With Black Veil Brides taking a well-deserved break after a prolonged period of activity, BVB frontman Andy Biersack has spoken exclusively with Metal Hammer about work on his forthcoming Andy Black solo project that he is currently recording with legendary producer John Feldmann.
“I’m at the beginning of week four of recording this new project,” he tells us. “I definitely don’t want to call it a solo project, because I’m trying to treat it with the same respect and reverence that I would anything that goes into Black Veil Brides. And the two aren’t mutually exclusive, I will be getting to work on a new Black Veil Brides album in the not too distant future here with John Feldmann. That’s all booked in and ready to go.”
So, what with all the work of being in one of the biggest bands in rock to keep him occupied, why has Andy now decided to add to that workload with this new project? According to the man himself, this is a chance to flex some of those creative muscles that he doesn’t usually get to work on.
“I had this little bit of time on my hands and it just seemed a good opportunity to go and do it,” says Andy. “For a long time now I’ve been wanting to do something that is totally stylistically and tonally different to what we do in Black Veil Brides. This music is fun and enjoyable, and doesn’t have to work within the confines that I’ve been working to for most of my career.”
Obviously Andy feels that this material is such a step away from his day job that he had to release it under a different name, but it begs the question as to why he does feel the need to impose those restrictions on his work in the first place?
“One thing that always upset me out when I was a kid,” he says by way of explanation, “is when I’d find a band I love and I’d grow with them and buy all of their albums and then suddenly one of the members of the band, be it the singer or whoever, would suddenly decide that they didn’t like that type of music anymore and they wanted to go off in a different direction. And I’d go ‘Well, that’s fine and I understand that artistically, but why couldn’t you have gone off on your own and left the band that I grew up loving as that band?’ I think anyone that has listened to every Black Veil Brides record will know that we have always evolved, but it’s been a natural evolution. We haven’t just gone out a made a record that is purely a pop record or whatever it is. So a Black Veil Brides record has to be a Black Veil Brides record.”
So what is the content and style that is so wildly different from BVB that Andy has up his sleeve? It turns out that this is a record made for the teenage Andy Biersack.
“I wanted to do something that was really more inspired by bands that I loved growing up,” Andy says. “It’s influenced by U2 and The Psychedelic Furs and stuff that is… I guess you’d call it pop rock. But I think it’s a little more classical and intelligent than that. For me I really wanted to do a record that called upon everything I listen to. John Feldmann and I sat down and listened to a bunch of albums last year and I said that there are all these bands that I don’t get the chance to showcase my love for in Black Veil Brides that meant so much to me as I was growing up. So this album, in a lot of ways, is made by the 14 year old Andy. What would I have done at that age on my own without the influence of anyone in the band? What’s fun about this is that it’s the Andy dream record, if I want to do a song that sounds like U2 then I can do that, if I want to do a song that sounds like Modern English then I can do that too. It’s all of my thoughts and experiences put into one record.”
And with this catch-all approach it’s no surprise that the writing process is booming.
“We’ve been writing every day for four weeks now,” says Andy, obviously delighted by his work so far. “We’ve got about thirty songs at the moment, and we’re just going to have to whittle those down and make a record. I feel really great about it, I think we’ve got about eleven or twelve songs that are album worthy and we’ll keep on writing for two more weeks. Then I go on tour with Black Veil Brides, because I want to be really clear to my fans that this is not some great act of defiance and it won’t get in the way of what Black Veil Brides is, it’s just a fun thing for me to do, and when we come back we aim to be able to get a single out for the start of the year, then release the album early in the spring.”