BY JOE AZEVEDO
Hailing from Dayton, Ohio, The Devil Wears Pradagoes cosmic with their new Space EP which they put out back in August 2005. The band wrapped up their 2015 North American Tour earlier last year featuring Born Of Osiris, The Word Alive, and Secrets. DRUM! was fortunate enough to interview Daniel Williams about the recording process for the Space EP and reveals what inspired some of the unique songs on the Ep.
Drum! From Zombies to Space, what inspired this EP?
Daniel Zombie was a really fun record for our band to create. The fans seemed to really enjoy it as well, so we thought it would be a good idea to make another themed EP. We felt that Space is something that everyone can relate to, and visualize easily. It’s a good set to tell a story – so we went with that.
Drum! What makes writing an EP different than a full-length album?
Daniel EP’s are obviously shorter length, which helps to be able to focus in on one idea, or feeling. I think after 20 minutes or so, the idea can become a bit dull. Twelve songs about space are possible, but it’s much more exciting to feel the waves of emotion within a smaller time span.
Drum! Did you guys try anything different recording wise since the last album?
Daniel This record came shortly after our guitarist of nine years left the band to be with his family in Oregon. This was the first record where demos from different members were used as skeletons to build full songs. The process and final product was similar, but the starting point was different.
Drum! The breakdown for “Planet” near 2:20 is glorious, what made you use a splash instead of a china for that part?
Daniel When the song was originally written, it had a ride-bell holding the rhythm. When I practiced it at my studio in California, I was playing on a tiny china that Meinl had sent me. When it came time to record in New York, I realized I’d forgotten that china at my studio. I found a random splash with no writing on it in the studio and went with that. It got the point across well for the part, which was “small, and far”!
Drum! Is “Planet A” about Elizabeth Shaw from the movie Prometheus?
Daniel Not that I know of, but I enjoyed that movie.
Drum! I love all the riffs for “Alien” especially your double bass parts. How difficult was it to record this one? Did you nail it in on take or did it put up a fight?
Daniel I’d be lying if I said I did that song in one take. We often find ourselves writing new parts while I’m laying parts down, so I’ll punch parts in, here and there. The song was very difficult for me at the time, but now I can fly through it with ease. I guess that’s what a tour’s worth of practice can do for you.
Drum! Moongod is brilliant! I think it’s a great step forward for you as a band. I dig the breakdown at 2:32 too! What was the writing process like for this one? Did you approach this track differently than the others?
Daniel This ‘skeleton’ was brought to us by Jeremy, our clean vocalist and guitarist. Since he gave us the starting point, I think a lot of the ideas used in this came from him. We helped paint the picture, but he gave us the canvas.
Drum! The melodic sections in “Supernova” are so dope! The grooves are amazing as well. Do any of the other members have input in the drum parts or is it just your own creativity?
Daniel Chris came up with the rhythm section for this song (and a bunch of other ideas on this one as well). I think that the members give me a good ‘structure’ to play with, and I try to add things that stick out in my mind as necessary.
Drum! “Asteroid” fits nicely to end the EP. That first riff is rad! Has this been played live yet? Where in the set do you usually play this one? Do you play the same fills in the recording or do you leave room for improvisation?
Daniel We played the entire EP front to back on the Apollo X Tour – so this one was a part of that set. It’s such a rad song and has so much energy in it. I’ll often improvise, or change parts that I didn’t love on the record, but this song is played almost identically. This might be my all time favorite TDWP song to play live (at the moment).
Drum! What kit did you record with on this EP?
Daniel I recorded this record with my custom SJC kit. They make some great sounding drums! Here are my specs:
- Custom, Maple / stained veneer with reinforcement rings
- 24″x16″ kick drum
- 12″x8″ rack tom
- 15″x13″ floor tom
- 16″x14″ floor tom
- Byzance Dark Hats 2x Bottom
- Mb20 18″ Heavy Crash
- Mb20 20″ Heavy Crash
- Mb20 22″ Heavy Bell Ride
- Mb20 20″ Rock China
Daniel also uses Trick Pro 1-V Pedals, Remo Heads (Coated Emperor batter / Clear Ambassador resonant), and DW 9000 series hardware.
Drum! For live shows, do you have a separate touring rig?
Daniel I have a different touring kit in the UK. It’s all of the same hardware and sizes, but it’s pee yellow [Laughs].
Drum! Whats the most challenging aspect about touring for you?
Daniel Adapting to the changing climate. I’m very good in hot weather, and feel very motivated to keep my body healthy and such. Cold weather makes me want to crawl up into a ball and hide. Sometimes the states climates differ so much that it’s a bit of a shock. Consistency is hard to come by on the road.
Daniel If you could summarize the Space EP in one word, what would it be?
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