Do a Google image search for "The Devil Wears Prada," and you find yourself flipping between pictures of Meryl Streep, star of the 2006 fashion-industry movie by that name, and the metal-core band that is headlining the Ichthus Festival's Deep End stage Friday night.
"People hear the name and say, 'Oh, that's clever,' or 'That's ironic,'" lead vocalist Mike Hranica says. "It was pretty much a joke name. We picked it when there were only three people in the band, and we didn't take it seriously."
So, Hranica admits that he is a little surprised that the band has now doubled in size, has released three albums and is touring the world, hitting Christian and mainstream festivals this summer.
The Devil Wears Prada tops a strong bill of alternative stage acts at this year's Ichthus Festival. The lineup on the Deep End and Edge stages includes bands that have played the Main Stage before, including Day of Fire and Pillar, and fan favorite Anberlin, which headlines the Deep End on Saturday night.
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The stronger secondary stage lineup comes due to a slightly shorter Main Stage lineup — no morning acts this year — and a stronger following for alternative styles like The Devil Wears Prada's sound.
That sound — jackhammer guitars, crashing drums and Hranica's monstrous howl — doesn't always go over well with some Christian music listeners. When the band was announced for Ichthus, the event's Facebook page was hit with several messages denouncing the band as — to put it mildly — not Christian.
"It's ignorant," Hranica says of the backlash against the band's style. "There's nothing biblical that says what your music should sound like, and if you think music has to be soft to be Christian, you are way behind the times."
He points out, correctly, that his group is hardly the first faith-based band in that style. But when you get to be as big as The Devil Wears Prada, critics come along with your legions of fans.
The band is touring on its third album, With Roots Above and Branches Below, and that's what it wants to tour on.
"We're a band that's definitely most proud of our newer material," Hranica says. "We hate playing the old stuff and things where we say, 'This song isn't good.'
"We try to give the fans what they want, but we're also a band that isn't going to do everything everyone wants us to. We always kind of call the shots."
So Prada fans, don't hold your breath waiting for tracks from the group's first two albums or its cover of the Big Tymers' Still Fly.
Part of Hranica's disaffection with the band's early material is his vocals on the albums.
"When I hear old stuff, I hear me not sounding my best, and that makes me cringe," he says, speculating that maybe it was a lack of concert adrenaline and trying to be perfect that hampered his early studio efforts.
Hranica says he maintains his voice, which sounds as if it must leave his throat raw, through rest and vocal warmups.
The group can improve on its recordings and performances, but it is stuck with the name.
"If we knew we were going to be successful, we might have spent a little more time picking a name that was a little more thoughtful and intelligent," Hranica says. "I guess it's served us well. ... I haven't really thought of another name either."