Ohio Metalcore front-runners, The Devil Wears Prada, have maintained a mystery within their artistry that has kept diehard fans on pins and needles upon every tour and record announcement. Fortunately, fans in the states have a treat coming their way due to The Devil Wears Prada announcing their upcoming ‘No Sun/No Moon’ tour with Veil of Maya and Thousand Below. I caught up with lead vocalist, Mike Hranica, to discuss the necessities that he enjoys having on tour, talks of the follow-up to ‘Transit Blues’, the human beings behind the band’s cover art and more.
Congrats on the success of your most recent release, ‘Transit Blues’. Have you guys been in the studio and/or thinking about a follow-up in the near future?
Thank you. We’ve had multiple discussions and loose plans for writing towards the end of the year, but that’s about it. Presently I’m readying for my second band, God Alone, to record our first full length.
Tell us about your songwriting process. Is there a certain individual that trailblazers this or is it a collective effort?
It’s changed over the years, as have the members. There are still guys in the band that take a more forward role than others. Over the years we’ve become much more democratic, which I certainly consider a plus. These days, every member has a larger role than when we just started; and that creates a more inspired, creative result.
What visual artists do you collaborate with to bring your unique album covers to life?
A number of different guys over the years. Dan Seagrave and Daniel Hojnacki did our fourth and fifth full-lengths, although our newest was by Micah Sedmak, who is one of my best friends. We’ve lived together and maintained a very personal relationship. I truly enjoy collaborating to create a direction for people that are close to me. I anticipate the same for God Alone. I’m rather obsessive about seeing my ideas formulate, whether it’s album artwork, music videos, merchandise, you name it.
You guys are heading on tour this Fall with Veil of Maya and Thousand Below. What was it about both bands that caught your eye?
We knew Veil from touring overseas years ago. Thousand Below is a Rise Records band they’re pushing to get out on tour.
What are some of your absolute tour necessities that you bring along with you whenever you are on the road?
I need a book and books on deck. If I don’t have any reading material, I feel rather panicky. That along with notebooks, guitar gear, etc. One of my pup’s, Milly, also comes out on U.S. tours with us; so I have to have her necessities. Having a dog on tour is the best.
As veterans in the game, tell us some of the most important words of wisdom that you’ve heard over the years that you have brought along with you throughout your career?
We learned and made our own rules for the most part, but one thing that sticks out is “Milk it”, or basically don’t give everything away, or make too many records. An element of mystery has been drastically reduced in the age of social media. I am no proponent of total privacy, but these days it feels as though a line has been crossed.
If you could get any piece that you desire to get tattooed by any tattoo artist in the world, what would you get tattooed and which artist would you choose and why?
There are a lot of talented dudes around the world. I’m too broken and poor to be tattooed as I used to. Chicago has an exceptional scene, which I greatly appreciate. My pal, Kevin Leary, has been tattooing me for years now, so he’s a go to. Great Lakes Tattoo is a fine establishment – better than most. I’d also like more work from Andrew Mongenas at Brown Brothers back home in Chicago.
What is the most interesting TV series and/or most recent book that you have read and why?
I just reread Player Piano by Vonnegut, which was and is fantastic. On the more contemporary side of things, I’m currently making my way through Heroes of the Frontier. I consider Dave Eggers one of the better writers of today.
What are your thoughts on the current state of metalcore?
The first word that comes to mind is “lengthy.” For the most part, it’s pretty awful, and I don’t say that from a holier-than-thou position. I only wish more bands would spend time to create something intelligent and inventive. There aren’t interesting ideas circulating within metalcore like there are in other avenues of music.
Last but certainly not least, any closing messages for your fans?
Thanks for having me! For fans – I’d urge one to think for him or herself, but also seek knowledge endlessly and objectively.