The Devil Wears Prada are a household name in the metalcore world. The band have just finished recording the follow up to 2011’s incredibly received ‘Dead Throne,’ and will be heading back to our shores to support A Day To Remember this July. Killyourstereo.com chats with drummer Daniel Williams about touring, their upcoming album, and even pre-show yoga in the lead up to the tour.
Hey Daniel, how are things in your world right now?
Oh, wonderful. I’m at a rest stop in some random place in Germany somewhere.
For the uninitiated, describe The Devil Wears Prada in five words.
Oh, five words, (laughs). I’ve already used 3 haven’t I? Dammit. …Heavy, agressive…metal, fun, and, is headbang one word?
I’ll take it as one word.
All right, let’s go with that.
You guys are coming down here next week to tour with A Day To Remember and Dream On, Dreamer. How are you guys feeling about those shows?
I can’t wait. We just saw the A Day To Remember guys last night and were reminiscing about touring together back in the day and talking about how we really need to tour together again soon, and then we were like, “Oh wait, we’re touring together in a couple of days!” So yeah, we’re all pretty excited, I reckon it’s gonna be a killer tour, and A Day To Remember rule. so we’re heaps excited to be with those guys again.
What have your previous experiences in Australia been like?
Every time has been awesome. Actually, I learnt to surf for the first time in Australia so I have a lot of good memories from that. We went for a headliner in 2007, then we went over with Parkway Drive, which was awesome. Those guys were great. We did another headliner in 2011 with We Came As Romans, which was another fully awesome tour as well. But, I don’t think any of those are going to compare to these shows, these are just gonna be out of hand.
What major differences are you expecting from this tour to say, supporting Parkway Drive here in 2010, or your headline tours?
I’m not really sure. I guess that we’ve just known the A Day To Remember guys so much longer, so I guess there’ll be a lot more pranks pulled, mostly on us (laughs). But other than that, you know I’m still just keen to be coming back to Australia, it’s gonna be awesome.
You’ve worked with both A Day To Remember and Dream on, Dreamer quite a number of times before, having toured with them multiple times, and even with Mike having done guest vocals for one of ADTR’s songs, so I’m assuming you guys have a pretty good relationship with the bands. How did those relationship come about?
Dream On, Dreamer, we actually don’t know too well aside from that one tour, but as far as A Day To Remember goes, we’ve been playing shows with them since back in like, 2007, or 2008, doing some tours in the US, and our relationship has just grown exponentially since then.
Do you guys have anything that you like to do each night before you hit the stage?
Yeah, I’m kind of weird, I do yoga. It helps me to just chill out and get in the zone, I guess. Some of the other guys like to run, I dunno, we all do our own weird thing I guess. Chris play video games for hours at a time to chill out. I guess personally, I just warm up and do some yoga.
You guys have recently been working on your fifth studio album. How are you and the rest of the band feeling about putting that out in September?
We feel great about it. We actually just got what looks to be the final mix back last night, and I haven’t even downloaded that, so I’m dying to get where we’re going to get some wifi and download, but from what I’ve heard so far it sounds amazing and I reckon you guys are all gonna love it.
Can we expect to hear any songs from it on the Australian tour?
Yeah, were already performing two of the new songs live, one called ‘Gloom’ and one called ‘Martyrs’. I’m not sure if we’ll throw in any more for the Australian tour or not. Maybe one more.
Is there any specific sounds, progressions, or anything really that you think sets this upcoming release apart from your previous ones?
I think if you listen to our last full length, ‘Dead Throne,’ I think it’s a bit more matured and a more ‘adult’ sound, I guess. But I would say that it kind of has that same vibe, just more mature and thought out. Good songs rather than cool parts I guess. We put a lot more thought into the way we write the songs and how we want them to come across live as opposed to on the CD and all that. As far as progression goes, every album is going to sound a little bit different from the last, and I think this has a bit of something for everyone who likes The Devil Wears Prada.
You worked with Matt Goldman and Adam Dutkiewicz as producer and executive producer respectively on this album, what was the experience like with them on board?
It was awesome! We worked with Adam on our last record, and he did an awesome job, but timing didn’t work out to where he could engineer this record, but luckily we found Matt Goldman who we’ve wanted to work with for a fair amount of time, so it was pretty great that we were able to get him on board. His approach to things is very different to the way Adam goes, which helped make for a different record rather than just another ‘Dead Throne.’ So I feel like Matt brought a lot of great things to the table that wouldn’t be there without him.
Which artists would you say were the major influences on the record?
I think that would be more a question for our guitarists, but as far as drumming goes, I’m still in love with The Bled’s Pass The Flask. Just The Bled in general, really. Such good drumming.
With so many songs for you guys to choose from, how do you go about selecting songs for a setlist, particularly for a support set like the ones coming up in Australia?
We usually just take however much time we have, start there and pick. With a short set we usually just punch out the bangers and give people a short, heavy set, but if it’s a little bit longer, you know, I’m not one for having 40 minutes of pure metal in your face, so we try to separate it a bit and throw some slower songs in, to kind of slow down the mood of the set rather than just metal in your face.
Just before we wrap, a couple of quick ones, who are your biggest influences as a drummer?
I guess I’d have to say Aaron Gillespie because I’ve always been an Underoath fan. I know he’s not with them anymore and that they’ve broken up, but old school Aaron’s drumming was great!
What music could you expect to hear being played in a Devil Wears Prada tour bus?
Slipknot, Slayer, (laughs), lots of dance hits.
Of every single tour you guys have done, is there one that sticks out personally as your ‘best tour ever’?
My favourite tour. That’s tough. The tour we did with Killswitch Engage was probably the most memorable tour I’ve ever done, for sure.
What is the best experience you’ve had on the road?
Oh man, these are tough questions. One time when I toured with Underoath, we tried to flip a beetle, because it was in our parking space. That was pretty fun.
(laughs), that’s hilarious! All right, well on that note, I’ll leave you. Thanks for taking time out to talk to us, and I can’t wait to see you guys next week.
No worries, catch you later.