"The Devil Wears Prada goes 'Back to the Roots.'" – Interview

After coming off of a couple successful stints on The Warped Tour followed by a couple tours with Killswitch Engage and All That Remains, metal core band The Devil Wears Prada goes back to its roots on the band’s “Back to the Roots” club tour. Following the tour, the Ohio based band will be releasing a new EP - check www.tdwpslays.com for details. It sounds like it is going to be pretty cool. I recently talked with front man Mike Hranica.

Q - You have recently kicked off your "Back to the Roots" tour. The previous couple of years you were on the "Warped Tour." What made you decide to want to strip it down and get back into the clubs?

A – Well, we weren’t doing “Warped” regardless; it was just a matter of trying to work something out throughout the summer. Our booking agent had the idea of doing several nights at small clubs and just doing something really personal for the fans. That’s what we ended up going with.

Q - You guys have a new EP coming out. Can you tell us what we can expect from its release?

A – We have a countdown website right now - www.tdwpslays.com. When the counter is up, there’s going to be a big announcement or what not. We haven’t revealed what it is, obviously. It’s a surprise. It’s going to answer a lot of the questions people have been having. Musically it’s really dark and more sinister and evil than what we usually do. It’s more conceptual. There’s a clip that plays that really tells you a lot about what it is. You can kind of guess what it is, but when the counter is up there will be an answer to all the questions.

Q - With being out on the road so much, do you find that you're writing most of your songs on the road, or do you wait until you have a little time off to write your music?

A- Chris (Rubey) writes and records a lot of the songs on the road, mostly with “With Roots from Above,” since we’ve been touring so much. A lot of it is also jamming out together when we’re at home, when we can all sit down together and have a space to play.

Q - On Aug 8th in Tokyo, Japan you'll be playing your biggest show to date in front of 60,000 people at the "Summer Sonic Tokyo Festival." Is it just another show to you? How do you view a huge show like that?

A – Honestly I never really thought about the huge crowd or whatever, we’ve played a lot of large festivals, such as “Download,” overseas and everything. It’s more just going to be our first show in Japan, which is going to be pretty interesting. It’s exciting.

Q - You guys are viewed as one of the rising stars in metal core, for those of us that don't know, what is metal core? Do you feel restricted by that label, or is it something you embrace?

(Courtesy of Michael Dubanowich)

A – I don’t know, I guess I embrace it. I don’t really care what the label of the music is. It really doesn’t matter much. It’s just a blend of hardcore and metal obviously. There are differences between metal hardcore and metal core. It depends on how you blend it and how the parts vibrate together and what not. For someone who is completely clueless or unaware it’s just heavy music.

Q - How do you guys come up with your song titles, because generally they have nothing to do with the lyrics in the song?

A – They’re just inside jokes for the most part, or completely random, spontaneous titles. We like to joke around a lot, so we get to joke around with our song titles rather than the lyrics or the album name or anything like that.

Q - A lot of non Heavy Metal fans dismiss screaming as a form of singing. I've always defended it, because one, most of the screamers are screaming in key and two I'd have to imagine you have to train your voice to be able to do that night after night for however long without losing your voice. At what point did you realize that you were capable of screaming like that and what do you do to prevent yourself from losing your voice?

A – To prevent it’s just the usual safety precautions like trying to stay healthy all the time. I don’t know, a lot of it is resting and trying not to talk too much when off of stage. It’s just simple things like that and proper warm ups.

Q – When did you realize that you could scream like that?

A – I don’t really know honestly. I used to do it kind of jokingly. My friends and I would do it in the car to different bands. Then I joined this joke band as the vocalist. Then I ended up joining The Devil Wears Prada.

Q - You guys have a handful of videos, most recently "Assistant to the Regional Manager." What is the music video process like? Is it fun, a lot of waiting around?

A – It’s a lot of waiting around. It’s tough. It kind of depends on the shoot. Some days you’re a lot sorer than other days. Our most recent one flew by luckily because we didn’t have to do that many band shots, because it wasn’t really centered around the band so much. I don’t know, it’s a lengthy process. I’d definitely rather be recording than doing music videos.

Q - With the record industry constantly changing, what advice do you have for up and coming bands who are trying to make it in this business?

A – With everything changing, right now it is completely over saturated. It’s so much internet based. I think my advice is to try to write and never really focus on making it big. Just make music that you enjoy playing and that is expression in general. As simple as that is I think it’s something that everybody has lost touch with. I guess that is what I’d tell the aspiring musicians.

Check out The Devil Wears Prada on the “Back to the Roots” tour as well as at www.tdwpband.com. You can also follow them on twitter at http://twitter.com/tdwpband. Be sure to stay tuned to www.tdwpslays.com for an upcoming announcement regarding the newest EP. There is just over three days left. I’m looking forward to their announcement; my guess is something zombie related.

BYLINE:

Bob Zerull is the Managing Editor of Zoiks! Online. He writes pop culture commentary, does interviews with bands, and reviews music and stand-up concerts. He also administers Zoiks! Online's Facebook page. Follow Bob on twitter at bzerull. Email Bob at bob@zoiksonline.com.

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