The Devil Wears Prada excels at dark, blanketing instrumentals that sweep from brutal crowd-moshing breakdowns and atmospheric bridges to intricate riffing and uplifting melodics that reflect their collective faith. When you throw in commanding roars and unflinching, post-hardcore vocals, it paints a picture of how the band bridges the gap between Vans Warped Tour and Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem festivals.
This year the band released 8:18, their fifth hostile album that is soaked in emotion and underlying themes of the war against humanity's dark urges and exploitive mediocrity, all paired with almost a sorrowful instrumental approach. It lashes out against, among other things, such as the lack of emotion in the current heavy metal scene and the uprising of the auto tune crutch used by so many musicians. 8:18 shows that The Devil Wears Prada--who rose to fame with the help of MySpace--have paid their dues and matured into their craft.
Vocalist Mike Hranica, guitarist/vocalist Jeremy DePoyster, guitarist Chris Rubey, bassist Andy Trick and drummer Daniel Williams are hands-on in every aspect of the band and influenced by a broad spectrum of music, societal issues and Christianity.
Up On The Sun talked with bassist Andy Trick about the concept behind 8:18, his favorite tracks off the album, and being ranked on the charts right behind Avenged Sevenfold.
So with the new album, how was the approach or concept different from Dead Throne? I look at the difference mostly in our writing process of the albums. I mean, they are different on many levels besides that too, though. With Dead Throne we started to separate and take time out, where we would write some songs and than sit on them, but primarily with 8:18 we were able to get together for like three weeks, write out like six or seven songs, and then schedule time to come back to them a couple months later and reevaluate them. We just really took our time on them.
So you guys were able to explore more technical aspects of the writing process then. Yeah, that's how I look at it. I mean, we've been a band now for over eight years and we know how to work with each other. We're just able to refine that now at this point.
What two tracks are you specifically excited about on 8:18? That's a tough one. I'm a huge huge fan of "First Sight," of course. I also really like "Black & Blue" and "8:18" even though it's a change of pace and new.
Why is "First Sight" one of your favorites? I just think it has a lot of parts that put forefront what The Devil Wears Prada is all about. Like, you hear it, and I'm all, "Yeah, that is what we are all about." We do what we wanna do and it's just aggressive and... I'm also partial because I love, very much love playing that live.
It's definitely an aggressive track. You know, the last time I talked with Jeremy [DePoyster, lead vocalist] was right before Dead Throne came out. He had said it was the band's most aggressive album to date. Do you feel like 8:18 raised the bar? I like to think so. I mean we always try to bring the bar up with every new album and I think we achieved that with 8:18. Well it came in second on the hard rock charts after Avenged Sevenfold's Hail to the King. That has to make you guys feel pretty good. Yeah--I could say I'm very, very excited about that. It's just...with every album, there's the anxiety and nervousness and then people start to hear the songs. Then you see things online like, "Oh, people are digging this!"
You get so close to the songs and album as a whole when you're working on it for months on end that it's hard to step back and see the big picture of what others might see. So when you get those good reviews and feedback it's just surreal.
What inspired the name 8:18? As of the past few albums, Mike will ah--well, he writes all the lyrics and will come up with the main concept of the album--and he was sitting on this one for awhile. One day he just sat us all down and told us the idea behind it.
Obviously it's from Romans 8:18--which is, ah, "Our current suffering is nothing compared to the glory that awaits." It's just another way of looking at things and getting through it.
I'm curious how you feel the band has evolved in terms of not just your music, but also with the influence of Christianity. I think we've all grown with it. It's always a process no matter how comfortable you feel, there's always new things that come up and new ways to break you down. I personally have always... I've always been a very private person. And that's one of the few things where when we're on stage every day performing, saying that this is what we think and we want to show you this, but if you don't agree with us that's cool. At the very least, respect us for it.
I'll get asked a lot about how we tour with other bands that might not feel the same way. Like with Slayer, they set up their amps in giant inverted crosses. [Laughs] And people will see that and ask if it's weird backstage or whatever. But I've never had anyone, even if they don't agree, who wants to like beat me up for it or something.
Nowadays, bands like yours realize how important social media is for fan interaction and music outreach. How do you think social media affects the mystique of music, especially heavy metal? Do you think icons like Black Sabbath would still be revered that way if there had been YouTube? [Laughs] It's very diminishing to say that it's changed, because it's so, so different than it was years ago. I can't even appreciate the extent of the changes during my lifetime. We started the band when MySpace was first becoming massive and getting bands out there.
It just makes everything more accessible. I think it's great, but at the same time things can become really overwhelming on there. Personally, Jeremy and I spend a lot of time being on Twitter and getting photos out there, and doing everything possible to give the Devil Wears Prada that online presence. That's how you get things out nowadays.
For a band like Black Sabbath, I have no idea how it would be different. I don't know if it would be for better or worse, but I appreciate the mystery behind not having social media.
So what's up for The Devil Wears Prada in 2014? Oh, 2014. A lot of it just touring for 8:18.
Any more writing for a new album? Well we're always writing little tidbits here and there. Just yesterday actually I walked into the back of the bus and Chris had his computer set up with his guitar plugged in you know. There will be a lot of that type of stuff until we start talking about the next album and then we will just go from there.
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