Dillinger Escape Plan – Machine Men

Thursday, 28th March 2013

(This content originally appeared on Blistering.com)

Inside the door of their hotel room in Dublin is a couch that faces the door to the bathroom. Greg Puciato (vocals) sits here, Ben Weinman (guitar) is lying in the double bed completely wrapped up in the covers, while the tour manager sits on a chair on the far side of the room by the window. Over his head is a tiny television. Luxury it certainly is not, but it is comfortable. They boys are just back here from the venue, a two minute walk away, where The Dillinger Escape Plan finished their sound check about half ago, and they sounded great, an indicator of how things will go later that night. Everyone seems in quite good form but they’re a little tired and sick. Greg gave the soundcheck a miss because of this.

“I don’t know what happened man,” he states, his voice a little husky and hoarse. Not too bad but it does sound a little dry. Later on he’ll put in a great performance that even if you’re aware he’s ill you wouldn’t notice too much. “Yesterday I started to feel like I was losing my voice a little bit and this morning I woke up and I could barely talk. I don’t know what it is. At first I thought it was Bronchitis but I haven’t been coughing anything up and I don’t have any other symptoms. I don’t feel sick, but we’ll deal with it and hopefully it’ll go away soon.”

That’s it man. Be strong. Persevere. After all it’d be a shame if they had to pull out of these shows due to illness, seeing as last November they were forced to cancel their UK tour dates with Meshuggah due to Ben breaking his leg during a video shoot. Incidentally Meshuggah also pulled out to finish work on their ObZen record.

“Ben is sick as well,” Greg continues, indicating his stricken bandmate. “I’m not sure what happened him either, but what happen is you go on tour and tour-sick cycles through people. It keeps mutating. So when one person is well, someone else will be sick. Then when that person is well you’re starting to feel sick and it just keeps going around in a circle forever ‘cause you’re all living in the same vehicle and it never ends. We’re in the process of becoming very resilient to tonnes of strains of bacteria. You could probably actually inject me with the AIDS virus right now,” he continues completely straight faced, “it would shoot back out of my blood.”

Dillinger are back on the road to promote Ire Works which landed, courtesy of Relapse, in November to much excitement from the fans and music press alike, finding itself close to the top of many magazine’s end of year top album lists.

“I’m always slightly surprised that anyone gives a shit to be honest with you, about anything that we choose to do. It’s never really something that you take for granted or you get used to either. Obviously we thought it was great otherwise we wouldn’t have put it out but for anyone else to think so is nice to hear,” is Greg’s modest reaction to this feat. Not surprising really when you consider that while probably being their most accessible record to date due to the presence of choruses, not too much of a shock really after Miss Machine but the fact that it’s quite a difficult album to get into. If you haven’t heard it yet then you should but don’t expect it to work for you straight away, this baby takes a good ten listens or so before you can finally get around to making up your mind on it. As abusive and caustic as anything they’ve released in the past it also circles back around infusing a certain almost poppy element in parts. But then again this is The Dillinger Escape Plan we’re talking about here. They’re never going to be predictable or straightforward and that’s all part of their charm.

“That’s a good thing. I usually find the music that I end up liking the most is the music that maybe at first doesn’t like catch me right away, but there’s enough to it that makes me curious enough to come back to it,” Greg says of those needs for repeated listens. And after some time I start to really discover the little gems that bring you back to it. It’s like that with anything. Movies too, man. A lot of movies that are my favourite movies are ones that I get a lot of repeat value out of than just the initial watch. There’s something to be said for a simple pop song, just as there’s something to be said for watching Transformers: The Movie or something like that.”

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