Pierce the Veil was founded by singer/guitarist/songwriter Vic Fuentes and his drummer brother Mike, both former Mission Bay High School students who previously played with Early Times and Before Today.
Early Times had a cult song, “5.9,” written in reference to Natural Ice beer: “I hit up the bar every day/ Before I go to Mission Bay/ Every weekend and every night/ I’m drinkin’ 5.9.”
“My brother Mike and I had that band out of high school,” says Vic Fuentes. “That’s the band we signed to Equal Vision Records.” Early Times specialized in double- and triple-time melodic punk and mosh-pit power blasts fueled by boy testosterone. They grew a little cult following, mostly of surfers and skaters. They played backyard keggers and such and over time they improvised “5.9,” a song that made reference to the alcohol content of Natural Ice beer. “Natty Ice,” he says, “was my high school beer.”
After signing with Equal Vision, the band changed their name from Early Times to Before Today and released A Celebration of an Ending in 2004. They broke up, and the Fuentes brothers started Pierce the Veil.
“It wasn’t like we had a hit on the radio and blew up overnight. It took years. What happened was [Pierce the Veil] started building a fan base in San Diego and [Equal Vision] flew out to see a hometown show. We got signed that night. From that point, life turned upside-down.”
Pierce the Veil's debut album Flair for the Dramatic -- recorded in Seattle and in the studio that their parents had built for them in their home near Mission Bay -- came out in summer 2007, during which the band took part in that year's Warped tour. The addition of Tony Perry and Jaime Preciado made Pierce the Veil complete.
In September 2007, the group finished their third U.S. tour opening for Chiodos, the Michigan band who at the time had the #1 record on Billboard's Top Rock Album and Top Alternative Album charts. They next embarked on a two-week tour of Europe set up for them by the Agency Group Ltd., the L.A. booking company that handles the White Stripes, Nickelback, and 500 other nationally recognized artists.
The group embarked on a national tour and another Warped Tour in 2008, wrapping up in San Diego at the end of November. Shortly after that, it was announced they'd be on the 2009 Taste of Chaos tour, where they frequently rocked but bewildered many with their cover of Michael Jackson's "Beat It."
The band claimed that Fall Out Boy copied them for their own cover of "Beat It."
Isles & Glaciers was a shortlived 2008 supergroup featuring Vic Fuentes of Pierce the Veil, along with members of Chiodos, Emarosa, Cinematic Sunrise, The Receiving End of Sirens, and Underminded.
In June 2010, their album Selfish Machines debuted at number one on Billboard’s Heatseekers Chart. They toured that summer again with the Warped Tour, as the proggy metal band’s album racked up over 700,000 downloads. “It’s basically a mix of heavy music with a little Spanish feel.”
PTV has sold out main-room shows at Soma San Diego (Switchfoot and As I Lay Dying are the only locals that have bigger SOMA draws). PTV's success would seem to be an example of how wide the chasm is between what appeals to the local teen crowd and the music tastes of SD's over-21 crowd.
"I think a lot of bands in our genre are content knowing they aren't necessarily radio bands," says Vic. “Kids find out about you on the Internet or MySpace. Bands don't even have their own website, they use MySpace...we don't get approached a lot by over-21 clubs.”
In late 2010, the band booked an Australian tour, supporting Attack Attack, running from November 11 to December 20, and then a tour of Japan with Confide, Bury Tomorrow, Crossfaith, and Lost. Following that, Silverstein tapped Pierce The Veil to support them on their headline tour.
Summer 2011 found the band signed to Fearless Records, a California-based alt-rock label. “Just like we do with our fans,” says Vic, “we never take anyone's support for granted, so thanks to everyone at the label. We are excited and grateful to be part of the family.”
The band began work on a new full-length while touring through the end of 2011. “We got a bus and set up a studio in the back lounge,” says Fuentes, “and that’s where we cut demos while we’re looking around for a producer.”
Around the same time, Fuentes contributed the Bruno Mars tune “Just the Way You Are” to the Punk Goes Pop 4 collection. A 5-week tour with Miss May I, Letlive, Woe Is Me, and the Amity Affliction wrapped up December 16, 2011, in Portland, Oregon.
In early 2012, a new performance video for their Bruno Mars cover “Just The Way You Are” (from volume four of the Punk Goes Pop compilation series) was made available online.
Their third full-length Collide with the Sky was released in July 2012, their first release on Fearless Records, as their previous two albums were released on Equal Vision Records. The album entered the U.S. Billboard 200 at number 12, selling over 27,000 copies in its first debut week. Guest singers include Kellin Quinn of Sleeping With Sirens on “King for a Day,” as well as Jason Butler of Letlive and Lindsey Stamey of Oh No Fiasco.
The record marks a step in the maturation of Fuentes as a lyric writer. “I’ve been dealing a lot with people that are close to me over the last year.” An example? “I have an ex girlfriend who is going through treatments for breast cancer. I wrote ‘Match Into Water’ for her.”
Fuentes says the bulk of the record was created on the road and was recorded over three long weeks in New Jersey with producers Dan Korneff and Kato Khandwala. “But we did demo some of the new material in Mission Bay.” The Fuentes brothers’ parents built a recording studio in the family home years ago.
“I spent a month or two at home, writing lyrics there as well. When I’m writing, I separate from everyone. Even my band. I push myself, and I’m alone with my thoughts. Separating from friends and comforts and family lets you think a lot deeper about subject matter. Working alone drives me a little crazy,” he says, "but it makes the writing as honest as possible.”
They spent August 2012 playing the Vans Warped Tour, and September on their first headlining UK tour. Their next video, for “King For a Day” (from their full-length Collide with the Sky), featured Kellin Quinn of Sleeping With Sirens.
In early 2013, they played the Slam Dunk Festival in the UK (May 25 - 27), alongside All Time Low, Deaf Havana, Four Year Strong, Wonder Years, Memphis May Fire, Sleeping With Sirens, and Polar Bear Club.
In summer 2013, the British music magazine Kerrang! awarded the band Best Video for “King For a Day” at the annual Kerrang! Awards ceremony. They then toured North America with A Day To Remember and All Time Low, kicking off September 11 in Broomfield, CO at 1st Bank Center and concluding October 24 in Orlando, FL at the UCF Arena.
All Time Low released a music video for their track “A Love Like War” in Autumn 2013, featuring Vic Fuentes guest starring with the band. A new Pierce the Veil documentary, This is a Wasteland, was released, featuring concert footage shot on tour in 2013 and scenes filmed in their San Diego practice studio.
Summer 2014 found the band at Dan Korneff's Sonic Deris Recording Studio in New York writing and recording a new full-length (their first since 2012’s Collide With the Sky). It would be nearly two more years before a new album would be released.
Summer 2015 found them on the Vans Warped Tour when a new single dropped, "The Divine Zero," said to be taken from their upcoming fourth album. However, guitarist Tony Perry missed some Warped Tour dates after being injured in a mountain biking accident that resulted in three broken ribs, a torn shoulder, collapsed lung, and a broken sternum, for which he needed immediate surgery to repair.
The band's fourth studio album Misadventures (Fearless Records) was released on May 13, 2016, preceded by the single "Texas is Forever" and entering the Billboard Top 200 Chart at number four. The band performed the entire album on a subsequent tour with I the Mighty and Movements.
A music video was shot for their track "Floral & Fading." "We weren't really sure what kind of song we were making when we recorded 'Floral & Fading,'" says Fuentes. "It was sort of a studio experiment that ended up being one of my favorites on the album. It's a love song to my girl about ignoring all the internet hate we got when we first started dating and focusing on each other instead."
In February 2017, the band embarked on a headline tour of North America with support from Falling In Reverse and Crown the Empire. They next teamed up with Sum 41 for the We Will Detonate Tour with Emarosa and Chapel, kicking off at the Ogden Theater in Denver on April 21 and running through May 25 in Dallas at the South Side Ballroom.
The video from their fourth studio album for Misadventures, "Today I Saw the Whole World," was released in Autumn 2017.
In December 2017, drummer Mike Fuentes announced that he will "take a break and step away from my position in the band" after two different women claimed Fuentes engaged in inappropriate behavior while they were underage.
The band's statement read in part ""From the day we started this band, the four of us agreed that we not only wanted to write and play songs together for the rest of our lives, but we also wanted to build a strong community through our music and provide a safe place for ourselves and our fans to express our shared values through creativity, open-mindedness, love and respect...recently, an allegation was made about Mike from an anonymous source pertaining to events dating back nearly ten years ago. We are taking this allegation seriously and would like to share the steps we are taking in response."
During the pandemic shutdown of early 2020, Vic Fuentes was appointed CEO and co-chairman of Living The Dream Foundation, a non-profit helping children and young adults affected by life-threatening illnesses. The Foundation has previously worked with Papa Roach, Corey Taylor, and local star Travis Barker to provide dream experiences for ill fans. Meanwhile, the band released a quarantine version of their 2012 song "Hold On Till May," with the band explaining "We wanted to let you guys know that we are with you through this difficult time. Thank you to our hospital workers, our essential workers, and to everyone fighting to put an end to this pandemic. Our hearts go out to those who have lost loved ones or have been affected by the virus. We WILL beat this together."