Dillinger Escape Plan
Thanks a bunch to Anna at Epitaph and Greg Pucciato from Dillinger Escape Plan for being so nice to answer these questions. I was supposed to interview them in the flesh before a show in Amsterdam, but I had to cancel that due to circumstances. So Greg answered these via email. For more info check out www.dillingerescapeplan.com and be sure to check out their Irony Is A Dead Scene EP.
PB: I'm curious as to how you wrote the songs for the EP. Did you ever practice together with Mike or did you just send him the music so he could come up with vocals and then got together in the studio?
GREG: The songs were already written before he was approached. They were written for the full length and then when the split with Dimitri happened they asked Mike if he would be interested. We never actually practiced with Mike. It was just a matter of sending CDRs back and forth. When everybody was happy with the results, we got together in the studio. It took a while to actually get our schedules coordinated. We have both been really busy this year. We didn't record until May.
PB: I read an interview with Greg from Feb 02 were he said a new full-length would be released in December. Is that still the case?
GREG: Definitely not. We didn't anticipate on touring nearly as much as we did this year, so that pushed back the full length a lot. Don't expect it until honestly probably around June of 2003. This album is very important to all of us and we are all perfectionists, so we are gonna nurture it until we feel like it is 100% ready.
PB: How will the new album sound like? Did Greg have a big influence on the new songs?
GREG: There weren't any new songs written when I joined, so yeah everything that has been written for the new album has involved me. These songs are a huge progression for us. An album should be like a snapshot, or a culmination of all of your skills and influences at that point in time. We are pushing ourselves to the limit for this, and the new album will reflect that.
PB: What about the split with The Icarus Line that would come out on Buddyhead? Is that still happening?
GREG: No. Anything we do will push back the release of the full length, and we don't want that to happen.
PB: How did the crowds react on the tour with SOAD? Do you like SOAD's music yourself?
GREG: The SOAD tour was a great tour for us. It really put us in front of a lot of people that otherwise would not have heard our music. We learned a lot from that tour. We have never been involved on anything of that scale in the past, so it was a totally new environment for us. Crowds were what we expected. We are not the easiest band to take in, so there were some pretty hostile reactions. But we're also the type of band that if you "get" it, you really "GET" it. We definitely doubled our audience in Europe because of that tour. As for the second part of your question, I think SOAD is one of the only mainstream heavy bands that is doing something interesting. There is definitely a big difference between them and the other nu-metal clowns on the mainstream metal scene. They really have put together a unique sound and everybody in that band knows their role and does it well. Creatively they seem interested in furthering heavy music, which is also evidenced by the fact that they took a band like us on tour.
PB: What bands or artists are you into at the moment?
GREG: We listen to so much different stuff...that's a tough question. Recently I have been listening to a jazz pianist named Keith Jarrett, a lot of soundtrack music, and Incubus. It will change in a week though. I always listen to the radio and watch MTV too, just to see what's going on. I like some of it and some of it I can't stand. I won't get into that though....
PB: It was a surprise to hear that Irony Is A Dead Scene would be released on Epitaph. Did they contact you, or did you contact them?
GREG: When it came time to put the EP out we really didn't know what to do, since we are on Relapse and Mike is on Ipecac. So we figured we would just pick a neutral label with no previous involvement with either party. Brett from Epitaph was at our LA show in February, and afterwards expressed huge interest in working with us. Needless to say we were a little skeptical....after all they put out the Offspring for Christ's sake! But on the other hand they have done Bad Religion and Tom Waits....anyhow the bottom line is that they were really excited about working with us so we took a gamble and went with them. It really turned out that we made a great decision. They have worked so hard on this EP. We really love that label and would love to work with them in the future, but contractual obligations with Relapse might make that impossible. We'll see...
PB: Do you still check out your local scene? From what I've seen, NJ has a pretty cool scene.
GREG: I am actually from Baltimore, MD, so I know little about the scene there. Honestly I don't think the other guys do either. We are on tour so much. It's hard to stay on top of things. Burnt By the Sun is out of Jersey. Those guys are good.
PB: When you guys started out, what was it like. Did you guys say "Okay, we're gonna create one of the most technical and extreme bands on the planet" or did it just come naturally?
GREG: I can't answer for Ben and Chris, but I think it was more of a case where they were just tired of trying to fit in with the hardcore scene and just played what came naturally. Believe it or not this shit comes naturally to them. They don't sit down and try to write difficult stuff. Ben is just half retarded and writes like that naturally.
PB: How do you feel about the current situation in the world, more specifically about Bush's plans to attack Iraq?
GREG: Ugh...that's such a difficult question. No matter where you are, as a civilian you never know all the details, so it is hard to form an unbiased opinion. I have given up taking sides on most political issues, for that reason. We will never know all the facts so why form an uneducated opinion? From a humanitarian standpoint I know I wouldn't want a bomb falling through my roof, so I feel sorry for the inevitable innocent Iraqi civilians that will be killed. It's sad that we are such an advanced race but we still resort to war and violence to solve our problems. It's a hard call. Hussein poses a serious threat to the stability of that region, and eventually he will cause a lot of problems if we allow him to continue. He has shown us time and time again that he can't be trusted. But us overthrowing his regime will also cause inevitable instability. It's like picking the less of two evils. You know either choice is gonna fuck you somehow, but you have to choose one.
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