L-R: Mike Fuentes, Vic Fuentes, Tony Perry, Jaime Preciado

Guitar, art all in the family for Pierce the Veil

The apple didn’t fall far from the aesthetic tree in Vic Fuentes’ San Diego-based, Mexican-American family. In many ways, the singer-guitarist for post-screamo punk powerhouse Pierce the Veil owes his band’s existence to the influence of his father, a jazz guitarist and painter.

There were six-strings all over the house, growing up, he recalls, which piqued his curiosity. Dad was happy to oblige, teaching his son complicated jazz chords. “They were really hard, and not easy for a 15-year-old to play,” he says. “So I actually quit a couple of times. I just couldn’t do it.”

Eventually, Victor Fuentes III caught on, sped up his fretwork, and began incorporating what he learned into his songwriting. With his brother Mike, a drummer, he formed Pierce the Veil, which plays The City this week, backing “Misadventures,” its frenetic fourth album.

“Still, in almost every album, there’s one of my dad’s chords that he taught me, some weird, spider-fingered thing,” he says. “When I was younger, I wanted to make songs only out of those pretty jazz chords that he taught me, mixing them with fast beats. I was determined to never play a simple power chord.”

At the same time, he continues to love the inherent power of Spanish and flamenco guitar: “How you can make a person happy or sad, just by playing certain chords or scales,” he says.

Accordingly, the deluxe edition of “Misadventures” boasts filigreed acoustic versions of two album tracks, “Floral & Fading” and “Today I Saw the Whole Wide World.”

Thanks to his father’s love of art, Junior drifted toward the visual, too, and started studying graphic design in college.

Simultaneously, he and his sibling disbanded their old combo Before Today, then recorded a debut themselves as Pierce the Veil. “A Flair For the Dramatic” picked up enough tour-request steam to warrant the hiring of guitarist Tony Perry and bassist Jaime Preciado — and Fuentes leaving university for good.

Design is still a big part of his life. He sketched out the tool-strewn cover for “Misadventures,” then handed it off to a professional artist.

He does the same for the group’s stage sets and tour merchandise: “I’ll draw something or even make dioramas to give the production companies ideas of how we’re going to build this, and what it’s going to look like,” he says.

Today, Fuentes can afford to thank his frugal folks. He’s paid their monthly mortgage payments, and bought them the latest Apple computer.

“But I literally had to install it while they were gone without telling them, otherwise they wouldn’t have let me do it,” the grateful son says. “They don’t see the need for fancy new things.”

IF YOU GO
Pierce the Veil

Where: Warfield, 982 Market St., S.F.
When: 7:30 p.m. Sept. 3
Tickets: $27.50
Contact: (415) 345-0900, www.axs.com

Just Posted

Recall effort against Fewer panned as ‘PR stunt’

Signature drive inspired by anti-SFPOA chant faces ‘procedural hurdles,’ little support

City stalls request for more parking for 911 dispatchers, citing ‘Transit First’ policy

SFMTA board says city staff should be ‘leading by example,’ discouraged from driving

SF to ward off emerging technology dangers by launching new regulatory office

Board president Norman Yee says innovation must ‘provide a net common good’

Mission school gets control of building after legal battle

Community groups unite to purchase historic property with help of city funds

Name released of man arrested for fatal stabbing on BART train

BART has identified a man arrested in connection with a fatal stabbing… Continue reading

Most Read