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The Dillinger Escape Plan - I like hairy pussy
On the 11th of November in 2004, The Dillinger Escape Plan played with Poison the Well and Burst in the Tivoli De Helling in Utrecht. Your local lazy reporter was there to ask Ben Weinman (guitar) from TDEP some intrueging questions!

You guys got a new record out called "Miss Machine". You and Chris are basicly the main songwriters in the band. How do you guys write your songs since they are pretty crazy?
 
Well me or chris get an idea and work on it, or I write something with the computer and give that to him. Sometimes we get together, sometimes we send some computerfiles to eachother. I think its 50/50. Sometimes ideas seem very interesting but when you get together and play them, you`ll find out that it really doesnt work. Its more like trying to make ideas work.

Everybody knows Dream Theater, and I listen to it, and It sounds very "typical" to me. As if they wrote and recorded all of their parts individually. So it doesnt work like that with DEP?

No, you have to play together to see if something really fits. Its the only way to get an emotion or certain energy out of it as well. For us, thats more important anyway. There are alot of technical bands I dont like, because its to sterile. Its not what music is about to me.

Two years ago I talked to Chris in the Effenaar in Eindhoven and he said to me that he didnt
know what was going to happen with Dillinger in the next few years. I think he actually said
something like "I`m not sure if we will even exist in a few more years"...

We always try to treat every moment like it is our last. We dont think we`ll have a second chance for something, we only think that there are last chances. We try to give 100% every time.



Miss Machine sounds like you guys tried to actually write songs that might stick in your head. Is that a conscious choice or is it more of a natural development?
 
Well writing "hard" songs is getting more routine for us. We are trying to actually make those hard songs more challenging with trying to make an actual song out of it, and really try to incorporate our own sound with more "normal" songwriting. We got so used to odd music so we got desentitized to it. It was normal to us. We consider "typical songs" as an equal playing field these days. We try to write music that is appropiate. Songwriting and structuring is really a whole skill on itself.

Is Miss Machine really a record of which you can say in a few years: "Those were some good songs" ?

Yeah. We wanted the whole record to be dynamic. More like it is a journey, the combination of all the songs is what makes the album so dynamic. On Calculating infinity, the songs were very dynamic, but the record itself was not.

You guys got a video for Panasonic Youth out. Whats the next song?

We've got a video coming for Setting Fire to Sleeping Giants, and we're probably going to do another one for Unretrofied. We have an artist that really wants to work on that.

I really love Unretrofied, I almost consider it a Faith no More tribute. Arent you afraid that people might see Unretrofied and think "well, this is cool, lets get the cd" and when they hear the rest, they might flip out?

Ofcourse there might be people who think "what is this". But I dont really care. We've always been a band with fans that didnt like it at all in the beginning. Some people think like "ok, there is something I`m missing" or "I didnt like it at all" or "I might want to hear it again". And maybe after the first few times they begin to listen to it and like it. Thats probably why we put "Setting Fire" out before Unretrofied. So its more of a progression regarding videos, going from heavy to melodic. I just want people to hear the record, and maybe just skip around the songs in the beginning. Take my dad for example. He prefers the easier songs on the cd, but slowly he begins to appreciate the heavier songs as well. This way we hope to open up a whole different world for music for people.

Yeah personally I think it's hard for everyone to get into Dillinger..

Yeah its really an acquired taste.



You guys are very energetic live, there will be a time you guys get to old for it. One day
someone will say "well, I think we have done enough"

Well I am old! This is probably why we say that we take things day by day. Me and Chris are always working on electronics and stuff..so I think I`ll always be doing something with music. I cant say it but I`ll be involved with music.

How do you guys get the energy then? It must be hard with a touring lifestyle.

Well I dont know, we just get on stage and give it all. We've been on tour for 6 weeks now and have another 5 to go. It can be hard to get up everyday, and you are pretty much tired all the time. But when I get on stage it all falls of.

I was reading some old interviews with stuff that happened to you guys..for example, Greg got his teeth knocked out..any more "funny" examples like that?

Heh well that wasnt really "fun" tho! Well almost every night something happens. I'm recovering from a broken rib, and our other guitar player has an arm injury.

As I've experienced myself, the crowd gets hurt in the process..dont you worry about that?

Oh thats true. But its hard for us to comment on this sort of things, since we're very normal responsibly, passive persons in normal live. We always had the opportunity to be not-responsible on stage. When we started this band people knew what they were in for. Its only until recently that people come to see us who heard about us but dont really get it. They get in front, but they are not expecting a certain amount of aggression, and that makes it hard for us to differentiate. Alot of people came to check us out because "hey they recorded with Mike Patton..well, I like Faith No More, lets check it out". We've been playing bigger stages as well so we try to adjust to it, but we are what we are.

Most people consider DEP to be a "math-core" type of band, with a very unique sound. There are quite some bands that are trying to copy that sound. Do you have any opinions on that?

Well some bands copy a certain thing and usually try to evolve into a sound of their own. Some of them do, some of them dont and be gone. Some bands say that they are influenced by us but sometimes I just dont hear it. I mean, there are alot of bands trying to play in odd time signatures. For us, we were never really influenced by bands. We just tried to create music which we were interested in. The Jazz influence for us is more the attitude of it, just being as creative as we can and not let anything else hold us for doing so. Some riff might be jazz-orientated but that doesnt mean it cant be fast and distorted. I think thats what those other bands might lack.

Recently I saw something on the internet, I think it was a member of Meshuggah, saying that DEP is amazing and that you guys might have influenced the writing process for new material. Stuff like that must be a pretty big compliment.

Some people say its what the critics think, or what the fans think. Well personally, fuck the fans. Oftenly I`m more interested into what the critics say because they really analyze the music. Alot of the kids just like it because their friends like it. I will always prefer to read what a serious music reviewer or musician says about my band then what some kids say on a message board. I'd rather read a good article about a band, or hear a bands opinion then read some kid's opinion on the internet.

There is a new dvd coming, what can we expect?

Well actually we're thinking about releasing 2 DVDs. The first one will be from our earlier period, with interviews with people that were just there, what they thought of us, interviews with people from our label when they saw us the first few times, people who helped us. A lot of old footage. Most of it will be in pretty low quality, and shot in small places. Basically an idea of where we came from.
We had to do 2 dvds for the label so this is how we are going to do it. We had so many amazing things since Greg got in the band, and we also have alot of old stuff to show.

Greg also has a project called Error..what is that about?

Its more a bit like Atari Teenage Riot, alot of electronics and stuff. They have an EP out.

Was that kind of music an influence for the track "Phone Home"?

Well Chris (Penny), our drummer wrote that, so I didnt have much envolvement in that besides some guitar parts. Chris was listening to Nine Inch Nails alot. I think Phone Home is pretty much a homage to Nine Inch Nails. I think that there are two songs on the record that were not intended to be "Dillinger", being "Phone Home" and "Unretrofied". "Unretrofied" was the song I was working on. Chris gave his song to Greg, and Greg really made it fit with Dillinger. Same with my song, at first I thought that it wasnt fit for Dillinger, but then again, I wrote the song, these are my riffs, it is Dillinger. We are a band that could do anything.

You guys usually have original opening acts, do you remember some that stood out?

We recently toured with The Locust. I always liked their music, and they were extremely tight, and very intersting to watch. We also did some shows in the UK with a japanese band called "Mana?" (ed: or mano?). They were really powerfull, especially because they were coming out Japan.

Do you happen to remember Textures, did you like them?

Yeah I was very impressed with that. They sounded a bit like Meshuggah and Cynic, and I really love those bands.

Time for some nonsense questions. Who would you take out on a date Bugs Bunny dressed as a girl, or Smurfette?

Bugs, because I like a really hairy pussy.

But he doesnt has one!

But he is covered in hair..you dont know if he has a penis either.

Decaf Coffee or Malt beer?

Decaf.. I dont drink beer..so its coffee.

Atreyu or Linkin Park?

Linkin Park.

Ever heard of Pirate Metal? If not, which band should be pirate metal?

I have no clue man..but I`m all for it.."Har Har!". But I think Brann from Mastodon is a good pirate.."Ahoy". Mastodon would be pirate metal..they talk about Moby Dick and sailing the sea and stuff, so that should do it.

Allright Ben, Thanks for your time!

(thanks to Yvonne from Relapse Europe for arranging this)