You might think that The Devil Wears Prada, the metalcore Christian band from Dayton, Ohio made up of Mike Hranica (vocals), Chris Rubey (lead guitar), Andy Trick (bass), Daniel Williams (drums) and Jeremy DePoyster (rhythm guitar, vocals) would feel a little bit awkward about playing on a bill with Satan worshipers Anthrax and Motorhead.
On the contrary, they’re thrilled to be hobnobbing with the big boys of metal on the Mayhem Festival, as DePoyster shared from the road.
“I couldn’t put together a better lineup if someone asked me to—Slipknot’s been on my dream lineup for years, and now we’re on it!” DePoyster says. The devil may care attitude serves DePoyster and his bandmates well now that they’re transitioning into the big leagues.
This year you skipped the Warped Tour to go on Mayhem. What’s that like?
We’ve talked about it quite a bit with Kevin (Lyman, who runs both the Mayhem Festival and the Vans Warped Tour), but Warped Tour always kind of made a little bit more sense. But this year it just made sense [to do Mayhem].
So is Mayhem like the grown-up version of Warped?
I don’t know if I’d necessarily say grown-up. It’s definitely on the heavier side of things, yeah. Every band on Mayhem is pretty much a metal band, and even though Warped has gone more on that route throughout the years it’s definitely not a metal tour, so we’re definitely honored to be a part of Mayhem.
You’ve said before that a lot of the bands on the Mayhem lineup were instrumental to shaping your musical taste.
I grew up listening to Slipknot, Slayer, Anthrax and all these guys. Even in my recent years, As I Lay Dying were pretty instrumental in shaping the sound of our band and a lot of the bands that influenced us when we got started. Two of the bands on it are half of the big four of metal, that’s pretty crazy!
Are you looking forward to crazy antics on tour?
We’re pretty tight with the White Chapel guys, so I’m sure all kinds of fun will ensue with them. Really, though, I’m really looking forward to the shows; a big change from Warped Tour to Mayhem is really the emphasis on the show and on bands playing. That’s why we started a band and why we’re still in a band, and why these people are on bands. I don’t know if you can say the same about Warped Tour and a lot of the younger bands on Warped Tour. There’s a really big emphasis on fun and backstage and Tweeting and Instagram—and man, that’s great, but it should really be about the show. We’re the luckiest people in the world because we get to go up onstage and play music and have people listen. That’s the main focus for us and why we’re so excited to be on this tour.
You guys have been together six or seven years now. It doesn’t seem like a long enough time to release a Greatest Hits album such as Dead and Alive.
(Laughs) Yeah, I guess now it’s closer to 10 than it is to one! The CD/DVD package is really just a culmination of the new stuff and all the songs we’ve decided we enjoy playing live. We probably have more than 50 songs at this point, when you combine all the records. That’s a lot of songs, and we’ve really kind of narrowed down songs that we enjoy. And generally that translates into what the crowd enjoys.
Luckily we don’t really have to make decisions based on what we think will sell, it’s just based on what we want, so that works out for us. And Dead and Alive is a representation of what we feel works best for us.
You filmed a lot of it, too, right?
We had a film crew do the live show aspect, which is the main part of the DVD. They really did a great job of putting that stuff together and getting the live mix put together. All the guys in the band had input in getting the edits right.
I put together a behind the scenes feature that just showed what life is like for us on the tour. I also got the guys talking about what being in the band is like. I thought people would be interested in hearing that straight from us. Andy (our bassist) and I shot these throughout the tour.
Are you thinking of doing more of that in the future?
I’ve done a lot of videos for us in the past—even music videos—and I’d like to approach that more in the future, but I’m not naive enough to think I can do that full-time. I’ll just do it within the band and see what happens from there.
What’s your favorite part in Dead and Alive?
The whole band just sat down and watched it the day it came out, and I guess my favorite part is just the magic of the show. We always talked heavily about being a live band, and how that’s the most important element of our lives as a band. That’s what we do nine months out of a year. So it’s cool to have something that shows that, and people can experience anytime they want. They can feel what we were feeling during a show. Some of our fans have been to eight or nine of our shows, so we thought we had to do something exciting to build up from there. So we put this big set-up together, and I think it really represents who we are and what we’re into. I think that’s the most exciting part about it, people can see from all sides this vision that we have.
How tight you guys are reminds me of Thrice—especially since you’re not embarrassed to say you’re a Christian band as well. They were together for a long time—are you in it for the long haul as well?
Yeah, I really don’t know how to do anything else! I joined the band when I was 17 and the year I graduated from high school I hopped on a the bus and went on tour. We kind of threw things a long time ago into God’s hands. We’ve had hiccups along the way, but we’ve always kept doing our thing, whether we’ve had 100 or 10,000 people. We’re fortunate and blessed that it’s always been more than less. I love these guys, they’re my brothers, and I don’t see it ending any time soon.
Speaking of hiccups along the way, you recently parted with your keyboardist James Baney—what really happened there?
Without being too specific, we just wanted different things in the band. We had a pretty good vision of who we wanted to be and the show we wanted to put on. I don’t think he necessarily had the same visions and goals that makes being in a band fun. It should be fun, because if it’s not fun, there’s really no point. We don’t make enough money! (Laughs) I’m not buying a mansion in my spare time!
I don’t know that he had the same outlook, but that’s how it goes. Like any relationship, there’s always different takes. We all just felt it would be the best thing for everybody. We’re all doing alright, though. We’re doing fine! He seems to be doing fine. He’s on the road again, and I think he’ll be a happier person for it now, and that’s all we want. We’re not bad people, we just want people to be happy. We’re pretty chill dudes and if someone’s bummed all the time, then that’s just not good.
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