The proverbial expression “absence makes the heart grow fonder” is often used to describe the growing affection between loved ones who are apart. This adage can also appeal to fans waiting for their favorite musician to return with new material, leaving space in their heart for them as time goes by. For fans of the post-hardcore legends Pierce the Veil, it’s a sentiment that was worth holding onto for so long. The time has come to revive our emo adolescence and reunite with Vic Fuentes, Tony Perry, and Jaime Preciado. “It just feels amazing to be back doing everything that we feel like we’re born to do,” Fuentes tells Remezcla via Zoom.
After a reflective seven-year gap, the Mexican-American rock stars dropped their long-anticipated fifth studio album, The Jaws of Life. The LP aims to give a new perspective on who Pierce the Veil is today and how far they’ve come since their last album, Misadventures. Remezcla chatted with Pierce the Veil’s frontman about the new album, the importance of representing their Mexican culture, and their deep connection with fans.
“It almost feels like a new band to us because we’re all in different places in our lives now, and we really appreciate it now more than ever,” Fuentes says. During their time away from music, the members have settled down, marrying their significant others, and Fuentes is expecting his first child. But even as the years went by, one constant remained for Pierce the Veil: returning to music. “It feels like a huge relief, [because] we were really craving this in our lives again—to be back on tour, to be back together as a band, to be putting out music, to be reunited with our fans,” he says with a warm grin on his face.
From 2007’s A Flair for the Dramatic to 2016’s Misadventures, the band’s discography aspired to convey their angsty and apprehensive lyrics through screamo, pop-punk, and alt-rock. It’s always been important for Pierce the Veil to keep their lyric messages sincere as they previously articulated poetic sentiments, natural tendencies of human nature, and symbols of hope. Fast forward to today, the band touches on enduring their toughest battle. The Jaws of Life is a musing journey through their darkest days, approaching the light at the end of the tunnel, drawing inspiration from classic rock, grunge, and alternative soundscapes. Ahead of the album’s release, they put out the tracks “Pass the Nirvana,” “Emergency Contact,” and “Even When I’m Not With You.”
With 12 new evocative songs on their album, the title track, “The Jaws of Life,” struck a chord with the band as it impacted their lives. “It’s about finding your way through a dark time in your life and feeling like life can [sometimes] have its teeth sunk into you and have a grip on you—[and] you need to try to fight your way out of that,” Fuentes explains. “It’s not an easy process, clawing your way out and finding your way to happiness again in the sunlight.”
Pierce the Veil’s eloquent and pivotal lyricism is something everyone can resonate with, even the band members themselves. “As a unit, we felt very disconnected for a very long time. And though this album brought us back together, it [also] got us to a higher level of connection and stronger bond than we’ve ever had as a band and as friends,” Fuentes says. “This album did a lot for us, and ‘The Jaws of Life’ kind of represents that.”
As Southern California locals with family in Mexico, the band is proud to be Mexican-American musicians, and it’s not unfamiliar territory for them to incorporate their roots into their work. At the When We Were Young Festival, True Power Tour, and three New Year’s shows in 2022, they played Vicente Fernandez’s “El Rey” as their introduction song on-stage, and Preciado was often seen sporting a Mexican National Soccer jersey during performances. They also had folklorico dancers perform during the guitar solo of “Bulls in the Bronx.” The band has a natural quintessence of appreciating their culture. “It’s important to us, but it’s also [just] part of us, and we do it very naturally. We’re proud of it,” Fuentes says. “We did it naturally, but it’s exciting to see young kids always being like, ‘I’m proud to be Mexican because of Pierce the Veil.’ And it really makes us super happy to hear, so we want to keep that going.”
“[I]t’s exciting to see young kids always being like, ‘I’m proud to be Mexican because of Pierce the Veil.’ And it really makes us super happy to hear, so we want to keep that going.”
This all ties back to the early 2010s, when Fuentes coined a term to describe Pierce the Veil’s musical style—Mexicore. When asked about the term, Fuentes laughs and replies that the band will never forget it. “We made that up because we were tired of being asked what type of music we were, so we came up with something unique, so that’s what we call ourselves,” he explains. With endless flashbacks of memories flooding through his mind, Fuentes says Pierce the Veil is still “Mexicore” a decade later. “Mexicore will live on forever!” he says with a laugh.
Nearing 16 years together, The Jaws of Life opens up a path forward for Pierce the Veil, and it takes their loyal fans along for the ride. Together, both the band and their fans find healing and support on the days they need it the most. “The fans keep us motivated, even during dark times or times where we don’t have anything new out,” he explains.
“We even printed out big posters of the crowds—because we have some amazing photos of our crowds—and put them up all over the studio to remind us of our fans and where we are going to be playing these songs eventually. That kind of kept us in a good headspace of reminding ourselves that this is your goal, this is where you are going to be, and you’re going to be reunited with these people again.”
Listen to The Jaws of Life below.