hopefully this pushes us to the next level. We are trying.
Check out the album ‘Collide With The Sky’