Black Veil Brides have had a hectic year, to say the least.
Two thousand thirteen has seen the release of their third full-length album, The Wretched and Divine, as well as their full-length movie, Legion of the Black, the hugely successful Church of the Wild Ones tour and a slot on Warped Tour.
Somewhere amid all this activity, BVB guitarists Jake Pitts and Jinxx had time to work with Schecter Guitars on two new signature models. We recently discussed the new guitars as Pitts and Jinxx prepared for the Monster Energy Outbreak Tour with Bullet For My Valentine.
GUITAR WORLD: How was the experience of doing the Warped Tour with all those shows in all that heat?
PITTS: The tour was great. The shows were amazing but, of course, being Warped, the heat made it a brutal tour. It takes a toll on you. It’s not an easy tour, but we got through it and it was a success.
JINXX: Warped Tour is pretty grueling. There were some days where it was 115 degrees in the shade. All in all, it was a fun time. The crowds were great for us. The turnout was amazing every day. Even in the heat, the kids were great coming out to see all the bands and the music. It was really cool to see that. We had a really good time.
You guys have obviously developed quite a fan base. Does an event like Warped Tour, where there are so many bands on the bill and so many fans of different bands in attendance each day, make it feel like you're playing more to just your fans, or are there a lot of converts?
JINXX: I think we get a lot of converts in a festival like that. I think even the first Warped Tour we did two years ago we won over a lot of people. Even at that time we only had one album out and our second was just coming out while on that tour. Not a lot of people knew us other than via word of mouth. People wanted to know what we were all about with all that makeup and theatrics. In that two years’ time, we’ve done a lot with a lot of hard work. We have gotten a lot more attention. Crowds have grown, but I would say yeah, there are still a lot of people that have heard of us and weren’t too sure. They catch our set and realize we can play.
Can we talk about your backgrounds as players? You guys have been open about Metallica’s influence on your playing.
JINXX: I was kind of born into music. My parents played. My dad and brother still play. That was just kind of my upbringing. MTV was always on, and I’d sit in front of it with a guitar and emulate what was going on. I was 4 when I started learning how to play riffs. Because it was Iowa, not a lot of people took me seriously, which is why I came to LA.
PITTS: My favorite player is Paul Gilbert as far as playing and technique. When I started playing, Metallica was the band I heard that I wanted to sound like. Synyster Gates was also an influence later on, as was Buckethead’s weirdness and soloing style with his crazy tapping. And, of course, Eddie Van Halen.
With Gilbert in particular, was it his work as "Mr. Big Paul Gilbert," "Racer X Paul Gilbert" or as a solo artist?
PITTS: It was definitely more Racer X and some of his quirky rock music too. I wasn’t really ever into Mr. Big. I started studying his stuff and watching his video lessons. I tried to pick up on some of his ideas and mold and incorporate it into my own.
Jinxx, you are no stranger to classical music. Was there something going on in your house as a youngster that caused you to develop an interest?
JINXX: It was kind of like my rebellion against my parents. Usually it’s the opposite, but I discovered classical through Randy Rhoads, who was my first favorite guitarist. I got interested in where that came from. That opened up a huge door for me. My grandfather played the fiddle and I thought it was so cool so I took up the violin in school.
In the studio, when you guys put the material together, how do you decide who will play what?
PITTS: Basically on the last album we tracked the guitars in my studio. I would be working and Jinxx would come over and we’d work on stuff. Sometimes it’s whoever came up with the idea, or sometimes it was whoever could play it at that moment. Jinxx spent a lot of time doing the strings and I spent more time on the guitars.
When you do the solos live, do you typically just go with who played them on the album?
PITTS: Live we like to do a lot of that harmony stuff. Without both of us, it sounds really messed up.
You both recently announced you are moving back to Schecter guitars. Was there anything in particular that caused that move?
PITTS: I wanted to go with Schecter from day one. I've had a 2001 C-1 Elite since I lived in Minneapolis; I bought it at Guitar Center. I changed all the pickups. That’s the guitar I’ve owned the longest. It’s such a great guitar and set up so nice. The intonation is perfect. It's my main recording guitar.
Are you going to be doing production versions of these guitars, or are they custom models?
PITTS: I just got a couple of the prototypes they have made for me. I went and picked them up and brought them home. I have been playing around with them to see if there are any changes I want. The C-1 I have has been discontinued. My guitar is based off of that old C-1. It will have a Floyd Rose. One will be available with a Sustainiac and one without. The pickups are the 81/85 combo from EMG. They have always worked well for me. It is a neck-through design.
JINXX: We've been working on a custom guitar for me. It’s a new shape that hasn’t been seen yet. I can tell you it’ll be 24 frets, with EMG 81/85’s and a Floyd Rose. The body shape is a monster, a very evil-looking guitar.
What are you using for amplification right now?
PITTS: We have a deal with Peavey. One of my favorite amps is the 6505+. It sounds incredible. We've been using the Kemper Profilers on the road. It’s so easy to profile your tones, and you can take it and use it live. It’s quicker for our guitar techs. They don’t have to set up the amps and mic them. The tones are always right. It plugs into the front of the house and our in-ears and it’s ready to go. They are pretty awesome for playing live, or even in the studio. In a mix, you’d be hard pressed to tell the difference.
JINXX: The Kempers have been pretty fail proof. We don’t get much time for sound check and these can really save us time.
You guys are hitting the road with Bullet For My Valentine.
JINXX: Yeah, we get to do a much longer set than we did on Warped with about twice as many songs. We’re good buddies with those guys, so it’s going to be a fun tour.
You can catch The Black Veil Brides on the road starting in late September on the Monster Energy Outbreak Tour with Bullet For My Valentine.
- 9/28 Los Angeles, CA Club Nokia
- 9/29 San Diego, CA SOMA
- 10/1 Portland, OR Roseland Theatre
- 10/2 Seattle, WA Showbox Sodo
- 10/3 Spokane, WA Knitting Factory
- 10/5 Calgary, AB MacEwan Hall
- 10/7 Winnipeg, MB Burton Cummings Theatre
- 10/8 Fargo, ND The Venue
- 10/10 Madison, WI Orpheum
- 10/11 St. Louis, MO The Pageant
- 10/12 Detroit, MI The Fillmore
- 10/15 Columbus, OH LC Pavilion
- 10/16 Lancaster, PA Freedom Hall
- 10/18 Huntington, NY The Paramount
- 10/19 Wallingford, CT The Dome @ Oakdale
- 10/20 Poughkeepsie, NY Mid Hudson Civic Center
- 10/22 Sayreville, NJ Starland Ballroom
- 10/24 Myrtle Beach, SC House of Blues
- 10/28 Atlanta, GA Tabernacle
- 10/29 Charlotte, NC The Fillmore
- 10/30 Norfolk, VA The NorVA
- 11/1 Hampton Beach, NH Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom
- 11/2 Montreal, QUE Metropolis
- 11/3 Portland, ME State Theater
Photo: Jon Toth
John Katic is a writer and podcaster who founded the Iron City Rocks Podcast in 2009. It features interviews with countless rock, hard rock, metal and blues artists. In 2013, he started Heavy Metal Bookclub, a podcast and website devoted to hard rock and metal books.