A Veil, aka San Diego native Chad Ackerman, is a rock singer-songwriter, musician, writer, producer, comic book illustrator, vegan, and artist. After turns as the vocalist for the band Destroy the Runner, guitarist for As I Lay Dying, and guitarist for Die Trying, he became the singer for Chapter 14.
Ackerman began his music career at age 16 with the band Skratchline, then signed to Rescue Records. In 2002, while still attending San Marcos High School, he joined As I Lay Dying playing rhythm guitar until his departure in 2003.
In 2005, he started the band Chapter 14 with Joel Piper of Confide, Noah Slifka of In Fear and Faith, and Michael Catalano of Destroy the Runner and Chiodos. The band went on two U.S. tours in 2005 and 2006 with unsigned self releases, and broke up in the fall of 2007.
In the fall of 2007, Ackerman joined Destroy the Runner as the new vocalist, replacing Kyle Setter. The band did two U.S. tours with Ackerman promoting their debut record Saints before recording their second studio album I, Lucifer in Baltimore, MD. with producer Brian McTernan.
In 2008, Ackerman teamed up with vocalist Tim Lambesis of As I Lay Dying to record Total Brutal, the debut album for Lambesis' comic side project Austrian Death Machine.
While working on the third Destroy the Runner album set to be released in 2010, the band splintered. As a result, Ackerman started up Chapter 14 again with Tanner Sparks (Destroy the Runner bassist).
He also plays with Count Your Curses, a three-piece trip-hop/electro rock group formed in January 2011. The project is a long-distance collaboration between Ackerman, DJ Kmotiv (programming, synth, keyboards), and Sean Sallings (guitars, bass, percussion).
In 2012, Ackerman formed his solo project A Veil. “Chapter 14 and Count Your Curses are still alive, but they’re on hold for awhile, being that all my time, passion, and effort is going into the solo project. Guitarist Tanner Sparks and bassist Edwin Peraza [both from Chapter 14] recorded the A Veil album alongside me.”
What differentiates A Veil from Chapter 14? “Being in the heavy-metal rock scene for so many years was a lot of fun, but I really feel that this album shows who I am as a songwriter and musician. I play acoustic guitar on all of the songs and sing the backup vocals and harmonies.”
Also different, “The lyrical content is heavily vegan-themed...I’ve been vegan now for two years, and I feel better than I’ve ever felt. I’ve been able to help others with nutritional questions and fitness since becoming vegan, and I highly promote its health and environmental benefits.”
To that end, the first A Veil song filmed for a music video was “Tombs,” inspired by a Leonardo Da Vinci quote: “My body will not be a tomb for other creatures.”
“It’s a zombie video,” says Ackerman. “I hired Frank Ippolito from the SyFy TV show Face Off to do all of the creature effects and special makeup effects.”
Ackerman self-released A Veil’s debut full-length, The In Between, on November 30, 2012. “I really wanted to show other musicians that you don’t need a label to be an artist anymore. Everything with A Veil has been self-funded, self-written, self-produced, and self-managed. A lot of artists focus on getting signed or getting spotted by an A&R scout for some label.”
“I worked four part-time jobs to save up for A Veil. It was hard and depressing at some points, but it paid off, and it helped me write some great material. I think when artists write from the heart, at their weakest points, songs emerge that other people can relate to.”
In early 2016, Ackerman was in Nashville recording vocals for several singles released over the course of the year: "Jukebox," "Chapter 14 (Marionettes)," "Different Better," and "The Great Magician." The 2016 lineup featured Ackerman with Edwin Peraza on bass, Tanner Sparks on guitar, and Rob Herbert on drums, assisted by engineer/producer Colin Heldt.
A new single debuted in April 2017, "Calyptra," which harkens back to the band’s early goth-ish track “Tombs,” for which an elaborate cinematic video was shot. Says Ackerman, “If you know me, then you know that I love horror. ‘Tombs’ was the very first thing that I directed, and zombies have always been one of my favorite genres in horror...you can call it goth or dark, but I’m a musician that loves horror.”