The Dillinger Escape Plan

This page was last edited on 20 January 2018, at 03:48.

The Dillinger Escape Plan was an American mathcore band formed in Morris Plains, New Jersey, in 1997. The Dillinger Escape Plan went through a succession of members throughout its career. The band's final line-up consisted of founding guitarist Ben Weinman, bassist Liam Wilson, vocalist Greg Puciato, drummer Billy Rymer, and rhythm guitarist Kevin Antreassian. After twenty years, the band disbanded at the end of 2017.

The Dillinger Escape Plan
The Dillinger Escape Plan With Full Force 2014 16
The Dillinger Escape Plan at With Full Force 2014. From left to right: Greg Puciato, Billy Rymer behind Liam Wilson, and James Love.
Background information
Origin Morris Plains, New Jersey, US
Years active 1997–2017
Associated acts
Past members Ben Weinman
Liam Wilson
Greg Puciato
Billy Rymer
Kevin Antreassian
See members for others


Early years and Calculating Infinity (1997–1999)

The Dillinger Escape Plan evolved from the hardcore punk band Arcane. Arcane were an aggressive, political-oriented act formed in 1996 by vocalists Dimitri Minakakis and Brad McMann, guitarist Ben Weinman, bassist Bruce Fulton and drummer Chris Pennie.[1] Arcane played for a few months but eventually disbanded because they "were kinda sick of trying to become part of a clique and to write music that would fit into a theme", said Weinman.[2] Encouraged by Weinman, they turned around their sound and aesthetic, with Pennie's friend Adam Doll, who became interested in their new direction, joining the band. Guitarist Derek Brantley also joined the band following the departure of McMann and Fulton.[1] Their first live performance, which they also considered the last performance of Arcane, was organized by long time friend Matt Backerman as a support act for Overcast.[3] Backerman had just decided to form Now or Never records and asked the band to record what would be their self titled six-track EP.[4] Their second show was supporting Earth Crisis in Moosic, Pennsylvania.[3] They were nameless for many months until, without much thought, friend Matt Makowski proposed the name “The Dillinger Escape Plan” while watching a documentary on John Dillinger, a 1930s bank robber notorious for his multiple escapes from jail.[3] After these first two shows, Brantley lost contact with the band and did not show up when they were recording the six song self-titled effort with producer Steve Evetts, causing them to record as a quartet.[4]

The six-track EP was released in April 1997, and set them off on a small club tour around northeast America. Shortly before their first tour as The Dillinger Escape Plan, the group was joined by guitarist John Fulton, who previously played in other bands with Pennie and Doll.[3] During this time period, The Dillinger Escape Plan gained notoriety in the hardcore punk scene for the intensity of their performances. Their performances were increasingly wild, and often violent. These elaborate performances, as well as the creative, technical approach of their music led a record executive of Relapse Records to offer the band a multi-record contract.[3] The band agreed to the contract, and recorded their second EP with Relapse titled Under the Running Board. Shortly after its release, John Fulton left the band to focus on his computer programming studies.[5] The three-song EP release served to bolster anticipation for their 1999 full-length release, Calculating Infinity.[5] Before the recording of Calculating Infinity, bassist Adam Doll was involved in a car accident that left him paralyzed from the chest down.[6] The accident was a minor fender bender, but because Doll had leaned over to pick up a CD beneath the stereo, the accident caused a small fracture in his spine, inducing paralysis. Guitarist Weinman played both guitar and bass on the album,[7] though liner notes credited Doll as providing a great deal of help. Calculating Infinity was released on September 28, 1999, through Relapse and was met with critical acclaim.[8][9] Faith No More vocalist Mike Patton, a friend of the band and one of the first people to hear the album,[7] asked the Dillinger Escape Plan to tour with his band Mr. Bungle. Shortly before touring began for the new album, former Jesuit guitarist Brian Benoit auditioned for the band, taking the place of the departed Fulton and former M.O.D. bassist, Jeff Wood, took the place of the injured bassist Doll.[1]

Search for a new vocalist and Irony Is a Dead Scene (2000–2002)

After several months of touring, including appearances on the Warped Tour and March Metal Meltdown, the band and Wood parted ways, with Wood moving on to his own project, Shat, Liam Wilson took his place. Later that same year, the band parted ways with Minakakis. Minakakis credited his departure from the band to the rigorous touring schedule. The band remains in contact with him.[10] Without a vocalist, The Dillinger Escape Plan began a nationwide search for a replacement via their website, releasing an instrumental version of "43 % Burnt" from Calculating Infinity and inviting prospective vocalists to record and send their own vocal tracks. They received many submissions, including one with rapping and one with death growls.[7] While the search was underway, vocal duties were handled by a number of the band's friends, including Sean Ingram of Coalesce and Mike Patton. In late 2001, Dillinger Escape Plan met Puciato, one of the people who submitted a recording to the band. Puciato included two versions of "43 % Burnt", one in the style of Calculating Infinity and one with his own personal spin. The band offered him the job after two practice sessions.[7] He accepted, first appearing at the 2001 CMJ Music Festival in New York City. Soon after, Puciato and the band covered "Damaged I" and "Damaged II" by Black Flag for the tribute compilation Black on Black.[11]

Patton agreed to help the band produce an EP. The plan to record with Patton was in place before a replacement vocalist had been found however by the time Patton had recorded vocals and the EP was released, the band had been touring with Minakakis's replacement, Greg Puciato, for nearly a year. The EP titled Irony Is a Dead Scene was released on August 27, 2002, through Epitaph Records.[12] The EP features Weinman, Pennie, Benoit, Wilson, Patton on vocals, and ex-bassist Adam Doll assisting with keyboards and sample effects.[1]

Miss Machine (2003–2005)

Dillinger Escape Plan Eindhoven
The Dillinger Escape Plan performing in Eindhoven in 2005

In 2003, the band appeared on the soundtrack for Underworld with the song "Baby's First Coffin", their first original song with Puciato on vocals. The band's second studio album (their first album with Puciato), Miss Machine was released on July 20, 2004, through Relapse. The album polarized The Dillinger Escape Plan audience; some fans were critical of the band's increasing artistic and musical departures from their earlier efforts, while others preferred them.[13]

Following the release, The Dillinger Escape Plan began a two-year touring cycle, headlining tours of their own or occasionally providing support for acts such as Slipknot, System of a Down, and Megadeth.[14] These tours were replete with injuries; in late 2004, guitarist Benoit suffered nerve damage (brachial plexus neuritis) in his left hand, and other than a short return to the stage in 2005, he has not played with the band since.[15] Former Fenix*TX guitarist James Love ended up playing most shows in the late 2004–2006 period. In 2005, the band was forced to drop out of Dave Mustaine's "Gigantour" slightly early due to a rotator cuff injury and fractured vertebrae Weinman had sustained performing in Anaheim, California at all-ages venue Chain Reaction; Weinman took time off performing with the band to undergo surgery.[7]

Ire Works (2006–2008)

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The Dillinger Escape Plan performing in Budapest in 2008

Four shows before the end of the Coheed tour, Weinman flew home for undisclosed personal reasons. In an interview, Greg Puciato announced that actual reasons for Weinman flying home was because of the growing tension between him and Pennie. The night of August 4, the group played their first show as a four-piece in Indianapolis, Indiana at the Murat Theatre Egyptian Room. It was previously announced during an interview on the Jekyll and Hyde show in November 2007, during the Coheed tour, Weinman had briefly quit the band in order to recover from compounding medical and financial problems.[16] During the time Weinman was apart from the band, Chris Pennie received an offer from Coheed and Cambria to be the band's permanent drummer when their former drummer left the band. Coheed had been impressed with Pennie after seeing him live, and Pennie accepted the offer. Pennie left the band right before the recording of Ire Works.[17]

The Dillinger Escape Plan completed their follow-up album to Miss Machine in 2007, titled Ire Works.[18] On June 15, the band announced the title of the album as well as confirming the departure of Pennie.[19] Gil Sharone of Stolen Babies handled drum duties for the album.[20] Ire Works was released on November 13, 2007, through Relapse. The album debuted on the Billboard 200 at number 142 with 7,000 copies scanned, but was later corrected when it was revealed that Relapse somehow forgot to scan the pre-release album sales, which made the first week total actually around 11,000.[1] Ire Works had been a critical and commercial success, with the album being on many critics' top ten lists, making it the band's most critically successful album. Jason Lymangrover of AllMusic stated that "[if] DEP aren't careful and continue down this innovative path, they could easily be labeled the Radiohead of metalcore."[21] On February 6, 2008, the band had two songs from Ire Works broadcast on two television programs in the United States. The song "Milk Lizard" was featured on the CSI: NY episode "Playing With Matches",[22] and the band performed live the song "Black Bubblegum" on Late Night with Conan O'Brien.[23]

Missing from the new line up was Benoit, who had left the band because of injury. Although assured his place in the band is secure should he ever be able to perform again,[24] Jeff Tuttle formerly of Heads Will Roll and Capture the Flag took his place on stage. Tuttle, however, does not make an appearance on the record.[25]

Party Smasher Inc. and Option Paralysis (2009–2011)

In January 2009, Sharone left the band and was replaced by Billy Rymer.[1] The Dillinger Escape Plan played in Australia, where they joined Nine Inch Nails onstage during the Soundwave 2009 festival, helping them perform the songs "Wish" and "Mr. Self Destruct" as part of the last encore song of Nine Inch Nails' live show at the event.[1]

The Dillinger Escape Plan announced their departure from Relapse Records in 2009. The band had become dissatisfied with the music industry and music media, and decided to create their own record label to release their fourth studio album. Commenting on the dissolving "indie band culture", Weinman stated, "back in the day there were record labels that you trusted, loved and you bought everything on it and you discovered a lot of great new music because of it. You listen to every single song back to front a million times, it'd be worn out to death before you moved onto another record. You'd read everything in the booklet, you'd read all the lyrics, you'd read all the notes, you'd discover something new."[26] Speaking to Kerrang! about the decision, he said: "The most important thing was to keep evolving and changing. We didn't want to be stuck in some long contract that won't be relevant in a few years time... Or possibly even tomorrow. So half out of necessity, half out of choice, we decided to do this ourselves. The hard part is figuring out whether you're sacrificing your creative side because you're so busy with the business. That's the challenge and we're figuring it out".[27]

The band released several demo snippets on their YouTube channel of songs from their upcoming album.[28] Furthermore, a website for the record was set up, linking to all of the studio update videos and demo snippets.[29] During their North American East Coast tour with Thursday in December 2009, the band sold download cards at their shows that entitled the customer to a download of the 10 song album upon its release with 3 additional exclusive bonus tracks.[30] The song "Farewell, Mona Lisa", debuted on Liquid Metal SXM on Christmas Day, 2009;[31] it became available for download on January 19, 2010.[32] "Chinese Whispers" was debuted on Full Metal Jackie’s syndicated radio show broadcast on 29 stations throughout the USA on the March 5, 2010, and was subsequently played on the next two days. On March 9, the blog MetalSucks featured the online debut of the song.[33] The band released their fourth studio album, Option Paralysis on March 22, 2010, through Party Smasher in partnership with Season of Mist[34][35] Option Paralysis was confirmed as the title of the new album in a press release by Season of Mist. Puciato has noted that Option Paralysis was the toughest album the group and himself have ever written. In an interview in The Aquarian Weekly, Weinman stated that it was the most organic and less forced than previous works.[36]

The Dillinger Escape Plan started the Option Paralysis touring cycle with a short North American tour with Thursday in December 2009, followed by a headlining run in Feb/March 2010 with Darkest Hour, Animals as Leaders, and Iwrestledabearonce. While on the tour, the band received a Golden God Award from Revolver Magazine, for "Best Underground Band", which Weinman and Puciato accepted.[37] After a short trip to Europe, they participated in Warped Tour 2010, playing June 24 through August 15.[38] During a January 12, 2011 interview on the Metal Injection Livecast, Puciato announced that the band was currently in the process of writing new music which would either surface as an EP later in the year or else a full-length album the following year.[39] However, in 2011 The Dillinger Escape Plan continued to tour, accompanying Deftones for a nine-week-long North American trek from April to June. Touring continued with former labelmates Mastodon, both in the US in late 2011 and the UK in early 2012, followed by their second appearance at Soundwave Festival in Australia, as well as dates with System of a Down in New Zealand and Australia. The group also played its first shows in Malaysia and Bangkok, as well as their first South American performance, headlining the second stage on the first night of the prestigious Rock al Parque festival in Bogota, Colombia.[40]

One of Us Is the Killer (2012–2014)

The Dillinger Escape Plan With Full Force 2014 15
Ben Weinman and Greg Puciato performing at With Full Force festival 2014 in Roitzschjora, Germany.

On August 17, 2012, the band announced via their Facebook page that Tuttle had left the band to pursue other projects in music and film.[41] On November 24, the band played at the California Metalfest show alongside bands such as Killswitch Engage and As I Lay Dying. While playing this show, a mystery guitar player was noticed filling in for former rhythm guitarist Jeff Tuttle, who had left the band in August. A couple of weeks later, during a phone interview (on the Metal Injection Livecast) while in the studio recording their new album, Weinman announced that this mystery guitar player was James Love, who had played with the band briefly while they toured in support for their album Miss Machine.[42]

On February 18, 2013, the band announced the title of their new album, One of Us Is the Killer,[43] On March 12, they released the first single from the album. On April 23, The Dillinger Escape Plan released the first music video from One of Us Is the Killer, The video for the song "When I Lost My Bet", it was directed by Mitch Massie and was posted on the band's Facebook page and Sumerian Records' YouTube account. Subsequent videos released from the album were "One of Us Is the Killer", "Hero of the Soviet Union", and "Paranoia Shields". The band released their fourth studio album, One of Us Is the Killer on May 14, 2013 through Party Smasher in partnership with various labels around the world, including BMG for Europe, Grind House for Japan, Remote Control for Australia and Sumerian Records for North America.[34]

While touring North American in April 2014, the band released the non-album single, "Happiness Is a Smile". The single was only released as a seven-inch vinyl and a cassette and was only available the buy on this tour.[44][45] On July 14, 2014, it was announced that the band would be playing for two weeks as the opening slot on the Nine Inch Nails and Soundgarden North American tour. This decision was made following the supposed disbandment of Death Grips, who were originally chosen as the opening act.[46]

Dissociation and disbandment (2015–2017)

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Greg Puciato performing at Wacken Open Air 2017

In July, 2015, Ben Weinman announced during an Australian interview that the band will return to the studio in November to record the follow-up to One of Us Is the Killer.[47][48] In the following year, BBC Radio 1 premiered the band's new single "Limerent Death", which is to be featured on their upcoming sixth studio record Dissociation.[49] In a following interview with Noisey, Weinman said the Dillinger Escape Plan would stop performing,[50] with Puciato later saying "we're breaking up."[51] Puciato was quoted saying that the band still enjoyed writing, recording and performing together but nonetheless "we started to reach what felt like a thematic conclusion to our band", comparing the decision to a filmmaker who enjoys the current film his is creating but can't continue the process indefinitely.[52] Weinman said "we are going to do the cycle for this album and that's it."[50] Dissociation was released on October 14, 2016, through Party Smasher in partnership with Cooking Vinyl.[53]

On February 12, 2017, during their European farewell tour, The Dillinger Escape Plan was involved in a vehicle crash after a truck collided with their bus near Radomsko, Poland. 13 people were injured in the incident, but the band members were not seriously hurt.[54]

On September 5, The Dillinger Escape Plan were honoured at the 2017 Association of Independent Music Awards. The band received the "Outstanding Contribution to Music" prize at the ceremony at The Brewery, Clerkenwell.[55]

The band's final show took place at Terminal 5 in New York City on December 29, 2017. They were supported by Code Orange and Daughters.[56] The band also played two additional shows on December 27 and 28, before the final show. For the first show the band announced that they would be joined by Mike Patton to perform their collaborative EP, Irony Is a Dead Scene, and were supported by God Mother.[57] On the December 28 show the band was joined on stage by original frontman Dimitri Minakakis and he performed several early Dillinger Escape Plan songs. Minakakis also sang with Puciato during the encore of performance of 43% Burnt.[58] Former guitarist Brian Benoit also joined the band for parts of the December 27 and December 28 shows.[58]


Musical style

The Dillinger Escape Plan's music is rooted in both heavy metal and hardcore punk, and draws heavily from jazz and electronic music.[59][60][61] They have been primarily categorized as mathcore, a genre characterized by its frequent use of complex time signatures, jarring riffs and technical proficiency. Many have claimed that the band "pioneered" or even "created" the genre with the release of their debut album.[62][63][64] Their style has also been described as metalcore,[60][65][66][67] progressive metal,[68][69][70][71] experimental metal,[1][72][73] noise metal,[74] noisecore,[75] avant-garde grindcore,[76] and jazzcore.[71] John Adamian of the Hartford Courant classified Dillinger as "a kind of knotted, complex, abrasive math rock", as well as "prog metal that embraces an avant-garde level of coiled and meshed intricacies."[77]

AllMusic writer Ryan Downey describes the group as "maniacally intense", "crushingly metallic", "displaying rigorous physical endurance," while at the same time notes their "precise musicianship" and "meticulously thought-out" compositions.[78] John Adamian commented: "Listening to [The Dillinger Escape Plan] sometimes feels like being ground between a system of elaborate gears. Chromatic turns and cycling patterns notch all the pieces together. The guitars are often dissonant, shifting into double and triple time, with vocals that deliver a blow-torch scorch."[77] After Calculating Infinity, they constantly incorporated new sounds and other styles, "even commercial ones", as Andrew Earles of Spin said, and their albums became "packed with the sometimes brutal, sometimes beautiful music only they play" that "skids from grindcore to progressive jazz and beyond".[79]

Some reviewers have compared them with jazz-grindcore project Naked City[77][80] and progressive metal band Meshuggah.[80][81] When asked to define The Dillinger Escape Plan's music, bassist Liam Wilson said: "I usually tell my parents' generation that we sound like what might happen if you took the sophistication of King Crimson and cross-bred us with the snottiness of the Sex Pistols... or 'punk jazz' which is how Jaco Pastorius once described his sound."[82]


Ben Weinman and Greg Puciato performing in 2011

In the words of lead guitarist Ben Weinman, the prime mover of The Dillinger Escape Plan, the band's first albums intended to "stir things up", "really try things new", and "challenge people" within the 1990s hardcore punk scene, because many of its bands were trying to sound like their predecessors from the previous decade rather than "encompass the[ir] attitude", which influenced him deeply.[2]

At the start of the group, Weinman considered The Dillinger Escape Plan an electronic-infused metallic hardcore band.[83] On their debut EP, the members were still knowing each other and "[figuring] out what it was that we wanted to do".[84] After that release, Weinman became highly interested in jazz fusion and, through their new guitarist John Fulton, technical extreme metal bands.[2][83] During that period, there were "really great" bands mixing styles, such as Candiria, yet "when they went into a jazz part they sounded like a jazz band, the death metal part, a death metal band". Thus, on the Under the Running Board EP the group's members tried to, among other things, "figure how to make" all the fusion artists and Afro-Cuban rhythms that they were listening to "sound grimey and punk";[85] for example, Weinman pushed drummer Chris Pennie to use more aggressive and unconventional drum patterns, such as playing the china cymbals excessively and getting rid of splashes, while Pennie encouraged him to finesse his guitar technique.[84] The guitarist attributes the "tug and pull of" both personalities as a key element in their development, but also as the reason for the drummer's eventual departure from The Dillinger Escape Plan.[2][84] With their style already established, the group tried to do it "ridiculously and inhumanly [...] faster and crazier" on their first studio album, Calculating Infinity.[86]

The groundbreaking 1999 debut created a huge hype, but the band decided to expand their musical directions on its follow-up to ensure artistic freedom and explore all their different influences.[2] This was facilitated by the addition of Greg Puciato who was encouraged to sing because his vocal delivery encompasses styles from screaming to crooning.[82][85][87] While maintaining their original style, on Miss Machine they incorporated more melodies and traditional song structures, as well as industrial influences and strings.[88] Their next release, Ire Works, featured more sounds ranging from "glitchy electropop" to Latin jazz, an increasing use of programming and instruments such as horns and piano.[2][79][89] 2010's Option Paralysis has more piano, vocal harmonies and on this album the band "learned how to merge [all these new] elements" within the songs rather than separating them from song to song, as Puciato stated.[36][89] He referred to its follow-up, One of Us is the Killer, as a continuation of this and it was the first since Calculating Infinity were they composed all the music during its songwriting process.[89][90] Scott A. Gray of Exclaim! stated: "The tightness, the focus of [One of Us Is the Killer], was ludicrous, seemingly taken as far as it could go".[91] On the contrary, Dissociation drew from all their different inspirations but mostly from song to song, including, for example, long instrumental sections of IDM and jazz fusion, and some parts were composed many years before its recording.[91][92]


According to lead guitarist Ben Weinman, the band's initial influences ranged from death metal bands such as Morbid Angel, Carcass and Death to diverse bands, including Deadguy, Today Is The Day, Neurosis, Mahavishnu Orchestra, King Crimson and Cynic.[61] He and drummer Chris Pennie, the main songwriters at the time, were also inspired by IDM artists such as Aphex Twin and Squarepusher.[59][93]

The background of the early Dillinger Escape Plan members was diverse. Some, including bassist Adam Doll, guitarist John Fulton and Pennie, were mostly influenced by technical, more melodic extreme metal bands, whereas Weinman and vocalist Dimitri Minakakis by the "noisy" underground punk scene of the 1990s, as well as early hardcore punk bands such as Black Flag and Dead Kennedys.[94][95] While Weinman still appreciated the extreme metal subgenres, he became "desensitized" to most of it because "there weren't new bands or old bands creating new albums that were pushing anything [new]" and he felt it had become "formulaic".[59][96] What tied all of them together was their admiration for progressive artists such as Cynic and King Crimson.[61][94] They learned how to blend all their influences on the Under the Running Board EP, and, for this album, the joining of Fulton had a major impact on Weinman's style through the incorporation of more technical types of guitar work.[2] The group, however, did not fully display their electronic influence until the Irony Is a Dead Scene EP because of the lack of equipment and time restraints.[97][98]

Their choice of complex time signatures and unconventional beat accenting is credited to their jazz fusion and electronic influences.[99] Weinman named guitarist John McLaughlin and his work with the Mahavishnu Orchestra as particularly inspirational.[100] On the other hand, he cited IDM for his use of chaotic riffs, stating that, in some ways, they did "the guitar version of [intelligent dance music], using certain rhythms and frequencies" that sound "so random, but the more you listened to it, the more it made sense, and actually had intention."[59][101]

Former drummer Chris Pennie was specifically inspired by Meshuggah's Tomas Haake and later on by Nine Inch Nails and DJ Shadow.[93] For his part, vocalist Greg Puciato cited Mike Patton of Faith No More and H.R. of Bad Brains as his biggest influences when growing up, stating that he learned to sing by emulating them, and Death's Chuck Schuldiner for screaming.[102] He said of the former: "[they] opened my eyes a lot to what could be done with the voice overtop of heavy music".[103]

Songwriting and recording

The songwriting process of The Dillinger Escape Plan usually starts with Ben Weinman's guitar ideas and, especially since Ire Works,[2] software' rhythms or sound design that he presents to the drummer. Until the recording sessions, the two can barely perform some of these pieces in an accurate way because of their complexity.[14] They develop them through jam sessions, make several demos and eventually these are send to Greg Puciato and Liam Wilson to add their parts.[85][99] The vocalist joins different pieces together and works over them, making "a picture that means something to" him.[104] He has stated that "It can take days worth of hours just to get one fifteen second part to where I want."[14] Both Weinman and Puciato consider themselves to be songwriters instead of a guitarist and a vocalist, and, over time, they added diverse instruments and samples on some songs, focusing on what would fit best into them rather than their live instrumentation.[89]

Since their inception, Steve Evetts has been the producer, engineer and mixer of almost all the band's releases.[105] Puciato, Weinman and Evetts rarely work all together in the studio; while two of them are recording, the other is absent to "[stay] fresh" so that, later on, "he can make comments and it’s easy enough to be objective" for making adjustments.[89]

Party Smasher Inc.

After over a decade of touring and making music we have realized that there is the right way of doing things, the wrong way of doing things, and then the Dillinger way of doing things. Party Smasher Inc. will represent our collected efforts on all things Dillinger-related.
— Ben Weinman on Party Smasher Inc.[106]

Party Smasher Inc. first emerged in 2009. Party Smasher launched as a recorded music collective.[34] The band stated that Party Smasher (which was originally erroneously reported to be called Photogenic Records)[107][108] is not technically a record label but a "creative umbrella" for all things related to The Dillinger Escape Plan.[109] In an interview with Alternative Press, Weinman stated, "Well, I should clarify that it's not exactly our attempt to run a record label. That's not something we could be good at, and it's obviously not something anybody's good at these days. [Laughs] It's more a situation where we now have a name for this umbrella that covers every business and artistic decision we make–whether it's Dillinger, side projects or whatever."[109]

The first release through the Party Smasher label was the band's fourth studio album Option Paralysis, the album was released in partnership with Season of Mist.[34] The second release was the band's fifth studio album One of Us Is The Killer, the album was released in partnership with various labels around the world, including BMG (Europe), Grind House (Japan), Remote Control (Australia) and Sumerian Records (North America).[34] The third release was a non-album single the band released titled "Happiness Is a Smile".[110] The single was only released on seven-inch vinyl and on cassette and was only available to buy on the band's North American tour in 2014.[44][45] Party Smasher also released the band's final album, Dissociation in partnership with Cooking Vinyl.[53]

Stage performances

The Dillinger Escape Plan-1
Greg Puciato hanging upside down during a Dillinger show in 2008.

The Dillinger Escape Plan is noted for their reckless, chaotic live shows.[111] While playing, most of the band's members climb up and leap off of parts of the stage, bounce off walls, dive into moshpits and destroy their own gear.[80][112][113] Greg Puciato used to run violently from the stage on top of the crowd in some of his early shows with the band.[111] Their physical performances are improvised and, despite the aggressive nature of their shows, they "just want to be as pure and in the moment as possible vocally and physically", rather than performing acts that can cause harm to others.[61][114] Over time they incorporated samples, a light show, fireworks, fire breathing, and other antics. Their concerts have caused them both direct and cumulative injuries.[115][116]

According to Weinman, when Dillinger started they used their live shows as "a way for after school, or work, after a long week, to play a show and just vent" and they tried "to keep that passion and that energy" over the years.[61] He revealed that their ethic was also inspired by Fugazi, referring to Repeater as "a record that was meant to be performed." He added that "it was their live show that literally drove an underground punk band based on specific ethics" to an "almost mainstream success."[117]


On August 25, 2002, the Dillinger Escape Plan made national United Kingdom headlines when at the prestigious Reading Festival, the band's vocalist Greg Puciato defecated in full view onstage, put it into a bag, and threw it into the crowd before smearing the rest onto himself, proclaiming "This is a bag of shit, I just wanted to show you this so you'll recognize it later on throughout the day" referring to the quality of the music he felt was appearing that day of the festival.[118] The act nearly got the band banned from the UK for violation of public-decency laws,[111] despite this the band's set was one of the highest reviewed of the entire festival that year, and was later included in a list of the top one hundred Reading or Leeds performances of the decade.[118] Upon returning to Reading in 2016, Puciato played the opening song "Prancer" sitting on an onstage couch reading a newspaper and drinking tea.[119]

Puciato later commented on the act saying;

It was early in the day and as most people, you kind of get that out of the way early in the day but I never did. I made a point to hold onto it. And you know the turtle, the malicious turtle, was pretty easy to fire that fucker right out of the hole. There was no way in hell that I thought that we were ever going make a living doing this or that in fourteen years I would still be having a conversation as Greg from Dillinger Escape Plan. I just thought this was a ball of fire that’s gonna implode or it’s got a shelf life, there’s no way this can continue. So when we would get asked to play something like that in my head I was like ‘well, this is never going to happen again, when am I ever going to play a festival with bands I don’t like. That was kind of the other thing, that was the first time we ever played with bands we don’t like. Up until then it was like you go on tour with bands you feel a kinship with and we had never been exposed to some like mass thing where you’re playing with a band like Puddle of Mudd or whoever it was at the time who made me feel like "Oh I got to make some kind of a statement." So it was kind of a combo of kind of wanting to cause the biggest ruckus imaginable, since we’re obviously never going to do this again anyway, I might as well make sure that we’re never allowed to do this again anyway. And then just kind of making a statement in a way that I felt would be unavoidable for people to pay attention to.[113]


The Dillinger Escape Plan-32
Audience members moshing at a Dillinger Escape Plan show.

The Dillinger Escape Plan is often considered one of the most influential bands in extreme music circles since the late 1990s.[55][59][63][114][120] The impact of their idiosyncratic style has been compared to the ones of My Bloody Valentine on shoegaze and Refused on post-hardcore.[59][81] Alex Lynham of MusicRadar states that "Dillinger Escape Plan are one of the few guitar bands of the past 25 years to make a total and radical break with the music of the past and forge a unique sound", spawning "countless imitators, iterations and acolytes."[59] Maximus Frank of MetalSucks has remarked "The Dillinger Escape Plan will be remembered as one of the greatest bands of all time – and possibly, the greatest punk band ever. Full stop."[120] Drowned in Sound's Ben Patashnik declared in 2007 that Dillinger is one of the few bands to have "emerged from small, insular, resolutely non-mainstream scenes" and at the sime time "managed to reach well further than one might reasonably think possible."[81]

The Dillinger Escape Plan were honored at the 2017 Association of Independent Music Awards. The band received the "Outstanding Contribution to Music" prize at the ceremony at The Brewery, Clerkenwell. The AIM Awards judge and Metal Hammer editor Merlin Alderslade said:

“The Dillinger Escape Plan aren't only one of the most influential heavy bands of the last 20 years, but one of the single most important forces to ever grace our scene. From their genre-shredding albums that have gone on to inspire legions of bands to their now legendary live shows, they have trail-blazed their way through an incredible career that has united alternative music fans from all walks of life. The AIM awards are about recognising music crafted in the true spirit of independence and I couldn't think of a more fitting band to walk on stage to accept this award than Dillinger.”[55]

Comments from other musicians

Many artists have cited The Dillinger Escape Plan as an influence or have expressed their admiration for them, including Bring Me the Horizon,[121][122] Architects,[123] Metallica,[124][125][126] Dave Mustaine of Megadeth,[127] Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree,[128] Rody Walker of Protest the Hero,[129] Periphery,[130][131] Enter Shikari,[132][133] Mike Portnoy,[134] JT Woodruff of Hawthorne Heights,[135] Darkest Hour,[136] Alex Skolnick of Testament,[80] The Fall of Troy,[137][138] As I Lay Dying,[139][140] Jamie Lenman of Reuben,[141] Joe Talarico of Man Overboard,[135] Every Time I Die,[142][143] Rolo Tomassi,[144] Leprous,[145][146] Shining,[147] Tera Melos,[148][149] Daniel Mongrain of Voivod,[150] American Standards,[151] Despised Icon,[152] Arsonists Get All the Girls,[153] Gwen Stacy,[154] Ben Kotin of Such Gold,[135] Mutiny on the Bounty,[155] The Algorithm,[156] War from a Harlots Mouth,[157] Aric Improta of Night Verses,[135] Scribe,[158] Aaron Neigher of The Saddest Landscape,[135] The Arusha Accord[159] and Destrage.[160]

Awards & Nominations

AIM Awards

Year Nominee/work Award Result
2017 Themselves Outstanding Contribution to Music Won


Final Lineup
  • Ben Weinman – lead guitar, programming, backing vocals (1997–2017), rhythm guitar (1997, 2012–2013), bass (1999–2000)
  • Liam Wilson – bass (2000–2017)
  • Greg Puciato – lead vocals (2001–2017), rhythm guitar (2007–2008)
  • Billy Rymer – drums, percussion (2008–2017)
  • Kevin Antreassian – rhythm guitar (2015–2017)[161]



Studio albums

See also


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