The Dillinger Escape Plan

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AN interview greg puciato 

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All good things must come to an end. Unfortunately, the maniacal mathcore quintet Dillinger Escape Plan are calling it a day, by the end of the next year. Luckily, the band promised to give the world one last record “Dissociation” along with a tour to go with it. The band’s long-running, frantic and psychotic vocalist Greg Puciato spoke to us about Dillinger’s touring schedule, the group’s feelings on their impending breakup and their final stroke of genius.

“It was very difficult to make.” he says .“We were really zoomed in at a microscopic level, and when you’re zoomed in that far and you’re that immersed in something, it’s really tough to see it as a whole. Now that it’s done and that the time has passed, you’ll be listening to the record and you’re either like “oh man, this sucks”, or you can start to think of it as a whole and love the album.”

Considering that Dillinger’s end is near, many assumed that it was the main lyrical concept surrounding “Dissociation”. However, to Puciato, this is false as he and the gang had been working on the album before the verdict was made. But at the same time, “Dissociation” carries more than a single meaning with each track associated in some way  with the album.

“It is a pretty common misconception. That name has been around since mid-2013, and then the breakup decision came after that. So, we’ve been getting a cinematic high-end, and that’s really nice to have because then, creatively, you can kind of tie-in a lot of things.

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I really like double meanings, so I like it when lyrics have multiple meanings that can go in many different ways. It just so happens there’s a lot of themes in my life that kind of overlap and it touched a lot of old scenarios at once.”

Widely acclaimed producer and Converge guitarist Kurt Ballou had the opportunity to work with Dillinger’s latest effort all throughout the process. While the band had been working with Steve Evetts since their very first EP which was released in 1997, they felt it was time to make ‘Dissociation’ stand out as one of a kind.

“It was the first time we ever let a producer besides Steve (Evetts) touch any of our full lengths. We knew from very early on that Kurt was someone we wanted to work with. He obviously is a really creative guy, and he works more as a musician than a producer. It was really unusual to see the amount of creative liberty that he took with the album. Ultimately, it’s a good thing because now, the whole album has its own sonic characteristics that help make it stand apart from the other albums a little bit. All the other records we’ve done had a kind of similar sound, whereas this one has its own saying and fingerprint. Like, when you listen to ‘And Justice For All…’ it sounds like itself. Whether it sounds good or not, it just sounds like itself, and that’s really important.”

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I really like double meanings, so I like it when lyrics have multiple meanings that can go in many different ways. It just so happens there’s a lot of themes in my life that kind of overlap and it touched a lot of old scenarios at once.”

Widely acclaimed producer and Converge guitarist Kurt Ballou had the opportunity to work with Dillinger’s latest effort all throughout the process. While the band had been working with Steve Evetts since their very first EP which was released in 1997, they felt it was time to make ‘Dissociation’ stand out as one of a kind.

“It was the first time we ever let a producer besides Steve (Evetts) touch any of our full lengths. We knew from very early on that Kurt was someone we wanted to work with. He obviously is a really creative guy, and he works more as a musician than a producer. It was really unusual to see the amount of creative liberty that he took with the album. Ultimately, it’s a good thing because now, the whole album has its own sonic characteristics that help make it stand apart from the other albums a little bit. All the other records we’ve done had a kind of similar sound, whereas this one has its own saying and fingerprint. Like, when you listen to ‘And Justice For All…’ it sounds like itself. Whether it sounds good or not, it just sounds like itself, and that’s really important.”

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While Dillinger’s picture wrap is getting closer and closer as each minute goes by, Puciato feels that even though that it’s almost time for the band to bid their farewells, it’s also a new beginning for the rest of the five-piece. With guitarist Ben Weinman now managing Kimbra and performing as one of the few strings men for Giraffe Tongue Orchestra, Greg Puciato will also be working on some brand new material with The Black Queen as well as on some new endeavours that we will be seeing in the near future.

“It feels almost like the end of a chapter. It doesn’t mean it’s the end of you or anyone else; it just means there’s a new chapter that’s going to come, and that’s really exciting. For us, it’s a collective and as individual as the others. You’re going towards a new horizon and there’s that element of the unknown which is important when it comes to understanding about being alive, and that becomes an automaton. I’m definitely going to do a bunch of stuff with The Black Queen. That’s already commencing as its own separate thing that runs parallel with this. I’m going to continue doing that, along with some other things that will happen sometime in the future.”

Dillinger Escape Plan trolled fans at a show in Leeds where, instead of jumping around and going absolute bonkers, Puciato decided to sit down on a couch, drink coffee, read a TV guide and sing throughout the entire set. Even though that it was a hilarious way to perform, Puciato reaffirms that the band won’t be doing that for the rest of their oncoming tour.

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“Usually, people expect us to go batshit crazy, but obviously with the show, we did at Leeds, instead of shitting on the stage, I ended up sitting on a couch with a coffee table. I would love nothing more to do than sitting down on a couch for the rest of the tour” he laughs. “But, that’s not gonna happen for the rest of the tour.”

For any of those panicking about whether or not Dillinger will be making one more stop to Australia before the band pull the curtains down, rest assured, they will. Puciato confirms that they’ll definitely return Down Under, one last time.

“We’re  going everywhere in the world we can before we call it a day. Australia has always been a highlight on every single tour we’ve done. Australia is always a place we’re excited to play in. At the moment, it looks like we’ll be there in summer or at least three-quarters of the way through 2017. We’ll definitely be there.”

Written By Callum Doig

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LISTEN TO THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN

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Written by Dave Griffiths

Dave has worked as a music & film journalist for over 20 years now. Aside from Heavy he does radio and various podcasts as well. He is the proud owner of Metal Cat.

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