The Dillinger Escape Plan Stubborn to the End
Published Oct 27, 2016Call it a contradiction, but the fact that the last recorded note anyone hears from the Dillinger Escape Plan might be the least Dillinger moment ever is a very Dillinger move.
"A final kind of like 'fuck you' to people who think we should sound a certain way or be cornered into a certain sound," is how guitarist and co-founder Ben Weinman describes singer Greg Puciato's crooning conclusion.
After nearly two decades of calculated chaos, it was partway through the writing process for Dissociation that Weinman kickstarted the conversation about ending the band. The decision didn't change the writing process, per se, but may have influenced some of the choices. Unburdened by the need to take the band to the next level, the band operated in a vacuum; the usually "pretty uninfluenced" band became 100 percent so.
"It was definitely like a no-fucks-given album for us. We really just didn't give a shit. We didn't think about it [because] we have no intention of becoming a bigger band."
Sonically, the band certainly grew. They wore their influences more prominently on their sleeves and added strings (courtesy of SEVEN)SUNS) on four songs. One of them, "Low Feels Blvd," exhibits both expansive qualities in a jazz fusion break featuring the string quartet's leader, Earl Maneein, mimicking Weinman's improvised guitar solo "Mahavishnu-style."
"I think it's interesting that this last album really shows where we've gone into the future and also touches on where we were in the past."
One such flashback comes in the form of the title track's drum loop, which Weinman worked on with Zach Hill, now of Death Grips but at the time drumming with Hella. The guitarist says it was recorded around a decade ago, as was the majority of "Fugue." That song brought the band's omnipresent electronic influence full circle, providing a full-song home for lingering recordings.
"When we first started the band I had already stopped listening to really extreme death metal and stuff like that," Weinman reveals. "I was kind of over it, and had exclusively gotten into punk and hardcore for the feeling and the message, but then electronic music and fusion for the technicality and musicianship."
It was at this apex that the band's sound formed into the piercing, rhythmic monster they became known for. Weinman says he's always thought of the guitar as a drum, with the high-pitched dissonant chords acting as the snare and the lower chugs as the kick.
All those elements are still present — even abundant — on Dissociation, but that's just because the band want them to be there. For Dillinger, expectations are not just secondary; they aren't even on the radar.
"I know how to make a fucking Dillinger album," states Weinman, confidently. "We started doing it our way and without any regard for what people expected from us or thought was appropriate at the time, and we're going to end it that way as well."