The Devil Wears Prada put Warped Tour focus on "Zombie EP"
Mike Hranica, frontman of The Devil Wears Prada, laughs when reporters ask him how the Warped Tour is going. After all, this is the third year the metalcore band has played the Kevin Lyman-founded traveling festival.
"It's about the same as every year," Hranica told Soundspike. "It's good. We're used to it and it's been great so far. All the shows have gone over really well. It's been quite nice."
The Devil Wears Prada is touring in support of last summer's five-track, conceptual "Zombie EP," which made its Billboard 200 album chart debut at No. 10. It was the highest chart bow of the band's career.
"When we decided to do it this year, we did it primarily because we haven't toured the U.S. in a long time," Hranica said. "Through the beginning of this year, we've been spending time in Europe. We've gone over there three times. It's our first tour back in the States since last summer. It's the perfect one to be doing with a lot of our fans. It's a good tour to be playing 'Zombie EP.'"
The band also spent time wrapping up the recording of its new album, "Dead Throne," which is due out on Ferret on Sept. 13. The group wrote half the record in Kansas and finished recording it earlier this year in Chicago.
"I really just think of it as progressive," Hranica said. "People really like the heaviness of the 'Zombie EP.' So it was the biggest thing we wanted to keep in mind in doing the new full length. It has some parts that are heavier than the 'Zombie EP.' It's much more of an emotional heavy. It's much less sterile. It has that, combined with the melodic aspects our usual full lengths have. The 'Zombie EP' didn't really touch upon [that]. It's a good mixture, and the band keeps evolving and progressing. I think there's also stuff in there we haven't done before."
Lead guitarist Chris Rubey is the primary songwriter for The Devil Wears Prada, Hranica explained. He added that Rubey is "always demoing songs on his computer."
"He actually had a handful of songs that he came up with even before we did the 'Zombie EP,'" he said. "Some of those songs we've been sitting on for awhile. Collectively, there were four to six weeks of spending time together in Kansas and Chicago, just jamming. It all came about really nicely. It was comfortable writing. Chris is the one pulls the most weight when it comes to songwriting. Everyone puts their stuff in. I do all the vocals, Jeremy [DePoyster , rhythm guitar, clean vocals] and I work on the singing melodies."
Adam Dutkiewicz of Killswitch Engage engineered and produced "Dead Throne." Hranica said it was "incredible" to work with the knob-turner.
"We've always been interested in working with the famous Adam D.," he said. "When we got to tour with Killswitch [Engage] in early 2010, turns out he's the nicest guy. Super goofy. He was saying stuff like, 'If you guys ever need help with anything or if I can work with you guys, please feel free to get a hold of me.' We were like, 'Wow. It seems like he would be interested in doing our record.'
"Fast forward, about a year later and we got time in with him. It was our first time working with a different producer/engineer. We've never had someone so critical of songwriting. He would say, 'Cut this in half. Speed this up. Let's throw another chorus in.' He really just trimmed the fat on all the songs. We're very happy with it. We're very hands-on on our songs. If someone comes and tells us to change, we're probably not going to think lightly of it. With Adam's ideas, it was like, 'Wow, you're right. It's making the song so much better.' We were so excited."
"Dead Throne" will be downplayed on this year's Warped Tour. But The Devil Wears Prada will focus on 2006's "Dear Love: A Beautiful Discord," 2007's "Plagues" and 2009's "With Roots Above and Branches Below," as well as "Zombie EP."
"We haven't toured the U.S. on the 'Zombie EP,'" he reiterated. "We wanted this tour to be our chance to play a bunch of it."
12 - Darien Center, NY - Darien Lake Performing Arts Center
13 - Mansfield, MA - Comcast Center
14 - Scranton, PA - Toyota Pavilion at Montage Mountain
15 - Toronto, Ontario - The Flats at Arrow Hall
16 - Montreal, Quebec - Parc Jean Drapeau
17 - Hartford, CT - Comcast Theatre
19 - Milwaukee, WI - Marcus Amphitheater
20 - Cuyahoga Falls, OH - Blossom Music Center
21 - Camden, NJ - Susquehanna Bank Center
22 - Burgettstown, PA - First Niagara Pavilion
23 - Uniondale, NY - Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum
24 - Oceanport, NJ - Monmouth Park
26 - Columbia, MD - Merriweather Post Pavilion
27 - Virginia Beach, VA - Farm Bureau Live at Virginia Beach
28 - Charlotte, NC - Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
29 - Orlando, FL - Central Florida Fairgrounds
30 - West Palm Beach, FL - Cruzan Amphitheatre
31 - St. Petersburg, FL - Vinoy Waterfront Park
1 - Atlanta, GA - Aaron's Amphitheatre at Lakewood
2 - Cincinnati, OH - Riverbend Music Center
3 - Maryland Heights, MO - Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre St. Louis
4 - Council Bluffs, IA - WestFair Amphitheatre
5 - Denver, CO - Invesco Field at Mile High
7 - Phoenix, AZ - Ashley Furniture HomeStore Pavilion
9 - Chula Vista, CA - Cricket Wireless Amphitheatre
10 - Carson, CA - The Home Depot Center
11 - Wheatland, CA - Sleep Train Amphitheatre
12 - Nampa, ID - Idaho Center Amphitheater
13 - Quincy, WA - Gorge Amphitheatre
14 - Hillsboro, OR - Washington County Fair Complex