Pierce the Veil is about to embark on the second leg of a hugely successful co-headlining tour with Sleeping with Sirens with a performance in the band's hometown of San Diego later this week. Before they hit the road, AXS got a chance to chat with PTV bassist Jaime Preciado about performing live, connecting with fans and recording their new album, which is expected to be released later this year.
AXS: Thanks for taking time out to talk today, I'm sure things are really busy with Pierce the Veil set to kick off leg two of The World Tour later this week. Are you feeling energized and ready to hit the road?
Jaime Preciado: Yeah, I'm actually in my home studio right now getting stuff ready for the show, so I'm doing some stuff here and then I'm gonna go jam with the dudes a little bit later. It's kind of what we like to do before, a little rehearsal. We're all from San Diego so it's really convenient that we can all get together and jam and keep everything going.
AXS: And leg two of your tour is kicking off in San Diego, so that's got to be pretty cool.
Preciado: We're really excited. We're playing the Viejas Arena, which is a place we've never actually played before. I think it's the SDSU basketball arena so for us it's one of those crazy, surreal, never in a million years did we think we would be playing this kind of arena. And to be at home, for the first show, is really awesome, having your friends and family see that, on that scale, it's pretty cool.
AXS: Yeah, that will be great. As with leg one, you will be touring with Sleeping with Sirens, what's it like sharing a stage with those guys each night?
Preciado: It's been actually really good. We got in contact with them when we did a song with Kellin, their singer, and that came about the same way this tour came about, through fans, through word of mouth and through people kind of wanting us to make a song together and tour together. It's one of those things that we never thought that we could pull off, but now, with where both of our bands are at in our careers, it worked out and we're super thankful and really looking forward to it again. We had a really good time on the first leg and on this second leg we get to play the more mainstream markets, so it will be fun. We are excited, for sure. Those guys are crazy (laughs).
AXS: This is one of those dream double bills where you see two bands together on the same poster and you think, How is this happening? It's too good to be true.
Preciado: It's pretty awesome, like I said, we're really fortunate to be in a position to play together like this and play these kinds of rooms and it works. Not a lot of other bands have done that, except maybe back when there was arena rock bands that travelled the world together, but it usually doesn't happen with bands like us, so we're really excited.
AXS: It's got to be great when you get to each city and look out to a sea of screaming fans in packed venues.
Preciado: Yeah, absolutely. It just reminds you, why you're doing what you're doing. There's a reason for you to be there, you get to play music for an audience. And we've been a band for a really long time, so it's kind of cool to see how it pays off.
AXS: I understand that you have been in the studio working on your follow-up to Collide with the Sky, where are you at in the recording process?
Preciado: We recorded it in late-2014, with the same producer who did Collide with the Sky, up in Long Island. We were there for a couple of months, three or four months, and it's actually getting finished soon. We're just finishing the final touches and it should be out, hopefully, later this year. So, that's the plan.
AXS: Nice! What kind of themes musically and lyrically are you guys going to be tackling on the album?
Preciado: When we go into making a record, there's never any one thing that kind of pops up to us. We've always been the same kind of band, as writers, where we get together and whatever we're feeling at that moment or whatever the song calls for is what we do. We always talk about how with every Pierce the Veil record, the next one that we make will be another Pierce the Veil record and we'll let the fans figure out what kind of theme they get out of it. For us, we just try to get better in every aspect of our band, better singer-songwriters, for me a better bassist or a better background guy for vocals and whatnot.
It still has the punk-rock vibe, it has heavy stuff and mid-tempo stuff. It's got a little bit for everybody. I think we've always been that type of band, that weird black sheep kind of band, where we don't really fall into any musical category. I think with this record it is kind of the same thing. Hopefully, one day, that will be our genre, there will be a PTV sound, that's what it [the new album] sounds like.
AXS: Definitely, we will be looking forward to that. You guys had such a great year last year and it looks like you're shaping up to have a great 2015, but I wanted to ask you a little bit about being at the Alt Press Music Awards, where you guys cleaned house and you, specifically, took home Best Bassist. What was that experience like?
Preciado: We've talked about that because we were literally in the middle of the studio process when we did that, so it was kind of crazy because one day you're working in this secluded area of Long Island and all you've seen for the last two months are your bandmates and then you go to getting on a plane that day and showing up in Cleveland and seeing every band you've ever toured with, just like that. For us, it was pretty overwhelming, coming from seclusion to being in the center of this crazy party. We were just excited to be out of the studio and there were tons of fans and tons of friends of ours so it was a good time all around. We were only there for one day. It was a quick business trip and the fact that we got nominated for so many awards, and actually took home a couple of them, we were just all smiles the entire time. I think it was all voted on by the fans, so being able to be working on our record for a year, and not being on tour, and to still be relevant to these kids, it says something. It was a humbling experience. It was really awesome.
AXS: You're such a wonderful, amazing bassist and so many fans love your playing, who are some of your favorite bassists or other musicians who have inspired you?
Preciado: Actually, surprisingly I didn't start out as a bass player. I was a guitar player for a couple of years and I actually joined a band, with our guitar player Tony, playing bass because they already had guitar players and I really enjoyed playing with them. So, for me, I never really looked up to one bass player, or actually musicians in general, I looked up to bands a lot because I always felt that it was more about the band, than just one person. I think we got really lucky with Pierce the Veil because all the guys in the band are so good at what they do. It's awesome because they're winning awards and at the end of the day we are really stoked to be in the band together. To be surrounded by talented dudes like that, it makes me playing the bass the easiest job in the world. So, I'm inspired by the dudes in my band and bands like that that have a good all-around [talent].
AXS: Kind of like the whole is greater than the sum of its parts and everybody thrives playing off each other.
Preciado: Yeah, it doesn't matter if one guy is shredding or if one guy hits a wrong note, everyone around helps. We always try to get better, and live we really try to put on the best show we can, every time, so all that stuff matters to us. I think kids really notice that and I think we got that award [AP Awards] for best live band, so that's awesome. That's the best award you're gonna get.
AXS: Yes, for sure. And fans really connect with you guys on record and especially live. What are some of the things that you do to stay connected to your fan base when you are in the studio or is it really that the music speaks for itself and that's where the connection comes from?
Preciado: We were fortunate enough to be a part of a time when we were growing as a band, we weren't in that whole social media thing like five to seven years ago. We didn't have any of this kind of crazy Twitter and Instagram, but now, I couldn't even imagine being in a band starting today. It would be insane to have like 20 social media things just to keep up. So we were really fortunate to be a part of that when it started out and now I think we've learned to just be ourselves and be open with our social media and our websites. A lot of our fans can relate to us because we are just regular dudes playing music and doing that stuff, so I'm really thankful that we are that kind of band instead of this mysterious group. We put it all out there and we're not this untouchable thing.
AXS: What advice do you have for any budding musicians out there on how to succeed as they are getting going as a musician?
Preciado: I guess the only advice that I would give is the same advice that we took and that is to try and record as many songs as you possibly can. Record demos and get them to people. Like I said earlier, it's a little harder now to get noticed because there is so much coming out with all the social media. There's tons of content everywhere, but that human aspect is missing. So, go out to shows and hand people an actual CD or whatever you have, just make that human action because I think that's what's missing these days.
And don't quit. Obviously, everything takes time, so keep at it. I've seen it happen with some of my friends who kept at it and started bands. It's tough, obviously, if it were easy, everybody would do it.