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
(2007)A Flair for the Dramatic2007
Selfish Machines
(2010)
Collide with the Sky
(2012)Collide with the Sky2012

Selfish Machines is the second studio album by American rock band Pierce the Veil, released by Equal Vision on June 22, 2010. Produced by Vic Fuentes and Mike Green, it was recorded between late 2009 and early 2010. Fuentes wrote most of the songs 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, 2010. "Bulletproof Love" was released as the follow-up music video on July 7, 2011. Though there was a varied critical reception to the album, 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. It 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 was writing and demoing new material at their home studio in November 2009.[4] Selfish Machines, and the band's next album Collide with the Sky (2012), was written in a cabin that belonged to Fearless Records' president Bob Becker.[5] Like their previous record,A Flair for the Dramatic, singer-songwriter Curtis Peoples joined Pierce the Veil to help write songs. However, none of the songs made it to the final cut.[6]

The album was recorded between December 2009 and January 2010 in Los Angeles with producer Mike Green, with a planned release later that year.[7] Green was selected as the producer because, as Fuentes commented, albums he had previously worked on "sounded amazing", and he was "a very down to earth and passionate person".[8] It was revealed on December 27, 2009, that Mike Fuentes had recorded all the drum tracks in one day,[9] at Ocean Studios in Burbank, California.[10] The drums were recorded using three microphones on the kick drum, and four on the snare. During the recording sessions, Mike broke a microphone that was worth $6,000.[11] By January 11, 2010, the vocals and keyboard tracks had yet to be recorded, but the album was otherwise complete.[12] A studio update posted on February 19 noted eights days remained to record the vocals.[13] Fuentes later said he was not going to be recording in Los Angeles again as there "were a lot of distractions that we didn't need".[14]

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.[15]

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

The majority of the songs featured on Selfish Machines were written by Fuentes,[10] 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;[15] and "Besitos" co-written with Dave Yaden.[nb 1][10]

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".[15] "The Boy Who Could Fly" was originally six minutes long, 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. He called the guitar tone "one of my favorite[s]" from the album. It was produced using a Stratocaster played through a custom-made amplifier resulting in the "glassy and unique sound we were looking for".[15] "The Boy Who Could Fly" showed off the band's punk roots. It has a hastily played guitar "represent[ing] everything that we loved playing as kids'.[15] 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".[15] The track was the "craziest, most intense song" that Fuentes has written.[15]

"Caraphernelia" was based on Fuentes' ex-girlfriend Cara,[17] who left her possessions at his house, causing him to think about her when he saw them.[15] Before adding the title, Fuentes sent the lyrics to Cara, who "was actually very flattered by the whole thing".[17] 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, and asked him to sing several weeks later. McKinnon screamed the chorus and bridge sections, which made the collaboration "very special" to Fuentes.[15] Fuentes called "Fast Times at Clairemont High" a "very selfish song", dealing "with human nature and our selfish tendencies," which included musical influences of Michael Jackson.[15] "The New National Anthem" is about a night when 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.[15]

"Bulletproof Love" is a song based on Fuentes' interest in "happy songs that have morbid lyrics". He calls it "one of the darkest" he has written.[15] 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".[15] "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 song was written by Fuentes at his residence in San Diego, and the piano featured on it was played by his friend Dave Yaden. The song came about because the band wanted to "make it as different as possible from the rest" of the material, placing it in "the middle of the album as a sort of a breath of fresh air".[15] Most 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. It 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".[15]

"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".[15] Fuentes wrote "Million Dollar Houses (The Painter)" as "a gift to my parents".[15] His father worked as a painting contractor throughout his life, barely earning enough money to keep the family going, and being forced to sell his home. Fuentes says the song "strongly express[es] my hatred for money and the way it sometimes fucks with people's lives and families".[15] "The Sky Under the Sea" is about admitting one is selfish when it comes to "love and taking what you want without regret".[15] The lyric "I introduce the selfish machine" is a reference to the animal instinct that everyone has and will not admit exists.[15]

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.[8]

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

On April 29, 2010, Equal Vision announced Selfish Machines would be released in June.[8] Before its release, "The Boy Who Could Fly" was available for streaming on the band's MySpace account,[18] and for free download[19] from their PureVolume account on May 10.[20] On June 20, the album was made available for streaming through AOL Music.[21] Selfish Machines was released two days later.[nb 2][22] The iTunes bonus track was "She Makes Dirty Words Sound Pretty",[23] a Vic Fuentes and Jonny Craig song recorded in 2007.[24] A deluxe edition of the album included a bonus, "The Making Of" DVD. A few days after its release, the band went on the Warped Tour.[8] The album was released in Australia on July 9, and in Japan on August 4; both editions contained exclusive bonus tracks.[25]

From September 10 to 19, the band went on the Take Action Tour in Australia.[26] On September 27, a music video for "Caraphernelia" was released. It was filmed in Los Angeles, and directed by Robby Starbuck,[27] while the band was on the Warped Tour.[28] Pierce the Veil was a supporting act on Silverstein's US tour in January 2011,[29] and also supported A Day to Remember and Bring Me the Horizon from March through April.[30] A music video for "Bulletproof Love" was announced on June 28,[31] and released on July 7.[32] It had been filmed in May in Los Angeles with director Dan Dobi. A behind-the-scenes video was posted on July 27.[33] A vinyl edition of the album, along with A Flair for the Dramatic, was released on May 24, 2013.[nb 3][34] A reissue of Selfish Machines was planned for release on September 17, with remixing done by Dan Korneff. It featured "Kissing in Cars", a song that was previously available as a bonus track on the original Japanese edition of the album.[35] The reissue was actually released on September 24.[36]

Reception[edit]

Reviews of Selfish Machines were mixed. Rock Sound's Amy Bangs notes that "Fast Times at Clairemont High ...sounds way too similar" to "Sunburn Versus the Rhinovirus" by The Matches, calling the album's production "over-experimentation" with "particularly autotuned vocals," that "gives the impression of something to hide".[37] AbsolutePunk's Drew Beringer noted that, despite the opening four tracks that "hit you in the mouth", the band "lose their focus and get a bit indulgent".[38] Beringer also mentions the auto-tune, saying that it "rears its ugly head" on "Million Dollar Houses (The Painter)".[38] Emily Yeadon for Mind Equals Blown is another one to note the auto-tune, commenting that it was "a little unnecessary".[23]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Vic Fuentes, except where noted. All lyrics by Vic Fuentes.[10]

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[edit]

Personnel per digital booklet.[10]

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (2010) Peak
Position
US Billboard 200[39] 106
US Top Alternative Albums (Billboard)[40] 17
US Top Hard Rock Albums (Billboard)[41] 9
US Top Heatseekers Albums (Billboard)[42] 1
US Independent Albums (Billboard)[43] 16
US Top Rock Albums (Billboard)[44] 31

References[edit]

Footnotes

  1. ^ Fuentes and Denney would later collaborate on material for Pierce the Veil's fourth album.[16]
  2. ^ U.S. Equal Vision EVR161
  3. ^ U.S. Equal Vision 95406

Citations

  1. ^ "Pierce the Veil Selfish Machines review". Shakefire. June 23, 2010. Archived from the original on April 11, 2017. Retrieved May 15, 2016. 
  2. ^ Pereira, Sergio (September 9, 2010). "Review: Pierce The Veil – Selfish Machines". MusicReview. Archived from the original on February 2, 2011. Retrieved August 27, 2013. 
  3. ^ Conny, Julia (March 26, 2009). "Pierce The Veil - 03.26.09 - Interview". AbsolutePunk. SpinMedia. Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. Retrieved August 25, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Pierce the Veil set to record LP2". Punknews.org. Aubin Paul. November 24, 2009. Retrieved March 5, 2017. 
  5. ^ Downey 2013, p. 83
  6. ^ Campbell, Rachel (August 30, 2016). "Singer-songwriter Curtis Peoples opens up on writing for Pierce The Veil, Third Eye Blind". Alternative Press. Archived from the original on August 30, 2016. Retrieved June 6, 2017. 
  7. ^ Reid, Sean (November 2009). "Pierce The Veil Set To Record New Album". Alter the Press!. SpinMedia. Retrieved August 23, 2013. 
  8. ^ a b c d "Pierce The Veil To Release "Selfish Machines" June 22 : Equal Vision Records". Equal Vision. Archived from the original on October 28, 2010. Retrieved June 8, 2011. 
  9. ^ "Pierce The Veil, STUDIO UPDATE". Piercetheveil.net. December 27, 2009. Archived from the original on March 13, 2016. Retrieved August 25, 2013. 
  10. ^ a b c d e Selfish Machines (Digital booklet). Pierce the Veil. Equal Vision. 2010. p. 8. 
  11. ^ "Mike Fuentes of Pierce The Veil". Modern Drummer. August 2010. Archived from the original on June 7, 2017. Retrieved June 6, 2017. 
  12. ^ "Pierce The Veil, STUDIO UPDATE". Piercetheveil.net. January 11, 2010. Archived from the original on December 24, 2013. Retrieved August 25, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Pierce The Veil, STUDIO UPDATE". Piercetheveil.net. February 19, 2010. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved August 25, 2013. 
  14. ^ Schwartz, Dave (July 2010). "DaBelly Magazine - Arts, Entertainment & Lifestyles". DaBelly. Retrieved August 25, 2013. 
  15. ^ 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. Archived from the original on April 11, 2017. Retrieved August 23, 2013. 
  16. ^ 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. 
  17. ^ a b "Singled Out: Pierce The Veil's Caraphernelia ::Pierce The Veil News". antiMusic.com. June 22, 2010. Retrieved August 25, 2013. 
  18. ^ Reid, Sean (April 2010). "New Pierce The Veil Song". Alter the Press!. SpinMedia. Retrieved August 23, 2013. 
  19. ^ Reid, Sean (May 2010). "Free Pierce The Veil Song". Alter the Press!. SpinMedia. Retrieved August 23, 2013. 
  20. ^ Solomon, Blake (May 10, 2010). "Pierce the Veil for Free - News Article". AbsolutePunk. SpinMedia. Archived from the original on June 10, 2012. Retrieved August 25, 2013. 
  21. ^ Paul, Aubin (June 20, 2010). "Stream Real McKenzies, Danzig, Pierce the Veil, You Me At Six". Punknews.org. Aubin Paul. Retrieved March 5, 2017. 
  22. ^ Reid, Sean (April 2010). "Pierce The Veil Announce New Album". Alter the Press!. SpinMedia. Retrieved August 23, 2013. 
  23. ^ a b Yeadon, Emily (June 23, 2010). "Pierce the Veil: Selfish Machines". Mind Equals Blown. Retrieved August 25, 2013. 
  24. ^ Allin, Brandon (September 19, 2007). "Pierce the Veil, Dance Gavin Dance Post Collaboration - News Article". AbsolutePunk. SpinMedia. Archived from the original on June 18, 2013. Retrieved August 25, 2013. 
  25. ^ "Pierce The Veil "Selfish Machines" Available Now! : Equal Vision Records". Equal Vision. June 21, 2010. Archived from the original on June 27, 2010. Retrieved August 25, 2013. 
  26. ^ Melissa (June 9, 2010). "2010 Take Action Tour Australia Announced!". Take Action. Archived from the original on July 1, 2010. Retrieved April 26, 2016. 
  27. ^ Paul, Aubin (June 20, 2010). "Pierce The Veil: “Caraphernelia”". Punknews.org. Aubin Paul. Retrieved March 5, 2017. 
  28. ^ "Pierce The Veil Video Premieres on Myspace! : Equal Vision Records". Equal Vision. September 28, 2010. Archived from the original on February 28, 2014. Retrieved August 25, 2013. 
  29. ^ Paul, Aubin (2010). "Tours: Silverstein / Pierce The Veil / Miss May I / The Chariot / A Bullet For Pretty Boy". Punknews.org. Archived from the original on June 7, 2017. Retrieved June 6, 2017. 
  30. ^ Paul, Aubin (2010). "Tours: A Day To Remember / Bring Me The Horizon / We Came As Romans / Pierce The Veil". Punknews.org. Archived from the original on June 7, 2017. Retrieved June 6, 2017. 
  31. ^ "Pierce The Veil to release "Bulletproof Love" video - Alternative Press". Alternative Press. Alternative Press Magazine, Inc. June 28, 2011. Retrieved August 24, 2013. 
  32. ^ Sciarretto, Amy (July 7, 2011). "Pierce The Veil Debut "Bulletproof Love" Music Video on ARTISTdirect.com! @ARTISTdirect". Artistdirect. Retrieved August 23, 2013. 
  33. ^ "Pierce The Veil release "The Making of Bulletproof Love" video : Equal Vision Records". Equal Vision. July 27, 2011. Archived from the original on August 10, 2011. Retrieved August 25, 2013. 
  34. ^ piercetheveil (May 24, 2013). "Pierce The Veil, New special pressing of "Selfish Machines" & "A". Piercetheveil.net. Archived from the original on September 21, 2013. Retrieved August 25, 2013. 
  35. ^ Ableson, Jon (August 2013). "Pierce The Veil Reissuing 'Selfish Machines' Album". Alter the Press!. SpinMedia. Retrieved August 23, 2013. 
  36. ^ "Selfish Machines (Reissue) - Pierce The Veil : Equal Vision Records". Equal Vision. Archived from the original on September 19, 2013. Retrieved September 17, 2013. 
  37. ^ Bangs, Amy (June 21, 2010). "Pierce the Veil - Selfish Machines". Rock Sound. Freeway Press Inc. Retrieved October 11, 2011. 
  38. ^ a b Beringer, Drew (June 23, 2010). "Pierce The Veil - Selfish Machines - Album Review". AbsolutePunk. SpinMedia. Archived from the original on June 28, 2010. Retrieved August 25, 2013. 
  39. ^ "Pierce the Veil – Chart history" Billboard 200 for Pierce the Veil.
  40. ^ "Pierce the Veil – Chart history" Billboard Top Alternative Albums for Pierce the Veil.
  41. ^ "Pierce the Veil – Chart history" Billboard Top Hard Rock Albums for Pierce the Veil.
  42. ^ "Pierce the Veil – Chart history" Billboard Top Heatseekers Albums for Pierce the Veil.
  43. ^ "Pierce the Veil – Chart history" Billboard Independent Albums for Pierce the Veil.
  44. ^ "Pierce the Veil – Chart history" Billboard Top Rock Albums for Pierce the Veil.

Sources

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