Sometimes a band’s break up comes so suddenly that it doesn’t give you time to find you bearings and dealing with your inner fan turmoil (looking right at you, MCR). But with The Dillinger Escape Plan, the band’s now barreling toward their “impending suicide” next year, giving fans the world over time to get acquainted with the fact that come the end of the ‘Dissociation’ tour cycle, this insane hardcore group will no longer be an entity. With their solid final album, ‘Dissociation’ now out, we spoke with vocalist Greg Puciato earlier this week while he was in New Jersey, taking a much-needed sandwich break from band rehearsals for their upcoming shows, as we chat for quite possibly the last time ever regarding TDEP.
So Greg, how are you and the band getting ready for these final shows at the moment?
Well, getting ready for a tour like this means having a mix of remembering old songs and rehearsing the new songs. For all of our songs, I wrote all of the lyrics and vocals after the music had been recorded so there are some songs that we’ve never played as a full band. Right now, we just gotta make sure that we get our shit together here. It’s about just getting the boat out into the water, because once you’re on tour, you can kind of stay on tour. It’s just the starting it that gets quite laborious.
Oh, I bet it can be a hectic time right now. But let’s talk about the album. With the artwork for ‘Dissociation’, I found that the cover of this object breaking up into different pieces and going off in different directions was well represented of the band’s position right now.
Yeah, that’s really it, man. There’s a glass breaking sound in Limerent Death that’s quite prominent and when I was talking to the band about it, I said that maybe we should do something similar for the album cover, and we used guitar tubes for it. We had used them in the past as a band symbol of sorts, even all the way back to Calculating Infinity, so we figured it’d work as a good visual metaphor here. Hopefully, it’s not too ham-fisted…
No, I think it works well for this record, all things considered. With the track listing, and maybe this is just me, but a lot of the songs seem to have this element of finality to them – ‘Limerent Death’, ‘Symptom Of Terminal Illness’, ‘Apologies Not Included’ and so on, which is fitting for this final record. Again, maybe that’s just me, though.
Well, the album title had been around since One Of Us Is The Killer, and I knew mid-2013 that I wanted to call the next record Dissociation. So the title being a reference to the break-up is not true, it was just a nice thematic tie-in. But with the song titles, yeah, I would say something like Apologies Not Included can definitely be interpreted to our attitudes towards leaving, but most of the songs and lyrics touch on the idea of separation, loss, and finality, but aren’t necessarily about the bands break up.
Well, one of the tracks that really stood out to me was ‘Fugue’. With it being this intense electronic track, I’m wondering how that song came about? As it’s a big a curveball for the record!
Ben [Weinmann, guitar] has had that song’s skeleton really fleshed out for years now. The meat and potatoes of that song may be seven or eight years old. It was a track that we just never found a place for up until this record. The same goes for the final track, Dissociation, which was also from that same batch of songs, of which also included Sick On Sunday, which we used on Ire Works. When we listened to the track listing, which was at it is now without Fugue, we felt we needed that curveball to throw people through the loop. What better way to does that than to have this weird glitch instrumental song early on? [Laughs].
Well it works, and it’s a very cool song – I love it personally. Now, of course, on the band breaking up, I respect and find it commendable that you guys are ending it all on your own terms, much like say, Bane, or more recently with Expire. As I think about My Chemical Romance, who gave no real explanation and just kinda…left.
Yeah, for sure. I mean, if you’re a painter, you don’t just paint until you run out of paint or your arm falls off. You stop editing a movie when you feel that that was the final shot. This really felt like the right time for us to stop, to draw a separation point, whether we come back to it in the future or not. We just felt that we’ve pushed a lot of our music to its fullest potential. So if we ever come back to the band, we’ll need new life experiences and new artistic ideas to contribute.
Of course, you would never ever want to phone it in.
Exactly, you start a band because you’re in love with it and you wanna do all that you can with it. At some point in time, you need to make sure that it’s not your routine; like you’re getting up and going to work. None of us feel that but you want to nip it before that happens. When we decided that this would be our last record, we really put our all into it, kitchen sink and everything, and I feel we have a far more interesting record having made that decision.
For sure. I’m interested to know what you will you personally be doing once the band ends?
…I can’t tell you that, I’m afraid. The element of surprise is too important to give that away just yet.
Okay…is that something that’s musically focused or just within your personal life outside of music?
I’m never going to be doing art; I care about it more than anything. Creating music is the point of all my time and my impulses will find their outlets. I’m not 100% sure on what that will be, but even if I was I still wouldn’t tell you [laughs].
That’s fair enough man, I get that you can’t spill the beans too early.
Yeah, cause that’s the thing; people assume that if you do one thing that means more of another particular thing. I do hate to talk about something that’s not tangible and ready to release yet. It’s like talking about cheques before you get the, you’re setting yourself up to fail. If you tell people what you’re gonna do, you’ll get asked about it so much that you won’t want to fucking do it, so I’m just gonna say that I won’t be doing anything after Dillinger. Maybe I’ll go sell tacos…
[Laughs] maybe! Finally Greg, how have you been finding the fan reactions to meet and talk with die-hard Dillinger Escape Plan fans over the past couple months, and maybe seeing it from the perspective of the fans?
It’s really overwhelming man, to be honest with you, it’s really overwhelming. When you’re in it, you’re not able to objectively appreciate anything because your head’s down and you’re running as fast as you can. This is a really interesting time, as it’s a mix of us still pushing and doing as much as we can, but now there’s this objective reverence starting to happen – not just for myself, but also for the whole band. We’re starting to see externally a little more now. When you’re so embedded in something you can be so self-critical and trying to get ahead, but now we’re looking around at each other seeing that we accomplished something cool and rare. When other people say to us that we are their favorite band or that they’ve gotten tattoos of our lyrics, that we inspired them in some way, it’s really overwhelming. It’s hard to imagine that you made anything in your life that ever meant anything to someone else. It’s such an unbelievable honor, so that to me is what’s the most emotionally part of things right now.
Well said, Greg, and I can only imagine how touching and bittersweet that must be for you. On that somber note, though, we’ll have to leave it there so you can get on to your other interviews in which you’ll be asked about the band breaking up over and over [laughs].
Yeah, right!? I’m going to be talking about our demise in some way for the next hour and a half [laughs]. It’s like saying you’re gonna get divorced in a year or so and people ask you what it’s like and you’re just like ‘Well fuck, I don’t know’. It’s the weirdest thing to talk about, man; our impending suicide.
[laughs] yeah, it is really weird when you put it like that. But look before I go, Greg, I just want to wish you the best for your upcoming tours and for the album’s release too. Also, ‘Dissociation’ is a solid album to go out on and thank you so much for all of the great music over the years.
Oh, thank you, I really appreciate that, farewell man!
‘Dissociation’ is out now via Party Smasher Inc./Cooking Vinyl Australia and you can read our review of it here. Catch you on the flipside, Dillinger.