A Conversation About Color -with The Devil Wears Prada’s Mike Hranica

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Mike Hranica

To set the stage, it’s 2005 in Dayton, Ohio; a young and hungry Metalcore band has formed.  They started strong with the release of their demo Patterns of A Horizon, followed by their signing to Rise Records.  As a result, Patterns of A Horizon was re-recorded and turned into Dear Love: A Beautiful Discord, resulting in multiple tours and a spot at the 2006 edition of the Cornerstone Festival.  Seventeen years later, following numerous headlining tours, the release of genre-defying albums such as Plagues, and their cementation atop the Metalcore ranks, The Devil Wears Prada are ready to release another studio album.  A follow-up to ZII, Color Decay, releasing September 16th, is the newest exhibition of vocalist Mike Hranica, rhythm guitarist Jeremy Depoyster, lead guitarist Kyle Sipress, keyboardist Jonathan Gerring, drummer Giuseppe Capolupo, and bassist Mason Nagy’s patented style.  The album is a melodic and raw display of what Metalcore should sound like.  Hranica sat down with Screamer Magazine to discuss Color Decay, touring, and the other facets of TDWP operations. 

Following the departure of former bassist Andy Trick in 2019, Hranica is one of two remaining members of the band’s original lineup.  He has been instrumental to the band’s success, with his vocals providing a backbone to The Devil Wears Prada’s unique harmonization.  Speaking on what it has been like to continue innovating while also staying true to the band’s roots, he says, “The fundamental for Prada is that through all these years, the thing that stays is Jeremy (Depoyster) and I’s voices.  I don’t say that as any kind of arrogance, but we feel like we can bend and do what we want and can challenge John (Gerring’s) songwriting.  It’s boring to always try and come back to the same thing as what we did on day one.”  Hranica is correct about music becoming stale when trying to repeat the same formula.  Being able to step out of comfort zones and create something new is an essential skill that musicians like him have had to learn, and learn it they have.  Songs like Salt, Noise, and Hallucinate show a mature Prada sound; the innovation is present while also having hints of the old school heaviness that put them on the map. 

At the time of this interview, three singles, Salt, Sacrifice, and Watchtower, from Color Decay have been released, with Time releasing a short while later.  Hranica explained why these three were chosen out of the nine others to be put out first, “The first two songs that were wrapped were Trapped and SacrificeTrapped is not an upbeat tune, so it’s not really what you would release as a first single.  Sacrifice is just way beyond any of our expectations.”  Coming in at a little over four minutes, Sacrifice is a crushing display of what Hranic calls a “pretty middle lane kind of TDWP fastball.”  The second single released was Watchtower, which he elaborates heavily on.  “Middle of the road Ghost Inside” was what Hranica said the song sounded like to him.  He explained, “We wanted to have something that’s really easy to swallow.  Sort of what Metalcore was to John in the early 2000s.” On the topic of the third single, Salt, which comes in second on the track listing and is a melodic tune with ambient overtones, Hranica illustrated that “it definitely beats down the door in terms of the chorus. It still moves, it still grooves, it’s not laid back.”  Other than the three songs Hranica discussed, the rest of Color Decay comes together nicely.  Like what he said earlier about the album having the signature notes of TDWP, it also jumps forward with an expansive sound that listeners will love whether they have heard of Prada or not. 

Hranica moves on to discuss the impact that keyboardist, Gerring has had on the band.  Although he joined Prada as an official member in 2019 alongside Capolupo and Nagy, Gerring has been touring with them since 2013.  Besides being an excellent on-stage keyboard player, his impact behind the scenes is paramount to the band’s success, according to Hranica.  He elaborates on just how far Gerring’s reach is within the production of their music, “From The Act to ZII to Color Decay, John has produced all three releases.  It’s more and more his baby as he becomes more involved with the band and as a band member.”  Additionally, Hranica gave props to Gerring for what he described as “becoming more masterful and even more talented.”  Speaking of the other two guys that joined in 2019, he had great words to say about each of them.  He singled out Nagy for being “a terrific bass player.”  He added “You either have the best bass player or the worst bass player, and there is no in between.  Mason is such the best bass player; he gives so much to it.”  Of Capolupo, Hranica thought, “there’s just no one better at drums, and he’s such an empathetic, generous, and kind person, it’s amazing to have such good vibes in the camp (from Capolupo).”  Overall, he complimented all three of them for “working their asses off.”  It’s clear that Hranica shares a love for everyone in Prada. It’s also clear that all three have elevated TDWP over the past three years, with the Buckeye-bred band reaching never before seen heights in their career. 

Speaking of new heights, spots on major tours and slots at some of the biggest festivals in the world have become a regular occurrence for the Ohioans.  Just in the last year, they toured America with Beartooth, Europe with Wage War, and played with the likes of The Ghost Inside and I Prevail at the So What?! Festival.  Not to mention, TDWP is currently headlining the Zombie Tour in support of ZII’s release.  On what they plan to play on the tour, Hranica says, “We’re playing the Zombie EPs and a bunch of new songs.  It’s very clearly the longest set we’ve ever played. It’s our first time headlining since before Covid, so people sure will get their fill of Prada on this run! ”  Which should be exciting for anyone looking to see them. Although he said it has been challenging to find ways to include new songs on the setlist in the past, he pointed out that “It’s actually kind of nice with releasing singles before announcing the album to let people get to know the songs very sincerely, and get to pull the songs that didn’t go over well live.”  He also added, “I don’t know if every song that we’ll be playing on the Zombie Tour will have been released and streaming, so I think fans can expect that and get down.”  Discussing future touring plans, Hranica shared his excitement for the upcoming Wage War Tour, but he also spoke about some bands that he would wish to bring on tour with TDWP in the future.  One of his top choices would be Portrayal Of Guilt, sharing, “I’m a big fan of Portrayal Of Guilt.  I saw them for the first time a number of weeks ago, and I was blown away!  I already love their records, but I think it would be cool if they opened for us.  But, at the same time, I don’t know if it would be a great fit for them, but that’s a really cool band doing really cool shit.”  Hopefully, one of the guys from Portrayal Of Guilt will read this and can work with TDWP because the excitement from the ordinarily quiet Hranica was apparent in his voice when he started talking about them. 

TDWP is currently on tour playing songs from both Zombie EPs, their greatest hits, and all of their new singles from Color Decay.  They will be supported by Stray From The Path and Dying Wish, with the tour continuing through September 11th.  The band puts on a killer live show, and tickets are worth every penny.  Be sure to catch them before they leave for Europe!  Also, be sure to pick up ZII, which is out now, and Color Decay, which releases September 16th.  On a final note, please consider supporting Hranica and company by picking up some of their merch through their website, which is linked below.


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