Interviewed by Brian Rademacher
Date: June 2011
Brian Rademacher: Congratulations Andy on the new CD as it’s amazing. You bring the goods on this one; love the ripping guitar and the harmonies are excellent. Was a band like BLACK VEIL BRIDES something you always set out to do?
Andy Biersack I think in terms of sound and image, obviously growing up we idolized bands like WASP, MÖTLEY CRÜE and KISS and we also had a deep love for bands like METALLICA and MEGADETH. For us it’s blending the idea with theatrical rock like ALICE COOPER-style and more heavy metal sound that we were always interested in. It was never a conscious effort to wear makeup or dress up, that’s what bands looked like and we thought it was cool. The sound and the image was always with us since day one and we always wanted to do it.
Brian Rademacher: How do you feel when people say you’re a MÖTLEY CRÜE clone? For me I love the image because I’m a photographer also and it makes for a great show.
Andy Biersack People that say that are so ignorant it doesn’t matter to me, yes we are paying homage to that band but compared musically we sound nothing like them. We openly wear our influences on our sleeve we are also influenced by THE MISFITS and METALLICA but it just happens that we wear make-up. Nothing bothers me that anyone says. I’m so happy in what we do and I know it makes our audience happy in what we do. Rock n roll is for fun, not meant to be taken so seriously. People who define bands wearing make-up are just ignorant anyway. You’re looking at a genre that has lost almost all its fun and people like that have driven rock n roll into the ground. Things like I need to be more metal and serious than my friends, that’s bull-shit. It should be about rebellion and going somewhere and singing your heart out and if people come to see us and follow us it’s not just because the make-up it’s their choice because they like us. We love putting on a show, we grew up loving superheroes and ALICE COOPER and that’s how we express that.
Brian Rademacher: And I agree. I’m a photographer and I got to shoot MÖTLEY CRÜE’s “Shout At The Devil” Tour and KISS during the “Dressed To Kill” tour and those shows were exciting. Here in New Jersey we do have some great bands but the fans seem bored, some bands do bring excitement but a majority of the fans just sit back and watch and don’t even approach the stage. It’s sad.
Andy Biersack A majority of our fans are young yes but they come to have fun. They dress up like us, wear make-up, it’s an event to them and I’m happy about that and that’s the fun and joy rock shows used to have.
Brian Rademacher: Listening to the CD it’s not all about image as the music is excellent. How did you go about recruiting musicians for the band?
Andy Biersack I just had the luck of meeting for other people that like the same things I liked growing up and wanted to do the same thing. I moved to L.A. When I was about seventeen and I wanted to start a band but didn’t have any money or know anybody when I got there. I met my bass player and through that I met our guitar player. It was like I know this guy he plays really good you should meet him. So the five of us had the same interests and wanted to do the same thing. We all moved from towns in the Midwest to L.A. because we remember the rock scene of the past and places like the Roxy and The Rainbow. Like if you currently drive by the Whiskey, The Roxy or the Rainbow you’ll see a billboard of us.
Brian Rademacher: I read before a show you like to hang out with fans? Do you think you will be able to keep that persona as the band gets more popular?
Andy Biersack I love to but as you get bigger you can never spend as much time with the fans as you want to. I will always maintain to do meet and greets. On some level we will always need the fans and without the fans the band doesn’t exist. I think a lot of bands forget that. The audience pays to come to a show and if they want to meet us and we have an opportunity and thank them and to perform for them it’s a pretty logical thing to do.
Brian Rademacher: I see already that BLACK VEIL BRIDES is a merchandise machine; autographs already selling on eBay for high prices. How do you feel about that?
Andy Biersack Personally the merchandise we sell I’m happy with. I love the merchandise we sell but on eBay you can never monitor that. The merchandise we sell on our site is important to me like the bands we grew up on and their official merchandise. I think its fun I don’t think we are selling out or anything. I enjoy it and so do our fans. When I was younger and went to school I grew up loving KISS and I was able to go to school wearing something about KISS. It was like a badge of honor this is something I’m interested in, it was cool. I would love to give the same things to our audience.
Brian Rademacher: Who came up with the name?
Andy Biersack I came up with the name when I was fourteen. I grew up in a catholic family although I’m not personally religious. When a nun marries into the church and she gives up all the pleasures of life they call her a BLACK VEIL BRIDE. Look at a rock band; you have to give up your whole life to devote yourself to the music. It’s very similar to the GUNS N ROSES name; the positive and negatives of life. To me it sounds like a great rock n’ roll name. I like when people say you’re five brides, it’s pretty cool and personally I dig it.
Brian Rademacher: Tell me for being born December 26 how much you got screwed out of gifts?
Andy Biersack Oh man it was always the aunts and uncles that said this is for your Birthday and Christmas. They couldn’t do that if my Birthday was in April, it sucks and doesn’t make any sense and nobody wants to go to a birthday party the day after Christmas with most adults drinking the day before.
Brian Rademacher: How proud are your parents about the success you’ve had?
Andy Biersack Exceptionally. My parents and I are very close. I was an only child growing up. Every step of the way they were always very supportive. When I recently shattered my ribs on stage my mom was right here in L.A. by my side. I’m a very happy person and very lucky to have my family.
Brian Rademacher: So what was the first CD you ever bought?
Andy Biersack MÖTLEY CRÜE’s “Generation Swine”. The first cassette that was ever bought for me I was with my Dad and it was KISS’s “Revenge”.
Brian Rademacher: What was your first concert experience and did it have any impact on you?
Andy Biersack Certainly it was KISS on the Reunion Tour ‘96 or ‘97. All you have to do is look at this band and you can see the impact they had on us.
Brian Rademacher: How do you feel about musicians having an ego?
Andy Biersack Ego always seems to be an odd term. People consider me to have an ego with the things I say in press. When I say I think our album is the best album ever made it comes from a personal confidence. When I listen to my record, the record we created as a band, I’m more proud of that as I feel no sense of pride listening to a LED ZEPPELIN record. That doesn’t make me proud that someone else created something. To me ego comes from personal things. If you are proud of whom you are and you understand exactly what you want to do you want to be the best at it. You always want to up your game and if you’re proud of what you do I don’t think ego exists. Now if you’re talking with someone else as a daily conversation and talk about how great you are that don’t give you an ego that makes you a douche (laughing).
Brian Rademacher: Do you think money will change you?
Andy Biersack No, money is not something I thought about. It’s basically a byproduct of the ultimate goal. My goal is to become the biggest band in the world, if we happen to make money that’s great. I’m not going to say I don’t want money, everybody wants money. That is not why I’m in this band; I’m in this band to become the biggest band in the world and the idea of spreading the message about this personal rebellion and believing in yourself, that’s the most important thing to me. Am I going to be upset when I get cars, houses and money? Not at all.
Brian Rademacher: I talked this morning about you to a veteran in music, his name is Tony Mills from a European band named TNT. I sent him your videos and he wrote “I honestly thought the two videos I saw were really great stuff. And you can tell him from me (although I'm probably old enough to be his dad!)”.
Andy Biersack That’s awesome and amazing and we find that all the time. ALICE COOPER was at the Kerrang Awards accepting and we won the best international newcomer award. When Alice was accepting his icon award he mentioned our name during his acceptance speech. He said we were the band that was bringing back something that he missed in rock n’ roll. He also mentioned later in interviews if we write a great album we could be the biggest band in the world. Sebastian Bach is also a big supporter and good friend of mine. Mick Mars is also a big supporter of ours and I’ve written stuff with him. These people and the people we idolized understand and respect what we are doing and it’s a great feeling.
Brian Rademacher: Andy it was great talking to you, I have a feeling you guys are going to be huge. Would you like to say anything in closing?
Andy Biersack We are very excited we just found out the record is in Billboards Top 20. It was awesome talking to you and thanks for the support.