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Stereoboard Speak To The Devil Wears Prada At June 2011 Download Festival (Interview)

Wednesday, 03 August 2011 Written by Heather McDaid
Stereoboard Speaks To The Devil Wears Prada At June 2011 Download Festival (Interview)

The Devil Wears Prada are a young band hailing from Ohio who, in six years together, have quite the discography under their belt. Dabbling through concepts within their metalcore sound, the band have garnered a great enough success to take them worldwide with their music. Speaking to the band’s vocalist and lead guitarist – Mike Hranica and Chris Rubey – at Download Festival earlier this Summer, they talk heavily about their writing approaches and their latest record; due for release later this year.

“This is our second time. It’s been smooth. I liked our set more today than the first time we played,” says Mike, talking about The Devil Wears Prada’s set on main stage earlier that day. “We didn’t play so early the first time but today was very smooth running and a lot of fun.”

“I’d say in the States it’s quite a bit different just because we’re a little bit more established in the States, so over here we’re still proving ourselves I guess you could say,” continues Chris, comparing the festival experience to their regular shows. “Plus, all the big outdoor festivals are just a completely different dynamic to small club shows or just any sort of indoor show in the States. It’s more playing to our fans in the States than trying to win more fans over here. I like playing to people that don’t know us, though. That’s the biggest point of touring for me.”

Download Festival was not their first UK appearance of the year. Months prior, the band toured as a support of Bring Me The Horizon. “It was great. Prior to the UK run, we had toured with all of those guys before,” begins Mike. “We shared a bus with Architects for the European run and the UK run, so we got on really well. We toured with Parkway at the end of last year in Australia. It’s just a pretty similar group of guys, no egos or anything like that. It was great. Being amongst a group of peers is how we view a tour like that. We’re all just a group of guys who are doing the same thing.”

“The shows were awesome too because, obviously, that’s just a powerhouse of a tour,” adds Chris. “It was a stacked bill so the shows were insane and all the dudes were awesome.”

“This is the longest we’ve gone since playing the States since we started this band. We’ve been over here a bunch lately and it’s definitely with the intentions of coming back here more often,” continues Mike, touching on the band’s promise following that tour not to neglect the UK anymore. “We didn’t come to the UK or Europe once in 2010, which we were really upset about but we want to be playing here a lot more often. That’s why we’re playing tours, why we’re playing Download and stuff like this. We definitely want to be coming here much more regularly than we have been.”

As for the follow up to 2010’s ‘Zombie EP’, the band turn to their new record – due out later in the year. “You know, we do this with every record. We put it out and go “This one’s more mature, this one’s more mature” but I think everyone is going to feel that way as they do more and more records,” begins Mike, discussing how they view the finished product. “With us, I think that definitely applies. I really feel that way about the record. We worked with Adam D, which was our first time working with a different producer. I think the record is so much more emotional and so tight, very polished but at the same time it’s really... I don’t know, you just feel something from it. It’s got a lot of content, a lot of substance.”

Image“Most past albums, I listen to them once they’re finished and I sit and think “I wish I would have done this...’ but with this record, we had enough time to just go back and make sure that everything is how we wanted it to be. I’m very, very pleased with how everything turned out,” continues Chris. Do they view the album as a fresh slate or a continuation of last year’s EP? “We’ve been told by a lot of people who have heard it that it picks up right where The Zombie EP left off. The Zombie EP was intentionally the heaviest music we could write. We wanted it to be the darkest music we could write; the heaviest, the fastest... We just took what we did with that EP, wrote it full length but didn’t purposefully concentrate on making it all as dark and sinister, whereas that’s what we did on the Zombie EP. I think it’s turned out to be quite a good mixture of all the things that people have come to look for from our band.”

“I really, really liked doing the Zombie EP and I know that if we did another fun EP or something it would be years down the road,” claims Mike. Turning from comparing the EP and new album, we turn to the differences in writing a concept record. “For me, it’s challenging because with Zombies you can be really cheesy and I didn’t want to make it cheesy but I wanted to make it very tight to the horror theme. The problem was finding how cheesy it had to be before it became too much and I really liked the challenge of writing it. It’s definitely a different process. Lyrically, the writing process of the new record was a little different as well. It’s more written as songs that go into a piece rather than too many scrambled thoughts. You definitely have to approach it differently, but either way it’s fun and I really enjoyed it. It’s definitely something that I feel is one of my biggest roles in the band is to challenge myself in writing.”

The band are one that, undoubtedly, have a lot to be proud of. Touring through many countries worldwide, having successful releases and playing alongside some incredible bands... How could they pick a highlight? “I think something like this. I know that playing Main Stage at Download is something a lot of people talk about,” answers Mike, thoughtfully. “It’s very prestigious to be playing Download, let alone main stage. It’s just subtle achievements like this that we’ll remember. The EP hit #10 when it came out in the charts back in the States, which was definitely incredible. Having a top ten release, especially with it being an EP and being metal; that’s something pretty big for us.”

“We don’t honestly expect any of the success that we’ve come to find, so anything good that happens to us – like playing main stage at Download or having a top ten release – we’re just so happy and grateful for it,” continues Chris, mirroring the humble attitude of his band-mate. “It’s not like we expect anything or throw it in people’s faces or talk about it all. We’re just very grateful.”

With such a modest view of their achievements as a band it would be assumable that they expect nothing from their future, but more hope for more opportunities they’re grateful for. What would they hope to see in their band’s future? For Chris... “I would say to just keep going down the path that we’re going, continually growing as a band because a lot of bands will reach their peak then go on for five or ten more years. We don’t ever want to reach out peak. I know that everyone says that but it’s true.”

“It really is... just the idea of longevity,” continues Mike, mirroring his sentiments once more. “If it ever comes to the point where no one wants to be touring or no one wants to be making music, then we’ll handle it when we get to it but right now we really just want to take advantage of the opportunities that we feel like we’ve been blessed with. We really just want to achieve as many listeners as possible, play shows and continue to enjoy it.”

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