Vocalist MIKE HRANICA tells the stories behind each song on THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA’s Zombie EP.

Escape
“Escape” was the first song we came up with when we had the idea to do the EP. We got in touch with management and the label, and we were like, “Okay, let’s come up with a song and work off of that to see if this is a possibility.” That was this song, which coincidentally became the first song on the EP. It’s pretty fast. It never really slows down, which I think is a premonition of the whole EP. None of it is really slow, melodic or pretty or anything like that. The only time it really slows down is in the last track, which is kind of sludgy. Personally I think “Escape” might be my least favorite. Lyrically, it just follows the idea of running from zombies, which is obviously something you think of when it comes to zombies. When you run from zombies, it’s like the woman in the horror movie who turns around and screams, then trips and falls and gets killed. It’s kind of like that. When you’re running from a zombie, don’t think about it. Just freakin’ run.



Anatomy
Lyrically, “Anatomy” follows what makes a zombie a zombie. When I jotted down ideas for each song, I thought that the characteristics of what makes a zombie a zombie was an important part of the EP. “Anatomy” follows through about the general characteristics of zombies; it doesn’t follow any specific theme like “Outnumbered” or “Survivor.” It’s a lot of one-liners through out the whole song.

Outnumbered
“Outnumbered” is the single we chose to put out first. If we’re to make a music video for anything on the EP, I imagine it’ll be for this song. When I picture a zombie apocalypse, you’re always outnumbered while you’re being attacked. I thought the word “outnumbered” alone seemed like a sweet song idea. It’s about survival and taking on the zombies. The whole idea of this song is that it’s just you and two other people and dozens and dozens of zombies. Musically, “Outnumbered” and “Survivor” are probably my favorites [on the EP]. It hits all the usual Prada elements with a little bit of a twist as well. During the parts where Jeremy [DePoyster, guitar/vocals] sings, its not what he would usually do. We wrote it to be a little bit different. It’s a bit heavier. I think it’s a well-rounded song and that’s one of the reasons we wanted to put it out first to give people a taste of what the Zombie EP is. We’ve been playing “Outnumbered” during the entire Back To The Roots Tour, and when we first started playing it, we hadn’t put it out yet. Just looking out at the crowd when we first started playing it, people seemed shocked. It’s pretty mean. Since we actually put the song online, a lot of people already know the words. I think the reaction live has been great.

Revive
Originally, “Revive” was supposed to be called “Cure,” but we didn’t really like that. The whole song is about a cure and it just seemed like an essential part of zombies: how to cure them. It’s always in the movies. When is this disease going to be over, and when is this going to stop? Is life ever going to be the same? That’s kind of what “Revive” is. To survive, to be liberated from the plague, is simply killing the zombies and living. [The song] goes into how there’s no cure to the zombie plague. After I read Max Brooks’ The Zombie Survival Guide and World War Z: An Oral History Of The Zombie War, I read Pride And Prejudice And Zombies [by Seth Grahame-Smith]. While I was reading it, I never thought, “Oh, I’m taking that and making a song.” It was never like that. It was necessary preparation [for the EP] to read these other stories. This whole theme has been around a long time and a lot of people have put their own twist on it. I just wanted to read stories and see that creative look at it from other people’s perspective. I wanted to do that same thing for us in the EP so the stories weren’t cliché. The stories were easy to follow, but not way out there. They inspired me to be as creative as possible. The biggest direct inspiration from my reading to my lyrics were simple survival things. If I hadn’t read Max Brooks, I wouldn’t have included so much about shelter and weaponry.

Survivor
“Survivor” is the song that stands out the most compared to the others on the EP. It’s a song that we’re all really, really proud of. When Chris [Rubey, guitar] wrote the song, he did it on bass, which is kind of weird. Usually when Chris demos stuff out, he gets ideas and jams it out on the guitar and then he programs drums to it and puts his guitars over it. In this song, he did that same thing but he worked all of it off of bass instead. “Survivor,” more than other Prada songs, is themed off of bass more. Throughout the middle, it has these parts where it cuts out to where it’s just a little bit of tribal drums and bass with this really mean tone. The whole song is not very fast tempo. I feel like it’s the sludgy song on the EP. Jeremy has this long vocal part in the middle of it and when we laid it down, I just lost my mind. It’s my favorite singing part that the Devil Wears Prada have ever done. It’s really emotional. Lyrically, the whole song follows this idea of this man who lives on his farm by himself in Kansas. I made up this fictional town called Extermination. Later in the song, you find out that the farmer’s wife was killed off by zombies and he’s just as much tortured by loneliness as he is by the living dead coming to try and kill him. He lives off of canned goods and he pretty much just stays at his house and fights off zombies all day. The cornfields he’s surrounded by haunt him. Jeremy’s vocals relate to that because they sound so desperate. I think that matches the whole song. I meant for the whole song to be really sad, and when you read the lyrics, you see this man is completely tortured and haunted. He’s the epitome of depressed. It’s just downtrodden and it’s the most conceptual song of the EP, which is one of the reasons why I like it so much. It finishes off with this breakdown—like most of our songs—and then there’s this eerie, little synth part and it has somebody laughing. It’s the perfect way to end the EP. alt