Northern Kentucky native embraces inner rock star

Nov 24, 2010 at 6:00 am

Neil Sheehan, the president of Standby Records, once told Billboard he signed Andy Six and his band Black Veil Brides because of their looks, sound and charisma, saying Six was a natural rock star. That wasn’t news to Six, whose real name is Andrew Dennis Beirsack. He always believed he was destined to make his mark in rock ’n’ roll.

“At a very early age, I wanted to entertain. I wanted to be on stage,” Six said in a recent phone interview. “I wanted to make my faces and walk around singing. It was more like a desperate need to do it.”

In 2006, when he was 15, the Northern Kentucky native put together the first version of Black Veil Brides. Three years, a number of personnel changes and one self-released EP later, Six moved to Los Angeles, where he felt he had a better chance of putting together the right line-up.

It was there that Six met video director Patrick Fogarty, and made a unique proposal for a video for a song called “Knives and Pens.”

“I had no money, but I had a song,” Six said. “My promise to him was that if you make this video — keep in mind this is a 17-year-old kid talking to him — I promise you if you make this video, it’s going to blow up huge, and it will allow you to have opportunities to make videos for us when we are making a lot of money. For him, I don’t see how he was sold on that pitch, but he was.”

Within a month of being posted on YouTube, the video received 1 million views; as of today, 18 million people have watched it.

Black Veil Brides soon signed with Standby Records. In July, the label released BVB’s debut full-length, We Stitch These Wounds, establishing the band’s sound: a crossbreed of modern metal and classic hard rock, carried by Six’s smooth, low-register singing voice and screamed vocals. The album topped Billboard’s independent album chart; Universal is on deck to release the follow-up.

Given the confidence Six has shown throughout the past four years, perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising that he isn’t shy about touting the Black Veil Brides’ live show. “Honestly, I feel like the show is the best show you can see right now,” Six said. “What we do is a very physical and taxing thing to be on stage.”

Black Veil Brides
Saturday, Nov. 27
Expo Five
2900 Seventh St. Road
$15 (adv.), $17 (door); 7 p.m.
All ages