The Devil Wears Prada’s Daniel Williams Talks Mayhem Fest Experiences, New Album

Posted by on August 10, 2012

As one of the biggest metalcore bands out there, Dayton, Ohio-based The Devil Wears Prada has built up a tremendous amount of momentum.  Their new album Dead Throne debuted at #10 on Billboard last September, and now a brand-new live DVD called Dead & Alive chronicles a full live performance from their tour in support of the record.  The openly Christian band followed that up with a high-profile stint on the Rockstar Energy Mayhem Fest, where they toured with slightly more blasphemous heavyweights such as Slayer, Slipknot and their longtime friends Whitechapel.  Metal Insider caught up with drummer Daniel Williams after their set on the Camden leg of Mayhem Fest, where he spoke about the point behind a DVD, the beginnings of the follow-up to Dead Throne, and which member of Slipknot decided to bring some vehicular mischief to one of the after-parties.

I actually saw you guys live last December.  When you came through the Best Buy Theater in New York, I was there for that show.  What have you been up to between then and now?

Pretty much just this. We had a bunch of time off. Got to visit my family and do that whole home thing for a little bit, which is pretty rare from our band, we tour for like, nine months out of the year or something. We just released the DVD release called Dead & Alive, and this festival, and that’s pretty much it.

Tell me more about the DVD. What were you trying to capture? Was it specifically Dead Throne-related material?  What went into it?

The DVD is front-to-back an entire show that we played at the Palladium, which is in Worcester, Massachusetts. All of our past DVDs were kind of bonus stuff, with updates and studio stuff, it was never our show. So we wanted to do something where if someone has never seen us, or if they’ve never had the chance to come to our show, they could maybe watch it at home and see our experience and what it’s kind of like. I think it came out good; it’s definitely spot-on the show.

When I got to interview Alex [Wade] from Whitechapel a couple of months back, we talked about the fact that you guys toured together live and would be touring again. Being polar opposites on your perspectives on Christianity, what’s it like to play with bands that have strongly anti-religious material like them, or like Slayer for example?

It doesn’t really bother me because I’ve always liked music based on the music itself for as long as I can remember. For some reason, I think there’s some people that pay a lot of attention to the lyrics, and then some people that pay a lot of attention to the music, and I guess I’m one of the music guys. So I was kind of a fan of the band before I really knew what they were talking about, and then even after…I mean, I listen to bands that talk about politics or bands that talk about falling out of love with a girl, and I’m like, ‘I don’t know that girl, I don’t feel that way,’ but I still like the song. So I think it’s kind of the same thing, I can enjoy the music for what it is and not really be too bothered by their ideals.

Right. So you can appreciate it for more for the passion behind it rather than what they’re trying to say in that specific moment.


That makes sense. I think that’s natural in relating to people, too. So, what’s been your favorite moment from Mayhem so far?

My favorite moment…this is hard. There are so many! For one, sneaking into the pit almost every night to watch Slipknot and Slayer is just amazing. I get to be 20 feet away for them for free, which is awesome. Actually, not too long ago, Clown rolls up on a production cart, just sitting there in the production cart, drives into the middle of one of the after parties, just drives in the middle of it, and nobody even said, ‘That’s weird, he just drove into the center of the party and parked there.’ He just sat there, never got out of the cart, and just later rolled out. It was the most baller thing I think I’ve ever seen. It was so rad. Just crash a party and nobody even asks you or questions it, and just rolls off later, doesn’t even say bye.

I had a really cool moment earlier where Scott Ian actually walked past me and got onto a golf cart, and I was like, ‘It’s Scott Ian on a golf cart! Nothing makes sense right now.’

That’s so awesome.

There’s another obvious question here, and I figure it’s a question you’re getting asked a lot right now. Dead Throne has done really well for you guys, the Zombie EP brought up a nice head of steam going into it, you had a really successful headlining tour last fall…when are you thinking about a new record?

We’ve actually been writing some stuff recently. At least Chris has, our guitarist. He’s been cranking out demos and stuff, and we’ve all been kind of learning that and putting in on those. So far we have, like, three, four, five…something like that, and definitely going to get into a studio some time in January to write some more or finish writing the record and then hopefully as early as possible sometime next year we’ll write another record and record it, and get all that down. I don’t know the exact logistics of it yet.

So you haven’t even thought about what producer you’re going to go with yet?

I would love to work with Adam [Dutkiewicz, of Killswitch Engage] again.  I just hope that his and our schedules hopefully all work out.

Yeah, I heard he’s in some little band that’s starting to do some things again.

Exactly! [laughs]

To read an additional excerpt from this interview where Daniel weighed in on Randy Blythe’s recent imprisonment in Prague, along with the thoughts of other Mayhem artists, check out our  Top 5 installment on the topic here.

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