Alternative Press Magazine
Issue 368 Version 1 and 2
Andy Biersack has returned with the second dark-pop chapter of his solo alter ego Andy Black, and man, is it an ambitious one. Last month, fans got a taste of what the Black-smith was crafting with the Bowie/Duran Duran-affected funk of “Westwood Road.” On The Ghost Of Ohio, Biersack widens his circle of influence from the aforementioned track to distinct classic-rock signifiers, percolating dance-rock and stentorian balladry.
While Biersack’s output of music and the new Ghost graphic novel will certainly resonate with Biersack’s fans, there’s another aspect to this creative arc that’s quite crucial to him.
“I think I had an overall emotional renaissance when it came to doing this [project],” Biersack says about the space of his life dedicated to the making of The Ghost Of Ohio album and its spin-off graphic novel component. “My ability to understand other people and just communicate and have empathy was greatly improved by this whole project. When you’re putting yourself out there on your own, there’s no safety net. You’re not part of a gang of people who think, ‘Who cares what anybody else says? It’s us against the world.’ Which is great, but when you’re in a position when you’ve done that through your teenage years and into your adult life, you inherently close yourself off to the human condition.
“For me, that isn’t healthy: I’m always three steps away from crazy,” he continues in dead earnestness. “It’s not a good thing to be constantly shutting myself off by being apathetic to other people or trying to be understanding of other people’s situations. I’ve been very fortunate that I didn’t have to go back to ‘square one’ to realize it. Doing this project has opened me up as an artist to other people’s creative output. On a broad sense, I feel like this has contributed to me being a better version of myself.”
The operative word here is “better,” and that’s what Biersack strives for in all of his creative endeavors. In addition to discussing the new album, he reveals to AP the stories regarding his first foray into comics and shares notes, sketches and preliminary artworks formulated up to The Ghost Of Ohio’s final incarnation. And while we had him, we asked about what’s next for The Andy Show podcast, his appearances on this summer’s Warped Tour 25th anniversary dates, the American Satan TV show and the future of Black Veil Brides. And it’s all couched between some of respected photographer Jonathan Weiner’s most vibrant images yet.