Selfish Machines

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Selfish Machines
Selfish Machines.jpg
Studio album by Pierce the Veil
Released June 22, 2010 (2010-06-22)
Recorded December 9, 2009 – February 25, 2010
Studio The Green Room (Hollywood, California)
Ocean Studios (Burbank, California)
Genre Post-hardcore,[1] experimental rock[2]
Length 47:06
Label Equal Vision
Producer Mike Green, Vic Fuentes
Pierce the Veil chronology
A Flair for the Dramatic
Selfish Machines
Collide with the Sky

Selfish Machines is the second studio album by American rock band Pierce the Veil, released by Equal Vision on June 22, 2010. It was produced by Vic Fuentes and Mike Green, and recorded between late 2009 and early 2010. Fuentes wrote most of the songs by himself, and co-wrote three songs with ex-A Day to Remember guitarist Tom Denney.

Vocalist Jeremy McKinnon, also of A Day to Remember, guested on the track "Caraphernelia", which had its music video released on September 28. "Bulletproof Love" was released as the follow-up music video on July 7, 2011. Although the album was met with a varied critical reception, with reviewers criticizing the use of auto-tune on the tracks, it appeared on several American Billboard charts, including its Top Heatseekers and the top 200 chart. The album was reissued, with remixed production, on September 24, 2013.

Background and recording[edit]

In an interview with AbsolutePunk in early 2009, guitarist and vocalist Vic Fuentes revealed that Pierce the Veil's next album would be influenced by their fans. Fuentes also said in the interview that he was uncertain when the album would be released, but that it would be released by Equal Vision.[3] The band were writing and demoing new material at their home studio in November 2009.[4] Selfish Machines, along with the band's next album Collide with the Sky (2012), was written in a cabin that belonged to Fearless Records president Bob Becker.[5]

The album was recorded between December 2009 and January 2010 in Los Angeles with producer Mike Green, with a planned release later that year.[6] Green was selected as the producer as albums he had previously worked on "sounded amazing", as Fuentes commented, and that he was "a very down to earth and passionate person."[7] It was revealed on December 27, 2009 that Mike Fuentes had recorded all the drum tracks in one day,[8] at Ocean Studios in Burbank, California.[9] By January 11, 2010, the vocals and keyboard tracks had yet to be recorded but the album was otherwise complete.[10] A studio update posted on February 19 noted there was eights days remaining to record the vocals.[11] Fuentes later said he wasn't going to be recording in Los Angeles again as there "were a lot of distractions that we didn't need."[12]

Music and lyrics[edit]

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.[13]

– Vic Fuentes, on the album's overall lyrical content, 2010

The majority of the songs featured on Selfish Machines were written by Fuentes,[9] apart from: "The Boy Who Could Fly", "Disasterology" and "The Sky Under the Sea" that were co-written with ex-A Day to Remember guitarist Tom Denney;[13] and "Besitos" co-written with Dave Yaden.[nb 1][9]

The music for "Besitos" shows off the band's Latin influence, and the lyrics describe Fuentes' relationship with a girl, from her point of view, who he "couldn't stop hurting over and over again."[13] "The Boy Who Could Fly" was originally 6 minutes in length, but the intro was split off as a separate track, "Southern Constellations", because of its length. "Southern Constellations" is about Fuentes' fascination with southern girls. Fuentes called the guitar tone as "one of my favorite tones" from the album, which was made using a Stratocaster through a custom-made amplifier making the "glassy and unique sound we were looking for".[13] "The Boy Who Could Fly" showed off the band's punk roots that has a hastily played guitar "represent[ing] everything that we loved playing as kids."[13] The lyrics are about a relationship reliant on the other person with "obsession and desperation, and the stupid things you do when you're in love."[13] The track was "craziest, most intense song" that Fuentes has written.[13]

"Caraphernelia" came around based on Fuentes' ex-girlfriend Cara,[15] who left her possessions at his house, which made Fuentes think about her when he saw them.[13] Before adding the title, Fuentes sent the lyrics to Cara, who "was actually very flattered by the whole thing".[15] As soon as he started writing the music for the chorus, Fuentes knew he wanted A Day to Remember's vocalist Jeremy McKinnon to appear on the song, asking him several weeks later. McKinnon screamed the chorus and bridge sections, which made the collaboration "very special" to Fuentes.[13] Fuentes called "Fast Times at Clairemont High" as a "very selfish song", dealing "with human nature and our selfish tendencies", and including musical influences of Michael Jackson.[13] "The New National Anthem" is about one night while Fuentes was visiting a girl and they were making out in the dark in her apartment. The intro was recorded at Fuentes' apartment and pieces of that recording were used throughout the album.[13]

"Bulletproof Love" is a song based on Fuentes' interest "with happy songs that have morbid lyrics", calling it "one of the darkest" he's written.[13] Written in the style of suicide note that would be found by a loved one, the lyrics are about being passionate "with someone to the point where you're hurting yourself."[13] "Stay Away from My Friends" is about an ex-girlfriend who was trying to be friends with Fuentes' friends, after the pair had broken-up. The piano featured on the song was played by his friend Dave Yaden, and was written by Fuentes in his residence of San Diego. The song came about by the band wanting to "make it as different as possible from the rest" of the material, placed in "the middle of the album as a sort of a breath of fresh air."[13] A majority of the lyrics for "I Don't Care If You're Contagious" were inspired by a female fan telling Fuentes that her boyfriend was involved in a fatal car crash. The song was written "as a gift" to the fan, from the point of view of the boyfriend "speaking to her, telling her that he is still watching over her and that he will love her forever."[13]

"Disasterology" is "a typical guy's dream" of girls, going out drinking and living the life somebody wants. The chorus was "a very philosophical idea that I've played around with for a long time", the creation of "something beautiful only to destroy it."[13] Fuentes wrote "Million Dollar Houses (The Painter)" as "a gift to my parents".[13] Fuentes' father worked as a painting contractor, barely earning, throughout his life, enough money to keep the family going and being forced to sell his home. The song "strongly express[es] my hatred for money and the way it sometimes fucks with people's lives and families."[13] "The Sky Under the Sea" admits oneself is selfish when it comes with "love and taking what you want without regret."[13] The lyric "I introduce the selfish machine" is a reference to the animal instinct that everyone has and won't admit to exists.[13]

Release and promotion[edit]

We are all in one way or another selfish machines In no way is this a negative thing, it's human nature. We all have natural tendencies to want, love, and take. It's about that 'evil' thing inside of us that is really not evil at all, it's just there and always will be inside all of us.[7]

– Vic Fuentes, about the album's title, 2010

On April 29, 2010, Equal Vision announced Selfish Machines would be released in June.[7] Before release, "The Boy Who Could Fly" was available for streaming on the band's MySpace account,[16] and for free download[17] from their PureVolume account on May 10.[18] On June 20, the album was made avilable for streaming through AOL Music.[19] Selfish Machines was released two days later.[nb 2][20] The iTunes bonus track was "She Makes Dirty Words Sound Pretty",[21] a Vic Fuentes and Jonny Craig song recorded in 2007.[22] A deluxe edition of the album was released and included a bonus, "The Making Of" DVD. A few days after release, the band went on the Warped Tour.[7] The album was released in Australia on July 9, and in Japan on August 4; both editions containing exclusive bonus tracks.[23]

From September 10 to 19, the band went on the Take Action Tour in Australia.[24] On September 27, a music video for "Caraphernelia" was released. It was filmed and directed by Robby Starbuck in Los Angeles,[25] while the band was on the Warped Tour.[26] A music video for "Bulletproof Love" was announced on June 28, 2011[27] and released on July 7.[28] The video was filmed back in May in Los Angeles with director Dan Dobi. A behind-the-scenes video was posted on July 27.[29] A vinyl edition of the album, along with A Flair for the Dramatic (2007), was released on May 24, 2013.[nb 3][30] A reissue of Selfish Machines was planned for release on September 17, with remixing done by Dan Korneff, and would feature "Kissing in Cars", a song that was previously available as a bonus track on the original Japanese edition of the album.[31] The reissue was later released on September 24.[32]


Reviews for Selfish Machines were mixed. Rock Sound's Amy Bangs notes that "Fast Times at Clairemont High" as "sound[ing] way too similar" to "Sunburn Versus the Rhinovirus" by The Matches, and that the album's production was called "over-experimentation" with "particularly autotuned vocals, gives the impression of something to hide."[33] For AbsolutePunk's Drew Beringer, he noted that despite the opening four tracks that "hit you in the mouth", the band "lose their focus and get a bit indulgent".[34] Beringer also mentioned about the autotune, saying that it "rears its ugly head" as present on "Million Dollar Houses (The Painter)".[34] Emily Yeadon for Mind Equals Blown is another one to note the autotune, commenting that was "a little unnecessary".[21]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Vic Fuentes, except where noted. All lyrics by Vic Fuentes.[9]

No. Title Length
1. "Besitos" (Vic Fuentes, Mike Fuentes, Dave Yaden) 4:22
2. "Southern Constellations" 1:05
3. "The Boy Who Could Fly" (V. Fuentes, M. Fuentes, Tom Denney) 4:18
4. "Caraphernelia" (featuring Jeremy McKinnon of A Day to Remember) 4:28
5. "Fast Times at Clairemont High" 4:01
6. "The New National Anthem" 4:00
7. "Bulletproof Love" 3:57
8. "Stay Away from My Friends" 4:41
9. "I Don't Care If You're Contagious" 3:24
10. "Disasterology" (V. Fuentes, M. Fuentes, Denney) 3:26
11. "Million Dollar Houses (The Painter)" 4:01
12. "The Sky Under the Sea" (V. Fuentes, M. Fuentes, Denney) 4:36
Total length: 46:19

Bonus tracks


Personnel per digital booklet.[9]

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (2010) Peak
US Billboard 200[35] 106
US Top Alternative Albums (Billboard)[36] 17
US Top Hard Rock Albums (Billboard)[37] 9
US Top Heatseekers Albums (Billboard)[38] 1
US Independent Albums (Billboard)[39] 16
US Top Rock Albums (Billboard)[40] 31



  1. ^ Fuentes and Denney would later collaborate on material for Pierce the Veil's fourth album.[14]
  2. ^ U.S. Equal Vision EVR161
  3. ^ U.S. Equal Vision 95406


  1. ^ "Pierce the Veil Selfish Machines review". Shakefire. June 23, 2010. Retrieved May 15, 2016. 
  2. ^ Pereira, Sergio (September 9, 2010). "Review: Pierce The Veil – Selfish Machines". MusicReview. Retrieved August 27, 2013. 
  3. ^ Conny, Julia (April 2, 2009). "Pierce The Veil - 03.26.09 - Interview". AbsolutePunk. SpinMedia. Retrieved August 25, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Pierce the Veil set to record LP2". Aubin Paul. November 24, 2009. Retrieved March 5, 2017. 
  5. ^ Downey 2013, p. 83
  6. ^ Reid, Sean (November 2009). "Pierce The Veil Set To Record New Album". Alter the Press!. SpinMedia. Retrieved August 23, 2013. 
  7. ^ a b c d "Pierce The Veil To Release "Selfish Machines" June 22 : Equal Vision Records". Equal Vision. Retrieved June 8, 2011. 
  8. ^ "Pierce The Veil, STUDIO UPDATE". December 27, 2009. Retrieved August 25, 2013. 
  9. ^ a b c d e Selfish Machines (Digital booklet). Pierce the Veil. Equal Vision. 2010. p. 8. 
  10. ^ "Pierce The Veil, STUDIO UPDATE". January 11, 2010. Retrieved August 25, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Pierce The Veil, STUDIO UPDATE". February 19, 2010. Retrieved August 25, 2013. 
  12. ^ Schwartz, Dave (July 2010). "DaBelly Magazine - Arts, Entertainment & Lifestyles". DaBelly. Retrieved August 25, 2013. 
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t Altpress (June 22, 2010). "Track-By-Track: Pierce The Veil". Alternative Press. Alternative Press Magazine, Inc. Retrieved August 23, 2013. 
  14. ^ Graff, Gary (September 3, 2013). "SOUND CHECK: Pierce The Veil on career high, curates 'mini block party'". The Oakland Press. 21st Century Media. Retrieved October 6, 2013. 
  15. ^ a b "Singled Out: Pierce The Veil's Caraphernelia ::Pierce The Veil News". June 22, 2010. Retrieved August 25, 2013. 
  16. ^ Reid, Sean (April 2010). "New Pierce The Veil Song". Alter the Press!. SpinMedia. Retrieved August 23, 2013. 
  17. ^ Reid, Sean (May 2010). "Free Pierce The Veil Song". Alter the Press!. SpinMedia. Retrieved August 23, 2013. 
  18. ^ Solomon, Blake (May 10, 2010). "Pierce the Veil for Free - News Article". AbsolutePunk. SpinMedia. Retrieved August 25, 2013. 
  19. ^ Paul, Aubin (June 20, 2010). "Stream Real McKenzies, Danzig, Pierce the Veil, You Me At Six". Aubin Paul. Retrieved March 5, 2017. 
  20. ^ Reid, Sean (April 2010). "Pierce The Veil Announce New Album". Alter the Press!. SpinMedia. Retrieved August 23, 2013. 
  21. ^ a b Yeadon, Emily (June 23, 2010). "Pierce the Veil: Selfish Machines". Mind Equals Blown. Retrieved August 25, 2013. 
  22. ^ Allin, Brandon (September 19, 2007). "Pierce the Veil, Dance Gavin Dance Post Collaboration - News Article". AbsolutePunk. SpinMedia. Retrieved August 25, 2013. 
  23. ^ "Pierce The Veil "Selfish Machines" Available Now! : Equal Vision Records". Equal Vision. June 21, 2010. Retrieved August 25, 2013. 
  24. ^
  25. ^ Paul, Aubin (June 20, 2010). "Pierce The Veil: "Caraphernelia"". Aubin Paul. Retrieved March 5, 2017. 
  26. ^ "Pierce The Veil Video Premieres on Myspace! : Equal Vision Records". Equal Vision. September 28, 2010. Retrieved August 25, 2013. 
  27. ^ "Pierce The Veil to release "Bulletproof Love" video - Alternative Press". Alternative Press. Alternative Press Magazine, Inc. June 28, 2011. Retrieved August 24, 2013. 
  28. ^ Sciarretto, Amy (July 7, 2011). "Pierce The Veil Debut "Bulletproof Love" Music Video on! @ARTISTdirect". Artistdirect. Retrieved August 23, 2013. 
  29. ^ "Pierce The Veil release "The Making of Bulletproof Love" video : Equal Vision Records". Equal Vision. July 27, 2011. Retrieved August 25, 2013. 
  30. ^ piercetheveil (May 24, 2013). "Pierce The Veil, New special pressing of "Selfish Machines" & "A". Retrieved August 25, 2013. 
  31. ^ Ableson, Jon (August 2013). "Pierce The Veil Reissuing 'Selfish Machines' Album". Alter the Press!. SpinMedia. Retrieved August 23, 2013. 
  32. ^ "Selfish Machines (Reissue) - Pierce The Veil : Equal Vision Records". Equal Vision. Retrieved September 17, 2013. 
  33. ^ Bangs, Amy (June 21, 2010). "Pierce the Veil - Selfish Machines". Rock Sound. Freeway Press Inc. Retrieved October 11, 2011. 
  34. ^ a b Beringer, Drew (June 23, 2010). "Pierce The Veil - Selfish Machines - Album Review". AbsolutePunk. SpinMedia. Retrieved August 25, 2013. 
  35. ^ "Pierce the Veil – Chart history" Billboard 200 for Pierce the Veil.
  36. ^ "Pierce the Veil – Chart history" Billboard Top Alternative Albums for Pierce the Veil.
  37. ^ "Pierce the Veil – Chart history" Billboard Top Hard Rock Albums for Pierce the Veil.
  38. ^ "Pierce the Veil – Chart history" Billboard Top Heatseekers Albums for Pierce the Veil.
  39. ^ "Pierce the Veil – Chart history" Billboard Independent Albums for Pierce the Veil.
  40. ^ "Pierce the Veil – Chart history" Billboard Top Rock Albums for Pierce the Veil.


  • Downey, Ryan J. (March 2013). "Kings for a Day—Finally". Alternative Press. Alternative Press Magazine, Inc (296). ISSN 1065-1667.