Patrick Walford of Rock The Walls was able to sit down with The Devil Wears Prada and discuss their upcoming record, Dead Throne, working with metalcore mastermind Adam D and their thoughts on the scene today.
MEB: We are talking with the guys of Devil Wears Prada- if you guys just want to introduce yourselves and say what you do in the band, so all the listeners know and can recognize your voice for the interview.
Daniel: I’m Daniel and I play drums.
Chris: and Chris and I play guitar.
For you guys going into Dead Throne, what was really the direction you were looking to take on it? Was it really kind of basing it off the feedback you have gotten on the Zombie EP to kind of build on that, to make something sound that way for the record? What did it really come down to?
Chris: Yeah I mean, we know like, what everyone says online and we know what everyone thinks and we intentionally explored the heavier side of our band with Zombie EP and with those songs we weren’t really like afraid to have a song with too many breakdowns or like too-oh thats too metal people may not recognize us. So that was kind of like the exploration of that and people really liked that it allowed, so us to do a lot more with our sound.
Whereas with Zombie EP we didn’t ever really explore like any other melodic territories the new one definitely does that. The first thing people notice is just like the vocals, Mike does like a new type of yell thing that he has never even done on any album before and it sounds a lot like Thursday-ish, Post Hardcore-ish and it just gives kind of a new dimension to everything and then the first few tracks, people are going to listen to it and they’re going to say “Woah, this is pretty much Zombie EP” so I mean its Zombie EP minus the intentional eerie-ness its like everything is still metal, like you said- fullblast like way faster, way heavier, like way everything-er. The only thing is not- is it’s not lighter.
Dan: To be honest, as far as- I mean I guess this is kind of different than the question you asked, but as far as what it came out as, not necessarily going into it but coming out, it is definitely more a emotional album, if anything its not nec heavier or faster or whatever than the Zombie EP, I guess it is in some places but some places its not. If anything its more- in general, emotional which in my opinion is awesome, because you know that’s why I listen to music, to get emotion out of it.
Chris: Like we intentionally went for parts that give you goose-bumps you know like rewind-worthy parts like we made it a point to make each part interesting. I mean Adam Dutkiewicz, the guy who produced, it had a lot to do with that, just helping cutting out the boring parts, cutting out the parts we’ve already heard- that part has no purpose in this song, so we’ll take it out. It’s just the first time thats ever really been done in our band ever so its like a whole new thing to be honest. As a whole, I think, I’m not sure its like one of those albums that takes a few listens to get it, because I’m so close to it, but after listening to it a whole bunch I go back and I’m like “I love that song, I love this about this song, I love this song.” so I’m really stoked on it personally, I think people will like it.
Just talking more about that emotion-what do you really feel it is that brings out the emotion in these songs? If you could maybe use some examples and maybe some reasons on why it really resonates and hits home with you.
Dan: I don’t know about it necessarily hitting me- hitting home or whatever. I just think the vocals in general are way more in-your-face like there’s a line like right before a breakdown where he just says “I’m all that you know” and just the way that he says it just makes you- just like, I don’t know how to explain it man.Its just different songs, different things he did vocally-
Chris: You can hear, sounds cliche, but you can hear like the anguish in his voice and like the passion, you could say. Like, his voice cracks a lot and its just like you really feel it. The songs just sound really desperate a lot of the time, like-I don’t know we just made it a point, to like the parts that needed to shine allowing them to shine and not overshadowing by a bunch of just like annoying sounding metal riffs that don’t need to be there. So, I think like the vocals are easier to understand, one- the lyrics are darker he talks about a lot of like self loathing lyrics. He definitely went through a really hard personal, emotion time before this record just with his personal life and stuff, so it just fueled all these lyrics. He said on stage yesterday that he was “Still angry every single day” like he’s not a mean guy at all, he just loves dark things, like I don’t know, like- he’s really good at saying it too- it’s hard to explain.
Dan:You’ll see it when you get the record, or hear it.
Now just talking a bit more about Adam Dukewitz I mean, don’t even really need to mention some of the stuff this guy has done, just because of all just the amazing work he has done. You guys previously had only really worked with Joey Sturgess on any of your stuff to go in and work with Adam, I mean you guys probably had the personal connection- kind of friendship with that Killswitch Tour you guys did, but from a working standpoint with you guys, what do you feel Adam brought in to you guys- maybe not necessarily what Joey couldn’t but, just in general-as a whole, what do you feel Adam did for this record?
Dan: I think Adam had a more overall perception on it, he kind of stepped back and looked at the songs and didn’t necessarily look at the parts of the songs as much. He wanted to make sure each song kind of had a different vibe to every single one so just so you’re not listening to 6 songs and you’re like “well I’ve heard 6 metal songs” its “I’ve heard 6 metal songs that sound 1000% different than each other” and I think that he definitely had a lot to do with that
Chris: He deleted a lot of breakdowns
Dan: Deleted a lot of breakdowns, yeah and added a lot of blast beats!
Chris: Its going to sound funny, but yeah he deleted a lot of breakdowns and somehow made the album heavier because if it- he’d be like “You don’t need this one, you change tempo for this one part, and then you’ve got to change tempo back so you can get to the tempo of the rest of the song, cut that out! You don’t need that, you’ve got enough breakdowns on the rest of this” We had demos for every song before the CD essentially so he was able to look at the songs and change all those things. He had drum tracks separated from everything and he loved to just copy and paste blast beats and be like “blast here, yeah- blast here” lots of blast beats, but they’re all effective.
Dan: I would have to go back and re-record them. But, he liked to make my life miserable via blast beats.
Chris: Also, I’m not sure a lot of people actually grasp this- Joey actually was involved with this album. I think the thing that Joey does best, is the only way to say it is that he “Joey Sturgess-izes” things like there could be a part that is just “cool its there” but you can be like “Joey make this cooler” and he’ll add all the bells and whistles. He just really gets how to add all the magic, I guess you could say. So he did the keyboards and he added all the reverse snares, the big snare articulations, like the explosions of the kegs, all that kind of stuff.
Dan: He did a lot of icing on the cake
Chris: Yeah, and he did a very good job.
Chris: Another thing that Adam did, he gave us a mix that is just as good as all our other mixes, but doesn’t sound like a Joey Sturgess mix; and that is not a stab at Joey at all, everyone comes to Joey and says “let me get this sound, man.” and that is what he’s good at, that’s what they ask- what they request of him. I don’t know anyone who I would trust who’d give us an album that sounds on par with what Joey would do, yet still sounds different and Adam accomplished that, in my opinion.
Lets talk a bit more about Warped Tour. Yo guys have done this tour, I guess its been what 3 full runs in the past 4 summers?
Chris: Yeah, 3.
I think its 5 or 6, of 8 or 9 main-stage bands every day are in metal-core bands, which is something you wouldn’t have seen a couple years ago. How do you guys really take a look at it, for the fact of the amount of popularity you guys have gained in the last 3 years, kind of coming up with that kind of movement type deal. Just the overall feel of it, you know, really seeing heavy music come to the forefront of kind of the Warped Tour for you guys, what’s it like to see?
Dan: Yeah, I mean its awesome to see heavy music become, you know, accessible finally. I mean I guess its always been, you know, there. There’s been an underground music scene or whatever, but just seeing it become more popular, is of course awesome because it gives us more of an opportunity to spread, you know, a message that our band would like to spread. Just inn general be able play music in front of more people is awesome. Especially to see, people who might not haven given this type of music a chance in the past, are finally now giving it a chance. Like, maybe radio is starting to play more songs with screaming, or whatever it is. Its also, I think its kind of- I don’t know how to explain what I’m trying to explain. Not only is heavy music becoming big, but because of that, I guess other avenues of music are becoming big, where you can put heavy music in them-like for example internet radio. You know, I think because of internet radio its helping things like this type of music become bigger. I think that’s cool to watch too. I guess, if that answers the question.
Chris: When I was younger, I just wanted to hear the heaviest thing that existed, and I didn’t know how to like access that. Like my favorite was, you know, Linkin Park. and then I was like “Oh, man” like I heard As I Lay Dying for the first time, then I was like “Oh, Norma Jean” “Underoath” like all these bands, like this is the new heaviest thing I ever heard, then as I got over that I started to like even heavier music and then its just like-I think that people just want to hear the craziest most extreme thing- that isn’t too extreme, you know? and that’s like pretty much what metalcore is right now and I think and its cool that- I know that the first time I heard that genre and it was just like a whole new world opened up to me and its really nice to see that age at which people cross over from, like Linkin Park, Limp Bizkit, Korn, to you know- Devil Wears Prada, August Burns Red, that age is getting younger and younger, which is cool.
Thanks a lot for joining me for the interview today, guys. Something I like to do with the bands I interview with the bands on the show, is to get them to choose a song from their catalog and then a song by any band, any artist, any genre, that you want to hear. So if you want to pick another Prada song and a song by any other band, go for it.
Dan: Cool- any song, any genre?
Any, we’ve had bands pick- New Found Glory picked Lionel Richie, the guys in Our Last Night, obviously Trevor Wentworth, appearing on your last record, they chose like Ke$ha. Four Year Strong chose Millionaires, because they thought their Christmas song was pretty funny, so literally anything.
Dan: Am I going to pick, or are you going to pick?
Chris: Well we have to pick two songs.
Dan: Oh, we have to pick two songs?
Chris: A Prada song and an “anything” song.
Dan: Prada song- we’ll do..
Chris: Let’s do “Revive”
Dan: Oh yeah- “Revive”
Chris: and any song, any one…
Dan: Any song, any one…
Chris: Which route do we want to go with this? Let’s go Nu Metal!
Dan: Nu metal?
Chris: What do you guys think, help us, Dirsh.
Dan: Well, what kind of Nu Metal are we going, like Trapt kind of thing?
Chris: Heavy…Heavy…Oh, Mudvayne- “Dig”
Dan: “Dig”, yeah.
Go and check the record out when its released September 13th on Ferret Records.