Pierce The Veil
L.S. Dunes, Dayseeker & Destroy Boys
Pierce The Veil debuted atop Billboard’s Top Rock Albums, Alternative Albums, and Hard Rock Albums charts twice – first with Collide with the Sky (2012) and its follow-up, Misadventures (2016). A decade after its release, the already platinum “King for a Day” shot to No. 1 on Billboard’s Hard Rock Streaming chart, driven by the viral #KingForADay hashtag on TikTok (even Lizzo joined in.)
Even with a platinum song; two gold singles; a gold album; multiple awards and nominations (iHeartRadio Music, MTV Fandom, Kerrang! Awards, Golden Gods, Libera); tours with their peers in bands like Bring Me The Horizon and A Day To Remember; and performances for millions of fans around the world; 2022 shapes up to be their biggest year. Because this is the year of The Jaws of Life.
The band Rolling Stone once described as “hyperactive, progressive post-hardcore,” returns with album number five, full of fuzzy guitars, massive melodic hooks, and PTV’s distinct emotional heart. The Jaws of Life is Pierce The Veil at their most raw, crackling with urgency and immediacy. They sound forceful yet vulnerable, like some of the defining albums of the alt-rock and grunge movement.
Never predictable, always engaging, Pierce The Veil continues to soar on the strength of highly potent energy, rich musicality, and a scrappy sense of authentic exuberant ambition that’s frankly unrivaled.
“Pass The Nirvana,” “Flawless Execution,” “Emergency Contact,” “Damn The Man, Save The Empire,” “and the rest of the new songs comprise the most diverse offering from Pierce The Veil thus far. And that’s saying a lot for a band whose last album went from “The Divine Zero” to “Circles.”
Vic Fuentes, Tony Perry, and Jaime Precadio are reliably good-natured and charming in person. They put all of the volatile, angsty, confessional emotions into the music, which is why their songs resonant with so many people, on record and onstage. “No matter where the band performs, fans will show up,” Loudwire noted in a review. “And when you see Pierce The Veil live, you’ll understand why.”
PTV’s evolution from album to album is nothing less than stunning, a testament to the band’s determination to always, however improbably, top what came before. The early buzz generated by A Flair for the Dramatic (2007) made its follow-up one of the most anticipated albums of 2010. Selfish Machines shot to No. 1 on Billboard’s Heatseekers chart. “Bulletproof Love” and “Caraphernelia” endure as two of the most beloved songs in modern alt-rock, anthems for romantics and outcasts.
The Chicago Tribune saluted Collide with the Sky for its “post-hardcore punk… with more than a few nods to Queen,” as Pierce The Veil indulged their theatrical leanings further to dazzling effect.
On Misadventures, the band leveled up from Warped Tour headliners to a true arena act, cracking rock radio and selling out huge venues without losing the intimate connection with their audience. In an overwhelmingly positive review, the long-running rock magazine Alternative Press concluded, “Misadventures is the stuff of time capsules, marvelously embodying everything important this musical subculture offers while enthusiastically transcending its limitations with authentic charms.”
Fuentes composed the songs for The Jaws of Life following the conclusion of the touring behind Misadventures, then picked up again during the pandemic and buckled down for roughly a year afterward. (He also co-hosted a 12-hour livestream on behalf of the nonprofit Living The Dream Foundation, where he serves as CEO and co-chairman, which featured appearances from members of Avenged Sevenfold, Korn, Papa Roach, and Theory Of A Deadman. Living The Dream Foundation works to make dreams come true to children living with terminal or life-threatening illness.)
Vic’s childhood friend Curtis Peoples shares co-writing credit on songs going all the way back to Pierce The Veil’s debut (which listed only Vic and his younger brother, Mike, as band members). As with prior albums, the frontman invited a few collaborators into his process and spent a great deal of time in isolation away from home. Those trips included a stay in the mountain town of Julian, California, where he wrote with Josh Rheault, a producer and former member of The Dear Hunter.
He spent time at Monkey Trench Studios, a converted house in smalltown Bremerton, Washington, owned by MxPx frontman Mike Herrera. He worked with Peoples and another “King for a Day” contributor, Steve Solomon (whose credits include “Circles,” as well). Two songs came from sessions with Vic, Curtis, and the electronic duo MilkBlood, David Dahlquist and Pat Morrissey. Those were the first single, the ‘90s worshipping “Pass the Nirvana,” and the title track, “The Jaws of Life.”
Vic, Tony, and Jaime rented a house just outside the French Quarter in New Orleans, Louisiana. While making the album, which stretched across Halloween 2021, they often wandered, soaking up the atmosphere. They even recorded some sounds of the city – crowds and other ambient noise. Longtime friend Brad Hargreaves of multiplatinum rockers Third Eye Blind laid down drum tracks.
The band hired multi-instrumentalist and Mutemath frontman Paul Meany to produce. (Meany worked extensively on the fifth album from Twenty One Pilots, Trench.) Grammy Award-winner Adam Hawkins (Machine Gun Kelly, Turnstile, Twenty One Pilots) mixed The Jaws of Life.
With its reference to season depression and other internal struggles, the title track doesn’t mince words. “Life can try to sink its teeth into you,” Fuentes says of album five’s title. “Sometimes we feel this grip of life just holding us. ‘The Jaws of Life’ is about the journey to find your way out of that.”
Another of the album’s songs, “Resilience,” conjures a cinematic moment of resurrection and escape. Fuentes wrote the song with Colin Brittain (5 Seconds Of Summer, Papa Roach, Foundry).
Deadly serious subject matter abounds, but Pierce The Veil enduringly navigates it all with grace. The lyrics continue the Fuentes tradition of painstaking honesty and clever twists of phrase, with a healthy amount of Easter-egg style references to everything from formative influences, like Pennywise; to tour mates, like Bring Me The Horizon; to favorite movies, like Empire Records.
Pierce the Veil have long cemented their status as one of the most exciting and relevant acts in their genre — by constantly evolving. With their new album The Jaws of Life debuted at No. 1 on the Hard Music Chart, as well is in the Top 3 of the Rock, Alternative, Independent, Vinyl, and Album Sales charts upon release. The album also received press accolades from Rolling Stone, Uproxx, Gawker, The Huffington Post, and Associated Press. The single “Emergency Contact” landed in the Top 5 at Alternative Radio, while selling out tours with I Prevail and The Used.
Pierce The Veil performs at the biggest festivals and is counted among the biggest and brightest of a younger generation of bands, kindred spirits with the most inventive and creative of the modern day with a foot anchored in the emotional high points of the ‘90s and the epic melodicism of the ‘70s. It all starts with the songs, and The Jaws of Life is filled with the kind to keep PTV moving indefinitely.
“We’ve been lucky that the band has remained so strong with our fans,” Vic says. “Everything has stayed strong. Things are bigger than ever, which is just mind-blowing to me. We’re so thankful.”