The Devil Wears Prada just finished a tour revisiting its acclaimed Zombie EP (which we figured out too late) and now the Dayton metalcore band is finally getting around to playing Rock on The Range, the country's largest rock festival that takes place right up the road from the band's hometown. Members Jeremy DePoyster and Daniel Williams discuss the band's new Space EP, moving forward without guitarist Chris Rubey, and the adjective-driven warzone that is metal music.
Music Times: You guys are currently on tour supporting...well...not supporting but resurrecting, if you will, the Zombie EP and have been playing it in full. Do you plan on doing that today?
Jeremy DePoyster (guitar): We actually talked about it this morning. It wasn't the plan...then it was the plan...and now it's not the plan. So no, but we will be playing songs from the Zombie EP but not the full thing front-to-back.
Daniel Williams (drums): The set is too short.
JP: Yeah, the set is only 30 minutes.
DW: On top of that, technically that "Zombie" tour ended yesterday.
Really? So all of my questions are totally worthless now?
JP: (laughs) Well, we can reiterate about it.
DW: We can work around this.
So where did you guys play yesterday?
DW: Actually we had a day off yesterday in Dayton. Got to see some family and stuff, which was awesome. But the day before that we played Bloomington, IL. A lot of these shows have been in kind of smaller towns.
JP: On the back half of the tour.
DW: The front half of the tour was all bigger cities. This half has been like Bloomington and Des Moines and some other places that are far away.
You mentioned Dayton. You guys are an Ohio, homegrown band but it's the first time in nine years that we managed to get you to Rock on The Range.
JP: That's true.
DW: We were so mad last year when we saw the lineup. We were like "we wouldn't to do that. We're not from Ohio or anything." We're like "please let us play!"
JP: We were really excited when we got the offer this year, for sure.
Is that something you can push for, being an Ohio band and all?
JP: Yeah, it's not as much our choice as it is the promoters of the show. They offer to bring us to the festival kind of thing.
Going back to the "Zombie" tour, which is now a moot point I suppose, it was to mark the five-year anniversary of the EP. Was that behind the decision to put out your second EP this year?
JP: Yeah, I think so. Obviously the Zombie EP idea led into the Space EP idea. It was a logical next step in the sequence. It made sense. So I guess, "yes," it was definitely an influence.
Does the Space EP feature Chris (guitarist Chris Rubey left the band during March)?
DW: He has one song that he wrote some stuff for on. Most of the rest of it was just us writing together and everything so it's kind of a transitionary thing. I'd say probably, for the most part, no. That's kind of an exciting part of it. But I guess that's always how it's kinda been with different albums. I think we kind of touted the "Chris writes the songs" thing even more than it actually was the case most of the time. We've always had a bunch of songs that were different people writing.
JP: As far as the question goes, he only worked on one song out of six.
Regardless of whomever leaves the band, it's obviously at least a minor road bump. So far you guys have been pretty consistent about an LP every two years. Theoretically 2015 would see a new LP...is that going to happen?
DW: That was kind of the same deal with the Zombie EP. When the Zombie EP came out would have been the time to release another record but we chose to do an EP instead. As a kind of in-between step. I think that was the Space EP as well. I don't know if a new full-length will come this year but we'll definitely be writing full-length material this year and possibly record this year. I'm not sure yet. We'll definitely be working on the next record...I just don't know if it'll come out this year. It'll probably come out next year.
We'll give you the benefit of the doubt.
DW: Yeah, listen to the Space EP to tide you over.
Going back to the "hometown" thing, does playing a festival closer to home have any special significance?
DW: I feel the shows are always relatively awesome around here. Especially in the Columbus area. Like, Cincinnati was always our quote-end-quote "hometown" shows. That's where we would play our big shows when we first started. As the years have gone on, Columbus has overtaken Cincinnati shows in my opinion. Columbus shows are awesome. Every time we play Newport (the Newport Music Hall near Ohio State University), it goes off man. There are definitely other cities where people go off and it's a really good show, but Ohio's a little bit special I guess, because we're from here.
JP: And we grew up going to shows here too so it's definitely cool playing the venues where I watched all of my favorite bands play when I was getting into music and figuring out concerts and stuff. It's cool.
I like the way you say "other cities" like they're side women or something.
DW: (laughs) My other cities.
JP: I got my main cities and my other cities.
One of my favorite things about metal is how specific fans get about genre terms. Every metal band has to be a different genre. I checked on Wikipedia, and you're currently listed as "Christian melodic metalcore."
If you could add one more adjective to that genre name, what would it be?
JP: "Kinda." Christian melodic metalcore comma-kinda.
DW: Only kinda. Oh man...
JP: Goth maybe?
DW: I don't know!
JP: If I could edit, I would delete everything but just metal. We love all kinds of bands that are metal. We love playing metal shows. We like being on tour with metal bands. Like, what's Whitechapel? I dunno, "doom deathcore with a side of"...I don't care. They're just metal. What's Slipknot? They're just metal. I just like metal. I like [Judas] Priest. I like...
DW: I'm still trying to add another word that's funny and I'm not really witty right now.
JP: We're off our game, dude. You need to come back to us.
I find it interesting...I'm asking the tough questions like "Chris just left the band" and you've got your answers on point. I throw you the biggest softball and you can't do it. All you have to do is come up with an adjective!
JP: It was amicable. We're still chill with him. This one...
DW: Is "pizza-eating" an adjective?
Yeah, technically it is.
DW: Okay...Christian melodic pizza-eating metalcore.
JP: Parentheses: "wings also."
DW: We like the wings. Mainly Jeremy.
JP: I'm a wing guy, yeah.
You've got other cities and other foods.
DW: He's not a one-food man.
JP: Because I'm married, I have to have something on the side. Cities and foods.