“I had the name Transit Blues sometime before we started creating the album,” Hranica remembers. “I think Charles Bukowski said, ‘As soon as you have the first line of the novel, the rest writes itself.’” Hranica speaks of being inspired by Nick Cave’s film One More Time With Feeling, where Nick Cave describes how his subconscious mind will know when there is something to a song or an idea before he is consciously aware if it. “I thought that was one of the most profound things I’ve ever heard in years, because it’s so true.
“I had written lyrics that I used in songs, but those feelings weren’t ever acknowledged or confronted until later. In my subconscious I thought to write it, because I was somewhat conscious of it. I think all of those things are the source of ideas behind Transit Blues. A lot of it came from the increasing anxiety that I experience in my life,” Hranica explains of his inspiration. “It can be highly objective, however it was all born from my personal experience.”
In order to foster an atmosphere of creativity, The Devil Wears Prada switched up the writing process by venturing to Michigan and Wisconsin to write Transit Blues, bunking together in a small house. To help achieve the group’s new vision, they enlisted producer Dan Korneff. “Knowing his punctual nature, we definitely wanted to be in there with him. And then when we were actually in there with him and getting to know his personality and characteristics, it only got better with his brilliant sense of humour and the fact that he’s really got the same persona as we do, it’s very much enjoyable,” Hranica says of Korneff. “It’s a lot of good laughs, and it’s also about finishing the job.
“The most productive sort of result from working together in such a close atmosphere was the fact that we were writing on the premises. What made things different was going from living in a hotel with one other person. It’s sort of counter-intuitive, so what we wanted to do was find places to write. We had our house and we had our space to write on the premises, without a drive or without a commute, to basically write at any time of the day or anytime of the night. That’s what we were able to do in Wisconsin and Michigan and I can’t imagine writing in a different sort of environment, it was very fruitful for us.”
Transit Blues is the sixth studio album by the band and sees them embracing unfamiliar territory, compared to previous releases such as Space EP and 2013’s 8:18. Hranica explained his thoughts surrounding the band’s new direction and how The Devil Wears Prada’s previous releases are connected to Transit Blues in terms of style.
“That almost feels like something other people would be able to answer better than me,” Hranica laughs. “It’s much bigger than myself and much bigger than the members, it’s what we create together. It feels a bit like a whirlwind presently. I find it can sometimes be proven worthless to consider too many of these components for making an album and its reception. It’s always good to be intentional but at the same time to predict the result feels somewhat reckless and not of value. “The Space EP was the first time that Kyle (who recently joined in 2015) recorded and worked with The Devil Wears Prada as far as being the lead guitarist. Now he had a huge part of actually writing riffs on Transit Blues. Dan Korneff mixed Sound of the City, but this time being with him, there was most certainly a connection. He’s a perfect fit as a producer, mixer and engineer for our band and I think there’s very much a connection to the the Space EP.”
Transit Blues is out now via Rise Records.