August 12, 2015 Interview – Jeremy DePoyster of The Devil Wears Prada
Music should express an emotion; happy, sad, angry, or indifferent. When it comes to Metal music, those emotions are the focal point of the lyrical concept and instrumental aspects brought forth onto listening audiences. Standing strong on who they are, The Devil Wears Prada have worn their feelings on their sleeves since they came together a decade ago in Dayton, Ohio. Having built a name that is one of the most recognized in modern Metal over the years, the band has released five full-length records and toured all over the world to critical acclaim. Now releasing a new concept EP entitled Space in 2015, the band returned to Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival for the first since 2012, but this time as a main-stage act the entire tour. Take a introspective look into the journey the band has traveled within a discussion with Vocalist and Guitarist Jeremy DePoyster talking the band’s ideology, their progression in sound, and much more.
CrypticRock.com – The Devil Wears Prada began back in 2005. In the past decade, the band has released a total of five full-length records, as well as been on numerous tours including spots on Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival and Vans Warped tour. Tell us, what has this ride been like?
Jeremy DePoyster – Unbelievable, I guess, is probably the best description. You can not choose these kinds of paths, they just sort of happen and you really do not know how. I would say we had dreams, but we never really did have dreams because the band was never supposed to be anything but a small band. Then things just took off, so we just love it and try and do the best with can with it. It is awesome. We just completed our second time touring with Slayer, and these are things you never think you are going to say.
CrypticRock.com – Absolutely, as you said, you can never foresee what is going to happen. Now, over the years, The Devil Wears Prada has stayed true to the message and theme behind the music, that you strongly believe in. Lyrically, it seems the band are a bit disappointed with society and culture in general. Tell us a bit about the bands ideology and your frustrations with the way the world is?
Jeremy DePoyster – Mike Hranica writes the lyrics obviously, but as you say, it is very obvious to see. I would describe him as just a real dude, he is just honest. We share a strong Christian ideology and that is just who we are. With that said, we are probably on the more liberal side of Christianity, but I think just the material obsession, the sex obsession, everything of the way he sees the world is very disappointed. Therefore, this is his outlet to get it out. Songs and albums like 2011’s Dead Throne are pretty self explanatory; you put the world on a dead throne. The videos we did to go along with that stuff pretty much sums up his ideologies better than anything else.
That being said, I think as time has gone on, we have kind of jumped into more themes that exist just outside the Christianity thing with the Zombie EP in 2010, now the Space EP, and different albums. I think now there are songs that explore those themes and then there are songs that explore other themes as well, but that probably is just from playing in the band for ten years, wanting to do different things, and look at different stuff.
CrypticRock.com – Exactly, and as you mentioned, the band does have a Christian ideology and is classified as a Christian Metal band. Sometimes people have this misconception when it comes to the title of a Christian Metal band, which is rather unfortunate. What are your opinions on that? Do you get a little frustrated when people lump everything into one idea and have these misconceptions of it?
Jeremy DePoyster – Yes, I guess it is weird for me because I do not really read a whole lot of comments one way or the other. Even if you look at, say, President Obama, or you look at anything, anything that anyone does anymore is going to be ripped apart in a comment section somewhere. I do not really care about that stuff too much, and really, we do not get a whole lot of flack, even on tour, for being a Christian Band. I think, for whatever reason, people do not really care with that fact about us. We are not preachy by any means, and we do not take time out of our set to do a sermon or anything like that (laughs). Not that we would either, we are not ministers, so why would we do that. I think that is the biggest thing that we have shown people over the years is that the way we grew up is very different than what a lot of people think of being a Christian means. This whole strong, conservative, ideology with the no drinking and no swearing kind of thing, that is just not the world I grew up in. That is not the house I grew up in, so it is hard to relate to that.
CrypticRock.com – Right, completely understood, and that was exactly the point. People lump things in, they have these misconceptions about it, and sometimes, unfortunately, will discount something because they are labeling it. The band has sustained, essentially, the same line-up over the past decade. With that said, James Baney departed back in 2012. Was that difficult for the band to see James leave?
Jeremy DePoyster – I would say that was not especially difficult. We were going in different directions musically and just in life. The road is very hard, especially year round. It all sort of shows you a massive magnifying glass into who people really are and what their cores are. We just knew that both of us were going in different directions. Probably, an even bigger, crazier, difficult thing was Chris Rubey, our other guitar player, left at the end of last year. We were still on a similar path, and very similar people, but he just wanted to stay home, he has a wife and a baby. Some people, that is okay to go on the road, and some people it is not. That was the best thing for him and we were totally on board with it. It was amicable, but I would say that was a much bigger shock, and a much bigger adjustment to make.
CrypticRock.com – Yes, understandably so. As you said, being on the road can be very tough, especially when you have a family at home. You do not want to miss the time with your family. Now, the band did released their fifth studio album, 8:18 back in September of 2013, and now you have got a new EP in the works, the sixth track EP, Space. Can you tell me a little bit about the concept and recording process behind this EP?
Jeremy DePoyster – It is a concept album, like you said. We did the Zombie EP, that was another concept EP around five years ago. We knew we would be coming back into that realm again. It was so popular with the fans, and we thought it would be fun to do something else. I think this one is a little more serious with certain themes. That was another challenge with Chris leaving right before we did that. Then we start having a new writing process and everything like that. That was fun, and then we did the record with Dan Korneff, who mixed on our last album, and he is amazing. We will definitely be going back to do another album with him. He had a great personality, had great gear, and really pushes you.
CrypticRock.com – Excellent, the band’s sound has clearly progressed from record to record. That is natural with most bands. Is that sort of progression something that you strive for as a band?
Jeremy DePoyster – I would say not even necessarily strive for, it is just natural. You write songs differently when you are seventeen years old than when you are twenty-seven. You write music differently when you do not have to worry about a day job and about money. Well you worry about money, but you know what I mean. When this is what you get paid to do, it just gives you the ability to indulge more, if that makes sense. I know that is kind of a weird way of phrasing things. I would still be playing in a band if I did not do this for a living. I just would not to have the same amount of time to dedicate to it, so it is just a little bit different.
CrypticRock.com – It makes perfect sense. When you do not have the other stresses of having a day job, you can devote all your time and energy into your art form more completely.
Jeremy DePoyster – Yes, as time goes on, especially as we get older, a little more mature, and think about things differently, we try and take that responsibility and take it more seriously and know that people are giving us the ability to do that, through caring about the band, coming out to shows, and buying our albums. We try and deliver what we consider to be the ultimate best thing that we can, instead of just going, “Oh well, whatever” and just make an album because that is what we do.
CrypticRock.com – Essentially, the band does not take it for granted, and that is a really excellent way to approach things. As we spoke about briefly, you were back on Mayhem Festival in 2015. You were on the main stage this year for the whole tour, congratulations. How did the tour go?
Jeremy DePoyster – It was awesome, Slayer was awesome. It was really like a two-part tour. On the one hand, I played everyday, on the other hand, I got a free show everyday. That part was cool. All the guys on the stage are super cool. All the people on the tour are awesome, so it was just really cool. When you do this everyday, it is so much easier when there are people that like what they do and want to help you do what you do, instead of just making things difficult for no reason. The crowds were awesome, there were so many people that we met that may not come out to a club show for us that are big fans of the band. It was really awesome to just meet different people and play for so many different people that you can watch bands from the first song to the fourth song and just go, “Wow, I had no idea that this band was like that.” That part of it is really cool too.
CrypticRock.com – That is great that it went well. This year’s line up was a solid lineup with a good mix of older and younger bands. You mentioned Slayer, you were also on stage with King Diamond as well. These are some of Heavy Metal’s elite. What has that been like, sharing the stage with these bands?
Jeremy DePoyster – These guys are legends, literally. They forced a way for us to even exist as a band. It is just cool to be able to be there for that experience. We got to see the way they do things, to see how seriously they take their show, how well they play, and use that as an influence as well. People do not come back and see Slayer or King Diamond after thirty plus years when they do not take it seriously and do not do it very well. Just the culture and fan base around it all is cool. I love Metal; I grew up in Metal, and the culture is awesome.
CrypticRock.com – That is great. As you stated, you grew up in Metal and you are a big fan of Metal. Do you happen to have some favorite bands? Could you shed some light on some of your musical influences?
Jeremy DePoyster – I was a super Nu Metal kid growing up so, Korn, Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park, Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson, and all that kind of stuff. As time goes on, it evolves a little bit.
CrypticRock.com –Those are some great bands from the ’90s into the 2000s. Sometimes the word Nu Metal is almost a dirty word with some people, which is kind of absurd. Maybe the genre is getting a little more respect as time goes on, but for a while there, it was getting ripped apart. It is crazy, and honestly, the same could be said about the Metalcore genre, another style people label and discount because they have this preconceived notion of what it is.
Jeremy DePoyster – Yes, I know (laughs). I see a lot of parallels there, big time. I think really what it boils down to for both genres is if want Thrash it already exists, if you want this, it already exists. We are trying to do what we want to do in a different way, and a lot of people just do not get that, but that is ok.
CrypticRock.com – Yes, exactly. Not everything is for everyone, that is the bottom line. My last question for you is pertaining to films since CrypticRock.com covers all kinds of music as well as film, particularly in the Horror genre. Are you a fan of Horror films, and if so, what are some of your favorite Horror films?
Jeremy DePoyster – I like the Scream series, because they kind of make fun of the whole genre, but is still true to it. I like The Shining (1980). I am kind of into more of the intellectual Thriller side of Horror films, but then sometimes I like the Friday the 13th films as well.