Written By: Michael and Terri Gonzales
The Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival has just begun its annual summer tour providing a stellar dose of some of the heaviest bands in the business. This year is no exception with a lineup infused of both veteran and underground heavyweights such as Slayer, King Diamond, The Devil Wears Prada, Whitechapel, Thy Art Is Murder, Shattered Sun, and many more. Mayhem Fest has been without a doubt every summer’s heaviest tour since its inception in 2008. This year’s lineup has to be the most highly anticipated one to date.
The Devil Wears Prada are no strangers to Mayhem Fest having been on the tour previously back in 2012 with a rotating main stage slot. This year they have a set slot on main stage, along with a brand new EP set to release at the end of summer. The Devil Wears Prada recently transitioned back to their original label Rise Records and are set to release their conceptual “Space” EP on August 21.
The Devil Wears Prada frontman Mike Hranica was kind enough to share his thoughts on a variety of topics such as the “Space” EP, Mayhem Fest, changing record labels, and more. Continue reading to gain some knowledge and insight from The Devil Wears Prada lead vocalist Mike Hranica as the band departs out for a summer on Mayhem Fest and releasing a new EP at the end of summer.
You guys are veterans of both of the big summer fests, Vans Warped Tour and Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival. You spent last summer on Warped Tour and are set for this summer on Mayhem Fest. Do you approach one differently than the other in regards to your setlist, performance, or anything different in general?
Mike Hranica: Yeah definitely. For last year’s Warped we wanted to do a little bit of a throwback, to where we actually had fans vote for the setlist in their town. For Mayhem we’ll probably aim for the heavier, more abrupt side of things, which is what we did last time we played in 2012.
Musically you guys have come a long way over the past ten years. How do you feel that you have grown and progressed musically beyond your earlier albums such as “Dear Love: A Beautiful Discord” and “Plagues” compared to “8:18” or the upcoming “Space” EP?
Mike Hranica: I think that’s boldly evident in listening to the songs.
Do you plan on playing any of your older songs such as “Nickels is Money Too” or other fan favorites from that era during Mayhem Fest?
Mike Hranica: Since last summer we’ve started playing a couple songs off of Plagues again. We might try some of those old ones at Mayhem, too.
What prompted the change from Roadrunner Records to Rise Records, and how did it effect you guys personally and as a band?
Mike Hranica: We worked with Rise for our first two albums and felt really comfortable with the sort of process that comes with that label. It’s familiar and simple, and I think for me personally that was some of the sway to move back to Rise. Their online presence has grown exponentially, too. With that being said I only maintain the best regards to those we got to work with at Roadrunner.
Chicago is without a doubt a unique and one of a kind city. What is it about Chicago that has led to the majority of the band wanting to call this city home?
Mike Hranica: Yeah most of us live in Chicago. I wasn’t particularly fond of the city when I moved six years ago, but I’ve never wanted to leave since. We basically have the freedom to live wherever whilst playing in the band, and I choose Chicago. It’s my kind of town.
The upcoming “Space” EP seems to follow in a similar style to that of the “Zombie” EP with both evoking a specific theme and concept present throughout from start to finish. What do you feel sets these two releases apart aside from the differing concepts?
Mike Hranica: The Space EP is more intentional to each topic. I still look back to the Zombie EP and can appreciate and recognize what was happening, but I think a lot of the material could be interchangeable between songs. That is not at all applicable to what we did with the Space EP. As a writer in the band I found it extremely enjoyable to watch the fruition of each song after picking a subject for the song to follow. I don’t think that’s something many get to experience.
Be sure to pick up tickets for the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival stopping in major cities nationwide all summer long.