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Dillinger Escape Plan Are Still Unpredictable a Decade Into Their Noisemaking Career

Recently, our friends at asked folks to participate in an exercise and choose the ‘21 Best Metal Albums of the 21st Century… So Far.’ The glitch was that the records had to be released after January 1, 2000. That presented quite a quandary for this writer/participant. Dillinger Escape Plan‘s ‘Calculating Infinity’ came out in late 1999 and exerted influence on many albums that came after it, but given the rules and regulations, I couldn’t include it on my list. Foiled!

When I mentioned this to DEP guitarist and sole remaining founding member Ben Weinman, who is still bros with all the former members, he said, “It’s weird to hear that 10 years later. A lot of bands who were our peers aren’t bands, or active, anymore. We’ve survived when there was no hope of being on TV or Ozzfest or Warped Tour. There were no possibilities of coming home with a profit after tour. Doing a band under those circumstances was tough. Now, it’s social networking, computers and all these things that create a whole other atmosphere, for better or worse.”

DEP actually performed on Conan O’Brien’s former show, during which vocalist Greg Puciato crawled atop the host’s desk. “He was a good sport about it,” Weinman said. “He’s all about entertainment and he didn’t get where he is by being safe. He was like, ‘As long as no one gets hurt,’ which is always a concern with Dillinger.”

Weinman admitted that he is “very okay that Dillinger isn’t for everyone, but love it or hate it, it’s not mild. I like that there’s still some level of unpredictability after 10 years. It’s hard to keep that going 100 percent but something always happens that I never expected at our shows. There’s always a curve ball.”

Weinman is proud that the band remains unpredictable in what he terms “a climate that is planned and homogenized. You can watch a band play on YouTube before seeing them live. MTV even has a blueprint on how to be a rock star. This information culture creates a predictable environment. That sickens me, so that is what ‘Option Paralysis’ is about. We are frozen by options, bombarded by information and no one knows what’s important.” He also revealed that DEP held out on making a MySpace page for that very reason, but eventually gave in. However, the band still does things the Dillinger way.

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