THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA guitarist, Chris Rubey, chatted with the Peavey Monitor from the road about why he picked up a guitar, how THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA got to where they are and his personal philosophy on guitar gear. You can read some extracts from that interview below:
What inspired you to play music?
I grew up playing [guitar] because my dad played. He got a guitar one day and I was just as interested in it as he was. It’s funny, because everybody says that if you listen to this kind of music, you either took the pop-punk route or the nu metal route. My favorite band was Linkin Park; Jeremy [DePoyster, guitar] was the punk rock kid, and he was in a band that covered Black Flag and stuff. None of us played real shows, but I was in a nu metal band. As far as musical influences nowadays—guitar heroes—I like John Petrucci of Dream Theater. He’s one of the only shred guitarists I liked growing up.
The Devil Wears Prada still retains its original lineup. What brought everyone together, and what keeps you together?
Back when we first started we were friends from the same area. Some of us knew each other from youth group or church, and we were all into the same bands—Solid State [Records] bands like As I Lay Dying and Norma Jean. Our singer [Mike Hranica] asked if we minded if he wrote lyrics about God, and we all believe, so of course it wasn’t a problem.
We’ve had our moments, but when we fight we look at things from what is right, what is moral. We try to work through the problems. We’ve found a perfect balance where everyone can coexist perfectly. We rarely fight these days. I wouldn’t say it’s because we’re a Christian band; we’re just really considerate of each other. We’re all friends. We’ve never known anything else.
What were you trying to accomplish with Dead Throne?
We always try to one-up ourselves, and that comes with growing as musicians. Dead Throne is actually two years in the making. It’s the first time we worked with a different producer; there were more hands on it than before. Adam Dutkiewicz produced. He’s a super-rad dude, and he had tons of good ideas for arrangements. He’s also a guitar player, so he was able to work with me a lot. It was awesome.
Take us inside the writing for Dead Throne. Did you write on the road?
On our first few albums, we weren’t touring as hard as we are now, so we were able to write as a band more. But there came a point after With Roots Above and Branches Below where we didn’t have time to write as a group, so now we write on a computer. I’m the guy who sits at a computer with nothing and programs the drums and writes the songs.
How do you and Jeremy complement each other as players, and how do you differ?
As far as the songwriting, I write all the basic rhythm stuff and the leads, but we go in and the whole band learns the songs together, and sometimes Jeremy will rearrange some stuff. He throws in the stuff in the background, like layers and delays. He loves to add the bells and whistles and create big walls of sound. When I write, I also have to think if he’ll be able to sing when he’s playing. That keeps it from being too technical.
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