THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN :  interview with Greg Puciato


face to face  by dalia "gryphon_spirit" di giacomo ___    

at Abart Music Club in Zürich - 17.11.2004    - European Tour 2004

organized by Irascible Distribution and  gryphonmetal.ch

The Dillinger Escape Plan live in Zürich 2004
Miss Machine






Speaking  about technicality, music influences, crazy mix of body parts, fans, reality shows, other signs of decay and 

Chuck Shuldiner




dalia: I am here in Zürich together with Greg, vocalist /frontman of The Dillinger Escape Plan! Hi Greg welcome in Zürich! So first off , how is Brian?

Greg: Oh... <laughter> He's doing really well. He actually had a pinched nerve in his arm and basically for the last year, whenever we've been playing live, his left hand would lock up to the point where he can't move some of his fingers anymore, and he would have to pull his fingers apart with his other hand - ya know – to try to unlock them. So he's been playing in a lot of pain for years.  So we told him he'd get a fill in for a little bit so he could get some surgery, and it went well, the surgery was a success and hopefully, they said in the next month or so, he'll be in full capacity again and we are excited to get him back and I can't wait be able to jam with him again on stage.


Who is  playing in the band right now at Brian's place?

We have a friend of ours, named James, he's a guitar wizard...man, he was a person we knew that really wasn't in a band and basically just playing out on his own...he's such a total shredder! He learned all of our songs within three weeks and our songs are like pretty hard to learn. We didn't think we'd find a fill-in because there is so much material and it is difficult to learn, but he really stepped up to the challenge and is doing great and he'll be with us this whole tour.


What are some of your impressions about the first part of the European Tour?

We've been here for about a week and a half and we've only been so to Germany and Holland so far. Since we got here so far, they've been better than any other European shows we've [ever] played. Like, we never do well in Germany and we usually only do okay in Holland and we did great in Germany and Holland this time, so I'm just so glad because in the past we would go to those two countries and we'd just cross our fingers and hope that people came. Sometimes we'd play to 1000 kids in England and then [go] to Germany and there would be 100 kids and well...this makes it sometimes financially difficult for us to come to Europe because we have no idea how, sometimes, how to do it in different countries. But, every show  has been pretty much sold out so far, we don't really know why but we are really happy haha.


Oh..by the way England you will be supported by Ephel Duath there!

Yeah they are Italian right? HAHA, last time we were in Italy we played there and they opened for us, I can't remember the place but they were really good and [they are] really good musicians [too and] we are excited to play with them again.


Do you think Miss Machine is a technical album?

No, I don't think I'm real comfortable with that term. We are really aware that some people are trying to put us in that category of technical music, but the thing that I think separates bands that concentrate on technicality from us, is that we really are only concerned with writing good songs and how the parts make you feel as a listener and whether or not the songs are difficult to play. I just really think that, it so happens that we have people in our band who are really gifted musicians, like our drummer is really gifted as well as our guitar players, so naturally the things that they play are more difficult than the things that [other] people cannot play their instruments that well…[Some of those people] never ever sit down and decide to write a song or a part just because it is technical because there is plenty of Classical music where there's people that could shred anyone in our band, so I don't understand the whole technical term.  We just want to write good songs and like I said, the guys are really good musicians and its kind of annoying to be thought of that way.


What are some of you musical influences? Like Jazz...

Right right, yeah, we listen to everything ya know, we listen to heavy music, metal and hardcore. We also listen to Jazz, Classical and a lot of Instrumental music like Aphex Twin and Brian Eno a lot, a lot of Soundtrack music… We also listen to R&B and Pop and some Hip Hop and whatever normal people listen to. I think that is important to not limit yourself to one style of music and to just take everything in, whatever you like you like. I don't have any qualms about liking a pop song I don't think there is any validity behind a Death-metal song or a Hardcore song then there is behind a pop song, if it is a well written song and the people that are playing the music are sincere about what they are doing I don't think there should be any barriers of what you should listen to.


Ah well...and Miss Machine's cover art is...

<starts laughing> Pretty strange...we have an air conditioner on the cover <while laughing> I think there is also a piece of chicken breast or something I don't know. All I know is that we told a friend of ours named Brian Montouri, who is an artist in New York and he's got really crazy ideas like, really really weird, he's also always telling us about ideas he has for T-Shirts and we are all like " okay Brian ya know whatever," he's just really out there and well, we told him what the title of our album was going to be and he was like " ya gotta let me do the cover, you gotta let me do the cover."  He said it was going to be this crazy mix of body parts and appliances and all this stuff and we were all like 'yeah whatever' we all thought it was going to be terrible! We all just heard him talking and we were thinking it was going to be the worst thing ever then when he gave it to us, I don't know if you have actually seen the real album or not but the insert is like three feet long! He literally went through magazines and cut pictures out and all these little things and pasted them together and really spent a lot of time on it. We all thought it looked so unique, it's like you never get to see…it doesn't look like a metal album or it doesn't look like any type of music, it’s like if you were to just see it you wouldn't know what type of band it was. There is something really just bizarre about it, you just can't look at it and not have an opinion on it like you can look at some album covers and just be like " oh " and just open it up and not care, yeah if you pick this up and say like what the fuck what is this!? So I think that is kind of how a lot of people think when they hear us so, I think that is a good reflection on how we sound like.


Oh yeah :) and... how would you describe your typical fan?

That's really a hard question because we have a lot of different types of fans we have like hardcore kids and metal kids but we also have people that don't really listen to heavy music that like this band because their drummer wants to watch our drummer Chris or their guitar player wants to watch Ben play guitar, I don't know I don't think we have a typical type of fan to be honest with you especially it's hard when you come from the US to over here like kids are a little different I just think it's fair to kids to group them all into one caste.


As aggressive and great vocalist that you are, do you feel a certain kind of competition with other vocalists of American bands like Lamb of God or Shadows Fall?

No, not all I think we really support one another, ya know, I have met those guys a lot ya know, and I don't feel like we sound alike at all and honestly I don't think our music sounds similar either so, I think there is room for everybody ya know, I think it's really exciting that more people are taking more notice to aggressive music nowadays and that I think over the last few years there hasn't really been a lot of real good aggressive music in the mainstream I really think kids have been deprived they gotta listen to things like Disturbed and Limp Bizkit and stuff like that so it's really good to see bands like us converge and Shadows Fall, Killswitch Engage, and Lamb of God start to do well, I don't feel competition with any of those guys we are just happy that we all are doing so well.


I have spoken with many fans and musicians and everyone is saying DEP is great! Incredible, very positive comments, what is your formula or your point of focus?

I don't really know we didn't really expect his album, we didn't know what to think when we released this album we thought a lot of people were going to be confused by it. Because there are things on it that we have never done before, there is some melody on the album, and we never had actual singing before. There are some more spatial arrangements and before we played just real fast and crazy as possible at all times so we didn't know what to think, but everybody and the all the feedback has been so positive. But I don't like to think about what we have already done. Like I want to keep making sure that we are looking forward, instead of dwelling on what we have already accomplished, I don’t know, when I think of great bands like I think of...well I don't think of us so its hard for me to think of that, but other people think that's awesome and I think that is great.


Do you think your band is a symbol of the North Eastern area?

Yeah I definately feel that they associate, at least in the US, DEP with New Jersey/New York area, but maybe not so anymore, we are bigger, but for a while we were definately a symbol of the Northeast, Hardcore metal, which is fine by me, I love that area so.


In your opinion, what is the biggest sign of decay?

In what?

oh... music  or society...


yeah a clear sign of decay

...Reality Television, <laughter> I think is the worst thing ever...

<laughing> oh! I agree!

I think seriously, it is a horrible thing, but I read a poll today on-line that said that Americans are getting sick of reality TV and that's good. No seriously, I think there are definate recent signs of decay; the recent re-election of George W. Bush is a pretty big sign of things that are wrong. I think in general, things are a bit apathetical, I mean, young people don't think they matter and they feel that whatever they do, won't matter and just feel lazy, I don't know, I think that's like, I just image how my parents were when they were young and I think there was just a ton of activism, even in the early 90's there was a lot of activism and young people cared about things like politics and society but nowadays people just want instant gratification they just want a quick fix like reality TV or something like that. It is said that only one out of 10 people age 18-26 have voted in the last US election and that's really sad. Why would 1 out of 10 of the future of our country vote it doesn't make sense.


In Miss Machine there is a track called "We are the Storm ? Musically, are DEP like a storm?

Right, that track was originally call Miss Machine that was going to be the title track. I think it is like a train wreck, being in this band is like being in a train wreck 24 hours a day. I think musically and in terms in things that surround us personally it just feels like being in a hurricane all the time. So I think it is a good analogy in hat we are going through as people being in this band and how people perceive this band musically.


The last question, this last question is one of our typical Gryphonmetal questions; we call it "The Game Of The Tower." We ask this questions to all the bands that we first interview. There is a very high tower, and on top of this tower there are three bands waiting for you, and you have to kick down two of them saving only one, and the three bands for you are... Pantera, Meshuggah, or Death.

Whoa!  Death is one of my favorite bands of all time ever. Chuck Shuldiner is seriously one of the reasons I ever I started playing guitar or singing, honestly, I love that guy and I was so pissed and upset when I found out he died...it's not even close for me it's like I don’t even like Pantera at all so that was easy, Meshuggah I like but, Death, I listen to Death almost everyday honestly, the album " Human " they put out is, for me, one of the most important albums I have ever heard in my life and I don't think I would be playing in this band if it wasn’t for that band, so it was very easy.


It has been a pleasure Greg! Thank you very much! See you later on stage!

Yeah thank you so much!

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