Band Interview: Dillinger Escape Plan

 

Upon the announcement of their break up and final tour, we here at Damnation Magazine felt it necessary to reach out to The Dillinger Escape Plan one last time for an interview. While it wasn’t able to go down in person, their final show here in St. Louis is coming up tomorrow (October 20th) and we are glad to be able to post it here for you all just in time for the show. We are grateful to have gotten responses from guitarist Ben Weinman and vocalist Greg Puciato. Find out what these fine gentlemen had to say about the upcoming album, their crazy antics on tour, and their favorite horror movie(s) below!

1. DEP is known for their over the top, high energy, chaotic performances. (I.e. Breathing fire, running across the crowd, or hanging from the ceiling). How does one prepare for a performance like yours? 

Ben Weinman: You really can’t. Our shows are so unpredictable. All you can do is accept that there will be some things you can control, but many that you can not. We have learned to adapt in the moment. 

 

Greg Puciato: For me the energy is always there, but I mean I guess stay in shape off tour, stay hydrated, have good reflexes. There’s a lot of things that can get in the way of good onstage energy flow; it’s more about just learning what those personal obstacles are for you and making sure to do your best to prevent encountering them. Your gear working, your voice being there when you call on it, your monitor mix being good. Knowing that the PA sounds good. Just finding your own personal sweet spot. But overall, I just feel like we’re fortunate to be doing what we were meant to do, so it all comes pretty naturally. 

 2. Tell me about your most memorable performance. 

I’m still hoping to have it. We have played thousands of shows. Everyone has its own story and charm. One, in particular, I can remember was when we opened for the Misfits in Disney World, and they broke up on stage in front of the audience. Pretty nuts.  

I wanna say probably when I was in a band at 15, and we played in some kid’s backyard, and the cops came, which was a total success for me at the time. That was a good precursor to what my life would become.

 3. 20 years together is quite the feat for any band. What kind of struggles has the band had throughout the years?

Probably many of the same difficulties most bands have. Aside from the usual ego clashes of the titans, that all strong minded individuals have, we definitely have had our share of misfortune. Mostly in the form of physical injury…
Without going into specifics, or the obvious injuries and member changes we’ve been forced to adjust to, there is a lot of individual growth that happens in your twenties and thirties. Trying to have that individual growth while joined at the hip with other people is very difficult. When people ask what I feel the most proud of, I think just getting through a lot of that is what makes me the proudest. Having navigated rocky waters with other people, and trusting that the end result would be worth it.

 4. Within just a few months you announced a new album and an indefinite hiatus/break up. Did you know going into recording that this would be the last album?

Pretty much. For most of it anyway.  
We knew maybe two thirds of the way through the music, and before any vocals or lyrics were written.

 5. What was the recording process like for Dissociation? How was this different/similar to past releases? 

It was very scattered. We recorded it in many different studios with a bunch of different people. We have never made an album that way before. It was not easy. But, I think it produced something original. It doesn’t sound like anything else we have ever put out.  

It was significantly different logistically. Usually we at least track in the same studio with the same producer, but this time we were in four separate studios and four separate producers/engineers worked on it; and that’s not including mastering. It isn’t something you would necessarily plan to do, but it gave the record a sonic fingerprint, which I feel is important.

 6.  With each album release you guys always seem to top previous albums. After hearing the first couple songs on Dissociation, it sounds like you’ve done it again. What can fans expect from the rest of the album?

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Guitarist Ben Weinman

Everyone has a different perspective and everyone will get something different from it. We are the type of band that express ourselves in a way that, to some, is completely unrelatable. Some relate to it right away. Even if they don’t know why. We can’t really predict how people will process what we do, so we have no idea what they should expect. It’s not for us to say. We do our thing like we always have. 

There’s an uncredited Nas guest verse.

 7.  “Symptom of Terminal Illness” seems unlike most DEP songs I’ve heard, and yet it still has that DEP feel. What can you tell me about the meaning of the song. 

I can’t speak on the lyrics. I didn’t write them.  
Again without going too much into things because it was very autobiographical, it deals with panic disorder and addresses specific circumstances in my life. But, I won’t really go any further than that. A lot of songs on this record for me are more like letters to people than songs, or me trying to release myself from something I’m dealing with by way of giving it a form.

 8. A name like Dissociation can be interpreted as having a deeper meaning. How did the band land on this album title?

Greg came up with that album title a while ago. Interestingly enough, it was before the decision to disband. In general, a lot of the fuel which has kept the Dillinger creative candle burning, has been related to codependency. Although the title was probably originally more related to that, it now has even more meaning.  

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Vocalist Greg Puciato
I had that title about halfway through 2013. It wasn’t conceived to reference the breakup, but it ended up being a convenient thematic tie in. I use double meanings a lot lyrically, and always have, and this is no different. It originally started out as the psychological term, and then eventually it also dealt with physical loss and separation.

 9. What other projects or endeavors might you be working on?

We all have other projects. I think the band is more prolific than ever. I have Giraffe Tongue Orchestra and a few other creative things going on. Liam has a band called John Frum coming out on Relapse records in the near future. Greg has been pretty active with his band The Black Queen, and Billy is working on a number of unreleased projects that I’m sure will start to surface in early 2017.  
Ben has Giraffe Tongue Orchestra, and I’m thinking about making an omelette. 

 10. Throughout the month of October, we here at Damnation partake in the 31 days of terror, one horror movie each night. What are some of your favorite horror movies?

Well my favorite has been the Presidential Debates. That movie, Keeping up with the Kardashians, is pretty frightening as well.  
I like the classics. Alien, A Nightmare On Elm Street, Nosferatu. I like a lot of the more arthouse newer ones too. The same ones everyone else has heaped praise on. Babadook, It Follows in particular was incredibly well done, a lesser known movie called Spring was really good. I like Trick or Treat just for the Halloween vibe. I loved House of the Devil, which was a fairly recent 80’s throwback movie. I really love all of the Twilight Zone episodes, so much vibe, I’ve watched them all probably ten times each. There’s one in particular, An “Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge”, that really gets me.


11. Marvel, DC Comics or other?

Marvel for me!  
 The Dillinger Escape Plan’s new album Dissociation is out in stores now via Party Smasher Inc. Records. Run out and get it and be sure to catch the band on their final tour. Look below for a date nearest you.
Oct 20 Pop’s Sauget, IL Tickets RSVP
Oct 21 Granada Lawrence, KS Tickets RSVP
Oct 22 Marquis Theater Denver, CO Tickets RSVP
Oct 23 Urban Lounge Salt Lake City, UT Tickets RSVP
Oct 25 El Corazon Seattle, WA Tickets RSVP
Oct 26 Dante’s Portland, OR Tickets RSVP
Oct 27 The UC Theatre Taube Family Music Hall Berkeley, CA Tickets RSVP
Oct 28 Brick by Brick San Diego, CA Tickets RSVP
Oct 29 Beauty Bar Las Vegas, NV Tickets RSVP
Oct 30 The Regent Theater Los Angeles, CA Tickets RSVP
Oct 31 Marquee Theatre Tempe, AZ Tickets RSVP
Nov 01 Trucky Falls El Paso, TX Tickets RSVP
Nov 03 Paper Tiger San Antonio, TX Tickets RSVP
Nov 04 Trees Dallas, TX Tickets RSVP
Nov 05 Sound On Sound Fest Mcdade, TX Tickets RSVP
Nov 06 White Oak Music hall Houston, TX Tickets RSVP
Nov 07 Southport Music Hall New Orleans, LA Tickets RSVP
Nov 09 Revolution Live Fort Lauderdale, FL Tickets RSVP
Nov 10 State Theatre St Petersburg, FL Tickets RSVP
Nov 11 Variety Playhouse Atlanta, GA Tickets RSVP
Nov 12 The Throne Theater Wilmington, NC Tickets RSVP
Nov 13 The Concourse Knoxville, TN Tickets RSVP
Nov 15 Union Transfer Philadelphia, PA Tickets RSVP
Nov 16 Paradise Rock Club Boston, MA Tickets RSVP
Nov 17 Club Metronome Burlington, VT Tickets RSVP
Nov 18 The Paramount Huntington, NY Tickets RSVP
Nov 19 The Webster Hartford, CT Tickets RSVP
Dec 16 The Opera House Toronto, Canada Tickets RSVP
Dec 17 Le Cercle Quebec, Canada Tickets RSVP
Dec 18 Foufounes Électriques Montreal, Canada RSVP
Jan 18 Waterfront Norwich, United Kingdom Tickets RSVP
Jan 19 Queen Margaret Union Glasgow, United Kingdom Tickets RSVP
Jan 20 Manchester Academy 2 Manchester, United Kingdom Tickets RSVP
Jan 21 Rock City Nottingham, United Kingdom Tickets RSVP
Jan 22 O2 Institute Birmingham Birmingham, United Kingdom Tickets RSVP
Jan 23 Tramshed Cardiff, United Kingdom Tickets RSVP
Jan 25 O2 Forum Kentish Town London, United Kingdom Tickets RSVP
Jan 26 Concorde 2 Brighton, United Kingdom Tickets RSVP
Jan 27 013 Tilburg, Netherlands Tickets RSVP
Jan 30 Markthalle Hamburg Hamburg, Germany Tickets RSVP
Jan 31 Posten Odense C, Denmark Tickets RSVP
Feb 02 Rockefeller Oslo, Norway Tickets RSVP
Feb 04 TAVASTIA Helsinki, Finland Tickets RSVP
Feb 05 Klubi Tampere Tampere, Finland Tickets RSVP
Feb 07 Debaser Strand Stockholm, Sweden Tickets RSVP
Feb 08 Pustervik Göteborg, Sweden Tickets RSVP
Feb 09 Pumpehuset Copenhagen, Denmark Tickets RSVP
Feb 11 THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLANw/ klub Stodoła Warsaw, Poland Tickets RSVP
Feb 12 THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLANw/ klub Stodoła Krakow, Poland Tickets RSVP
Feb 16 Szene Wien Vienna, Austria Tickets RSVP
Feb 20 BACKSTAGE HALLE Munich, Germany Tickets RSVP
Feb 21 Les Docks Lausanne, Switzerland Tickets RSVP
Feb 22 Hiroshima Mon Amour Torino, Italy Tickets RSVP
Feb 23 Zona Roveri Bologna, Italy Tickets RSVP
Feb 24 L’Epicerie Moderne Feyzin, France Tickets RSVP
Feb 28 Le Bikini Ramonville St Agne, France Tickets RSVP
Mar 01 Le Trabendo Paris, France Tickets RSVP
Mar 02 LA LAITERIE Strasbourg, France Tickets RSVP
Mar 03 Kulturzentrum Schlachthof e.V. Wiesbaden, Germany Tickets RSVP

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