MassConcerts Presents


Fit For A King, '68

Wed, December 12, 2018

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

Palladium Upstairs

Worcester, MA

$22.00 - $25.00

Sold Out

This event is all ages

The Devil Wears Prada
The Devil Wears Prada
The road, literally and figuratively, brought The Devil Wears Prada to their sixth full-length album Transit Blues [Rise Records].
In many ways, the group—Mike Hranica (vocals), Jeremy DePoyster (rhythm guitar, clean vocals) and Andy Trick (bass), with the recent addition of Kyle Sipress (guitar)—has embraced transition and change since their 2005 formation. After the pivotal breakout With Roots Above and Branches Below in 2009, the boys challenged the status quo and notched widespread critical acclaim, landing two consecutive Top 10 debuts on the Billboard Top 200 for the conceptual Zombie EP [2010] and Dead Throne [2011]. 2013’s 8:18 continued to expand their imprint on heavy music, while the intergalactic concept epic Space EP most recently blasted off to a #18 debut and praise from Alternative Press, Loudwire, and more. Along the way, they’ve treaded countless miles on sold out headline tours, on the Vans Warped Tour multiple times, and in tow with Motörhead, Slayer, and Slipknot. Throughout the past decade-plus, the band charted a course to this juncture.
“Transit Blues is all about growing,” Hranica says of the new material. “We’re constantly in motion on tour. You’re endlessly going from one place to another. Aging physically and mentally is more at the forefront. In the past, anger was a big inspiration. These days, separation and mourning are the more immediate topics. Zeroing in, it’s specifically the separation that comes from traveling.”
As part of the journey, The Devil Wears Prada markedly evolved. Longtime friend Guiseppe Capolupo [Haste The Day] entered the fold on the drums for the recording of Transit Blues. In order to foster creativity and tap into their camaraderie, the guys, along with touring keyboardist and co-writer Jon Gering, holed up in Watertown, WI and Sawyer, MI rental homes and barns during the winter to write Transit Blues together (joined by Hranica’s two puppies, of course). This approach mirrored that of Dead Throne’s initial sessions.
“On the past couple of records, some guys would be at a hotel, and others would stay at home,” he explains. “We realized that process wasn’t really conducive to being creative because everybody’s on a schedule. You have to wake up at a certain time, drive to the rehearsal space, try to write, and then leave for dinner. In Watertown, we were all together. If we felt like it at any moment, we could go in the barn in jam. We could take breaks, crack a beer, or toss the football around, but we were always nearby and naturally writing.”

“We’ve been slowly developing the process we used for this over the last ten years of writing,” says Andy. “We get together and just go for it.”
“Everyone contributes,” adds Jeremy. “We find ways to work together. We began this journey on Space. Each of us is coming up with ideas, writing songs, and bringing them together. It’s really a team effort.”
For recording, the group headed to West Babylon, NY to once again join forces Dan Korneff [Pierce the Veil, Motionless in White]. This marked their second successive collaboration with the producer behind the board.
“We love Dan,” exclaims Mike. “He rolled up and fit in perfectly with us too. Space went just like we wanted it to. It was a no-brainer to get together again. He’s quiet and very methodical. When it’s time to really figure out what we want to do with a song or bypass a roadblock, he’s the guy we want to be with.”
“He gets us, and we get him,” agrees Andy. “It’s relaxed, but when we’re working it gets serious. It was another great experience with Dan.”
The first single “Daughter” paved the path for Transit Blues. Galloping on gnashing guitars, guttural screams, and haunting textures, it packs a contemplative punch inspired by one of Hranica’s favorite novels The Mandarins by Simone de Beauvoir.
“A lot of the lyrics are directly derivative of what’s happening in these few pages of the book’s climax,” he continues. “At one point, the protagonist, based on de Beauvoir, says she never loves her daughter. It’s a shedding of obligation no one would ever see. I loathe obligation personally, and it feels like a parallel to complacency. I love that she boldly makes that proclamation and leaves everything spinning. It’s this weight relinquished.”
“I like for the music to play to what Mike is saying,” Jeremy elaborates. “We got in sync because the music really connects to the words. It’s the best example of that.”
The percussive pummeling of “Praise Poison” cackles with a screeching reference to William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury, while “Lock & Load” takes aim at the world’s gun epidemic through the album’s most menacing, yet gut-wrenchingly restrained moment.
“We wrote it to be unsettling because of the subject matter,” sighs Hranica. “This epidemic is one of the most unsettling things there is. We’re watching innocent people die over and over again. Anger drives that one.”
The airy elegance of “Home for Grave II” rounds out a story the frontman began on 8:18 and in his novella of the same name. Everything culminates on the succinct and sharp thrashing of the title track “Transit Blues” where screams give way to a dark hum, hypnotic chorus, and entrancing keyboard outro.
“It talks at length about the anxiety that sits in the background all day long, but will ramp up at certain times,” Hranica admits. “Anxiety and panic attacks have become such a huge part of my life since 8:18. It’s partially from getting one place to another and feeling stuck or like I don’t have control. The song speaks directly about the disorder. It’s at the forefront and part of what I consider the Transit Blues.”
In the end, Transit Blues propels the next era of The Devil Wears Prada, and it’s their most urgent, unbreakable, and undeniable yet.
“We’re an 11-year-old band, but in many ways it feels brand new,” concludes Jeremy. “This is the first full-length we’ve all done together. Our chemistry is the best it’s ever been. Prada has had new life breathed into it.”
“I feel like immediacy is one of the most important factors in being creative,” he leaves off. “The impact can be so colorful when a song is direct and to the point. That’s what we emphasized this time around. It’s Prada.”

Fit For A King
Fit For A King
Fit For A King is a metalcore outfit from Dallas, TX. The band is signed to Solid
State Records, and has released 3 full length albums through the label and 1
independently. Their most recent release, Deathgrip, was their most successful
yet. With more than 1.5m streams in it's first week, they also sold just shy of
8,000 copies. Their flexibly is showcased in their ability to tour with a wide scope
of acts, from metalcore, to metal, to hardcore. Highlights include supporting acts
such as August Burns Red, Beartooth, and participating three times on the Vans
Warped Tour. The result of their agenda is not only a catalogue of commanding
metal music, but a compelling and well-built voice, one that rests on the willing
shoulders of a band set on being open handed.
In Humor and Sadness, the debut album from ’68, demonstrates the loud beauty of alarming simplicity. A guy bashing his drums, another dude wielding a guitar like a percussive, blunt weapon while howling into a mic somehow manages to sound bigger and brasher than the computerized bombast of every six-piece metal band. A splash of roots, a soulful yearning for mid century Americana and the fiery passion of post punk ferocity rampages over a record of earnestly forceful tracks like a runaway locomotive.

Josh Scogin wasn’t out of elementary school when the Flat Duo Jets laid their first album down on two tracks in a garage. But the scrappy band’s spirit of raw power, punchy delivery, tried-and-true rhythms and urgent sense of immediacy is alive and well in ’68.

Heralded by Alternative Press as one of 2014’s Most Anticipated Albums, In Humor and Sadness is a snapshot of a fiery new beginning for one of modern Metalcore’s most celebrated frontmen. Produced by longtime Scogin collaborator Matt Goldman (Underoath, Anberlin, The Devil Wears Prada), the first full offering from ’68 is a broad reaching slab of ambitious showmanship delivered with few tools and fewer pretensions. The scratchy disharmonic pop of Nirvana’s Bleach is in there, for sure. And while many associate the setup with The Black Keys, ’68 is more like Black Keys on crack.

“I wanted it to be as loud and obnoxious as it can be,” Scogin explains. “I want it to be in-your-face. I want people who hear us live to just be like, ‘There's no way this is just two dudes!’ That became sort of the subplot to our entire existence. ‘How much noise can two guys make?’ It’s obviously very minimalistic, but in other ways, it’s very big. I have as many amps onstage as a five piece band. Michael only has one cymbal and one tom on his kit, but he plays it like it’s some kind of big ‘80s metal drum setup. It’s minimalistic, but it’s also overkill. We get as much as we can from as little as we can.”

Like many pioneers, North Carolina’s the Flat Duo Jet’s blazed a trail for more commercially successful people. They played rootsy rockabilly but with a punk edge. Band leader Dexter Romweber’s solo work was a fist-pounding celebration of audacity and disruption, which influenced the likes of The White Stripes, among other bands.

“I got excited when I thought about the distress, the chaos that this two-piece arrangement would create – one guy having to provide all of these sounds, with a bunch of pedals, with certain chords wigging out and missing notes here and there,” he says with excitement. “That alone makes up for the chaos of having five people up there.”

That idea of less is more, of building something big from something small, persists today at the top of the charts with The Black Keys, just as it’s lived and breathed in the bass-player-less eclectic trio Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, the rule-breaking early ‘90s destruction of Washington D.C.’s Nation of Ulysses, and in the two man attack of ’68.

“Jon Spencer’s records always sound like he’s kind of winging it and I love that,” declares Scogin, letting out an affectionate laugh. “In my last band, that’s how we tried to make our last record feel. The excitement and imperfection is something I love to draw from.”

Before paring (and pairing) things down with friend and drummer Michael McClellan, Josh Scogin was the voice, founder and agitprop-style provocateur in The Chariot, who laid waste to convention across a brilliantly unhinged and defiantly unpolished catalog of Noisecore triumphs and dissonant art rock rage. Recorded live in the studio, overdub free, The Chariot’s first album set the tone for a decade to come, owing more to a band like Unsane than whatever passes for “scene.”

Scogin was the original singer for Norma Jean and left an influential imprint on the burgeoning Metalcore of the late 90s that persists today, despite having fronted the band for just one of six albums. Whether it’s the genre-defining heft of Norma Jean’s first album or the five records and stage destroying shows of The Chariot, there’s a single constant at the heart of Josh Scogin’s career: a familiarity with the unfamiliar.

A new Metalcore band would be a safe third act for the subculture lifer, but Scogin isn’t comfortable unless he’s making himself (and his audience) uncomfortable. “I definitely wanted to flip the script a bit,” he freely confesses. “I’ve always wanted to play guitar and sing in a band, ever since I left Norma Jean. I needed the freedom of not having a guitar onstage, but now having done that for several years, I wanted the challenge.”

Creative problem solving has long been the name of the game for Scogin, whether he was hand stamping ALL 30,000 CDs for The Chariot’s Wars and Rumors of Wars album or figuring out how to pull off his ’68 song title concept in the digital age of iTunes. Each song on In Humor and Sadness was to be titled with simply a single letter, which when put together vertically on the back of a vinyl LP or compact disc, would spell out a word. However, it's problematic to name more than one song with the same letter, which would have been necessary to spell out what he intended.

’68 is the forward thinking progress of an artist who finds satisfaction in the expression of dissatisfaction. There’s progression in this regression. Tear apart all of the elements that have enveloped a singer’s performance, strap a guitar on the guy and set him loose with nothing but a beat behind him? It’s a recipe for inventive, fanciful mayhem.

After a raucous debut at South By Southwest, a full US tour supporting Chiodos and many more road gigs on the horizon, Scogin and McClellan are propelled by the excitement that comes along with the knowledge that ‘68 is truly just getting started.

“We’ve just broken the tip of the iceberg. We’re really just exploring all the different things we can do,” Scogin promises. “I’ll get more pedals, we’re try different auxiliary instruments, whatever – the goal is to challenge ourselves and challenge an audience.”
Venue Information:
Palladium Upstairs
261 Main street
Worcester, MA, 01608