On day 1 of the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival, I had the chance to sit down with the vocalists of two of the most popular bands in today’s metal scene, Mike Hranica of The Devil Wears Prada and Upon A Burning Body’s Danny Leal . I interviewed both of them and asked them everything from what it felt like to be on the same bill as metal heavy weights such as Slayer and Slipknot, to what they do on their down time when they’re not on the road. Both interviews went great, here are their responses to my questions.
The Devil Wears Prada Photo Credit to Richard Rasner of Nakayama Studios.
What is it like to be on the same bill as bands like Slipknot, Slayer, Motorhead, and Anthrax?
Mike Hranica- We’ve been on stuff like the Download Festival where it was guys like KISS, Judas Priest, really really huge names, and it’s awesome that we’re doing that now for like 5 or 6 weeks this summer, it’s fantastic. Getting to do mayhem this year is awesome. We’ve wanted to do it for the past 2-3 years. And for us to be on this year which I would say is the best year. I couldn’t be much happier.
Danny Leal- Oh, dream come true. These thinks are what we dream about and now we’re here. It’s amazing.
If someone would have told you ten years ago that you’d be where you are today, would you have believed them?
MH- No, no, no, I never thought I’d be in music at all. I come from a music loving family but not really a musician family, nobody in my family plays music and I just ended up yelling with my friends one day and I don’t know, here we are.
DL- We worked to be here. It’s phenomenal that we are, but there is so much work left to do.
Anything new you’re working on that you want to let the fans know about?
MH- Yeah, but I can’t say…I’m really sorry.
DL- The new record Red. White. Green. That’s available in stores. Please get it. We worked so hard on it and get it wherever you can.
What is your favorite song to play live?
MH- I really just love new material. It’s the most emotional relevant. It’s obviously what speaks to me because it’s very new. There are old songs that I always, always come back to, that I really enjoy. Especially Don’t Dink and Drance, it’s always worth playing. But as far as new material, I really love playing Kansas because I get to play guitar and Chicago, which is another one of my favorite songs. It’s very rewarding.
DL- Sin City.
When was your most memorable on-stage moment?
MH- We’ve had some weird situations where like weird fans will come on stage and won’t leave or they’ll try to take something but nothing specifically to say, I just try to erase it from my mind.
DL- Our entire show.
If you weren’t in a band, what profession would you have?
MH- Probably writing something, journalism, maybe.
DL- I always envisioned myself doing this, so if I wasn’t able to perform, I’d be pretty bummed out. I’d probably like to have a management position within the industry, work for a label, stay close to what I love.
What do you do on your off time?
MH-I like to ride bikes, play guitar, hangout with family and friends, eat good food, go to church, im trying to get more into my extracurricular church activities, really just enjoy Chicago.
DL- I try to keep myself busy, do odd end jobs, keep myself grounded and get back to being regular. It makes you itch to not work, when you put yourself to work like that, you’re like “I just want to get out and tour again and be back on the road.” So I just do extra little odd end jobs to make a little extra cash for the family and spend time with the family, we’re Mexican, so we know how to work, you know.”
Favorite place to play live?
MH-Really anywhere that will accept us well. anywhere in California has always been good for us, anywhere Texas. Chicago is absolutely fantastic for us, Ohio always treats us well, and a lot of places in between.
DL- California always treats us well. germany was pretty sweet to us. We like playing anywhere people are going to come to our shows.