Black Veil Brides' first album, "We Stitch These Wounds," doesn't arrive until July 20 on Standby/Victory Records. But long before the debut of the metalcore/glam/goth outfit's record, the act has racked up millions of YouTube views, moved plenty of Hot Topic merch and scored sponsorships with such companies as Mehron Makeup.
Singer Andy Six-a strikingly mature 19-year-old whose career vision rivals that of peers twice his age-contends that his band is on the verge of a mainstream breakthrough just five years after he created it. One primary reason? The time that he and bandmates Sandra, Jinxx, Jake Pitts and Ashley Purdy invest in their live show, social networking and signing autographs.
"I wanted to make the next Mötley Crüe or Kiss. I had a very specific vision of what I wanted to do with an image," he recalls. Six, who grew up in Ohio, points out that those acts steered their careers to become legendary rock gods. "I didn't want to just be them-I wanted to be even better." His own followers are also attracted to the Brides' costumes and even dress like them. "We're doing something more than a lot of people can offer, which is a larger-than-life image, theatrical presentation."
Things began to click for the band in 2009 when, following several changes, its lineup solidified. "Wounds" was written about three months later. The Brides landed management after its booking agent Ash Avildsen with the Pantheon Agency played the video for the song "Knives and Pens" for Blasko, whose Mercenary Management company shares office space with Appleton. The video sold Blasko on working with the act.
"They're awesome," he says of the Brides' aesthetic and sound, which combines catchy melodies with metal guitar riffs and drumbeats. "There seems to be a lack of bands that are putting forth this kind of effort [in their appearance] . . . Maybe it's time for the rock star to sort of resurrect itself and make more of a presence."
The "Knives and Pens" video has scored nearly 12 million YouTube views since last summer. The clip helped march about 20,000 Brides T-shirts out of Hot Topic outlets, according to Standby Records owner Neil Sheehan, who says he signed the band due to its looks, sound and charisma. He notes, "Andy is obviously a rock star already."
First single "Perfect Weapon" arrived June 6 and has sold 6,000 digital tracks, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The band is supporting the record by headlining the Hot Topic-presented Sacred Ceremony tour, a club/theater trek that will travel across the country from July 2 to Aug. 15.
Six says he can't reveal what's next for the Brides after the tour. But like a seasoned pro, he promises, "Things are going to become exciting in the next couple of months."