Recently, I was fortunate enough to speak to Jaime Preciado, bassist for up and coming post- hardcore innovators Pierce The Veil on the Portsmouth date of their most recent sell-out UK tour. He chatted to me about, among other things: hot sauce, bad crowds, and how exactly he ended up breaking his foot on the first night of their tour.
So, Jaime, one night on UK soil and you’re already nursing an injury! What happened to your foot?
Well, yesterday, our bus was parked underneath a pier and as we were walking back from the club at about 3am, we were walking over the top of the pier and I realised the bus was directly underneath us. It would have been a stupidly long walk to go round, and our trailer was right there under the pier awning, and it was only about a four-five foot jump, so I thought it would save time if I just jumped off the awning onto the trailer, then onto the bus. No problem! So I just climbed down onto the awning, jumped on the trailer, which caused my foot to hurt way more than it should have! I went into the bus, took my shoe off and my foot was bright red, and then this by this morning it had swelled up like a balloon! So I’m probably going to stand up for one song tonight, and sit down for the rest, it depends on how I feel though.
Well, I hope you’re feeling a bit better in time for this evening! So, how did you guys start playing together as a band?
Vic [vocals]and Mike [drums]are brothers, so they’ve basically known each other forever! They started the band in early 2007, but they’d been writing music for a while, and their prior band had stopped playing together. Tony [lead guitar]and I had also been playing in a band together, but that had fizzled out and he was just working in a guitar shop when Mike came in and got talking to him about trying to start a band. They just became friends and were jamming together a lot, and when Mike mentioned he was looking for a bass player, Tony told him about me! Then we met with Vic and we just gelled really well, even though Tony and I had more of a hardcore background and Vic and Mike had a much more punk background, we just clicked together as a band.
Are there any bands in particular that are really big inspirations for you guys?
We’ve always enjoyed really fast paced kind of punk music, I was personally a huge fan of Thrice, and for me going to their shows was really eye opening, showed me what being in a band could be like. Nowadays though, we often get inspired by just the people we play with and our fans, just the things we see every day.
You’ve toured with a variety of bands, some pop-punk, like All Time Low and others that are more post hardcore such as Chiodos. Do you gravitate to one style of music more than the other or do you try and position yourself some way between the two?
We try not to think of it like that, to be honest. Kids are so diverse now in the styles of music that they listen to, we weren’t really worried about sounding similar to the other bands. We’d be hesitant to play a bill where every band sounded very similar though, we wouldn’t want people to get bored! It’s good for people to be able to go and see a bit of everything and maybe something a bit different to what they’re used to.
Have you ever got a really bad reception from a crowd at a show?
Yeah, the worst was one of our first UK tours, we were supporting A Day to Remember at these massive shows, and on one of the shows, we came out, played our first song and as soon we finished one song, we heard hundreds of people start to boo! We had no idea what to do, so after the first couple of times it happened, we just stopped having breaks between the songs and just played our whole set through, pretty much continuously. We didn’t give them a chance to boo!
At the other end of the scale, have you ever had any really intense fans come up to you?
There’ve been a couple who’ve given us strange things, but it can be really touching too. There was one kid who gave me a razor blade, just to kind of show that our music had really touched them and helped stop them from hurting themselves. That was pretty intense. There are also the fans who will get your handwriting tattooed on them if you sign their arm or something, and I have the worst handwriting, so I always feel really guilty about that!
What kind of dynamic do you guys have within the band, is there one of you who’s the band joker, for example?
Well the joker would probably be me! I can be pretty ridiculous. Tony’s a really quiet guy, because he’s so shy, but after a couple of chardonnays he’s completely different. The quiet ones always go the craziest! When we first started the band we were worried it would be a bit divided between me and Tony and Vic and Mike, but we became a unit pretty quickly. We’ve all got our own kind of unique personalities and the fans really connect with that, it’s nice for us.
And, finally, why do you have hot sauce as one of your merch items?
Well, we all consider ourselves to be hot sauce connoisseurs, and when label came to us and said ‘Do you want to make some hot sauces?’ we thought it was a great idea! We just love hot sauce!