They Don't Need to Understand

Andy Biersack, with Ryan J. Downey

Please pardon the brief interruption from the usual hard rock, metal, punk, and adjacent subgenre news, views, and streams. I’d like to pause to celebrate the forthcoming publication of They Don’t Need to Understand: Stories of Hope, Fear, Family, Life, and Never Giving In, by Andy Biersack, with Ryan J. Downey. Yep, that’s me! It’s my honor and privilege to co-author this book with one of my best friends in the world, the massively talented, sharp, driven, clever, and passionate Mr. Biersack.

At 15, I began writing about stuff I love with the publication of my first fanzine. I saw my first professional byline, with the local newsweekly of Indianapolis, at 21. It’s simply a thrill to see my name on a book, so thank you for indulging me, if you’ve read this far, and a special thanks to Blasko, Andy’s wonderful family, and Rare Bird Lit.

Thanks most of all to Andy, for trusting me with your stories of ambition, determination, and dedication. The book presents an engaging narrative I believe any creative person who has ever felt isolated, ignored, or ostracized will find relatable; if you’re a fan of Andy or Black Veil Brides, that’s an added bonus.

Book preorders are live, with an expected release date of December 8th, 2020.

Last week saw the publication of Rust in Peace: The Inside Story of the Megadeth Masterpiece, an oral history by Dave Mustaine, with Joel Selvin. Megadeth is directly responsible for my lifelong love of heavy metal music and culture. I have so much gratitude to Dave and the Megadeth camp for involving me in the project, and the ensuing Q&As around it, as well as Slash, and his management team.

Thank you to everyone who supports this newsletter and/or any of my endeavors. There are more book projects on the immediate horizon (including one I actually started before Andy’s book, which is nearly finished). Stay healthy and safe out there.


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