Alex Haber of Heavy New York conducted an interview with THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA frontman Mike Hranica prior to the band's November 13 concert at Gramercy Theater in New York, New York. You can watch the entire chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On the writing and recording process for THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA's new album, "The Act":
Mike: "The writing process was entirely different as far as all of us working one-on-one with Jon [Gering, keyboards] rather than everybody in a room piecing things together. Jon is definitely the captain of 'The Act', the one that controlled and handled and produced everything to a T, even credited songwriter, too. A lot of it came down to Jon. [It was] the first time we've ever thrown away songs. We always make the bare minimum. We threw away a lot of songs this time around and we recorded it in April, I want to say, of this year outside Boston."
On whether the sound on "The Act" is what THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA was originally going for:
Mike: "I think so. I mean, we're extremely critical and nitpicky about our sound and mixes. The mixing process for our band is thoroughly long-winded as far as critiques and whatnot. Yeah, we're not going to put something out that we're not fully behind. Even looking back at stuff we did put out that we look back upon regrettably, I think 'The Act' is the antithesis of that and the more important point being, a record we can really stand behind which is so crucial when you're 14 years in and it's your seventh full-length."
On whether THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA likes to experiment while in the studio:
Mike: "Yeah, I'm always reluctant about the term 'experimental.' I thought it got really worn out. I never aim that way; I think it's just looking at a metal record or a heavy rock or whatever the record is and looking at it from more of a musician standpoint rather than as a metal guitarist or a metal drummer or a metal vocalist perspective. As far as building songs out of that which we can use and that which is applicable to our sound, which is a world of components rather than just guitars and just a few patches of certain synths. I think a lot of the looping on the record and the sampling is a lot of what could be considered more on the experimental side versus listening to a metal record that's 'Hey, here's the two guitars, here's the bass, here's the drums, here's the vocals.' I think a lot of metal's gone really far from that too, due to a higher level of production, but the level of production is entirely repetitive and it's using the same components over and over rather than going to instruments and sounds that are just entirely foreign to metal. I think that when Jon and Kyle [Sipress, guitar], the primary songwriters of the record when they were sending over instrumentals, that's how it rang to me."
On incorporating older material into their live set:
Mike: "I think at least at this point in our lives, things change so much from when you're 16 to 30 years old. I've never been apologetic about my level of sincerity, particularly in the early songwriting. But people change and a lot of the times playing music or touring is a nine-to-five job, it's work. And when you indoctrinate songs that don't feel emotionally cathartic or representative of yourself today, it's like just doing a job you don't like. There's definitely a standard to meet as far as pleasing people that love that old stuff. We play a 'Plagues' song on this tour ['Hey John, What's Your Name Again?'] which is not a deep cut by any means. At the same time, to our sense of creating something, just playing a lot of stuff that doesn't emotionally resonate is just a waste of time for me. I feel like I could find a different job that would challenge and fulfill me more than playing old stuff that doesn't ring as true to me."
"The Act" was released on October 11 via Solid State Records.