On Wednesday night (December 12), Universal Republic invited 20 die-hard fans in New York City to attend a listening party of Black Veil Brides’ new album Wretched And Divine: The Story Of The Wild Ones. In addition to hearing the group’s new concept album in an intimate setting, these fans were treated to a viewing of the first five minutes of the accompanying film Legion of the Black. I missed out on the listening party itself. However, I made it just in time to see singer Andy Biersack waiting in the lobby to make a surprise appearance at his own band’s listening party. “I was shocked! I wanted to cry, I did not expect that,” said young fan Shakira regarding her surprise meeting with Biersack. The feeling was mutual among those in attendance, as the room of teenage fans (as well as few older guests) burst into shrieks of joy as Biersack walked in. “I couldn’t breathe! I was just shaking the whole time,” recalls Ashely, who attends school in the city with fellow attendee and BVB fan Jacqueline.
“The fan base is such an integral part of the band to where we like to involve them whenever we can,” the group’s manager (and bassist for Ozzy Osbourne) Blasko told Metal Insider. “So when the opportunity came up to come to New York for some meetings, I was like ‘Well, let’s turn it into something! Let’s get some fans involved!’” The idea lead Blasko to personally invite a handful of fans who purchased V.I.P. tickets to Legion of the Black screening via email to hear Black Veil Brides’ new album roughly a month before its release. This was followed by a resounding yes by each invitee. “Put yourself in the perspective of whenever you were that age. If your favorite band hit you up and asked if you wanted to come and listen to the record, you’d be like ‘Fuck yeah!’ even if they didn’t show up,” explains Blasko. “So the fact that Andy showed up and was able to hang with them … these kids will remember this day for a long time.”
Indeed it was a special night for the fans in attendance, along with their accompanying guests. “Just to see the smile on her face was more than enough for me,” declared Shakira’s mother Nellie, who has made every effort over the years to help her daughter connect to her favorite music. For Jacqueline, the surprise meeting was just the pick-me-up she needed following the recent passing of a close family member and in the midst of finals. “I couldn’t fly out and go [to the funeral],” explains Jacqueline. “Black Veil Brides are one of my favorite bands…When I hear them, it reminds me to just keep moving forward and keep on going.”
Following the surprise meet-and-greet and listening party for the new album, which conceptually follows a group of rebels known as “The Wild Ones” defending themselves against “F.E.A.R.,” Metal Insider had the chance to speak one-on-one with Biersack himself. During our chat, the singer discussed the inspiration he receives from the fans’ passion for Black Veil Brides, the origins of the concept for Wretched And Divine: The Story Of The Wild Ones (out on January 8), the process of filming Legion of the Black (being screened in L.A. from December 21-23, and New York on January 24), and his thoughts on All That Remains singer Phil Labonte’s now infamous comments regarding Black Veil Brides’ appearance.