The Devil Wears Prada Talks "Dead Throne", Tour With As I Lay Dying, New Music, and More
Tue, 19 Feb 2013 09:15:15
As I Lay Dying Photos
The Devil Wears Prada Videos
Few bands can make brutality as beautiful as The Devil Wears Prada can.
Dead Throne stands out as a modern metal masterpiece, illuminating both the group's deft dynamics and razor sharp instrumental precision. Lyrically, it's also vocalist Mike Hranica's most engaging fare yet. It's everything that a heavy record should be. Right now, the band's embarking on a co-headline run with As I Lay Dying, they announced their signing to Roadrunner Records, and they're working on their super-anticipated next offering. It's going to be another big year for The Devil Wears Prada.
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, Mike Hranica opens up about Dead Throne, talks the tour with As I Lay Dying, discusses the next record, and so much more.
What's your mindset like going into this co-headline tour with As I Lay Dying?
It's really the same as any other tour. We're a very hands-on band. We personally make all of the decisions as far as putting together the production and the plans for going into a tour. It's very important for us. We want to have that absolute control. I'm glad that reflects in the live show. People spend money to see it. We've been touring for seven years. We don't want fans to get tired of us so we put all of that heart and effort into the decisions we make. We want everyone to keep coming back. Since this is a co-headline, we don't have as much freedom with some of the other headline tours we've done. We've definitely trudged through a lot of production and aimed to really get things right. We're trying to maintain what we've always done as far as putting on a good show.
What's the art of sequencing a set list for you?
It's difficult having more songs. By no means are we a total victim of compromise. A lot of bands have to keep playing certain old songs. Since the beginning when we started putting out records, we phased out songs we didn't want to play anymore. We play what means the most to us, and the songs that are the most emotionally relevant and relevant to our sound. That plays a big part in choosing what we play. The same mindset goes into the set list. You can't put a slower song in a part where someone might start feeling tired. Then they might hear a slow song and say, "I'm going to get out of here". When we really couldn't afford the production aspects of the tour, all we had was the set list and the live presence. The set list is very important. Some of the factors I mentioned are a few of the building blocks we keep in mind as we come up with the songs and their order.
Do you prefer some songs live?
Absolutely, I feel like Dead Throne is the only record that has even a slight chance of capturing what we try to do live. It captures that ferociousness we've always tried to have live. Getting to play the old songs live is the best way for them to be experienced in a sweaty room at high energy. Two of the slowest songs we've ever done, "Chicago" and "Kansas", are two we play a lot. We love those. "Kansas" doesn't have any vocals. I get to play guitar, and that's interesting for me. It makes it fun. I don't have to keep yelling every song.
What songs resonate with you the most from Dead Throne?
Honestly, I haven't thought about it. I still like "Chicago" and "Kansas". We've played "R.I.T." a few times. I've always liked it, and it's been on the front of mind as far as favorites go.
Where did "Chicago" and "Kansas" come from?
When we were writing Dead Throne, we wanted to do some slower, jammier material. A bunch of the band really likes instrumental music and post-rock. I said, "We've always written interludes between songs so why don't we write an entire song like that?" Then, we came up with "Kansas". From my perspective, it's been on the forefront of songs fans really like from Dead Throne. It gives the record a different dynamic. That's the same thing we did for "Chicago"—as far as coming up with something slower that mixed up the record. "Chicago" is the last song I did for Dead Throne. With all of the issues I'd had with love lost, that was the song that summed everything up. I wanted to put a period at the end of that point in my life. That song does that as far as finishing up a subject that was covered a lot on Dead Throne. It gives it a conclusion. It ends that issue in my life with that final song. That's what "Chicago" speaks of.
Does the new album pick up where Dead Throne left off?
Absolutely! It's like what I've been saying about what motivated us to do "Chicago" and "Kansas" as far as getting a little slower and adding a different dynamic. When we came out of Dead Throne, all of us really liked "Chicago" and "Kansas". It was like, "Let's do more with that". I know what I did with "Chicago" was some of my favorite record. It was different for me so it was very interesting and exciting to do that as the lyricist and vocalist. Now that we're singing on a bunch of these songs, I feel like they're either more on that end of the spectrum, a few are in the middle ground, and some are upfront, mosh Zombie EP type stuff. We're a long way from finishing, but the songs either have the "Chicago" vibe or they're the "punch yourself in the head" type material.
What's your favorite song from The Devil Wears Prada?