In this episode of The Rock Metal Podcast, we're chatting with Jaime Preciado of the band Pierce The Veil about their new album ‘The Jaws Of Life’ out now via Fearless Records.
During our chat we touch on a lot of great tips for musicians, such as all the ways the band strives to never make the same record twice.
'The Jaws of Life' was produced by Paul Meany (Twenty One Pilots, Mutemath, The Blue Stones), and mixed by Adam Hawkins (Machine Gun Kelly, Turnstile, Twenty One Pilots).
For fans of Bring Me The Horizon, Falling in Reverse, My Chemical Romance, Sleeping With Sirens
PierceTheVeil.net - Connect with Pierce The Veil!
Guest Music Video
3 Heavy Hitters
1. Do whatever you can to make the record so unique that you'll never make the same record twice.
2. Renting an AirBnB house in a unique city to both live and work on the production of your next record
3. Hiring a producer who knows the insides of the industry from management to labels to radio, and who is passionate about your project
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Show Notes // Transcript
Jon Harris: Well, Jaime, thank you so much for coming on. Go ahead and say Hello to all of our beautiful listeners.
Jaime Preciado: Hello, Hola. How are you guys doing?
Jon Harris: ¡Hola! ¿como estás?, back to you. Jaime. We are doing absolutely fantastic. Thank you again for coming on. Let's get into this new record. Jaws of life out February 10 Fearless Records. My first question, Jaime, is what was the greatest moment for you producing this record?
Jaime Preciado: We had a lot of well, I wouldn't just yeah, it was definitely not just me. It was a lot a lot of cooks in the kitchen on this one. And yeah, having someone like Paul Meany on the record, producing just so many different things, I can't even begin to start. Like, this is the first time we've done a lot of these things. We had Brad from Third Eye Blind drum on the record. Paul Meany from Mutemath, produced the record. Who, -- we've never had a producer who was also an artist work on an album before with us. So that was a completely new thing. And, yeah, we recorded it in a house in New Orleans. So this record was just from beginning to end. It was just such a different process than we've ever done, and that's our go to. Like, we never want to make the same record twice. We never want to do the same process twice. We take all the good things and all the bad things that we've done in the past and try to learn from them and keep going. And this was the same. We definitely did a bunch of stuff that I really loved and a lot of stuff that we want to work on for the next album and moving on. So I think across the board, just this whole process was very special to all of us in it. I think we all just became closer because of it. Like, the three of us just in a house, living together, building the songs day by day. And also yeah, not to mention having, like I said, having Paul Meany as an artist, being able to butt heads with somebody like that because we're both so passionate about the project. So that was really fun, too, I think. We've never actually had that in the past.
Jon Harris: Butting heads, I'm imagining Gordon Ramsay and somebody else going at it, talking about, no, that's not how you cook a steak. That's a bass line, buddy. Where I come from. Brad from Third Eye Blind drumming on the record, which is super cool, recorded in a house in New Orleans, and it sounds like even living in that house, never wanting to make the same record twice, building the songs day-by-day, so many cool things. Were there any challenges on this record? And if so, what did you learn from those challenges?
Jaime Preciado: Yeah, not only just the time that we are in making the record, you know, we were post pandemic, still kind of at the tail end, learning how to navigate that. And then also, once we left the house, we still had to do a lot of work. You know, Vic and I recorded all the all the vocals here in San Diego, in our studio here in San Diego, sending them to Paul, he him sending us back, you know, a lot of Zoom sessions like that. We've never done any thing like that ever. So all of those things call them challenges. They were just different different ways of doing the same kind of idea. You know, back in the day, we would spend three months in a studio, but that just wasn't the case this time around. And, yeah, we had to definitely have a couple, you know, learn, like, do a couple of things on the spot and figure that stuff out. But I think the record is how it sounds and what it is because of all those things.
Jon Harris: Yeah, you mentioned a few things there. One I wanted to unpackaged was Zoom sessions and working remotely, basically.
Jaime Preciado: Exactly.
Jon Harris: Take us through that. How do you make an album over Zoom?
Jaime Preciado: Yeah, exactly. There was times when it was me, Vic and Paul were on a Zoom session and we were watching Paul's screen as he was showing us what he was doing in real time. And it was almost like we were in the room with them, but we were over 3000 miles away or however far. So that, to us, we've never done that. And it was crazy that technology has come this far to be able to do that kind of stuff. But, yeah, that was just so different, being trying to be creative through a screen. Talking to someone, you know, in another state across state lines you know, it was wild. So that we've never done that before. It's a lot of new challenges, for sure.
Jon Harris: Yeah, absolutely. Okay, so using Zoom, connecting, you know, across state lines, real time recording, voodoo stuff. Speaking of New Orleans, but is there any other gear? I mean, how did you guys set up the studio? Maybe take us through that in the in the New Orleans space?
Jaime Preciado: Yeah, normally we try to bring as much stuff as possible to the studio, but Paul had an assortment of a bunch of different gear. He had, like, tape machines. He had this like giant space echo machine that we were just running everything through because it sounded crazy and weird and yeah, man, my favourite takes when we're towards the end of tracking, say one song, Paul Meany, you would say, all right, time to do the fuck all tracks. Which meant grab any instrument, grab anything that makes noise. And we're just going to do maybe two or three passes of the song and we're going to make these crazy, weird sounds and do kinds of weird. Just one guy's on the guitar, one guy's with the drill hitting the guitar, just making these crazy, weird sounds. One guy's on a guitar pedal. And then after ten minutes of that, we would take 3 seconds of one thing that we heard that was cool and that turned into this little thing in the beginning of the song or in the middle of the song that was super fun because that's literally, like, on the spot creativity. And we've never done that in the past. And not only did it help us kind of get the juices flowing creativity wise, creativity, creativity wise. It also made it super fun and made it kind of like it kind of took us a step back to like, hey, man, not only are we making an album, but we're having fun doing it. And that's really important to us.
Jon Harris: Yeah, I imagine it would be important to you guys taking the process of making albums, but making it fun with these fuck all tracks, getting 3 seconds of something super on the spot, spontaneity spontaneously creative becomes a unique part of the recording. Get those juices flowing. Taking a step back to look at the bigger picture. Now, earlier, Jaime, you had mentioned that the album got you guys closer together. Was this the reason why?
Jaime Preciado: Yeah, as soon as we got done touring in 2017, 2018, we normally do the decompressing after tour, start having a conversation about the album, start getting together, start working on stuff, skeleton some ideas. And we were doing that for a good amount, almost a full year. And then obviously the pandemic happened. And that for us, was such a lot of bands go into that and were able to get creative during that time. You know, being at home, being in your home studios, working on tunes and stuff, and we were just like not that we were so opposite of that, unfortunately. And it was tough for us because we're so we're such a tight, you know, knit unit that being away from each other made it very difficult to be creative. And then, obviously, you know. Once we started getting together again, we realized how much we missed each other and how much we all got, like, during that time we all got married. Vic's about to have a kid on the way. Our families grew and our PTV family grew, and that made it feel we just really missed each other. And I think once we we got together and realized the band is starting to build steam again, people are starting to talk about out us going into the studio and all that stuff. It kind of made us realize how much resilient we are and how together we actually feel, how connected we were. We missed that stuff. So being in the house in New Orleans really felt like we were on tour again. We were getting ready to play some of the biggest shows we probably would play, and we had that in the back of our minds always.
Jon Harris: Yeah. Interrupted by the pandemic, but realizing you're a tight knit unit and being a part made it difficult to be creative. I mean, any other musicians listening in right now resonate with that at all, whatsoever? You guys got married Vic's about to have a kid. I read that some of the themes on the record are really quite personal. Did all of this go into the record?
Jaime Preciado: Yeah. That's more of a Vic question. But I know that there was a lot of themes on the record about being kind of overwhelmed, being kind of stuck and I mean, the whole record is kind of the jaws of life meaning to us was something about seeing the sun again, being able to breathe again, being able to go, okay, I can do this. Let's go, let's fucking go. So like that every song has its own deeper meaning and that's more of a Vic question because he does all our lyrics and stuff. But I know a lot of the songs had that type of aggressiveness towards that escaping kind of part, especially 'Pass the Nirvana', a perfect example of that song. That one had such aggression from the start and that one we knew was going to be the first track we were going to release. We knew that was the first track we got finished on the record and yeah, that kind of feeling of things that we used to take for granted. A lot of kids that year didn't get to graduate like normal, didn't get to go to a normal prom. Just so many different things happened that we just didn't realize and it felt like we needed a song to kind of rally around and be like, you know what? This is fucked. Now we've kind of move forward and get past that and listen to that song live and really escape from all that.
Jon Harris: Yeah, each song having its own deeper meaning, really connecting with how you feel in the moment and it was what it was aggressive towards the feeling of being stuck, towards things we took for granted. How would you define success at this stage of your career or maybe even with just regard to this release, Jaime?
Jaime Preciado: Success? Wow. I think for us, I mean, I have such a small I'm like a little puppy, man. I get excited about just about everything. You give me some good news, and I'm super pumped. For me, I'm just really thankful that all these fans stuck around. It's tough, especially now that in this day and age where attention is so important, social media is so important, and you could literally be forgotten in a day. No one cares in a day. So the fact that we've been gone for so long working on new music and are starting to have this resurgence of new music coming out, all these fans that stuck around, all the shows that we've played thus far have been so amazing. Probably the best shows we've ever done in our career. It feels really special. And to me, I want to just keep doing that. I want to keep growing. I want to keep showing new fans or music because as much as it like, blows my mind, I remember every night in the last couple of months we're playing shows, we would ask the crowd, how many times have you seen Pierce the Veil play? And being a band as long as we have, we expect pretty much every in the crowd at least seen us once, and it was almost more than half said it was their first time seeing us. So that to us is such a huge and it's just such an amazing feeling because it feels like we're a brand new band. It feels like we're starting over in this level of we're a little bit stronger, we're a little bit wiser, we're a little bit it's just all these things coming into play and it feels really cool, man. And I think if we can just kind of ride this wave and keep building and playing for new fans every night, I think that's a win for us.
Jon Harris: Being like a puppy with good news, being grateful that fans have stuck around because you mentioned you can be forgotten in a day. And being on stage playing for new fans, I mean, what an honour. Absolutely incredible response to the success question. Now I was glad to go ahead and head back to a conversation about Paul Meany.
Jaime Preciado: The Meany Meister.
Jon Harris: The Meany Meister. You mentioned him many, many times, and I didn't want to ignore that whatsoever. So I'll give you just a broad stroke question and just let you go. Paul Meany, what was that like?
Jaime Preciado: Paul Meany, I mean, first and foremost, he's a great artist, and I think artistic people like Paul have very strong opinions about certain things. And that was something that I think me personally wasn't. I was ready for it, but it was like when someone cares just as much as your project as you do, there's something there, there's something cool going on. And sometimes he told us some truths that we had to kind of listen to and things that we fought over, whether it was like the song was going to be this way or this part was going to be that way. And I think for us a little bit in certain situations like that, we kind of had to stick to our guns in the sense of like, this is our first album either. And we had to kind of convince ourselves. Like, hey, this is our fifth album. We also have a lot of knowledge that we're maybe forgetting or not using right at the moment. And this is not necessarily with Paul. This could be with any record, with any producer. Just even on your own, you have to kind of trust your gut and trust the fact that all the moves you made thus far have gotten you where you're at now. So sometimes when you're making a new album, that doubt starts to creep in. Is this song cool? Does this work? Is this the vibe we're looking for? And you have to just kind of trust yourself. He brought that out of us a lot. There were so many times when he just was like, dude, you guys are Pierce the fucking Veil. And that, to me, was like it was super funny at the time. But, man, do we sometimes need to hear that because you forget you're in the zone. You're too. Zoomed in on the project. You have blinders on. And then he kind of goes, hey, take a step back. Look at what we've done. And you're like, oh, shit, this is actually kind of crazy. So that sometimes you need somebody to kind of take you a step back and look at the bigger picture of things. And he was really good at doing that because he's been in that situation. He knows the ins and outs of labels and management and even from radio stuff. We've never danced with that kind of stuff before. So he was talking about even things like that. He's like, Be prepared for this, be prepared for that. So he definitely was a master in his wisdom, for sure.
Jon Harris: Very cool, knows labels, management, radio, be prepared for certain things, I guess without sharing too much. What's something that he shared with you that was, like, earth shattering, where you were like, okay!
Jaime Preciado: Oh, very cool, man, so many things. I don't know if it was earth shattering. They were just little bits. He was never like, one day he would say something super profound. It was just all day, little tiny things. He was very much into, like, the soul of things. He's like, I don't care. He kind of made me realize sometimes you don't need the perfect take or the perfect you need to find the take that's perfect for the song. You need to find the performance that works for the song. And that was something that we've never we've always been very surgical when it comes to recording and tracking, and this has to be, like, perfect. And he was kind of like, perfect is not always better. And that, to us, kind of blew our minds a little bit, and we've known that. But it was just nice to have somebody say that and be like, hey, sometimes I want to hear a little bit of humanness in your playing. And that really kind of changed a lot of our perception on certain things, and I thought that was a really cool thing. And I'll still use 1s that tip all the time. I love getting a good performance, for sure.
Jon Harris: It's funny you mentioned that perfect is not always better. And I open up the question saying, what shattered the Earth? What spinned the Earth on its axis that you learned from Paul? And, baby, all you just said was, perfect is not always better. And I couldn't agree with you more.
Jaime Preciado: That's kind of what it felt like. That was is kind of an eye opening, like, oh, wow, you're right. Like, that like some of my favourite songs weren't to the grid, weren't on click, weren't chopped up and made after the fact. It was just a dude in his guitar and he played it in a cool way. And I still hear songs. I was watching some sort of mixing things. I like to watch those nerdy things about audio stuff. And it was the producer who recorded Chris Stapleton's Tennessee Whiskey and he's like, the band just came in and just played it and I just recorded it with it wasn't like multitracked. It wasn't like they just sat in a room. I pressed record because I didn't know what was going on. And there were things on the song that made the and I'm just like listening to that. And I'm like, that wasn't professionally tracked. Like one instrument at a time. There's no way. And he showed he was playing each individual track and there was bleed, there was nasty. He's like, that shit didn't matter. What mattered is we got the performance. And I was just like, he's right. There it is. Great recording.
Jon Harris: Yeah. Bob Rock said that if it doesn't sound good in the room with one microphone, it ain't going to sound good with --
Jaime Preciado: Yeah. Amen your brother.
Jon Harris: Yeah. What's the number one thing that you would like people listening right now to do?
Jaime Preciado: Well, I'm always going to say, if you haven't heard of us, please check us out. And if you have heard of us, hopefully we will be coming to a town near you and playing some new songs. And also our album Jaws of Life comes out February 10 worldwide. So if you're like me, go pick it up.
Jon Harris: Go pick it up, baby. That's right. So go ahead and head over to TheRockMetalPodcast.ca. All the show notes for today, especially all the bonus tips, and things are going to be available. The link to Jaws of Life, which is out February 10, will be there, as well as music videos that have been released to promote the record. So definitely a very cool place to head. If you are keen.
Jaime Preciado: If you're keen, come on, you're keen. I also said go pick up our album. Streaming isn't a thing, but, yeah, you could stream it everywhere as well too, because that's the new age. I'm still old fashioned. I'm like, go pick up the album in stores. But I don't. We'll see.
Jon Harris: Absolutely. Thank you so much for coming on today.
Jaime Preciado: Of course. Thanks for having me.
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