An Orwellian concept album was not what Black Veil Brides initially had in mind for its third album, according to frontman Andy Biersack.
Biersack tells Billboard that the Los Angeles rockers were "six songs into" their third album by the spring of 2012, but were troubled. "Honestly, it just wasn't feeling right," Biersack recalls. "Nothing we were writing or doing felt like it was all that different. It felt like a very logical follow-up to our previous album (2011's 'Set the World on Fire'), which is what I WASN'T interested in doing."
Coming back from playing some festivals in Europe, however, Biersack began writing a short story about a group of rebels battling a futuristic religious/political autocracy, and after a meeting with producer John Feldmann the idea for "Wretched and Divine: The Story of the Wild Ones" -- which comes out Jan. 8 -- was hatched.
"I've always been a big fan of utopian, future, new world stories -- 'V For Vendetta,' comic books, graphic novels," Biersack says. "It's not really an anti-religion story; more than anything it's based on the concept of the five of us in the band as these Che Guevara, rebellious leaders unified against this big church/government bad guy. It became something that was really fun to write, and when we went to start working with John Feldmann…he started asking me, 'What's going on in your life? What's been inspiring you?' I told him I wrote this story and it expanded from there."
Besides yielding the 19-track "Wretched & Divine," Biersack's story is also captured in "Legion of the Black," a film built around eight songs from the album and using actors, with BVB appearing in performance segments. The movie was screened Dec. 21-23 in Los Angeles, while the group is hosting a 24-hour pay-per-view (for $4.99) event on Jan. 6. Biersack predicts a home video release by summer, with other screenings and some film festival showings before that.
"This is new ground for the band," Biersack explains. "It'll take a little bit of time for people to understand what this is, so the intent is to take it as many places as we can."
BVB's The Church of the Wild Ones World Tour kicks off today [Jan. 4] in Las Vegas and will run all year and possibly into 2014, according to Biersack. The group plans to gradually roll material from the album into the set -- including the first single, "In The End" -- but Biersack is hoping that BVB will mount a full-scale "Wretched & Divine" show at some point during the cycle.
"By summertime we should be able to play as much of the record live as possible," he predicts. "The intention is to make it into a show and really represent it in the stage show."
A sequel is also likely since the story's conclusion is left a bit open-ended, but Biersack is saving that consideration for later.
"We're so emotionally invested in this record right now, it's too early for me to think of taking my head out of 'Legions of the Black' and 'The Wild Ones,' " he says. "This is where we're living right now. Right now we want to put this record out and tour with it and then maybe get inspired and start working on a sequel."