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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    The Devil Wears Prada tries reinventing the rockstar

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    Instead of the metal every-man-for-himself mindset, they encourage a familial mentality. In lieu of bland stage lighting, they have a light show that rivals some raves. In place of angular guitars that look more weapon than instrument, guitarist and vocalist Jeremy DePoyster relies on his Fender Jazzmasters and Jaguars.

    If you’re into brash bravado and pyrotechnics, look elsewhere. If a positive message, a riotous live show, and a down-to-earth band is up your alley, then The Devil Wears Prada are your guys. The group from Dayton, Ohio, defies most metal traditions, with the sole exception of a relentless touring schedule.

    From its humbled stage presence to its gear choice, it’s TDWP’s rock star antithesis that has unwittingly set it apart from most of its peers in the metal scene. Even though the five-piece Christian metalcore group is one of the most tenured acts in the genre, the band is more apt to picking up speed than stopping any time soon.

    While the idea of humble rock stars seems oxymoronic at best, it’s the underlying theme to TDWP’s approach. For the band’s most recent release, 2011’s Dead Throne, the group worked outside of the box with A Day To Remember’s Jeremy McKinnon to add layered vocal melodies to the already expansive body of material on the mind-blowingly heavy album.

    “(McKinnon) brought an outside vibe to the mix. It’s nice to have a fresh set of ears there, saying, ‘Try this,’ when you wouldn’t have in the first place,” DePoyster said. That musical freedom also came with the move from TDWP’s first major label, Rise Records, to its current home at Ferret Music. “We get to write the record we want, but people on the outside tend to look at that aspect more than we do.”

    With time comes freedom, and The Devil Wears Prada knows that better than most metal bands today. Having been in the group for its full seven-year run, DePoyster is familiar with the evolution of TDWP’s approach to writing new material.

    “About two and a half years we ago, we just stopped caring what people think,” he said. “Starting with the Zombie EP, we decided to write something that we felt was way too heavy for our fanbase, and it took off. There seems to be a formulaic movement to what people think sells, (but) we’re getting to make what we want to make.”

    Whatever nonchalance the band infused into its writing did wonders for its sales. Dead Throne peaked at No. 10 on the Billboard 200 chart, selling 32,000 copies in its first week. For most bands, this is an above-admirable feat. For a metal band, much less a Christian metal band, this is unheard of. Despite the skyrocketing success it’s seen, TDWP is doing its best to stay levelheaded.

    “You’ve got a lot of bands concerned with the mystique of being a ‘rock star,’ and we’re more concerned with just writing songs,” DePoyster said. “It’s an illusion, and we try to break down the illusion. We aren’t superhuman figures, we’re just people.”

    Cult followings just don’t happen on their own in today’s music. They often are the product of a ravenous fan base, and metal has an inherently passionate mentality that pushes even the most composed fan into overdrive. This was evident in spades at TDWP’s Tucson tour date on March 17, where the mosh pit never stopped and the crowd sang along to every song.

    DePoyster said he feels that regardless of TDWP’s Christian roots, the band’s following should likely be attributed to the music.

    “Whether it’s about being a Christian band or the shows we play, it’s about being honest and genuine,” DePoyster says. “People appreciate that because they’re usually getting sold a product. That’s not what we try to do.”

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