Dillinger Escape Plan revamps its old roster

Talented new drummer and guitarist complete new lineup

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Dillinger Escape Plan

Not long ago things looked pretty grim for Dillinger Escape Plan.

With its drummer Chris Pennie moving to Coheed and Cambria and a guitarist too injured to tour, it was uncertain whether the band could continue.

Vocalist Greg Puciato found himself talking to guitarist Ben Weinman about what he would do for a living once the band was over.

“Things have been pretty tumultuous,” Puciato says. “We got the record done and we thought that was the end of our problems. But then of course Weinman breaks his foot in a video shoot. Who breaks their foot in a video shoot? He’s like a real life Dennis the Menace. I told him I was gonna wrap him in bubble wrap for the next two months.”

Weinman’s foot injury was mild compared to the drama the band endured leading up to the release of Ire Works. The departure of two band members left the band frustrated and confused.

While in DEP, Pennie played some of the most difficult and unique drum parts, making his shoes hard to fill.

“We had a dream team of drummers, some from [the metal] scene, some not. As we were going through them, we found they couldn’t do it " not because of their availability; they were just physically daunted at the prospect of actually doing it, whether it was the actual playing or the amount they would need to tour,” Puciato explains.

“We talked to everyone, people like Terry Bozzio, and when they all said ‘No’ we were like, ‘We’re really up shit’s creek.’”

Just when it seemed like the end of DEP, there was finally a break in the clouds. As soon as Gil Sharone, formally from Stolen Babies, came into the picture, things started to look up.

“My friend Chris Hornerbrook from Poison the Well just told me, ‘I know this guy Gil who’s been giving me lessons. He’s the only guy I know who plays better than Chris [Pennie].’ I was really skeptical,” Puciato confesses.

“How could someone that young " 29 years old " be that good? None of us had ever heard Stolen Babies, but if you do hear them, it’s not even close to showing how good he really is.”

Sharone proved to be just what the band needed. Seamlessly blending into the mix, He immediately became attached to the band. The members were astounded and impressed at how quickly he picked up the parts, and how someone so young and relatively unheard of could play them at all.

“He sent us a video of him doing it and it was just so raw,” Puciato recalls. “Some people would tell us they had ‘Panasonic Youth’ nailed and I would be like, ‘Oh, cool man. Send it over’ and it would just be someone playing a blast beat for three minutes,” Puciato says.

“So I talked to [Sharone] on the phone and sent him what would end up being ‘Lurch’ and ‘Fix Your Face.’ We thought it would be like two weeks, but two days later he called me at like 3 a.m. and was like ‘Dude listen to this, I got you on speaker phone.’ And he just ripped through it perfectly. I tried to stay cool and told him ‘Yeah man, that sounds cool, we’ll get back to you.’ But then I just called Ben and went nuts.”

Not only was last Saturday’s show the first the band has played in 15 months, it was also the first time DEP played with its brand new lineup, which included both Sharone and guitarist Jeff Tuttle. Thinking back to the last time DEP toured with AFI and Between the Buried and Me, Puciato is occasionally appalled at how wild his onstage antics have been.

“I have no idea what people should expect at a [DEP] show,” Puciato says. “I could tell you three years ago but I don’t even know now. I look at videos of us playing on YouTube and I’m just thinking, ‘Wow " that’s fucking crazy! Who does that?’

“I see videos of myself running across people’s heads and I say, ‘Why would I do that? That’s not safe.’ I know that I have it in me now, like when I would throw a mic stand across the room. Maybe now I’ll just pick it up and midway through I’ll just gently set it down.”

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