The Devil Wears Prada were one of those bands that early on in their career, they were on every metal tour you could think of. The Dayton, Ohio band spent more time on the road each year than they were probably home, just trying to get the word out on the band. After a few years of touring, the band were shocked to see their 2009 album “With Roots Above and Branches Below” narrowly missing the Top 10 of the Billboard Album Charts. But the band knew their heaviest effort was still yet to come and with the recently released “Dead Throne”, the band finally cracked the Top 10, selling 35,000 copies during it’s opening week.
Fans and critics alike are heralding the album as the band’s heaviest to date and tackles false idols as it’s main lyrical focus. To help give the album it’s stepped up heaviness, the band listed Killswitch Engage wildman Adam Dutkewicz to produce the album and has become another sign the band is far from done.
The band is currently out on the road right before Christmas with Enter Shikari and Whitechapel for a scorching night of new school metal. But before a show in Maryland, the band had a little bit of down time when I had a chance to chat with guitarist Jeremy DePoyster. Jeremy and I discussed Dutkewicz’s production techniques and the things he misses about the band’s early days on touring.
Here’s my interview with Jeremy:
AM: When seeing “Dead Throne” debut at #10 on the album charts, what was your reaction?
JD: It was an awesome feeling. With our last album, we came real close and debuted at #11, I think. It was close, but I’m not reading our plaques right now, so I’m not sure (laughs). But it’s good to see what we do every day is paying off. It’s good for a non-radio friendly band with massive amounts of promotion doing this. It’s vindicating because we’ve done things the we we’ve wanted to do it.
AM: What was the band’s mood going into the recording of the album?
JD: I think the mood varied greatly. We rehearsed the songs in Chicago, where I live now. It was work all day, every day for several days in a row getting the vocals right, the music right and so on. We had only been home a couple of days from a long tour before we went right back in to work on recording. We had all these demos all set and we thought they were so good, thinking we were prepared. Then when we started working with Adam, he chopped things up and changed things drastically.
AM: How was working with Adam D on this album?
JD: Adam was awesome. This was the first time we didn’t work with our friend Joey Sturgis and he always did a great job. But I think Adam was more of a producer and intensely worked on the songs. He helped us crank out performances we didn’t even know we had in us and pushed us to make the best album we’ve ever done.
AM: For the “Zombie” EP, what areas of pop culture did you pull from for inspiration?
JD: Our original inspiration for it was when we were on tour in Europe. We were in some very weird countries with no internet and everybody was getting a little stir crazy. I think that started it and when we saw that “Zombieland” movie, we thought “oh yeah, we gotta do a concept like that!”. But we felt we didn’t want to make an entire concept record, so we did this.
AM: Is there any discussion of expanding on the idea of that EP at some point?
JD: I think we’ll go back and do a concept record somewhere in the future, but it won’t be about zombies or anything.
AM: What do you miss about the early days of the band’s touring?
JD: Some of the intimacy that you had about being an unknown band is gone. We were just learning when we first started touring back when we where 17 or 18. We were in a van in those days and you learned to run the crew and operation and learned more things in those days. You’re in a bubble more when you reach a level like we have.
AM: What has been the weirdest thing about the band’s success?
JD: It’s all been kinda surreal and you get all wrapped up in things while on tour. But we have a bunch of dudes in the crew that are easy to talk to and bring you down to earth. When you go home after the tour, things remain pretty down to earth and we don’t get too wrapped up in our own success.
The Devil Wears Prada plays at the Royal Oak Theater on Saturday, December 17th. Tickets are $20 and are available at www.tickets.com. Additional tour dates and band info can be found at www.tdwpband.com.