Want a peek into The Devil Wears Prada...the band? The Ohio six-dude crew have seen their fair share of bumps, bruises, and name criticism, but at the end the day, their music carries special meaning to themselves and their fans. Read about the band's commitment to God, what's in store next, and what's high school like when you could be touring the country.
First of all, what is your name and what do you play in the band?
Chris: Hi, this is Chris and I play guitar in the band.
Can you go through a quick band history?
Chris:Probably around two years ago we started jamming and trying to find the right sound, and the right guys to play in the band with us. After quite a while of playing and writing we played our first show in October of 2005 with a fill-in bassist and one guitarist. Shortly after Jeremy and Andy came along, and we solidified the current lineup. So technically we've been around with the same lineup and playing shows for around a year and a half. We ended up recording our EP with Joey Sturgis who saw us at a show in his hometown in Indiana. Rise liked the EP, and wanted to put it out. We weren't fully satisfied with it and didn't want to put out an EP so we re-worked it, re-recorded it, and added some tracks and made Dear Love, and that came out in August.
Why Rise Records? What makes it a good fit for TDWP?
Chris: Actually Rise was the first label that we even made contact with. We hadn't even got around to making a real press kit at the time that we ended up talking with Rise. Let's just say that they offered us more than we were even looking for at the time, so we jumped at the opportunity to be a part of the label. Rise has hooked us up with some great people and Craig (owner of Rise) lets us do what we want with our band, which is essential to us.
Let's get some of the obvious questions out of the way. The name The Devil Wears Prada originated from the book, correct? You must be asked this all the time, especially with a major motion picture out and the book being a bestseller. This must drive you nuts. Have you ever thought of changing your name?
Chris: Well, the true story is that about two years ago, I saw the name of the book, before it was huge (as far as we all knew at the time). So we were like, well it has a pretty cool ring to it, and we can put our own spin on the name when people ask us about it. (having to do with materialism not being an important part of life) So we went with the name, being fully aware of all of the other bands with "book names." About as soon as we signed to Rise the book seemed to blow up and became the movie and all that. It was nuts. We never expected that.
As far as changing our name, sure we've thought about it. We never wanted it to become a movie or a bestseller, but it did, and we are just seeing how things go. We haven't had any legal problems as of yet. The worst is when people discredit us just because of our name. Sure, if they don't like our music, that's fine, but it really sucks when someone won't give us a chance because "we don't even have enough creativity to think of an original name."
Has the author, Lauren Weisberger, ever contacted you?
Chris: Negative, but I'd actually be interested to hear what she had to say about us.
Update us. What have you been up to as of late and what plans do you have for the near future?
Chris: Lately we have been busy writing every day for our new album that will be out on Rise. We're finishing up the songwriting process right now and are looking at 10 songs (probably a few extra "tracks"). The song "HTML Rulez D00d" that is up on our myspace right now is just a demo version, so there will most likely be changes on the album version. As far as the sound of the new record goes, there is a good mixture of "heavy" and "pretty" and "epic." We are recording at the same studio as Dear Love but we are going to be doing a lot of things differently this time around and are hoping for a much better recording and a much more solid album overall.
As far as touring goes, we are waiting for graduation to tour full time. We should be hitting pretty much every state this summer on a pretty big tour. I don't think we can name the tour yet, but it's going to be a lot of fun. After summer, I think we are heading to Mexico, and then possibly some overseas dates. Nothing is concrete yet.
Band's favorite band? Let's say you all had to agree on one band to open up for on a nationwide tour.
Chris: I think a popular band amongst every member would have to be Underoath just because every person in our band likes at least one of their records. Plus, any show with Underoath would be crazy. We all have the bands that we would personally love to play with. We just toured with A Day to Remember who are on Victory. Those guys are rad. I'd love to head out with them again. Other than that, there's probably too many to list.
I've heard a lot of genre modifiers thrown out there – post hardcore, metalcore, hardcore. A lot of "cores." What does your music sound like to you?
Chris: Well, we definitely don't try to mix a lot of the "cores" together, but it pretty much just ends up happening when we write because we all like so many different kinds of music. Not many dudes in the band even really listen to heavier music, so they tone down what is written by the "metal dudes." We don't try to write anything other than what we think sounds cool.
How many of you guys are still in high school? How difficult has it been to balance the two?
Chris: Two of us, Mike (vocalist), and myself are both seniors at different high schools. In the earlier months of our band Jeremy and Andy were seniors while Mike and I were juniors. Back then it was really difficult, because we hadn't fully decided that we were going to go at it being a non full-time touring band. We knew Andy and Jeremy would graduate and we were tossing around dropping out for online courses for the remaining two members, but we decided against that for our own personal reasons. Once we decided to stick out high school, things became more routine in the sense that we would play shows on weekends and breaks and write during the week.
You guys don't smoke, drink or do drugs. Would you then consider yourselves "straightedge," or do you prefer to not put a label on it? Have you received negative heat because of this, and does it bother you?
Chris: Mike is the only member that "claims straightedge." The rest of us just like to pride ourselves on living a clean and positive lifestyle.
Were all of you raised in religious households?
Chris: Everyone in the band has some sort of personal relationship with God. Whether or not they were raised with those views, I'm not too sure of. I was raised Catholic. As I grew older and met more people and was exposed to more views, I formed my own thoughts and beliefs and decided to live based on a positive Christian outlook on life.
Has your experience as a band helped with your relationship with God? Has it ever conflicted?
Chris: Being in the band has exposed me to so many other people with so many different beliefs. Whether it may be a bum on a street corner, or the owner of a Christian venue, being exposed to the real world has
really opened my eyes to what being a positive follower of Christ is all about. Many of the people that I've met have taught me a lot and really inspired me to try to be closer to God.
Being in the band has never done anything other than help me grow as a person. The reality that comes with touring and being in this industry has helped me shape who I want others to see me as and who I want to be as a person in this band.
Being a Christian band that uses your music to express your faith, do you worry that music fans will be worried or turned off?
Chris: Of course we don't want to turn people off by our music, and we try not to step on any toes, but we have beliefs that we won't compromise for anyone. If someone doesn't like what we stand for, and they decide to dismiss our band because of it, then so be it. We just hope that for every thousand people that listen to the music and love it (or hate it), there is one person that takes something more from it. All we want to do as a band is to say "Here is what we believe. Take from it what you will."
You have some interesting song titles. What are your favorites titles and where did you get their names from?
Chris: Most of our song titles really don't mean anything. We don't want people to pay attention to the titles, but since songs must be titled, we figured they may as well be entertaining. We seriously sat on my floor and stared up at the celing and were like...ummmmm.....DUUUUDE....dogs.. .can grow beards...ALL OVER! It was quite the creative brainstorming experience.
So there are six of you, and throughout all your tours and shows, you must have played on stages of all different sizes. And I've read up on your energetic live shows. Smaller stages and six energetic band members can be quite a combination. Has there been any incidents or injuries?
Chris:YES. Andy blasted me in the face with his bass. I got a tuning peg in the gums/teeth and one in my nose. About a week after that Andy got a cymbal to the back of the head. That required 3 staples. James ran into Andy's bass or something and had to get some staples, and just the other day he rammed his lip into his knee and busted his lip wide open. Mike and Jeremy get random wounds all the time, and Dan is a girl and hides behind his drums.
What is the Ohio music scene like? Is it united? Is Dayton a popular growing ground?
Chris:Ohio has a fairly strong music scene. If the lineup is right, there can be tons of kids at any given show. Theres a few different scenes within the music scene and for the most part everyone does their best to respect one another. Cincinnati is more of our "hometown crowd" it seems like. We have a better response down there for some reason.
Any last words?
Chris: Buy At the Throne of Judgment's album when it comes
out....and.....Magic the Gathering sucks.
ughh...more christian bands. I get so tired of hearing about this. I like a lot of them like Underoath and Anberlin but then they get on the 'close personal relationship with God' tip and I start to feel like it's sunday morning in my parents house. Oh well. I guess it's just prevalent in the scene. Politics in music annoys me too.
I think its cool that with all the pressures of the music industry, there still true to a god.
I Listen to them, and i don't believe in a god, i like how they don't stress it onto there fans.
I was listening to an interview with them one day and they were talking about how of course they would want fans to be Christian, but it doesn't matter to them, only the music does.
it was something like that.
I respect there beliefs, and i like there music.