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Loud Rock Charts February 25th

Greetings Santa Cruz! Here are the CMJ loud rock charts for this week.
ADDS
1    BLACK EXPLOSION    Elements Of Doom    Metalville
2    VANDEN PLAS    Chronicles Of The Immortals: Netherworld (Path 1)    Frontiers
3    CHRYSALIS    Focus On The Center    Self-Released
4    COMEBACK KID    Die Knowing    Victory
5    SOCKS    The Socks    The End-Small Stone

CHARTS
1    CYNIC    Kindly Bent To Free Us    Season Of Mist
2    WITHIN TEMPTATION    Hydra    Nuclear Blast
3    BEHEMOTH    The Satanist    Metal Blade
4    ICED EARTH    Plagues Of Babylon    Century Media
5    FOR TODAY    Fight The Silence    Razor and Tie
6    SLOUGH FEG    Digital Resistance    Metal Blade
7    SKINDRED    Kill The Power    Cooking Vinyl-Red River
8    BODYFARM    The Coming Scourge    Cyclone Empire
9    LIONIZE    Jetpack Soundtrack    Weathermaker
10    ADRENALINE MOB    Men Of Honor    Century Media

Top Ten Icon

Brootalisk’s Top Ten Loud Rock Albums of 2013

When each year is over, I’m always at a loss for how to summarize what a phenomenal year it’s been for metal, and 2013 was no different. It was the first year ever that a metal album was named the best record of the year by Metacritic, that Justin Bieber made his love for Metallica known, and that a metal cover of a pop song was voted to be the best out of 30 other covers. Normally, I wouldn’t give a flying fuck about these sensationalist news articles that exist only to get ratings and views. However, my recent trip to New York for the CMJ convention really taught me a lot about where the genre of metal stands right now in the grand scheme of things. To put it short: we metal heads NEED these kind of attention whoring events. With the music industry as a whole becoming less and less of a viable and sustainable option for many, the metal genre too is hurting because it’s not receiving the attention (and therefore sales) that it used to get back in the ’80s and early ’90s. That’s why I encourage people like Justin Bieber to wear a Metallica shirt, or for Kanye West to don “heavy metal” pants, no matter how atrocious they are. At least the metal genre is garnering more attention now than it has in the past decade. And while you may discourage attention from “non-trve” fans, keep in mind that the more attention the genre gets, the more sales, and thus money, it receives, which in turn emboldens upcoming artists to make new and exciting material, which (hopefully) garners more attention, and so on, until the circle of life is complete. /endrant

With that long winded tirade out of the way, let’s get back to what we’re all here for: me showing you a list of pretentious albums that you probably don’t care about but feel like you should because they’re my favorite albums of 2013. If you think you know better than I do, feel free to reply below, and I’ll take your choice into consideration as I cure cancer and solve world peace.

 

Entities

10) Pomegranate TigerEntities

Entities isn’t just a great album; it’s a great instrumental album, something that is becoming increasingly difficult to do in today’s over saturated instru-metal genre. What ‘s even more impressive is the fact that Pomegranate Tiger have managed to create an album that’s just as technically advanced as the frontrunners of the genre (see: Animals as Leaders, Scale the Summit) while also being a coherent piece of art. And it’s exactly that: the progressive metal outfit have created a work that doesn’t just flaunt their prowess, but progresses the waterlogged brand of music, something that was desperately needed.

Recommended Tracks: 2, 5, 11

 

 

 

 

 


Gorguts-Colored-Sands9) Gorguts
Colored Sands

I remember seeing Gorguts last year when they played with the Death to All group in San Francisco and thinking to myself, “This does not sound like a band whose last album was released eleven years ago.” Indeed, a year later, Gorguts has come out to show all the posers how it’s done with Colored Sands. With the record, Gorguts combines a few tricks they’ve learned with the trademarked technical brutality that they are just so damn good at. Couple that with the prowess of Kevin Hufnagel (of Dysrhythmia fame), and you’ve got one undeniably sexy record.

Recommended Tracks: 2, 3 9

 

 

 

 

 

Russian-Circles-Memorial8) Russian Circles – Memorial

Arguably the most elegant release this year, Memorial is an amalgamation of everything Russian Circles has been up to this point. While “Deficit” showcases their inhuman capacity for catchy hooks, “1777” extracts itself from Russian Circles’ earlier moments featuring beautiful soaring melodies that transcends everything in its class. Unfortunately, Russian Circles apparently suffers from a short attention span, as the album is well under normal LP length times. Clocking in at 37 minutes, its just 7 minutes longer than Between the Buried and Me’s Parallax EP. An unfair comparison maybe, but it is worth noting. Nevertheless, less of a great thing is a good problem to have, and it’s still an achievement in of itself to accomplish so much with so little.

Recommended Tracks: 2, 3, 6

 

 

 

 

 

pth7) Protest the Hero – Volition

Tell me, what were you thinking when Protest the Hero successfully funded their newest album Volition via Kickstarter? Were you thinking that the album would be as good as it was? Because I sure as hell was not. I was half expecting Choady to just run off with the money and buy as much cheap booze $300,000 could get him. Instead of shitty liquor, we’ve gotten Volition in return, and what an investment. The album’s chock full of what you’d expect from P T to the motherfucking H, but it’s also got a much more mature feel than their last effort. The record also harks back to the good ol’ days of Kezia, and even has a direct reference to Fortress in “Animal Bones,” which, if we’re being honest, I am a huge sucker for.

Recommended Tracks: 2, 5, 10


 

 

 

 

Altar-of-Plagues-Teethed-Glory6) Altar of Plagues – Teethed Glory and Injury

While Altar of Plagues is regrettably no more, we can celebrate their previous existence with their unforgettably enduring swan song that is Teethed Glory and Injury. During the album’s intense 48 minutes, you can definitively detect the painstaking detail that went into each and every note of the album. This record will chill you to your very core. It will rattle your mind. There is nothing easy about this album, which makes it that much more great. Unlocking an album of this magnitude takes time, but it is time well worth investing.

Recommended Tracks: 2, 5, 9

 

 

 

 

 

Vertikal+cult_of_luna5) Cult of LunaVertikal

My deeply personal inner struggles with the ISIS disbandment has left many emotional scars on me, causing me to have trust issues with post-metal bands. However, there is one outfit that I can always have confidence in: Cult of Luna. With Vertikal, they’ve solidified what I’ve always known: they’re the best active post-metal ensemble right now (come at me Neurosis). And what a way to showcase their vast expertise and knowledge: Vertikal is a concept album that, at its core, deals with a government who is corrupted in a big-brother fashion. With the NSA scandal, never before is such a notion as relevant as it is today, and Vertikal was released before that defamation even occurred. Either Cult of Luna are indeed really good at writing concept albums, or they’re psychics from another dimension. I’m leaning towards the latter.

Recommended Tracks: 2, 6, 8

 

 

 

 


Deafheaven-Sunbather4) Deafheaven
– Sunbather

No band on this list, and potentially in all of metal, shows more blinding potential than San Francisco’s own Deafheaven. Everywhere I look, George Clark (vocalist) is right there with his creepy ass stare. Hell, they were even in an Apple advertisement for fuck’s sake. Combine their increase in popularity with an entrancing live performance, and there’s only one thing missing for this band to blow up: good music. HAH. Just kidding. Sunbather kicks monumental anus. The record perfectly treads the line between uplifting affection and sinister despair. 

Recommended Tracks: 1, 5, 7

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ovid's Withering Scryers of the Ibis3) Ovid’s Withering – Scryers of the Ibis

Talk about coming out of nowhere. By the time I had heard this album for the first time, I already had my top ten list nicely made and organized, and Ovid’s Withering throws their debut album right out of left field to fuck everything up. And I couldn’t be happier about it. Scryers of the Ibis is everything I have ever wanted from a technical metal record, and more that I couldn’t have ever dreamed of. From the absurdly destructive riffs to the intricately and impeccably placed electronic segments, Scryers of the Ibis is one of the greatest debuts of any technical metal outfit in history. Period.

Recommended Tracks: 4, 8, 12

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leprous Coal2) Leprous – Coal

Coal is arguably the most criminally overlooked album this year. It’s also one of the best progressive metal albums in recent years. No more is Leprous just Ihsahn’s “back up band.” Gone is the looming moniker of “Opeth wannabes.” Leprous is a genuinely original band with a hell of a lot of talent, and Coal features every aspect of their incredible musicianship. From Einar’s soaring vocals to the ridiculously catchy rhythms by bassist Martin, this album has everything you would ever want from a progressive metal record. Also, I don’t care what anyone says, but “The Valley” is undoubtedly the best song of the year.

Recommended Tracks: 2, 3, 5

 

 

 

 

 

TheOcean-Pelagial1) The Ocean – Pelagial

Ultimately, there’s not much to say about a #1 album of the year except to simply yell through your computer LISTEN TO THIS GODDAMN ALBUM OR I WILL SHOVE IT INSIDE YOUR EARHOLES. Assuming you have listened to it, here’s a reason why this is the definitive metal record of the year: it’s a concept album about the motherfucking depths of the ocean written by a band called The Ocean. All kidding aside, Pelagial is, in this humble writer’s opinion, the epitome of a perfectly executed metal record. It’s coherent in every sense of the word. Each song flows flawlessly into each other. Everything is meticulously placed where it should be while still feeling natural and organic. It is the perfect mix of experimentation and execution. There will never be another record quite like Pelagial, and because of it there will never be another year quite like 2013.


Recommended Tracks: 2, 4, 9

turkey

Loud Rock Concerts in November

Raise your Satan Horns, because IT’S TIME TO ROCK! There is a Thanksgiving bounty of ridiculously good shows lined up in November, including one in Santa Cruz!

Thee Parkside in San Francisco on November 7th: Doors @ 9:00pm – Scale the Summit, The Reign of Kindo, Jolly

caspiantour

Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco on November 14th: Doors @ 8:00pm – 65daysofstatic, Caspian, The World is a Beautiful Place and I Am No Longer Afraid to Die

veilofmayatour

The Catalyst in Santa Cruz on November 21st: Doors @ 6:00pm – Veil of Maya, STRUC/TURES, Northlane, Vildhjarta, Here Comes the Kraken

Late June Loud Rock News

End of June’s New & Good Loud Rock on KZSC:

1  Deceiver Of The Gods Metal Blade 2 SPIRITS OF THE DEAD Rumours Of A Presence The End
3 PHILIP H. ANSELMO AND THE ILLEGALS “Usurper Bastard’s Rant” [Single] Housecore
4 SUMMONING Old Mornings Dawn Napalm 5 WE CAME AS ROMANS Tracing Back Roots Equal Vision

Don’t forget about these: BLACK DAHLIA MURDER Everblack Metal Blade; CHILDREN OF BODOM Halo Of Blood Nuclear Blast; A PALE HORSE NAMED DEATH Lay My Soul To Waste; ANVIL Hope In Hell The End; TRISTANIA Darkest White Napalm; MEGADETH ; TESSERACT Altered State Century Media; WE BUTTER THE BREAD WITH BUTTER Projekt Herz [EP]; CHURCH OF MISERY Thy Kingdom Scum Metal Blade and WHILE SHE SLEEPS This Is The Six.

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Loud Rock Charts: 6/4

Break out the bongs. Psych/Stoner Metal band Thinning The Herd is leading this week’s adds for Loud Rock with the album Freedom From The Known St. Marks. Fans of old Black Sabbath, Annihilation Time, and Purple Mercy  should be adequately pleased with this finely crafted piece of music. Production quality and recording goes out to the man, the myth, Steve Albini himself so you know its going to be good. For an extra added bonus, check out their ridiculous music video for “Never Wanted”. STAY TRIPPY.

ADDS:

1 THINNING THE HERD Freedom From The Known St. Marks
2 MEGADETH Super Collider Tradecraft
3 BLACK DAHLIA MURDER “Into The Everblack” [Single] Metal Blade
4 WE BUTTER THE BREAD WITH BUTTER Projekt Herz [EP] Heart Work
5 TIMO TOLKKI’S AVALON Land Of New Hope Frontiers

 

 

CHARTS:

1 DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN One Of Us Is The Killer Sumerian
2 RETOX YPLL Epitaph
3 BLOOD CEREMONY The Eldritch Dark Rise Above
4 ANVIL Hope In Hell The End
5 SODOM Epitome Of Torture SPV
6 DEMON LUNG Hundredth Name Candlelight
7 ENTRAILS Raging Death Metal Blade
8 ALICE IN CHAINS The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here EMI
9 GHOST B.C. Infestissumam Loma Vista
10 OCEAN Pelagial Metal Blade

 

DEP3

Greg Puciato from The Dillinger Escape Plan Talks Crazy Shows & Crazier Poop!

Yes, you read that headline correctly. As the vocalist for (in)famous extreme metal band The Dillinger Escape Plan, Greg Puciato has seen some shit. Literally. In this exclusive interview, Greg mentions a hilariously disgusting event that will go down in UK history. Have I piqued your curiosity? Read below to satisfy those dire questions that I just know you have.

From what I’ve seen, your newest album has been garnering rave reviews from critics and fans alike. How does it feel to know that something you’ve spent so much time and effort on has been widely praised?

It feels good. I actually haven’t read any of them, I know it’s been positive across the board but I try not to read any of them. I mean, we already recorded it, so we wouldn’t have put it out if we didn’t think it was good. We can’t change anything about it now, so I don’t want to hear why someone thinks it sucks, and I don’t want to hear why someone thinks it good either. It just makes you too self aware. It corrupts you artistically. Obviously, though, someone else liking what we do is a good thing. It always startles me, because we make music for selfish motivations. So when you put it out and other people are able to relate to it, it’s pretty gratifying.

What are those selfish motivations you mentioned?

Obviously artistic people have issues, otherwise they wouldn’t be making art. So the fact that we’re in our thirties and we’re choosing to do something that’s not really commercially motivated is probably the reason why none of us go to therapy *laughs*. We use this to work things through in our lives and because we feel like we have something to get out of ourselves, and the fact that people buy it or show up to see us create it is a huge plus.

“We had to petition to be allowed back inside the UK because apparently we broke some sort of public indecency law sixty thousand times over. They told us, ‘It’s illegal to shit in public in front of one person, and you did it in front of sixty thousand people.’”

I understand that MetalSucks recently voted you as their #1 front man. What was your reaction to that?

It’s a huge honor. I don’t really think about that stuff too much, because once you start becoming too self aware you believe that you have to fulfill certain things. However, from an objective standpoint, I don’t think there’s anyone in my generation out there that’s doing what we’re doing as a band. So I do feel that we’re collectively at the top of our games, and I don’t really think we have any competition at being The Dillinger Escape Plan, but for someone to say that I’m the best current modern front man is crazy. Like I said, I don’t really listen to a lot of this kind of music to know the type of people who I would be “competing” against. I don’t really think of music as a sport, but I get that it’s fun to make lists. I saw the list though, and it’s weird to quantify art and to try to say something like, “This is the BEST director.” But maybe there’s people who do different things? Obviously Stanley Kubrick is really good at making a certain kind of movie, but maybe Judd Apatow is better at making silly romantic comedies. So it’s hard to say that, but I really do appreciate it.

I know you were voted #1 mainly for your insane live performances. Where do you find this kind of crazy energy for every single show? Starting out, what made you decide to do these kinds of stunts?

Really, it’s because I’m a crazy person. *laughs* Honestly, once we start playing, our music is very energetic and very cathartic, and you kind of instinctively become a physical embodiment of that. The day it becomes theatre, I don’t want to do it anymore. There’s never a moment where I say to myself, “Oh I’m gonna climb on this thing or jump on this thing”, and a lot of the time I don’t even know that it happened until afterward when someone shows me a YouTube video or something. Usually I’m very calmed down by then and when I see the video it looks really dangerous, and I’ll say, “That’s crazy, did I really do that? That’s not safe!” I wouldn’t do that stuff if I was just walking around during the day, but when you’re playing you kind of get out of your head. You’re in a different place completely and you don’t really think about that stuff, which is the way it should be. The second I start thinking about something, I don’t do it. I don’t want to corrupt the process.

Greg bloodied at the Golden Gods Award Show.

Greg bloodied and bruised, but not broken, at the Golden Gods Awards Show.

I watched your performance at the Golden Gods Awards show, and while I thought you guys put on a fucking awesome show, I was disappointed at the crowds enthusiasm. How did you feel about that?

Well, we knew that was gonna be the case. When they released tickets to the public, the people that bought them up instantly were Metallica fans. At that point, we had two choices. We could either meet those people halfway and play catchier songs and tone down our performance, or we could recognize that in those three of four minutes we have the opportunity to show those people shit that they would never ever see in their entire lives. Those people are used to seeing bands like Disturbed and Metallica and Godsmack and, in general, active rock bands that play radio rock. If those people have never seen anything like us, even remotely, then why not play that angle and go in the complete opposite direction and make them look at you like you have thirty fucking heads. We’re not trying to win over a room full of fourty year olds. We were aware that the point would be to be the oddball at the show by a landslide.

I’m excited as fuck for this years Summer Slaughter, but I’ve been seeing a lot of other perspectives, with fans exclaiming how this years tour isn’t extreme anymore. What’s your take on it?

I know that festival has a history of being more of a death metal tour, so I think the criticism is directed at us not being a death metal band, and I think this might be the first year that it’s not primarily death metal oriented. I think it’s a smart move on the promoter’s end though, because if they cater to their audience, then they’re going to be pigeonholed forever, and that’s been our thing too. We never want to give people exactly what they’d expect from us. People might bitch about it on the internet, but they’re going to respect the tour more for doing what it wants to do. It’s not like the rooms aren’t going to be full, they have us and Animals as Leaders headlining. The rooms are going to be packed. If people bitch about it and they don’t want to come, they don’t have to come. But if they bitch about it and they do come and they see us live and they still say that we’re not extreme, then they’re just lying to themselves. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter to me.

What would you say was the craziest show you ever performed at?

It’s crazy because we’ve played so many shows, literally over two thousand shows. It’s so much easier to remember albums and the recording processes because there’s less of them, but shows…Even in the last 30 days we’ve played 27 shows, so a lot of the time I’ll forget them until someone reminds me, but there are still some things that when they happen you’re like, “Whoa that was fucking crazy!” There was a show in Los Angeles at the House of Blues where it basically became a riot and security guards were everywhere and six police cars came. People were throwing shit around, someone got hit with a chair, and it was one of the only times where I was like, “Okay, this is out of control now.” Then there was a show in Virginia where our guitarist’s guitar got stolen off the stage, my foot got ran over by a car when I ran out in the parking lot to try to get it back, and a guy from Cattle Decapitation threw a hammer at the car and smashed out the back windshield. There’s been some stuff that has happened that’s been out of our control, and those are the ones I kind of remember the most. The shit that people talk about, like running on people’s heads, I don’t actually remember those things happening. The crazy stuff is the stuff where you’re on stage and you say to yourself, “Whoa this is getting out of hand” and you become a spectator of the environment instead of them being a spectator of you.

When I was doing research to write the questions for the interview, one of the things I read about was your performance at the Reading Festival in the UK back in 2002.

You’re gonna ask about the throwing shit thing.

You got me!

Haha, well again it was kind of like the Golden Gods situation where we were playing with a bunch of radio rock bands. We played first on the main stage, at about noon. At those types of festivals, a lot of people sleep in tents at the festival itself, and they’ll start meandering around at noon not really paying attention, so we were wondering what we could do to separate ourselves from the rest of these bands that are playing, because we have absolutely nothing in common with Puddle of Mudd and stuff like that. So all these weird radio rock bands are playing, and we’re going to play in front of all those fans. We were gonna be a spectacle anyway, so lets just take it as far as we can. You know, you see people like GG Allin who do all this gnarly shit, but they do it in front of twenty people in a basement. I want people to see stuff en masse that they’ve never seen before, and metal and rock is all about theatrics. If there’s fire on stage, it’s contained, it was planned, it explodes a certain way, and there’s not much risk. If there’s blood, it’s fake blood. If Gwar is shooting feces at the crowd, it’s actually chocolate milk. For someone to see shit being wiped over a person and thrown out into a crowd, or to see you on TV bleeding from the face shooting fire that isn’t contained, that jars people. It takes them out of their comfort zone, and that’s what we wanted to do, and it worked, because it was unheard of and we almost got banned from the UK. We had to petition to be allowed back inside the UK because apparently we broke some sort of public indecency law sixty thousand times over. They told us, “It’s illegal to shit in public in front of one person, and you did it in front of sixty thousand people.” *laughs* We actually had to petition to come back, and now it’s following me forever. It’s really interesting, because outside of the music scene, that became a news story over there, and on mainstream newspapers and stuff like that with the headline, “Dude from band that you’ve never heard of does this horrible thing.” So sometimes over there mainstream press that don’t know about The Dillinger Escape Plan will say, “Oh that’s that guy that shit all over his face.” *laughs* That’s just so weird to me that that’s even a thing.

Thankfully, Greg decided to spare San Francisco his fecal matter...this time.

Thankfully, Greg decided to spare San Francisco his fecal matter…this time.

What do you attribute to playing with all these commercial rock bands? You guys are arguably one of the craziest acts out there and yet you’re playing with all these safe rock bands.

The people that are in charge of those things are still awesome at heart. That’s what it is. And they’re still on our team. Whether it’s the guy who runs Golden Gods or the people who run the Reading Festival or all these fests, they know they have to balance a line between selling tickets and appeasing their inner wish of cool shit running the earth. They’re always kind of behind the scenes to us. We’re really lucky to have those kind of people in our corner that are higher up and get us into all these bizarre situations.

Taking it down a notch from shooting fire and smearing feces, now that you’ve finished One of Us is the Killer, what are your plans for the rest of the year and next year?

Well we’ve still got like one hundred and forty shows booked in 2013 so we’re slammed. I actually just looked at my schedule for this year for the first time and it’s pretty nuts. We only have about six weeks off between now and December. So, we’re gonna do this tour, we’re gonna go straight to Orion Fest with Metallica, go to Europe for a few weeks, come back to the states, and do Summer Slaughter. THEN in the month of September I’m going to record a project with Max Cavalera and Troy Sanders from Mastodon as a kind of one-off album. In October and November we go back to Europe and in December we’re looking at possibly going to Australia and Japan, and then probably another headliner in the U.S. in early 2014. By that point hopefully we’ll know what we’re doing for the summer of 2014. As you can tell, once you put a record out, the opportunities to go places and do stuff are endless, and we want to keep doing as much as we can because we won’t be able to do this forever.

Is that collaboration with Max and Troy the one planned back in 2011, and do you mind expanding on it a little bit?

Yeah, it is. We’ve got about twelve songs written and it’s a little thrashier and doomier than my usual stuff. It’s kind of like my homage to more straightforward metal and what I grew up listening to. Max Cavalera and I met each other at a Deftones benefit for Chi Cheng (former bassist for Deftones) a few years ago, and I sang a song for him on a Soulfly record, and we just wrote really quickly together and had a lot of fun, so we toyed around with the idea of writing a whole record together. We would test one another every time we saw each other, asking if we were serious about the project, but after a while we just said fuck it, and started writing some songs. Then we were on tour with Mastodon, and I was telling Troy about it, and he asked who was playing bass. When I told him we didn’t know yet, he said, “I’m playing bass. I’m throwing myself into this. You’re not saying no.” It was at that point when I realized that this could turn into something really cool, because we have three different singers, all writing riffs for this thing. We only want to do one record, I’m not trying to launch another band. It’s something a lot of jazz and hip hop musicians do, where they get together to write something, maybe play a few festivals together, and then be done with it.

You’ve done collaborations with a lot of artists over the years, from Devin Townsend and Prong to Soulfly and Genghis Tron. You seem to really enjoy doing these one-off collaborations.

I love em man. I feel like you grow so much, artistically, when you take yourself out of your comfort zone. I love writing songs with Ben (DEP lead guitarist) and Liam (DEP bassist) and we are definitely growing, but if we didn’t take things from outside influences, we wouldn’t have anything new to bring to the table. You have to grow as an individual and put yourself in crazy life experiences to write crazy music, but you also have to grow musically, and the best way to do that is for someone to throw you a pitch you’re not quite sure how to hit. That’s why I like doing it so much. I wouldn’t have written Dillinger vocals on this record anywhere close to how I wrote them if I wasn’t doing other collaborations on the side.

Greg preparing to take a dive into the welcoming crowd beneath him.

Greg preparing to take a dive into the welcoming crowd beneath him.

When I talked with Misha Mansoor of Periphery a year or two ago, he said that the reason why they write what they write is because of their love for electronic music and the influences that genre has on them, and it seems to be the case for you as well.

Yeah, I think it’s important because if you’re listening to just your peers, you’re going to regurgitate all the same stuff that they’re doing, but I think it’s way more interesting for people to not be able to trace your influences. If you’re listening to some weird underground electronic thing that only a thousand people like, and you bring that into what you’re doing and filter it and put it into Dillinger, people will ask where you come up with that. But if you’re just listening to Converge and Lamb of God and stuff like that, it becomes too incestuous creatively. You’re not making any forward progress.

You guys write a lot of weird time signatures, which is why many dub you as “mathcore.” I’m actually a math major myself, and I’m super into math. Are you guys into that kind of thing as well?

We’re terrible at it. Absolutely terrible. *laughs* We don’t really write thinking about that kind of stuff. Other people tell us what they are. We’ll have people tell us, “You guys are playing in sixteen over seven, that’s crazy!” I’ve never once in my head counted Dillinger time signatures. In four albums over twelve years, I could not tell you off the top of my head what time signature any of our songs are in.

Does that just happen organically?

Yeah, I think we just write very instinctively, and Ben’s brain is really out there too. I know that when he sits down and writes, he’s writing based on feel. To me, the alarming thing is that that’s what that guy writes when he sits down by himself. He’s a crazy person. Normal people sit down and it doesn’t sound like pots and pans falling down steps. When Ben sits down and writes that, the fact that that’s what’s going on in his brain when he picks up a guitar and writes is terrifying.

[Author's note: Ben was in the room chuckling to himself as Greg discussed his lunatic ways]

Is that what you base your range and lyrics on?

Well, he and the rest of the band send me finished songs, and then I try to write as close to recording as possible. That way I have emotional relevance of what I’m screaming about. I mean, if I wrote six months ago, and tried to pick pieces apart and fit them in a song, not only would they not make sense together, I wouldn’t even remember what I was writing about. Or, if I did remember it, I wouldn’t have any emotional connection to it. If I went into the studio to try to scream, which should already be a very intense emotion, you’d be screaming trying to remember what you were pissed or depressed about, which you probably won’t be pissed or depressed about six months down the line, so you have to create a facsimile of it. Then you’re giving someone a copy of your genuine emotion. That sucks, you shouldn’t do that. So I pretty much try to make a mess out of my life close to the recording process, and then write all my lyrics really quickly.

I know you fairly recently took to Twitter and Facebook to rant about religious and political issues. Was that part of the writing process you mentioned?

No, I write pretty much completely autobiographical. The only people who really know what I’m writing about are my producer, the people in the band, and everyone else directly around me. I also never start writing with a topic in mind. I just start writing to see what comes out of me, and maybe about halfway through the song I’ll see what I’m dealing with and try to hone in on it a little bit more. But when I write, I write almost automatically and abstractly. I just sit down and blurt it out, and afterward I’ll try to figure out what’s going on in my subconsciousness that I need to dive into. To do that you only really have two options. You can either pull it out and lay it out for everybody to look at, or you can hide from it and say that’s too much, and not go there. But pretty much everything I write about is coming directly from my subconscious.

Have you ever written something so wild that your band mates or producer don’t want to use it for a song?

Nah, I don’t think they’d care. I don’t think they even read my lyrics to be honest. They weren’t there when I was tracking vocals, they had gone home already. However, they have very high respect for my process, and I don’t think they’d ever question what I put out there. We are more of an artistic band than a lot of other bands, so it’s not necessary for us to spell things out for other people. If we were writing a pop song, and the lyrics were really abstract, we’d reach a point where we’d have to make our message more obvious because we’re trying to reach a wider audience, but like I said before we are doing this very selfishly, so I don’t really care if other people know what I’m talking about or not.

Last question for the day and I’ll get out of your hair: who, or what, would you say are some of your outside influences?

Like Misha, I really love electronic music too. That’s probably the music that I listen to the most right now. I like electronic a lot. I’ve been writing music on the side with this electronic guy, who is in Nine Inch Nails now, and he’s been feeding me all of this really out there electronic stuff. That’s kind of been my last two years of listening, all this bizarre out there ambient electronic stuff. When I was young the stuff that planted the seed for me was death metal and thrash and punk and hardcore and that kind of thing. I grew up in the city so I listened to a lot of Hip Hop and R&B as well, which I think has colored my note choices and overall sound. Certain inflections in my voice probably wouldn’t have been the same if I hadn’t grown up listening to a lot of “urban music”, for lack of a better term. Now though, I just like music that moves me. I don’t really care what genre it’s in. If there’s an Oasis song on that I like, I’m not bummed. I’m not like, “Oh man I can’t like Oasis!” There’s different stuff for different times of day or different vibes in your life. The music you want to party to isn’t necessarily the music you want to drive somewhere in a hurry to.

I remember reading somewhere that when you first joined Dillinger, you were a fan of their music. How was being in a band that you grew up listening to?

It was definitely weird. Well, it’s not weird now because I’ve been in the band for twelve years, and I pretty much separate my life by Dillinger and pre-Dillinger. Pre-Dillinger to me is like childhood, because I was only twenty-one when I joined, so before that I was a baby. I had only known about the band for maybe a year and a half before I joined, and we moved so fast between the time I joined the band to our recording of Miss Machine that I didn’t really get a chance to stop and think about it until like four or five years flew by. But now, looking back, I don’t know what else I would be doing. This band and the music that we’re playing and the creative relationship that Ben and I have…not that I believe that things happen for a reason, but I could not have found a better vehicle for my skill set as a writer and performer than this band. I wouldn’t be writing aggressive music or playing in any other capacity. I believe that people manifest their destiny, somewhat, so I think that Dillinger and I are on a great journey and that we were supposed to meet.

That’s all that I have for you! Do you have anything you would like to add?

I just want to say thanks to all the people that give a shit about us, whether you’re new or old. I know that we’re not the easiest band to like, but if anyone is into it at all, I know that you put some work in to get here, so we really truly appreciate it.

 

You can catch Greg and his band The Dillinger Escape Plan on their headlining tour with The Faceless and Royal Thunder before they play Orion Fest on June 9th.