This week Harry renews his membership to the BVB fan club and asks why they are so hated by some but adored by others…
By Harry Paterson
Following Black Veil Brides’ appearance at Download last month, during which they were bottled for pretty much the duration of their set, I thought this piece (originally published on my website last autumn) was worth sharing with you.
Frankly, the extreme reaction the band generates mystifies me, as you can see, so if anyone can proffer an explanation, I’d be fascinated to hear it. Over to you…
On course for being one of the biggest bands on the planet, the phenomenon that is Black Veil Brides continues to inspire Beatle mania-levels of adoration and loyalty among teenagers worldwide.
Covering their recent set at Rock City, for Midlands Rocks, and interviewing both drummer CC and guitarist Jake, afforded me the opportunity of seeing first-hand what can only be described as the mass hysteria this band induces.
Their pre-gig signing session threatened to bring the city to a halt and by ten in the morning there were already hundreds queuing outside the venue.
Mystifyingly, though, for every hard-core fan, Black Veil Brides spawn legions of haters, too. There is currently no band anywhere in the world that excites such polarised opinions. Not even Bring Me The Horizon.
Understanding why they’re so revered, though, is far easier than getting a handle on the levels of vitriol, scorn and, yes, pure, unadulterated hate, that pours forth from internet chat rooms, Metal Hammer’s website and online forums everywhere.
The make-up, the costumes, the youth of the band, the sense of being a part of something, while still remaining an outsider, are all obvious attractions for a fan base predominantly still going through puberty and its attendant existential crises.
To quote Lava Records’ Jason Flom, “They are bringing back what has been missing for over a decade: they are rock heroes that are truly larger than life. The make-up, the hair, the leather, and most importantly they have great songs, great playing…”
Of course, we’ve seen it all before. Shout At The Devil-era Motley Crue (Jake told me Nikki Sixx himself is a fan), bits of Kiss, Alice Cooper, all of whom Jake and CC freely admit are favourite bands and significant influences.
But so what? Marilyn Manson owes a debt to the aforementioned. Motley Cue themselves, back in the day, were slated for ripping off Kiss. This is nothing new, or even particularly controversial, so why the hatred?
It’s not as if the band can’t play either with Jake, in particular, actually something of an accomplished shredder. During our discussion he spoke of his abiding admiration for Paul Gilbert, and of his daily six-hour practice sessions following the mind-numbing day-job. As CC told me, “We’ve paid our dues, man”.
So, again; why the hatred? Frankly, it’s inexplicable but to those haters, I would say this: the Brides have brought the fun back into rock ‘n’ roll. They love what they do and want others to love it too. And any band that can attract so many young people to the life-affirming joy of live rock ‘n’ roll and away from the shoe-gazing monotony of the Indie scene or the artistic heresy of the X Factor aint doing too much wrong in my book.
Right now, all over the world, there are kids learning to play guitars and drums and putting together their own bands, all because the Brides have inspired them to do so. For that alone, they deserve a medal.
The Brides can play. They write their own material and their live show is the ultimate tribal experience. They are, in fact, the real deal. A bunch of kids barely older than their fans, absolutely committed to what they’re doing and having the ride of their life, they’re just thrilled to be here.
You don’t like ‘em? Fine. But be thankful your kids do. While ever we share a world with Coldplay we need bands like Black Veil Brides.