For their upcoming third full-length album, Wretched and Divine: The Story of The Wild Ones, Black Veil Brides turned their writing process upside-down. Instead of composing the music and then adding vocals as they did with 2010’s We Stitch These Wounds and 2011’s Set the World on Fire, the band crafted vocals and vocal melodies first, then encapsulated them with a variety of riffs and leads.
“We knew we wanted to make this wild concept record, and that required us to write the story first,” explains guitarist and violinist Jinxx. “It was stressful, because in the past we’ve always had everything thoroughly demoed before we went into the studio.”
Black Veil Brides started recording Wretched and Divine with John Feldmann (Papa Roach, Escape the Fate) at his home studio in L.A. on July 4, but after two weeks of preproduction, Jinxx and co-guitarist Jake Pitts split off from the main compound. They used a Kemper profiling amp to replicate the tones from Feldmann’s studio and wrote and recorded the rest of the guitars at Pitts’ home studio in Los Angeles.
“We only had three months to make the album, so being in two locations at once let us work twice as fast,” Pitts says.
The process forced the guitarists to be spontaneous and remain flexible and even-keeled, since Feldmann and singer Andy Biersack often changed vocal passages midstride. “I’d get calls at 2:30 in the morning from Feldmann saying, ‘We need a different kind of guitar solo,’” Pitts says. “I’d be like, ‘Okay, when do you need it?’ and he’d always say, ‘Right now!’ ”
Both guitarists agree that the unusual work method paid off in the album’s epic, cinematic songs, which include vulnerable string-embellished ballads, euphoric, harmony-laden anthems and more. “We even used horns and a children’s choir,” Jinxx says. It’s the most diverse and satisfying album we’ve done.”