Dillinger Escape Plan believes in crowd participation — whether you’re holding them up as they crowd surf, or Snapchatting their gnarly wounds from taking a dive that went too far.
The Jersey-bred mathcore band is hitting a series of club venues ahead of the release of their sixth studio full-length release, "Dissociation," on Oct. 14. The album comes via guitarist Ben Weinman's Party Smasher Inc label, a decision that gives the band a unique edge when it comes to production, marketing and, well, almost anything having to do with its release. In true multitasker fashion, Weinman calls from his car just weeks before their tour to check in.
What was the plan going forward with club venues this tour?
We wanted to do it that way. It’ll be interesting, because it’s way more exhausting to play those small rooms, but people think it’s the other way around. It’s intense and so hot and hard to navigate [in smaller venues], but the energy is so amazing.
But you’re known to get really … um, active, in the crowd. Hanging from pipes, crowd surfing, etc. Is that going to fly in these smaller spaces?
I was talking to our agent and he was surprised that not one of the promoters said anything about restrictions. We’ve been banned from almost every club in the world, but it’s proof that time heals everything.
When did the extreme crowd interaction begin for you as a band?
I’m the only one that’s still in the band [from when we first started], but a couple of the guys have been with us for a long time, when we were literally playing basements on the floor or a VFW Hall stage. That kind of chemistry with an audience in those scenarios is unavoidable.
Also, in those days, it was an opportunity to shake off the week. I was in college working some job, and the other guys were in school, and we were normal, respectable people. The weekends were an opportunity to have uninhibited free expression. A lot of people were like, “Wow you seem so angry on stage,” and they’re surprised when we’re all so well mannered. And I’m like, “Why are you surprised? We just happen to have the opportunity to express ourselves in a healthy way.”
From your own perspective, you get to see the artist management and production side of things, as well as the creative. What’s it like for you to compartmentalize your work?
It’s weird because I’m an artist, and artists suck. They’re really difficult. I had to learn how to manage my own artistic anxieties and compulsiveness in order to be well rounded enough to deal with people in a band from a band perspective, and then also from a label’s perspective.
I care so much about how an album is released and perceived, and that’s good, because it’s more than business. To me, good business is always about being honest and promoting something you believe in. It’s great to have the ability to take advantage of conducting the business side with the ethics and values of an artist.
On that note, what can you tell us about the upcoming album?
We’re finished. We handed in the final master. I did all the artwork for the album, and our drummer took a few photos. It’s totally f—king DIY, every aspect of it. I’m in the office now dealing with production and marketing and going to Spotify to try to make them believe in it. I was up today booking our flights. Our hands are on every aspect of the product.
What about from a sound perspective? Musically where does it lie?
Ultimately, we think it’s weirder and harder and more difficult than the last. It’s hard to be objective during the process, but it does remind me of the time of our first album, "Calculating Infinity." It sounds different, not necessarily because of the songwriting; I can’t be objective about that, but in the sound of the record. The tones and frequencies don’t sound like any other record I’ve heard production-wise. It’s a standout in our catalog in terms of sound.