I think that our natural evolution, in terms of our image, fit in line perfectly with what this concept was. Our imagery has always been in leather, and the studs. I think we wanted to go towards a more simplistic, more Road Warrior, Mad Max version. And we were already kind of experimenting with that. Fans have seen transitionary images of us wearing, like fuckin’ shoulder pads made out of caps and bottles and mud on us. We went through some transtitionary phases to find what it is that we wanted to do visually. Also, as you get older, nobody wants to wear grease paint all over their body. My guitarist doesn’t want to wear a giant paper mache, fake fucking cock with studs on it. And by the way, there are enough bands coming up now that looks exactly like Black Veil Brides circa 2009. They can have our old image! And they’ll get to learn how god-damn uncomfortable it is to wear body paint from head to toe.
I just think that we matured and wanted to do something new that fit with this. I don’t think that The Wild Ones would have crazy makeup. They’re walking through the desert. They would look more Road Warrior-esque than vaudevillian clowns.
Speaking of visual appearance, I’m sure you’re aware of Phil Labonte’s comments made last year about your appearance. I mention this because Labonte recently defended his slur again an interview, saying that though he fully supports gay rights, he feels it’s just a word.
What’s funny about that whole situation is that I never responded because I didn’t give a shit. Other people made a big deal about it. To me, I think he’s just ignorant about who I am. And that’s fine. It’s not his fault that he’s ignorant. He doesn’t know me. I don’t think he’s a dumb person. I think he’s probably a very smart person. But not knowing someone, and then making a judgment of them, everybody does it. I don’t particularly like his band, musically. That’s not the kind of thing I listen to. But I’m not gonna go out and attack the guy. I don’t care. He can say whatever he wants about me.
Do you believe, though, that using a word like “faggot” is appropriate in any kind of context? Is it just a word, or do you think there is more meaning to it?
Well, that word in particular has an interesting history. The idea of burning gay people with the kindling, “Fag,” comes from pieces of sticks or kind of the left over wood, and when they were burning witches or whatever at the steak, they would just throw the gay people on a pile of sticks and burn them. So the word, “fag,” is literally a derivation of “killing gay people.” So if you’re aware of that, and you’re an intelligent person, in your head you go “Ok, maybe I shouldn’t say that.” But that doesn’t mean that everyone is not going to say it.
I’m not offended at all that the guy said it because people have slip-ups. I’m sure a million times in my life I have said something that was hugely inappropriate, but I wasn’t intending to hurt anybody. So he can call me whatever he wants. And honestly, I’m not looking to be friends with the guy, but I’m not going to dog the guy for saying a word, because I’ve done that a million times too. I don’t go around calling people fags, but that doesn’t mean that I haven’t said some other thing that was out of turn. To me, I appreciate that people defended me. But I don’t think it’s necessary to jump down the guy’s throat. He just did something flippant. He doesn’t like my band. He doesn’t like how I look. That’s his choice.
So you’re going to be kicking off a North American tour in January. What are the plans for the rest of 2013?
A lot of touring! I want to tour this record all over the world. We’ve been on the road for a long time now. We’ve been pretty much everywhere. Ultimately, I’d like to play the record in its entirety by next year. I’d like to do shows like that, I think it’d be a lot of fun.
Almost like a live rock opera?
Yeah, absolutely. I’d love to do that. I think that would be great. But for now, we’re doing about an hour and a half set. We’re doing a bunch of sons from the new record, we’re doing a lot of old songs we haven’t done in a long time. I’m just excited to get back out on the road. It’s been six or seven months since we’ve been on tour, so I’m itchin’ to do it.