What does a cabin on Bear Mountain in California, Sonic Debris Studio in Long Island, a co-headlining tour with Sleeping with Sirens, Warped Tour 2015’s main stage, the 2015 Alternative Press Music Awards and downtown Seattle all have in common? They’re all places that make up a part of Pierce the Veil’s (mis)adventures that led them to their fourth studio album, Misadventures. The anticipation for this album has been growing for the last three years after the band announced in 2013 that they were coming out with a new album the following year. The band had a lot to live up to after their last album, Collide With the Sky, produced some of their biggest hits ever like “King For A Day” and “Bulls in the Bronx.” On Friday, May 13, the wait was finally over.
Misadventures was the second PTV album released under Fearless Records. It was produced by Dan Korneff who had previous experience working with bands like Breaking Benjamin, My Chemical Romance and Paramore. He also helped produce PTV’s last album. As the band’s sole songwriter, Vic Fuentes didn’t take any shortcuts when writing. The rest of the band – guitarist Tony Perry, bassist Jamie Preciado and drummer Mike Fuentes – all waited patiently for Vic to give the green light that a song was ready to be recorded. Preciado explained to Alternative Press that in order for a song to make it on the album, it had to mean something and resonate within the band. Vic was heavily influenced by Seattle and the musical history that took place there. It was bands like Nirvana and Stone Temple Pilots that reminded him to take things at his own pace and just write what comes to him.
Just as Preciado said, each song does have a special meaning behind it. “Circles,” a personal favorite, is about the Paris terror attack that happened at the Bataclan during an Eagles of Death Metal concert and what those fans might have been feeling at the time. Instrumentally, it’s one of the slower songs on the album. There’s a specific kind of weight that could be felt during this song which is probably due to the fact that this was one of the songs that took Vic the least amount of time to write because he knew exactly what he wanted to say.
Mourning the loss of an ex-girlfriend and the first girl he ever told “I love you”to, Vic wrote the song “Gold Medal Ribbon.” The title is a nod to her favorite Baskin Robbins flavor, and Vic sings to her, asking for a sign that she can hear him.
“Bedless” was another song that turned out slower and simpler than PTV’s previous works. Simple doesn’t equal less work or not trying. Sometimes there’s beauty in simplicity, and that’s what stands out to me in this song.
Vic wrote the most ballad-like song on the album, “Floral & Fading,” to his current girlfriend. Due to the pop-ier vibes and slow vocals, it’s easily one of the most experimental songs on the album. Together we can fake our own deaths / Just wanna be alone and watch as you all just disappear. It’s not easy being the girlfriend of the frontman in a popular band where thousands of girls would do anything to be where you are. The song is about ignoring the rest of the world and – as cheesy as it sounds – live happily ever after.
“Song for Isabelle” is another personal favorite due to the soft intro paired with the prominent drumming in the background. It was written about Vic’s friend who didn’t want to live in a world where people were capable of being so cruel to each other. The song is gripping, the lyrics tell like a story – a sad story – but one you can’t stop reading. Isabelle found beauty in art, which is mentioned in the opening verse, and the rest of the song is about convincing her to stay.
Don’t let the slower songs confuse you, because this is still Pierce the Veil. Songs like “The Divine Zero,” “Texas is Forever” and “Sambuka” contain the loud, rock guitars and screech-y vocals that will get any crowd to start moshing. “Dive In,” the album opener, is another perfect example of how the band is staying to their roots. I’m looking forward to this song performed live because it’s the kind of song that builds.
Selfish Machines was always my favorite PTV album, but this album creates some tough competition. Misadventures holds enough change, instrumentally and lyrically, to show that the band is growing and evolving. It isn’t too much change where you’re asking yourself “What happened to PTV??” It’s that balance of change and stability that keeps a band interesting.
What does the album art mean?
Lucky for fans, Alternative Press got Vic to explain some of the symbols on the cover of Misadventures. I was so interested in this section of their story in AP that I have to share it with you.
Pouring a bottle of whiskey for lost loved ones
An apple for New York
Stars for all the time spent working after the sun went down
A joint for a political nod toward medical marijuana
A needle as a reminder of the consequences of hard drug use
A set of praying hands invokes a sense of (or lack of) faith
A rocket ship to fly you away from all the stress
A dollar bill to symbolize how the music industry can sometimes be about the money and not the art
Thanks for reading,