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The Dillinger Escape Plan - Let's talk with Ben

A couple of weeks before the Lowlands festival started I arranged an interview with The Dillinger Escape Plan. I was very excited but had to wait for approval of the Lowlands Festival. When I got back from Hungary the answer was Yes! At the lowlands festvial I was given the opportunity to talk with Ben, guitar player of the band.

1. The new CD has been released this month, what were the reactions like?
The reactions were really great. We didn’t quite expected reactions like this. We experimented a lot again. But the only reactions we have had were the American ones. The ones from Europe are coming slowly but are in foreign languages.
I’ve read some Dutch reviews and they were pretty good.
That is always great to hear.

2. In the mean time you have changed vocalist, what was the process like to find a new one?
Well, actually we had an mp3 posted on our website without the lyrics and if people were interested they could sing the lyrics. The subscriptions we received were gigantic but we listened to all of our new mp3’s. We choose Greg because he sent us two versions of the MP3, one with vocals that sounded like our old vocalist. And one with his own style and voice. He was one of the last subscriptions we received but it was pretty obvious we wanted him.

3. Greg joined the band in 2001, that means that it still took 3 years to make a new album. What is the reason for this?
The main reason for this is that we not only changed vocalist but the only original members of the band are the drummer and me. So every time we changed a member we had to teach them our lifestyle and the way we play the music all over again. This process takes a lot of time. And the problem was that when we were finished teaching another change was made, and the whole process started all over again.

4. A couple of weeks before you guys released the album it was already online. What is your opinion about that?
Well, I think it is ok for people to download the final version of the album. Some people cannot afford buying CD's but they deserve to listen to the music they want. But the downloading of promo’s or non mastered CD's suck. The album is not finished at that point and when you are still working on it it's not something that you want the world to hear. 

5. Before the festivals you guys did an European tour. In what way do you look back on this tour?
It was a good tour. It was an opportunity for us to let the audience and fans listen to our new songs. And a club tour brings you closer to the fans. Festivals are great to because you can play your music for a wider audience, people that have never heard of your band can listen to the music.

6. Most bands tell us that the Dutch crowd is the best in the world, I just got back from Hungary where they have the Sziget Festival and what I saw there was amazing. Can you please tell us the truth?
Well, what I have seen it that the crowd has changed over the years. When we started touring everywhere people were just standing still. In the Netherlands too. But the more often we play here, the more energy the audience gives us. And that is great to experience.
Isn’t that because your music was completely new to them?
Maybe, but when we started playing in other countries the reactions seemed much better.

7. You guys created a whole new style of Hardcore, the people seem to like it. When I was in Hungary I met a band called Blind Myself. When I listened to their CD I could clearly hear influences of DEP. Aren’t you afraid that people are trying to copy your style? (In a positive or negative way)
Bands are always influenced by other bands. It is a honour that bands are influenced by us. Off course we see more bands coming that are influenced by our band. But the style we play was completely new to the world. But the main thing is that other bands try to copy our last album. But at that moment we are working on new material that is completely different and when that one is released people want to copy that style.

8. Greg wrote almost all of the lyrics for Miss Machine but what are his influences?
Everything that happens around the world and in his own life.
Here the voice recorder fucked up the recording for a minute, this question will be asked again…

9. Can you tell us anything about the relationship between the band and your label Relapse Records?
This relationship is pretty good. It is great to see that people are working their ass off for your band. But in an other way it is hard to see that there are a couple of people working in Europe. Promoting the band and touring is quite hard. But it was great to see that a small record label also listens to the band.
Please explain…
Well, when we wanted to do some stuff or needed an extra person for some reason or task, we suggested this to our record label and sometimes they got a person for it or we hired a person for the task. So the team work is very good.

10. Anything you want to tell our readers?
Stay open minded…

Thanks for your time and have a great show!
Thank you and see you soon!

Thanks to Relapse Records for arranging this interview!