On May 13, Pierce The Veil released Misadventures (Fearless Records), a serious scorcher with enough blistering heat to take these high-energy rockers to a new career zenith. In fact, Annie Mac from BBC Radio One recently called the new single, “Circles,” the “Hottest Record In The World.” After a decade spent crafting songs with hard-driving honesty and fine-tuning a sound that so deeply connects and resonates with their fans, this fourth full-length studio album is the one that will set Pierce the Veil apart from every other band in the genre. And the special tour these guys are doing to celebrate the release is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
“We’re playing the whole album, just for this one tour. It’ll be something special so we can play a little bit smaller venues and the kids who see it will be able to say they saw something special because we will never do it again,” Mike Fuentes told AXS in a recent interview. Last year, the band was a main stage headliner on the Vans Warped Tour. Prior to that, in 2012, 2013, and 2014, the guys proved their mass appeal with sold-out tours. Mike and brother Vic are the founding members of Pierce the Veil.
“It’s always been me and Vic since high school,” Mike informed. “He’s always been a guitar player, so we’ve always started our songs with drums and guitar, which is interesting because a lot of drummers focus on what the bass is playing.”
Besides being led by the guitar and melody instead of the bassline, there are a couple other key factors that make Mike’s drumming extraordinarily atypical for an alt rock/punk musician.
“My dad was a jazz guitar player, so I grew up around a lot of jazz,” he explained. “He showed me a drummer named Buddy Rich when I was in high school, and he became my favorite drummer, instantly. I even started setting my kit up like he did. He did this crazy thing with the snare drum, he kind of inverted it so it was almost pointing downward, then he would get on top of it. I’m up pretty high and I just try not to slouch and I set up my cymbals so I can reach them without hurting my back. That’s how I play, I get on top of that snare and I just play with my heart and soul.”
And the other aspect that sets him apart? Mike does not use a double bass drum pedal.
“When I was first starting, I was playing in a couple of bands. One band wanted me to get a double bass drum pedal. We were a punk band and they wanted to start playing hardcore breakdown, but I never wanted to do that, so I decided, I was going to stick with one and that was going to be my style.”
That decision worked out pretty good because in 2014, Mike Fuentes won the APMA for “Best Drummer.”
“Playing drums in a show is kind of like being in a short marathon because I like to get into it,” he expressed. “My pet peeve is watching a boring drummer. I can’t stand a drummer who just sits there and doesn’t get into it. I’ll watch a band – even if they are not my style of music – and if the drummer’s flippin’, I'll get into it!”
Regarding other facets of creativity, Mike revealed, “We’re perfectionists when it comes to songwriting and I think that’s why it took a little bit for this album, especially with the lyrics.”
For Misadventures, Vic brought the bare-bones versions of the songs in. Everything was there, even the melodies, they just needed to be fleshed out for the band. Mike, Tony Perry (lead guitar) and Jaime Preciado (bass) finished recording the tracks, but there were still virtually no lyrics. So, Vic worked on the lyrics alone, but he seemed to be hitting an impasse.
“We had tours booked and that actually became kind of a blessing because we got to get him out of the studio to play some shows and see the fans. After that, he realized that staring at the same four walls in the studio, you’re not gonna come up with anything. So he ended up traveling around to different Airbnbs and staying in cool spots to work on the lyrics. I think he eventually ended up in Seattle where he finished two songs in two days.”
According to the press release, lyrically, Misadventures covers such topics as “the suicide of a past love, the Paris terror attacks, the online intimidation of a girlfriend by crazed fans, self-worth and an individual’s ability to shine, and the challenge of a cunning betrayal.”
“A lot of things that he writes, we know what he’s talking about,” Mike acknowledged. “They are all his personal experiences, but the fans can relate because everyone’s going through something. I think that’s why they were so eager for this record to come out, they were kind of relying on us to help them out in a lot of ways.”
When asked if there was anything else that was important, Mike replied, “Right now, it’s all about the new album. Pick up the new album, it’s awesome! And come to a show. Doing this album start to finish, it’s going to be a workout for me! You never know, maybe I’ll get a double bass pedal just for this show so I don’t have to sweat out eight pounds every night?”
Current list of upcoming US tour dates [For full list of tour dates, click here.]:
June 14 – Boston, MA – Paradise Rock Club
June 15 – New York, NY – Irving Plaza
June 17 – Philadelphia, PA – Theatre of Living Arts
June 18 – Norfolk, VA – The NorVa
June 19 – Atlanta, GA – The Masquerade
June 21 – Houston, TX – House of Blues
June 22 – Dallas, TX – House of Blues
June 24 – Phoenix, AZ – The Nile Theater
June 25 – San Diego, CA – Observatory North Park
June 26 – Los Angeles, CA – The Mayan Theater
Sept. 10 – Denver, CO – High Elevation Festival
Sept. 16 – Chicago, IL – RIOT FEST & CARNIVAL
Sept. 17 – Chicago, IL – RIOT FEST & CARNIVAL
Sept. 18 – Chicago, IL – RIOT FEST & CARNIVAL
Sept. 24 – Houston, TX – Open Air
Sept. 25 – Houston, TX – Open Air
Sept. 30 – Sterling Heights, MI – Chill on the Hill Festival
Oct. 1 – Louisville, KY – Louder Than Life
Oct. 2 – Janesville, WI – Sonic Boom