Vocalist VIC FUENTES tells the stories behind each song on PIERCE THE VEIL’s Selfish Machines.
Besitos This song very openly features the Spanish side of Pierce The Veil’s music. We always try to incorporate at least a hint of Latin influence in every song, but with this one, we just went all the way with it. Lyrically, it’s about my dysfunctional relationship with a girl I couldn’t stop hurting over and over again. It’s meant to be her speaking to me, asking me why I’m not satisfied with what we had. I wanted to write it from her perspective to try and understand what she was going through at the time. It ends with her wanting to kill me for all the stuff I’ve put her through.
Southern Constellations This is basically just the intro to “The Boy Who Could Fly.” We decided to separate the tracks because otherwise, the song would be around six minutes long. This short, little tune describes my unexplainable and undeniable recent obsession with Southern girls. The clean guitar tone is one of my favorite tones on the entire album. We used a Stratocaster with a custom amp to get the glassy and unique sound we were looking for.
The Boy Who Could Fly We went back to our SoCal punk roots for this song. The entire thing is punk beats and super-fast guitar work. It’s almost therapeutic for me to play, because it represents everything that we loved playing as kids. Mike [Fuentes] is the fastest single kick drum player I’ve ever seen, so this song features him in all his glory. The lyrics talk about an unhealthy co-dependent relationship in which I couldn’t live without the other person because if you took her away, I would lose half of myself. It’s about obsession and desperation, and the stupid things you do when you’re in love. Musically it’s the craziest, most intense song we’ve ever written.
Caraphernelia The last time I saw my ex-girlfriend, she left all kinds of random things behind at my house: travel shampoo, a razor in the shower, hair clips, etc. It was basically just a bunch of stuff that kept reminding me of her. After a while, it made me miss her, and I wondered why we ever broke up in the first place. When I wrote the music for the chorus, I knew right away that I wanted to ask my friend Jeremy McKinnon [of A Day To Remember] to do the screaming parts on the chorus and bridge. A few weeks after I wrote the song, I approached Jeremy with the idea and he agreed to sing on the album. It turned out to be one of my favorite tracks once we collaborated. One of my favorite things to do is make music with my friends. That collaboration makes the songs very special to me.
Fast Times At Clairemont High This is a very selfish song that basically says, “If I can’t have you, then no one can.” I think this has gone through everyone’s head at least a couple times in their life. The theme of this album talks about these natural thoughts and feelings to want and take–the desire to be in love and the desperation for someone else to love you. This song deals with human nature and our selfish tendencies. I like the music because it has a hint of Michael Jackson influence.
The New National Anthem I used to drive six hours just to see this girl that I liked. She was beautiful, but didn’t know it because she was from a small town. I went to her place once and it was completely empty because she was in the process of moving into another apartment. I remember making out with her in the dark in the middle of her empty carpeted floor. A lot of the lyrics are about that night. I recorded the intro to this song in our apartment in L.A. We used a lot of the original sounds from my ghetto little recording on the album.
Bulletproof Love I’ve always been obsessed with happy songs that have morbid lyrics. Lyrically, this song is one of the darkest I’ve ever written. It’s about being obsessed with someone to the point where you’re hurting yourself. A lot of it is written almost like a suicide note meant to be found by the one you love. It’s completely crazy and extreme, but it’s also comforting to say out loud the things you’re thinking sometimes.
Stay Away From My Friends This is about my ex-girlfriend trying to stay in close contact with my friends even after we had broken up. We all need our friends to be there for us and help us out during hard times. I wrote the piano parts in my living room at home in San Diego. We wanted to challenge ourselves with this song and make it as different as possible from the rest of the album. We threw it right in the middle of the album as a sort of a breath of fresh air. My friend Dave Yaden played all the keys on this record, as well as on [2007’s A Flair For The Dramatic], and that took everything to the next level.
I Don’t Care If You’re Contagious I wrote a great deal of these lyrics after a young fan had explained to me that her boyfriend had just recently died in a car accident. She told me that he held her hand for the first time at our one of our shows. She told me that she just wanted to thank us for being a part of their lives. This was one of the most shocking and heartbreaking things I’d ever heard. I wrote the song as a gift to her. It’s meant to be her boyfriend speaking to her, telling her that he is still watching over her and that he will love her forever.
Disasterology This song is basically about a typical guy’s dream. It talks about girls, drinking and having the time of your life. It’s very poetic and drifts around just like a person’s mind would inside of a dream. I purposely just wrote down the first things that popped into my head. The chorus talks about building something beautiful only to destroy it. This is a very philosophical idea that I’ve played around with for a long time. I wrote most of the music in Florida with my good friend [former ADTR guitarist] Tom Denney. He and I worked on the music for this song, “The Boy Who Could Fly” and “The Sky Under The Sea.” Love you, Tom!
Million Dollar Houses (The Painter) I wrote this song as a gift to my parents. It’s meant to be my dad talking to my mom. My dad has worked very hard his entire life as a painting contractor, struggling and fighting to make enough money to keep us going. We recently had to sell our house because things were just getting too expensive to afford anymore. This song is about how through all the years, my mom and dad have never let money tear them apart, and no matter how bad things got, they’ve always had each other. I strongly express my hatred for money and the way it sometimes fucks with people’s lives and families. All you need is love. The Beatles were right all along. Go figure.
The Sky Under The Sea This song is about admitting, “I am the selfish machine.” It’s about being selfish with love and taking what you want without regret. The selfish machine refers to the animal inside all of us that no one ever wants to admit is there. I consider all of our evil thoughts and desires that we are ashamed of to be perfectly natural. We are all humans and no one is perfect, despite how morally good someone may think he or she is. alt
“Hey baby, are you ready? The guys are on their way down already, they’re waiting for us I think” my boyfriend called from the living room area of the hotel room.
“Yeah, give me just a second baby.” I called, attempting to tie the string on the back of my bikini top, attempting to keep my chest secured inside of it.
“Hey Jack, could you help me with the strings on this thing? I can’t get it.” I called, hoping me he could hear me over the video game he was playing while he was waiting.
“Oh, yeah baby, just give me like a few seconds to beat this boss, and I’m there.” He called, and I sighed, continuing to attempt to tie it, hoping I could get it before he finished, because god knows how long it’s going to take him.
“GOD DAMN IT!” Jack screamed in frustration, and the sound the the controlled smacking against the floor followed his frustrated hell.
A few seconds and a couple of cursing streaks later Jack was stopped in the doorway of the bathroom, hungrily looking at me.
“Jack, I’m your girl formed not a slab of meat, stop drooling.” I commented, snapping him back in reality.
He slowly walked up behind me, his fingers fumbling around with the strings until they were put up in a now behind me, he then began to slowly run his fingers up and down my sides, resting his hands on my hips as he pressed a few kisses along my neck and jawline.
“Baby, I thought I asked you not to bring this bikini, you know how it makes me feel.” He whispered against my skin, sucking gently at the patch of skin just below my ear.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about Jacky.” I spoke, faking innocence as I looked into his list clouded eyes through the reflection of the mirror.
“I think you do know (y/n)” Jack almost growled, pressing his erection to the lower part of my back, moving his hands up my body to squeeze my breasts.
“I-I think he boys are waiting on us.” I whimpered, attempting to distract myself from Jack’s touch.
He sighed in defeat and threw his shirt at me from last night as he agreed the sun screen and bottles of water into our bag.
“What’s this for?” I asked, holding up the shirt against me.
“I want you to cover up with that, cause if you don’t you’re going to have guys staring at you, plus it’ll keep me from trying to bang you in he elevator.” He chuckled, giving me a crooked grin as he walked over, slinging the bag over his shoulder before he leaned down to press his lips to mine.
“You’re beautiful.” He whispered before dragging me out into the hall, leading me over to the elevators where all of the guys were waiting on us.
“Took you long enough!” Alex shouted smacking Jack in the chest.
“Sorry man, ditz over here couldn’t get her top tied, and god knows i, not letting her out of that room without a top.” He chuckled and hooked his arm around my waist as I glared at him.
“You know I love you, quit pouting.” He laughed, sticking his tongue out at me as we all piled into the small glass box.
“Jacky, pretty please?” I begged my boyfriend, pulling on his arm, attempting to get him away from the group of guys for at least a few minutes so he’d play in the ocean with me.
“Why (y/n) I just wanna sit here and drink my beer, and talk to these idiots.” He chuckled as he looked up at me.
“Okay, for one you’re standing.” I chuckled and stood closer to him, resting my chest on his, my breasts pushing together slightly, my cleavage catching his eye.
“And two, if you do I’ll give you an extra treat later.” I whispered, leaning up to press my lips against his, as I pulled away from his I could feel his erection pressed against me lightly.
“Hey guys (y/n) and I are gonna go fuck around in the ocean for a little while, if you wanna come you can.” Jack called to the other 3 as I began to walk towards the water, I could feel his eyes glued to my body as I went.
“Jack! Let’s go out further!” I giggled and ran in the water like a little kid, I could hear him splashing close behind me, his lanky figure being pushed around by the waves.
“I think this is far enough, any more out and I won’t be able to see you there munchkin.” He laughed as he picked me up, my legs wrapping around his waist.
“I’m not even that tiny you ass, I’m standing on my knees” I commented, splashing water towards him.
“This isn’t the only time you’ll be on your knees today.” He chuckled and winked at me.
I just laughed at him and walked a little closer.
“Wouldn’t it just be a shame if this bikini just untied itself, I mean we could only blame the waves” As I pretty much threatened to flash him and the entire beach I slipped my hand back to the knot he had tied earlier.
“That’s it, I’m taking you back up to the room, you won’t be able to even think straight for a few hours after I’m done with you.” He promised as he drug me out of the water, past the boys and straight up to the elevator doors.
“god I’m going to do some terrible things to you when we get up into that room (y/n).” He breathed as he attacked my neck with small wet kisses, I let a small moan go as the elevator door opened and Jack pushed me inside of it, hastily pressing the button to our level.
He pushed me against the wall of the elevator, wrapping one of my legs around his waist, as we were sharing a passionate kiss, he began to trail his fingers down my tummy, stopping at the elastic of my bikini bottoms.
As he slipped the tips of his fingers below the elastic the elevator came to a stop, a few levels short of ours.
“Shit” Jack mumbled and we quickly detached from one another, attempting to look innocent as a family of 4 walked into the elevator, the mom giving us a rather judgmental look as she held her two kids against her the daughter squirming away as we finally made it to our level, he quickly pushed me out of the door, and towards our room.
I pulled the key card from my top and swung open the door, flinging the key towards one of the beds as Jack grabbed my waist, pinning me to the door.
“I think I need to take care of something first.” He mumbled against my skin as he played with the strings of my bikini, finally uniting the knot he had made a couple of hours earlier, the material falling away from my body, only leaving me in my bottoms.
“god, you’re beautiful.” He spoke quietly as he kissed my collar bones, leaning down to kiss down my chest, kissing the gap between my my breasts, stopping to massage them for a moment before he continued.
“Go lie down on the bed, take off your bottoms and spread your legs.” He growled as he left the room, you followed his instructions and a few seconds later he came back into the room, a condom in hand.
“Mhm, my baby does know how to listen god damn you’re so gorgeous.” He spoke as he tossed the item next to your head leaning down to kiss down your thighs, taking a painstakingly long time to pay any attention to your core, finally he pressed his lips to your slit, running his tongue along the area, collecting your juices on his tongue, using his thumb to rub harsh circles on your clit,
“Oh god Jack, quit teasing and just fuck me already.” I moaned and felt him detach from me, leaning up to grab the condom, pulling down his soaking swim trunks to reveal his member before he rolled the piece of rubber down onto his member, his hair flopping into his face.
I giggled at the almost cute sight above me as he held himself above me on his forearms, using one of his hands to guide his member to my entrance
“Baby, are you ready?” He asked quietly as he pressed his lips to mine, I nodded my head furiously as he pressed the head into me, giving me a second to adjust before he slammed into me .
“Does this feel good baby?” He asked as he grunted
All I could do was nod my head as he continued to pound into me,
“None of those other boys on that beach could make you feel the way I do, only I can make my princess feel this good.” He thrust a little bit faster and I began to pant as I felt the knot tighten in my stomach.
“Baby, I’m close.” I moaned, scraping my fingernails down his back, leaning up to kiss him for a minute before he broke away to speak
“Me too baby, just let it go.”
I felt the knot relates and the liquids rush over him, he let out a deep throaty groan and I felt his hot seed fill the top of the condom.
We stayed like that for a moment before he pulled out, and got up to dispose of the condom, he walked back into the room with a pair of boxers on, and a pair of my panties and his shirt in hand.
“Here, put these on.” He smiled as he tossed them in my lap, sitting on the edge of the bed until I had the articles of clothing on.
After he noticed I had the shirt over my head he moved over to where he was flat on the bed next to me.
“God, you’re so cute in my clothes.” He commented, leaning up to press his lips to my cheek as I moved to toss one of my legs over his, resting my head on his chest as he reached for the remote.