Knives and Pens

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"Knives and Pens"
Single by Black Veil Brides
ReleasedJune 17, 2009
Songwriter(s)Black Veil Brides
Black Veil Brides singles chronology
"Knives and Pens"
"Perfect Weapon"

"Knives and Pens" is a song by American rock band Black Veil Brides, released as a music video exclusively on YouTube. It is their first single, and is one of their most popular songs to date, with the music video reaching over 100 million views on YouTube.[1]

Other versions[edit]

"Knives and Pens (Acoustic)"
Knives and Pens (acoustic) (Black Veil Brides album - cover art).jpg
Single by Black Veil Brides
from the album We Stitch These Wounds
Released2010 (limited copies),
March 19, 2013
FormatMusic download
RecordedClear Lake Audio, North Hollywood, CA
GenreAcoustic rock
LabelStandBy Records
Songwriter(s)Black Veil Brides
Black Veil Brides singles chronology
"In the End"
"Knives and Pens (Acoustic)"

The song was re-recorded and re-released as two new versions—a version with a few vocal and guitar changes, and a limited edition Hot Topic acoustic version—alongside the songs "We Stitch These Wounds" and "The Mortician's Daughter" on their debut studio album, We Stitch These Wounds. The limited-copy acoustic version was re-released by StandBy Records to the general public for download on March 19, 2013.[2]

Song information and background[edit]

Meaning behind "Knives and Pens"[edit]

The lyrics were written by Black Veil Brides vocalist Andy around the title "Knives and Pens" which, according to him describes a choice: Knives — destruction (as in harming yourself), and Pens — creation (as in the choice he decided to make to begin writing music and make something of their life). Black Veil Brides is saying in this song that if you make good choices in life, you can rise above and conquer whatever troubles you may come across.[3]

Intro clip[edit]

The clip at the beginning of the original version of the song is from the documentary Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills. It was taken from a recording of one of the West Memphis Three trials. The transcription of the clip is as follows:

Music information[edit]

The song is in the key of D minor and the guitars are tuned to Drop D. The song slowly builds around a piano's sustained D note, until the introductory clip ends, and then the band begins to play.

Music video[edit]

The official music video for the song was released on YouTube on June 17, 2009,[1] directed by Patrick Fogarty, who later directed the "Perfect Weapon," "The Legacy," "Rebel Love Song," and "Coffin" music videos. The video stars actor David Sasik, who is playing the role of the kid resembling Andy.[4][5][6] It was a very low-budget project, but despite this, the video launched the band into international fame. The official video has reached over 111 million views on YouTube.

Video plot[edit]

The music video depicts a scenario similar to Andy's years in school, where he was bullied for the way he dressed, looked and the music he listened to.

A boy walks to his school locker and sees papers taped to it that have hurtful messages written on them, such as "emo", "fag", and "kill yourself". He rips them down and throws them to the ground in anger. Even his brother bullies him, stealing his notebook that he writes lyrics inspired by his feelings of anger in. He goes home angry, but his brother eventually comes in and returns his notebook. He then proceeds to begin writing the lyrics to "Knives and Pens". He also is seen watching the video of Black Veil Brides playing the song and there are clips of the band playing with occasionally dressing in white and occasionally dressing in black.[7][8]

Acoustic version video[edit]

Black Veil Brides released a lyric video for the acoustic version of "Knives and Pens" on March 20, 2013 through StandBy Records[9]

Track listing[edit]

CD single [1st version]
1."Knives and Pens" (Original Version)4:24
CD single [2nd version]
1."Knives and Pens" (Original Version)4:24
2."Knives and Pens" (Album Version)4:15
Acoustic single
1."Knives and Pens" (Acoustic)4:50


Black Veil Brides (studio band)

Music video band/production
  • Andy Biersack – vocals
  • Chris "Hollywood" Bluser – guitar
  • Sandra Alvarenga – drums
  • David Sasik – leading actor
  • Patrick Fogarty – director


  1. ^ a b "Black Veil Brides "Knives and Pens" OFFICIAL VIDEO". YouTube. 2009-06-17. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
  2. ^ "Song Stream: Black Veil Brides, "Knives and Pens" (acoustic)". Alternative Press. March 18, 2013. Retrieved May 28, 2013.
  3. ^ "ShockHound - Shock TV - Interview — Black Veil Brides (HD)". YouTube. 2011-07-03. Retrieved 2012-10-07.
  4. ^ "Behind the Scenes of Knives And Pens — BLACK VEIL BRIDES LEGACY". Retrieved 2012-10-07.
  5. ^ "Band Bio — Black Veil Brides Legacy". Retrieved 2012-10-07.
  6. ^ "David Sasik, Actor's Slate". YouTube. 2009-09-22. Retrieved 2012-10-07.
  7. ^ "Patrick Fogarty Information, Videos, Pictures and News". Archived from the original on 2014-03-05. Retrieved 2012-10-07.
  8. ^ "Patrick Fogarty Music Videos including Knives and Pens on Roxwel". Archived from the original on 2009-09-19. Retrieved 2012-10-07.
  9. ^ "Black Veil Brides release "Knives and Pens" acoustic lyric video". Alternative Press. March 21, 2013. Retrieved May 28, 2013.

External links[edit]