Vocalist Greg Puciato of the New Jersey-based "mathcore" act THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN was interviewed on the March 22-24 edition of Full Metal Jackie's nationally syndicated radio show. You can now listen to the chat using the audio player below.
To see a full list of stations carrying the program and when it airs, go to FullMetalJackieRadio.com.
Full Metal Jackie: You've worked with other musicians in the past such as Max Cavalera of SOULFLY and Troy Sanders from MASTODON. How does doing stuff like that reinvigorate you in THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN?
Greg Puciato: Me and Ben [Weinman, THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN guitarist] have been writing together for about eleven years, so it's important to go out and find new tricks to show one another; we have to keep one another on our respective toes. He goes out and collaborates with a lot of people, too, he's worked with everyone and he's in a band with Brent [Hinds] of MASTODON as well. I feel like collaborating just puts you in an uncomfortable situation, because you have to learn someone else's language and learn how to communicate with them and then make something new together, so it changes you a little bit. Then, when you go back to your main thing you have something new to bring to the table. I love it, I love collaborating — I don't think you could grow any other way, really.
Full Metal Jackie: Recently, I saw you at the Revolver Golden Gods press announcement event and DILLINGER's on the bill for the award show this year. From the bands that you know that are playing, who would you like to join onstage that night?
Greg Puciato: [laughs] I don't ever want to be onstage with METALLICA, I would never want to play with that band — I can't believe that small band METALLICA is playing.
Full Metal Jackie: Oh, I thought you were headlining.
Greg Puciato: [laughs] Yeah, I think the answer to that question is obvious; I'm already geeking at the fact that they're even going to be in the building and that they're going to play on the same stage as us. We've played with them at festivals in the past, but never on the same day. It's always been like, "Yo, METALLICA's playing," and it's like, "Oh, they're playing on Sunday, we're playing Saturday," and you have to leave right away to go to Norway or something. So I've never actually played with them on the same day, so it's pretty exciting.
Full Metal Jackie: You've said that the new album, "One Of Us Is The Killer", is all over the place and the weirdest record you've ever written. What's the trick to making something disjointed sound and feel cohesive?
Greg Puciato: I don't know if there's any tricks so much as we just know after time what sounds like DILLINGER and what doesn't, and even if something sounds really different than the song before it, there's a lot of stuff that me and Ben each write that doesn't get used for DILLINGER that we use for other things. I think it's just a matter of knowing. I can't really explain, it's just an intuition that you have that this is not something that's appropriate for this band and this is. It's just a certain vibe that you develop over time. It's like if you have a movie series and you're a horror-movie guy and you're making "Nightmare On Elm Street". You know that some scene would be better off in another horror movie and it's not necessarily supposed to be in a "Nightmare On Elm Street" movie. I don't know, it's something, it's intangible.
Full Metal Jackie: Are you a "Nightmare On Elm Street" fan?
Greg Puciato: I'm a fan of the first one; the first one is amazing. I was horrified by "Nightmare On Elm Street" when I was a kid to the extent where I was afraid to go to sleep for a year of my life. When I was a kid, we'd have sleepovers for birthdays and we'd watch horror movies and play video games all night and whenever someone would put on "Nightmare On Elm Street", I would get really fucking scared, I couldn't handle it. I think I got over that like a year ago, maybe. [laughs]
Full Metal Jackie: That's back in the day when horror movies actually had to have a good storyline because they didn't have the technology that they have today. That's when stuff was really scary.
Greg Puciato: Yeah, and they didn't water everything down. Like the new "Nightmare On Elm Street", they made it like he had been picked on when he was a kid and now he's got a chip on his shoulder and that's not scary. The original one — he was just a psycho. He didn't have a reason. He's like, "I've got claws on my hand and I'm going to kill you in your sleep, child." That's gnarly. There's no motive behind it.
Full Metal Jackie: Having everything nailed down before going into the studio is typically not the way that this band works. What do you hear in your performance that you can say is a direct result of having songs fully mapped out.
Greg Puciato: We could concentrate a little bit more; songs were not fully mapped out this time. They were the closest they've ever been, but you can concentrate more on just losing yourself in the character of the performance when you're not trying to remember the words. You're not looking at a piece of paper being like, "Fuck, I just wrote this a second ago. I got to look at it." You're not read-singing it, you know it by heart, you're singing it because you mean it and you can lose yourself in the performance more. You can worry about performance aspect things instead of worrying about writing or remembering, which you probably shouldn't be doing. It's like being onstage, you don't want be using too much of your brain when you're onstage or in the studio; it should be all mojo at that point.
Full Metal Jackie: What else can we expect in terms of touring from you guys for the rest of the year?
Greg Puciato: Yeah, we're getting ready to go out and do a spring headliner. We're going to go out and take a band called THE FACELESS and another band called ROYAL THUNDER, both totally different kinds of bands, both really killer. We're going to keep grinding it and be out all summer. We're going to go to Europe in the fall. We pretty much know what we're doing through mid 2014 but I can't reveal everything. Obviously, we're going to play those Golden Gods Awards with that little baby band METALLICA. [laughs]
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