Black Veil Brides’ 2021 game plan didn’t necessarily include releasing a new album this year. But like most of their colleagues, the Los Angeles rock quintet found themselves with some time off when touring was cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The result is ‘The Phantom Tomorrow’, a 12-track concept album about building and destroying heroes and false idols – an idea frontman Andy Biersack had in mind even before the busy election of 2020 and the events that followed. followed in his waking up. He and the band, with guitarist Jake Pitts co-producer, fleshed out the songs, while Biersack also created a comic book series that tells the story in even greater depth.
The world got its first ear to the project with the single “Scarlet Cross” last November, and although production issues delayed the release of the album from an original June 4 release to October 29, it did allow It’s up to BVB to generate more excitement with more singles (“Friends of Bone”, “Crimson Skies”, “Torch”) and videos. Now the band are on the road, ready to take “Phantom” into the future and beyond.
• Biersack, 30, said over the phone that BVB had initially planned “to work on this record piecemeal, throughout the tours”. After “the craziest thing happened” and touring was on hiatus for the better part of 15 months (or more in some cases), the band “took the opportunity to really go all out and create our own little social bubble, so to speak, just go to the studio and go home every day for months and months.
• What BVB particularly appreciated, according to Biersack, was spending more time than usual concentrating on what he was recording, without too much interruption. “We really had the opportunity to work on a record in a way that we never had. We had nothing else. There was legitimately no other outlet for any of us to because of how the world had shut down. It was just being home with our families and going to the studio making music. There was an ability to really dive into those characters, the script, and to do exactly what we wanted and how we envisioned it.
• This time and attention also served another purpose for the group. “The goal for anyone making a concept album is to make something that’s still a great album on the face of it,” Biersack explains. “It doesn’t need to be listened to like a story to be enjoyable. You want to make sure that the record you make is in itself a great rock ‘n’ roll record. It’s easier said than done, but with that time we had, we could craft the songs in a way that we could feel like we were still telling the story, sonically, but it is more of a soundtrack than a narrative, where you have to listen to every word of every song to figure out what’s going on. I don’t need to have six pieces of spoken word to tell the story, and we can make the record what it is.
• The comic, adds Biersack, is really for those who want to know the whole story behind “The Phantom Tomorrow”. “Going into it, before signing a deal with the comics company, I knew there had to be a companion. There will be the fan who just wants to listen to the music and let off steam. But for those of us who want nuance, who want to have a fuller story, a comic book is where you can get into the story. The first issue is just the origin story of some of these characters; we don’t we won’t even see them in their fully realized form until issue 2. Hopefully someone can read the comic and listen to the record, and that’ll be it.
• Biersack says he’s ready to do more with the story of “The Phantom Tomorrow”. “In my mind, I always want to do the most dramatic, craziest thing possible. It’s nice, in many ways, to be in a rock band on tour right now and playing gigs. It’s our bread and butter and at the forefront of our minds – a loud, heavy rock ‘n’ roll band playing shows. television, with these characters. I’ve had conversations. It’s a very fickle business. I wish I could see it fully realized, but at this point it’s just emails and phone calls and wait and see.
Black Veil Brides performs with In This Moment, Ded and Raven Black on Wednesday, November 3 at The Fillmore Detroit, 2115 Woodward Ave. Doors at 5:30 p.m. and more. 313-961-5451 or thefillmoredetroit.com.