PIERCE THE VEIL (08/03/23)
Pierce The Veil released new album The Jaws Of Life couple of weeks ago. RockUrLife got the chance to discuss the record with bass player Jaime Preciado hours before the official release.
Let’s start by asking you how you feel, hours before the release of new album The Jaws Of Life?
Jaime Preciado (bass): Very excited, very nervous. Very proud, thankful. It’s almost unbelievable that it’s happening. I’m a little bit shocked, but I know me, and the rest of the guys are. We’ve been waiting for this day for a long time. So we’re really excited to be here and really excited to share this this new album with everyone.
Did you get some early feedback? What were the first reactions to the new songs?
Jaime: Obviously we’ve showed our friends and families. They’re all kind of saying the same thing. It’s really different, but they really enjoy it. So that’s kind of what we wanted. We wanted it to be a little different. We wanted to take a couple chances, be bold, do something that we’ve not necessarily have done before. And I think we did that with this new album. It was a lot of fun creating it and finishing it and it’s a cool part of our lives now. It’s really awesome.
You just blew our minds with the single ‘Pass The Nirvana’. It is grunge, it is raw and the work you did on the vocals is just amazing. Can you tell us a bit about how this song came out and where did you want to go with this song?
Jaime: Actually, it was the first song we finished on the album, that was the probably the easiest one that got done because we kind of knew what it was going to be. We knew what it was, and we knew what it wasn’t. I always tell that not every song needs singing. And with this song it just made sense to kind of yell the whole time and be kind of aggressive. The song is about things getting kind of taken away from us because of the pandemic and being able to overcome that kind of stuff. So that was just a really special song for all of us and it felt right to come out swinging with that one. We just felt like we needed to show people that one first.
We didn’t expect you to be like so raw with so much violence. At the same time it’s very well balanced.
Jaime: I think that one was one of those songs that kind of came together really cool and were like very different for us. We kind of wanted to shock people and but if you listen to the album that’s none like the rest of the album. I think every song on the album has its own place and they just kind of turned out to be this kind of journey you take. But that song is definitely the odd man out for sure. I really like it. It’s fun to play live.
Another amazing track is ‘Death Of An Executioner’. The track is built with many layers and sounds different from anything we’ve heard from you. Was it a strong will to position it as an album opener?
Jaime: Yeah, that one actually turned out to be one of my favorite songs. I think it’s because we worked on that one the longest and it’s so much different than from what it started out to be to what it is now. And that was just us kind of adding parts and adding. At one point the song was like 8 minutes long. It was crazy, it was chaos the whole way through. And we were like: ‘what are we doing with this song? We’re not Queen!‘ This is too much for one song. So we tried to pick and choose our favorite parts and then when we were trying to figure out the order of the songs on the record. It didn’t really fit anywhere else but the beginning. That was just a happy accident. So, it wasn’t intentional, it was just one of those songs that felt really fun and exciting but also very different. It felt like an opening track to us. So, we took a chance on it. Like I said earlier taking chances you got to kind of sometimes trust your gut and yeah, I think it’s a great opener. It kind of starts the album off right.
This song will be really interesting to hear on stage. Do you consider opening your shows with this song? That would be such a perfect opening act!
Jaime: Honestly, that’s kind of where our mindset is. When we think about making records and what songs need what, we always think about how this is going to translate live. How the feeling we’re going to get while playing these songs live. That’s really the most important part. We create all kinds of things and add different layers and textures, but it just has to feel. It has to make you feel a certain emotion and that’s the one thing you can’t fake while you’re playing the song. We almost have to picture ourselves on the stage in front of a crowd and like the feeling you get when you play during that part. So that’s kind of how we thought about it.
This new record is all about emotions, and you display a lot of them. The song ‘Resilience’ for example. The title in itself is a such a strong and adequate word for what we are experiencing right now. Could you tell us a bit about the lyrics?
Jaime: The song just told a story of being able to be resilient, to be able to take what the world’s got to offer you. Even in the negative place you could find yourself in and you are able to crawl your way back out of that. We always talk about what the whole album lyrically would be like. For us, it’s like in a movie where you see the hand come out from under the ground and someone digging themselves out and then they’ll finally wipe their eyes off and they see the sun. That’s when they realize they did it. That’s kind of the whole theme of the album altogether. Musically that song was just one of those fun songs that kind of came together very easily. I’ll never forget the ending bridge on that song. I remember Vic coming in from outside after he ran into some spider webs. He was just like: ‘I think I found the perfect lyric for the ending‘. We started, we added that bridge part and it all kind of came together in a really cool way. It’s just funny how sometimes that kind of stuff happens. You’re just kind of not expecting to be creative and something happens. You like an idea, you put it on the table and it builds itself.
You achieved something very special with the self-titled song ‘The Jaws Of Life’. There’s something at the beginning of the song that sounds a bit like David Bowie and got some Pixies as well. The song is both nostalgic and modern which is quite unique. Would you agree?
Jaime: Yeah, I think so. I think, this whole album has, and especially that song, just a little hint of that nostalgic feeling. When you listen to a song like ‘The Jaws Of Life’ you feel like you’ve heard it somewhere before. It just feels really familiar. It wasn’t necessarily intentional trying to do that. It came from what we are listening to and the music we grew up with . It felt really nice to us. Something about that kind of nostalgic vibe. I think the whole record has that a little bit sprinkled in. Every song has a little bit of familiarity. For our music, we’ve always done kind of the most with everything, the most guitar parts, the most singing harmonies and just making a huge sound. And with this record, we tried to do something a little bit different, peeling back layers and just giving you the most important parts of the song, which we don’t normally do. It ended up being a little harder to write a more simplified version of the song because there’s not a lot of stuff going on. The intro is very simple. The riff for ‘The Jaws Of Life is just one big giant riff that sounds huge with everyone playing the same thing. That’s not normally our style; That was something that we wanted to try out and see if we could do. I think it came out really cool. I think it came out, like you said, very Bowie.
Simplicity is often the hardest things to achieve.
Jaime: It really is. I will definitely tell you that it is. It’s easy to be all over the place, it’s easy to write a ton of stuff and just throw it at you. But when you’re really just trying to make a couple things stand out and be very impactful, it becomes trickier. When you aim for simplicity, it’s like you have nothing to hide behind.
As a bass player, what was the main challenge for this new record? Or what’s the song that you like the most because you had the most fun or difficulties to play?
Jaime: This whole record in general, I think it’s the most fun I had recording bass. Just making cool parts and because everything’s kind of stripped back a little bit, so things kind of shine more. There are lots of songs where the bass plays a big part, more so than our last albums. That’s a lot of fun and also a lot of pressure sometimes. Sometimes it is just like bass and drums, which is cool. I love, I love that. I love the way that sounds. Those two instruments together with not a lot of guitars. I got to take a lot of liberties with certain parts and doing stuff. That was just us having fun and finding stuff that felt right to us.
You recorded most of the records in New Orleans, in the French quarters. Can you tell how it felt and what it meant to you?
Jaime: New Orleans in general is just so full of culture. Music is a big part of it, the Jazz and the blues. I’m talking every time we would go walking, we’d go have dinner or in the morning getting coffee or wherever. There’s always somebody playing on the corner of the street. Music all over the city. There’s just a bunch of musicians everywhere. Some days we would walk outside the door and there would be parades going through and stuff like that. It was so inspirational and so cool to be around that. It was just such a creative and cool city and being able to make a studio inside the house was just the best thing. You walk downstairs. You’re ready to have breakfast and then you see the drum kit there. You see the speakers everywhere, all the guitars ready to go. It’s like we never stopped creating stuff and working on stuff. It would just kind of felt like this kind of cool music factory. It influenced us when we were making the record. There’s definitely a lot of little pieces of New Orleans all over the record. Even when you hear people talking in the background on the album, that’s all from us. I have like audio recordings of just us walking around in the city. It just sounded so cool, you might have to hear the album with headphones to hear it but it’s there. There’s just a lot of cool ambience of New Orleans and on the record.
So, you were all living in the same house, that must have been a special feeling after what the world went through.
Jaime: The three of us were living in this house that we kind of made a studio in, and that was really awesome for us. I think we needed that more than we thought. We needed it because getting together after the pandemic, we didn’t really see each other. It was only like facetimes and zooms and phone calls. Being able to be in the same room with the other dudes and being able to sit on the couch and just kind of chat with each other. That really proved to be the most exciting part just because the connection we had from not seeing each other for that long. It was really nice and honestly it brought us so much closer together. We definitely bonded a lot more than we’ve ever have and it was definitely something special. We’re in a different place in our lives now. The three of us all got married. Our singer Vic‘s about to have a kid, there’s just so much exciting stuff. Our family, our PTV family has grown. So it’s just such a cool exciting time and to be able to be back, and have a new album is just really awesome.
You talk about getting older and married with children but you still get to play festival like When We Were Young. Perfect balance!
Jaime: It’s kind of a trip. Life is wild.
Last question: as we are RockUrLife, what rocks your life, Jaime?
Jaime: What rocks my life right now is our new album, our fans that have waited so long for this album and the shows that we’re about to play all over the world, hopefully near you guys, hopefully near everywhere. That’s going to rock my life!