Dillinger Escape Plan: The Exit Interview | Revolver

Dillinger Escape Plan: The Exit Interview

One of rock’s last truly dangerous bands bows out at the top of their game, before their explosive live show could kill them
Dillinger 2017 Odom, Stephen Odom
Dillinger Escape Plan's Greg Puciato (left) and Ben Weinman
photograph by Stephen Odom

Twenty years, 14 members, six albums and innumerable scars, broken bones and shocked-and-awed audiences later, the Dillinger Escape Plan are fucking dead. They announced their imminent demise last year, with the release of their swansong, Dissociation, followed by a whirlwind farewell world tour, which took the pioneering freakcore outfit (guitarist and lone remaining original member Ben Weinman, singer Greg Puciato, guitarist Kevin Antreassian, bassist Liam Wilson and drummer Billy Rymer) leaping off balconies and destroying instruments all the way to the end of 2017 — and to the end of the band, in the form of three late-December funeral-pyre shows at NYC's Terminal 5.

Dillinger's maniacally adventurous sound and peerless daredevil live performances won them diehards within both the underground and the mainstream, including members of Nine Inch Nails, System of a Down and the Deftones, bands that all took them out on tour. Count among those famous fans Metallica; the thrash masters handpicked Dillinger to play 2013's Orion Music + More festival, and their co-founder Lars Ulrich has publicly sung DEP's praises as early as 2009. Who better, then, to conduct Dillinger's exit interview than the Metallica drummer, now a seasoned interrogator of his fellow musicians as the host of It's Electric!, his own Beats 1 online radio show? Needless to say, Weinman and Puciato — Metallica fans since they were kids — were down, so we asked Ulrich and he gamely agreed.

LARS ULRICH SO I'VE DONE MY HOMEWORK AND KNOW THE ANSWERS, BUT CAN EACH OF YOU JUST GIVE ME YOUR VERSION OF WHY THIS IS WINDING DOWN?

BEN WEINMAN Well, I mean, you know, that's a really hard decision to make, especially when things are going pretty well. [Laughs]

ULRICH I WOULD FUCKING THINK SO.

WEINMAN But the thing is, you know, this band didn't start out of comfort, out of anything but a will to just create that CD we didn't hear. I didn't think that you could succeed in this business at that point. I wasn't in L.A. I wasn't waiting for some producer to ride by, like, "Hey, kid, I hear something out of that, you got something there." Like, it was impossible from the suburbs of New Jersey to get that big record deal. You know, it seemed unthinkable, so we made music that was kind of that weekend vent after getting out of class or being at our shitty jobs, and it started to work and it started taking us around the world and we had to quit our jobs and we had to break up with our girlfriends and all these things — these decisions we had to make along the way, which were amazing opportunities, which then became this kind of freight train that took over our lives. You know, it became not really a choice anymore. And the good thing about that is those are amazing conditions to create art, when you're in the most extreme versions of every relationship possible and every kind of living condition possible. You're away from your girlfriends or wives or families for months at a time. You have extreme pressure to create and produce. You have to pay your bills off of something completely concrete, you know, and that relies on other people also stepping up to the plate, not just you, so there's those pressures that you have on each other. And everything each one of you do — I'm telling you things that every band knows — reflects on the other people or what's important to them. You're raising basically this child with, like, five people who may have completely different agendas or, of course, values, or what's important to them is completely different. So you are in a condition that is, like I said, the best conditions to create extremely volatile, interesting music, but it tears you apart, you know. [Laughs] And I think Greg and I, particularly, are the main creative force in this band, and went through so many interesting parallels at the same time and different time, zigzagging in different ways, dealing with them creatively. It was almost like this band was this master video game of art or, like, we had to get through every level to figure it out and we went through so much together, apart, individually, divorces and breakups and drug abuse, just extremities of every kind, and finally we got to this point where everything's kind of calm. We were making this album, which is — and Greg said this many times — an internal album, you know, it wasn't external. We were done saying, "Fuck you, mom, fuck this person, blah blah." We're adults and we've used this album now to express the things we've learned over the past few years about ourselves and we're now going inward, not yelling outward. And when you get to that point, it's like this level of emotional maturity. It's like, you know, you beat the game.

Dillinger 2017 odom, Stephen Odom
Dillinger Escape Plan, (from left) Ben Weinman, Greg Puciato, Billy Rymer, Liam Wilson and Kevin Antreassian
photograph by Stephen Odom

ULRICH YEAH, YOU GOT TO THE LAST LEVEL.

WEINMAN Right. The more Greg and I talked, we're like, we're at a point right now where we still feel we're relevant, you know, as people. We're still young enough to do new things, but we feel we've learned enough to do them from a place of honesty and stability in some way mentally. And if we really were gonna stand by our word that we were doing this for the right reasons always — it's artistic, everything's intentional — then we had to take control of how it ended and there's no way to do it. As we see our friends in bands kind of, you know, people stop coming, so it's not fun, or they're fighting, or the music's just not inspired anymore and then they fizzle out because they don't have a choice. We really were like, "Let's kind of walk off into the sunset like a badass gangster that comes into town, fucks shit up, gets the girl and then says, 'I gotta go.'" [Laughs]

ULRICH GREG, DOES THAT RESONATE WITH YOU?

GREG PUCIATO Yeah, I mean, we've both had to answer this question so much that our answers have started to become the same answer ... I mean, it's all really heavy, obviously, but the things that happen behind the scenes in a band, there's things that people don't even know that happened. It's not just the song, it's not just the shows. Those things grow from your life experience. It's always so basic when people are like, "What influences you? What are you listening to that might be inspiring?" Maybe the things that are inspiring you aren't musical, maybe they're emotional. Your musical journey, I think, is a reflection of your psychological journey as a person.

ULRICH ABSOLUTELY.

PUCIATO As a human being on this earth, as you're fighting against the constraints of your maturity and your ego and you're growing from a child to an adult — that's difficult enough as it is, but when you're doing that and kind of married to another group of people, in this already combustive band as it is, it magnifies. There's things that normal people, or people who don't have that, will never have to deal with. And I know it's impossible for you and Hetfield to not have gone through a similar [thing where] you realize you're doing this kind of half dance, half wrestling match, half trying to grab the wheel, half you're attacking each other, but really attacking yourself because the things that drive you crazy ...

Dillinger 2017 Odom, Stephen Odom
photograph by Stephen Odom

ULRICH 35 YEARS.

PUCIATO They say that the closest thing to being the same are opposites. Opposites are people who are almost actually exactly the same and they may manifest their tendencies in different things. They might be into different habits on the surface, but in reality you have a lot in common and it drives you crazy with each other.

So, all these things, you beat on each other, you take from each other throughout the years, and those things for us have thankfully resulted in what I feel are really good albums that we're proud of and I can't even believe they're made because they're crazy and some of the shit that we were going through in our personal lives were nuts, you know, and it takes a lot out of you along the way. And when you add that to, like Ben was saying, the loss of control you might feel over this thing becoming a train that kind of runs away with you ...

ULRICH YOU'RE TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHETHER YOU STEER IT OR WHETHER YOU JUST HOLD ON BECAUSE IT'S FUCKING RUNNING RAMPANT. I CAN RELATE TO EVERY SINGLE WORD YOU'RE SAYING.

PUCIATO You know, it's hard to let things go. Or it's hard to let it happen, you know. [But] I think what happened is once we embraced it, it gave us so much power over it because then you can really be like, "Oh, OK, so if the grand finale is happening, let's not, you know ..."

WEINMAN Once you accept it, it's ...

ULRICH IT'S INTERESTING: AS YOU'RE SITTING SAYING THIS, I'M THINKING BACK TO WHEN HETFIELD WENT THROUGH HIS ISSUES, HIS PERSONAL ISSUES, WHICH WAS THE FIRST MAJOR BUMP IN THE ROAD FOR METALLICA. THIS WAS BACK IN 2001, I BELIEVE, AND THAT WAS A REALLY DIFFICULT YEAR. THAT MOVIE [SOME KIND OF MONSTER] WAS MADE AND SORT OF SHARED WITH THE WORLD, BUT FORGETTING ABOUT THAT MOVIE FOR A SECOND, IT WAS THE FIRST TIME IN OUR THING FOR 20 YEARS WHERE I FELT, YOU KNOW WHAT? IF THIS IS THE END, I ACCEPT IT. AND THERE WAS AN INCREDIBLE FREEDOM IN THE WAKE OF THAT.

WEINMAN I was gonna ask you that.

ULRICH AND EVERYTHING FROM THERE ON BECAME A DIFFERENT WORTH AFTER THAT. AS YOU GUYS ARE SITTING, TALKING ABOUT THIS, I'M SORT OF CIRCLING BACK TO THAT A LITTLE BIT, AND JUST THAT THE REST OF IT'S GRAVY.

PUCIATO Is this when the door opens and [Metallica's therapist featured in Some Kind of Monster] Phil Towle comes in? [Laughs]

ULRICH WE HAVE A SPECIAL GUEST! [LAUGHS]

WEINMAN My mom's a psychologist and she asked, "How do I get that gig?" I was like, "I don't know, we'll see."

ULRICH I GOTTA SAY THAT AS AN OUTSIDER, I REALLY, REALLY RESPECT WHAT YOU GUYS ARE DOING AND I THINK IT'S VERY COMMENDABLE. THERE'S A LOT OF ROCK BANDS THAT WAY OVERSTAY THEIR FUCKING WELCOME.

WEINMAN Yeah. And people started calling us up, even managers and bands, like we invented something new. Like, you guys broke up, then put out an album, then did a world tour — that's rad. [Laughs] I will say, I'm proud of us for doing that.

Dillinger 2017 Odom, Stephen Odom
photograph by Stephen Odom

ULRICH LISTEN, YOU LOOK AT YOU GUYS, YOU LOOK AT ONE OR TWO OTHER SELECT ARTISTS WHO HAD THE FUCKING BALLS TO JUST GO, "YOU KNOW WHAT, IT'S REACHED ITS END AND BEFORE IT BECOMES A FUCKING CIRCUS ACT OR WHATEVER, WE'RE GONNA WALK AWAY GRACEFULLY." BUT AS WE ALL KNOW, IN THE WORLD OF HARD ROCK AND METAL AND WHATEVER ELSE NAMES YOU WANNA CALL IT, IT DOESN'T HAPPEN VERY OFTEN. THERE'S THESE CONSERVATIVE ELEMENTS AND ENERGIES THAT YOU GOTTA GO OUT THERE, YOU GOTTA KEEP MAKING THE SAME RECORD, YOU GOTTA PUT IT IN THE SAME FUCKING SLEEVE AND THE SAME SONGS, YOU GOTTA WEAR THE SAME T-SHIRT. OBVIOUSLY, YOU GUYS, WHAT I FEEL IS THAT WE'RE COMRADES IN FIGHTING THAT. WE SPENT 30 YEARS TRYING TO COUNTER THAT, AND I SENSE WITH YOU GUYS, THIS BEING PIGEONHOLED AND HELD ACCOUNTABLE TO ONE PARTICULAR THING IS JUST NOT SOMETHING THAT YOU ENJOY, MUSICALLY, BUT YOU ALSO DON'T SEEM TO ENJOY IT AS A LIFESTYLE CHOICE.

PUCIATO I hate it. As soon as I feel the walls closing in on me, I freak out, you know. I think we've always looked at this as an art project almost.

ULRICH I LIKE THAT. ART PROJECT.

WEINMAN No one will ever be able to say, "Dillinger was ..." No one's going to say, "Oh, that band's still making albums? I remember when ..." It's never going to be, "I remember when they were this ..." It's always going to be, like, "This band was this thing."

PUCIATO You can show them the band as if the band is a body of work.

WEINMAN It's this thing. You can look at it. It was this album to this album. It's a piece of work — boom, there it is.

PUCIATO We decided that [the decision to break up] changed the way [Dissociation] flowed, the way we sequenced it. Because you're no longer sequencing the end of the album, you're sequencing the end of the band. But the incredible thing that I think has happened is that we've all gone through rapid personal growths around the time of making the decision because your body or your brain can no longer rely on the band for so much of its sense of identity, so you instantly start to grow so rapidly in different areas. We've all become a lot more mature.

WEINMAN It's interesting, because you start to prepare yourself knowingly that you're a band, and you're an artist, and the ego is a huge thing, and being in front of people, like ... you can be humble, but regardless, you still get a kick when someone recognizes you in front of your cousins. It doesn't matter how big you get, or whatever ...

PUCIATO It'll make you buy white fucking leather jackets, dude.

ULRICH [LAUGHS] I HAD THAT MADE — IT WASN'T JUST BOUGHT.

PUCIATO My two favorite Larses are White Leather Jacket Lars and Shitty Dirty Mustache Lars. Those are the two most amazing incarnations.

ULRICH I GAVE IT MY BEST SHOT ON BOTH FRONTS.

WEINMAN But yeah, ego is a crazy thing. You're battling it at all times, even as a regular person on earth.

ULRICH YOU GUYS' EGOS ARE THE REASON THAT THERE'S A SIX-ALBUM BODY OF WORK ...

PUCIATO We've struggled with that. As an artist, you're like, "Why the hell am I so egotistical to even release anything?" It's preposterous to even make something and put it out, because you have to struggle with the fact that "Why does anyone give a shit about what I have to say? It's ridiculous for me to think anyone cares what I have to say."

WEINMAN You're supposed to make music without someone telling you how to do it, but then you actually care what they think — not only because of ego, but because it determines if you can keep doing it if they buy it, or if they come to the show. It's this vicious cycle, but being able to say, "Well, this time, December 30th, I'm just Ben, not Ben from Dillinger," and I might be able to get a few people into some concerts still, so I'm sure I'll still get some calls, but it'll be different. I've been slowly getting used to that.

PUCIATO You can't just be Lars from Metallica. There's also Lars that's the person that started Metallica, that existed before Metallica, that has this other life that has nothing to do with Metallica, and when the other side of it wraps you up too intensely, you neglect all of the other parts of you that you should be growing.

ULRICH I MEAN, THE FIRST 10 YEARS OF MY LIFE, WHENEVER I WENT SOMEWHERE WITHOUT JAMES HETFIELD, IT WAS AWKWARD. I REMEMBER THE FIRST TIME AFTER THE . ..AND JUSTICE FOR ALL TOUR. I BOUGHT A HOUSE AFTERWARDS, AND I WENT FURNITURE SHOPPING. I'M WALKING AROUND A FURNITURE STORE GOING, "WOULD JAMES HETFIELD LIKE THIS COUCH? WOULD JAMES HETFIELD LIKE THIS BED? WOULD JAMES HETFIELD LIKE THIS DINING TABLE?" I THINK BACK ON THAT NOW, LIKE, "HUH?" BUT WHEN YOU'RE 24 YEARS OLD AND YOU'RE OUT ON THE ROAD FOR THE FIRST TIME AND YOU DON'T KNOW HOW TO FUCKING DEAL WITH IT ...

PUCIATO You know how it is, too. It's just a crazy thing to do, to have to go through it all. Obviously, on you guys' level, it's insane, but even on the level that we're at, just because the scale of commerce is different doesn't make the things that happened personally and psychologically any less severe.

ULRICH SO WHEN YOU WAKE UP THE MORNING AFTER THE LAST GIG, ARE YOU FREE AND CLEAR? DO YOU ALREADY HAVE THOUGHTS ON WHERE YOU'RE GOING CREATIVELY?

WEINMAN Not completely. Look, I'm always going to want to make music — I can't not. Whether I care if someone hears [it] or not — that's the change. Obviously, it's great if people care about it, but if it's not how I'm making my money, I don't know. I'm managing some artists, I'm doing behind-the-scenes stuff.

ULRICH YOU COULD ALWAYS GET A RADIO SHOW. [LAUGHS. TO GREG] DO YOU HAVE ANYTHING ON THE RADAR?

PUCIATO I'm going to eat omelets. Just kidding. I've got another band called the Black Queen that's finishing an EP right now — that's going to come out. And then, after that, I need a minute. I need a break. I've been gunning it pretty hard. Between albums, and personal work, and going through all of this emotionally and behind the scenes, I need a clearing for a second.

WEINMAN I want him to go to Broadway. I want him to do the Sebastian Bach.

PUCIATO I'm going to do Jesus Christ Superstar.

Dillinger 2017 Odom, Stephen Odom
photograph by Stephen Odom

ULRICH I KNOW PEOPLE. WE CAN HOOK YOU UP FOR IT ... WHEN YOU LOOK BACK — AND THE ONLY REASON I SAY "LOOK BACK" IS BECAUSE I NOTICE YOU GUYS ARE TALKING ABOUT DILLINGER IN THE PAST TENSE — I GOTTA ASK THE MORE BANAL QUESTIONS. WHAT ARE THE REGRETS?

WEINMAN ... not touring with Metallica.

PUCIATO Remember when we turned that tour down? I can't believe we turned that down.

ULRICH HEY, LISTEN — ORION, AT LEAST, WAS FUN, ALL INJURIES APART ... ANY MISSED OPPORTUNITIES? ANY MOMENTS WHERE IT WAS LIKE, "FUCK, WE SHOULD HAVE DONE THAT DIFFERENTLY"?

PUCIATO I don't think so, honestly. I don't have any regrets, man, because I mean, we went really hard, man. We went really, really hard. There was no faking it. We didn't bullshit. We went for the throat the whole time, and did that offstage, too, he and I. I feel like any of the things that someone would say, "Well, I regret that," has been stuff that was necessary in getting us to where we are now as people.

ULRICH YOU HAVE A REPUTATION FOR BEING VERY HONEST, VERY IMPULSIVE, AND I'VE SAID STUFF OVER THE LAST 30 YEARS THAT ALWAYS COMES BACK. "12 YEARS AGO, YOU SAID THIS" — WELL, YEAH, THAT'S WHAT I WAS THINKING IN THAT MOMENT, MOTHERFUCKER, AND I RESERVE THE RIGHT TO CHANGE MY MIND AT ANY TIME.

PUCIATO I mean, I got a lot of fire for a while. I was pretty outspoken for a bit. But I don't regret any of it. I don't really care.

WEINMAN I've certainly said things I regret.

ULRICH SUCH AS? GIVE ME AN EXAMPLE.

WEINMAN Aw, man ... It's not things that you regret saying, it's that you regret saying them to the people you said them [to], because they take advantage of it, or they quote it wrong. I don't think I've ever said anything I don't mean, but I regret trusting people.

PUCIATO Particularly journalists. They hack you up.

ULRICH WELL, GOOD THING YOU'RE SAFE HERE, BECAUSE THERE ARE NO JOURNALISTS ANYWHERE NEAR THIS.

PUCIATO Well, that's the hard thing you have to learn, right? You think that you can say whatever you want and people are like, "Oh, that guy, he just fucking says it as it is. There's no bullshit with that guy!" And you're like, "Great, I can keep doing this." And then eventually people start to frame you ... Journalists start to frame you into this character that you're not, that is not a representation of your actual personality at all. It's this cartoon character, and the one thing in the two-hour interview that you said that was even slightly incendiary, that's the thing that's on the front with bold — with the most savage picture they can find of you, where you're bleeding from the eyeball ...

ULRICH UNBELIEVABLE HOW MUCH WE HAVE IN COMMON ... [LAUGHS]

PUCIATO ... and you're like, "That's not me. That's not who I am. That's this millisecond of existence."

ULRICH YOU SAID "CARTOON CHARACTER." KNOW WHAT I FEEL SOMETIMES? WHEN YOU GET UP ONSTAGE, IT'S LIKE I'M ALLOWED TO BE 19 AGAIN, AND MAKE WAR FACES, AND SPIT WATER AT KIDS, AND SIT THERE AND DRUM MY ASS OFF AND HAVE A LOT OF FUN OR WHATEVER, BUT THAT'S NOT NECESSARILY WHO WE ARE AT 53 YEARS OLD. I KNOW YOU GUYS SUPPORT THAT WE'RE VERY MUCH AT ODDS WITH A LOT OF THE METAL COMMUNITY IN TERMS OF HOW THEY WANT YOU TO BE, HOW YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO DRESS, AND BEHAVE.

WEINMAN The metal community is, ironically, the most unaccepting group, you know?

ULRICH THE PUSHBACK WE GOT ON RIDE THE LIGHTNING, WHEN WE PUT "FADE TO BLACK" [ON IT], AND HETFIELD WAS LIKE, "I THINK THAT SHOULD BE AN ACOUSTIC GUITAR." LIKE, FUCK YEAH, IT SHOULD BE! AND THEN, ALL OF A SUDDEN, THE EARTH JUST FUCKING BLEW UP. METALLICA HAD AN ACOUSTIC GUITAR ON THEIR SECOND ALBUM. PEOPLE WERE LOSING THEIR SHIT OVER THIS, AND WE WERE SITTING THERE GOING, "WAIT A MINUTE. DEEP PURPLE'S 'CHILD IN TIME,' JUDAS PRIEST'S 'BEYOND THE REALMS OF DEATH,' [LED ZEPPELIN'S] 'STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN' — THIS IS WHY WE'RE HERE. WHAT THE FUCK?" AND SO THERE'S BEEN THIS SORT OF UNUSUAL RELATIONSHIP WITH THAT SIDE OF IT THAT I KNOW YOU GUYS CAN TOTALLY RELATE TO ... SO READING THROUGH YOUR STORIES AND DOING MY RESEARCH, [TO GREG] THE SHIT INCIDENT AT READING [FESTIVAL IN 2002]? COME ON.

PUCIATO Oh man. You really went there.

ULRICH NO, I ...

PUCIATO Go on!

ULRICH I'M JUST OPENING UP ...

WEINMAN He opened up, as well. He opened up his butthole.

PUCIATO I don't know what you're talking about.

Dillinger 2017 Odom, Stephen Odom
photograph by Stephen Odom

ULRICH THE INFORMATION THAT'S OUT THERE ... IT'S SORT OF ONE OF THOSE THINGS. I'M NOT SO MUCH INTERESTED IN WHY YOU SHIT IN THE BAG [ONSTAGE]. WHAT'S MORE INTERESTING TO ME IS KIND OF WHAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT, WHICH IS THESE THINGS THAT BECOME ... LIKE, FOR ME, IN MY OBITUARY, THE WORD "NAPSTER" WILL BE THE SECOND LINE, AND WHEN I THINK ABOUT NAPSTER, IT'S SO FAR AWAY. WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT GREG FROM DEP, WHAT'S YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH THAT WAY OF THINKING IN TERMS OF HOW IT BECAME THIS THING THAT'S DEFINING WHO YOU ARE?

PUCIATO Oh, I mean, I didn't even think that anyone would talk about it at all. I couldn't even process that we were playing a festival in front of that many people, so I was like, "I'm going to make the biggest statement I can possibly make in terms of my disgust with some of the horrible early 2000's mainstream rock and metal bands that were playing alongside of us. I'm going to really make a point here. We're never going to play one of these again anyway." That's kind of always been my attitude. If you win a Grammy, light it on fire onstage. If you play a late-night show, try to put the mic stand through the window. Whatever you can do — because you're never going to be there again, most likely, for a band like us. So I was like, "We'll never play a festival again, who cares?" I definitely didn't think we'd be a band in 15 years, and people would still be asking me a question about it. But no, I don't regret doing it. It came from the same standpoint of defiance and wanting to flip people off that I had overflowing from me at that point in my life. If you look at young Mike Tyson, that's pretty much how I felt at all times during that time. I was more or less like "fuck you" at all times around that period, and I wanted us to not have anything to do with anything that we thought we didn't fit in with. That was one way to do that.

WEINMAN But the thing that's interesting about this question is, it really relates to a realization I had when we started talking about these last three shows. What's the set list going to be? Are we going to bring out old members? I was talking to our original singer Dimitri [Minakakis], who's still a great friend of mine, and he was saying: "Man, [DEP] sold out three shows in a good-sized club in 30 seconds. When we first made this music, we couldn't even get a lawyer, because it was so unmarketable and so noisy that nobody saw a business upside in even talking on the phone with us." And he was saying, "Man, I have to say, there isn't a day in my life that I don't feel, like, kinda weird that I'm not up there with you guys. I'm just being honest." I said to him, "You know what? Dillinger Escape Plan is not a person, or a singer, or me." I started realizing. I used to be like, "We just played this amazing set with this crazy music, and everyone was talking about [Greg] pooping." And throughout the years, there were people who were just, like, old-school elitists — "Ben's the dude who started this band!" — and Greg fans who don't even know the history of the band — I'm just Greg's guitar player, you know what I mean?

ULRICH IS PART OF WHY YOU'RE WALKING AWAY FROM THIS BECAUSE YOU CAN'T RELATE TO THOSE TENDENCIES THAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT?

WEINMAN No, it's that I realize now that the Dillinger Escape Plan — like Metallica and Napster — is mythology. It's not a person, or a song we made together, or our first drummer, or this old singer, or a poop in a bag, or our first bass player who's paralyzed, or our second bass player who was shot in the head. We have all these crazy stories in this band, people have heard about all of this stuff. It's all important. All of it is what Dillinger Escape Plan is. It's this entity. None of us are important — the entity is important, the mythology. This thing is this crazy whirlwind that includes that story and this story, and that guy who used to be in it, and this guy, and somehow, we found ourselves hanging out with Lars. That's what Dillinger is. It's not about any one incident, it's not about me starting the band — I don't even care about that. It's this animal ... and we're leaving it that way.

Dillinger 2017 Odom, Stephen Odom
photograph by Stephen Odom

ULRICH WELL, IF THIS TRULY IS THE LAST INTERVIEW, THEN WHAT'S THE LAST THING YOU'RE GOING TO SAY TO AN INTERVIEWER — OTHER THAN "FUCK OFF, WHITE LEATHER JACKET?" NO, I'LL JUST SAY ONE THING. I'LL SAY THANK YOU FOR DOING THIS. THIS IS AWESOME. I FEEL THIS WHOLE NEW RELATIONSHIP WITH YOU GUYS, AND I AM KIND OF FUCKIN' BUMMED THAT WE DIDN'T TOUR TOGETHER. THANK YOU FOR SHARING THIS WITH THE IT'S ELECTRIC! FANS AND THE REVOLVER FANS.

PUCIATO Remember one of the things we were talking about [was] having, like, a "fuck you" attitude and not caring what people expect from you and ... just kind of being young and wanting to fucking tear everything down? ... I think a lot of the motivation earlier on — when we felt like aliens all the time no matter who we played with, or what kinds of bands we were playing with — we had this relationship with our music and our fans, and it made it feel like this kind of cult of people that you can rely on to just be like "fuck off" to other bands, or people who had expectations for you, or pigeonholed you. I feel really happy with the fact that we took that sentiment and built something that still feels that way. When we go and play that last show, there's gonna be 3,000 people at that last show that're all gonna be part of that. Those 3,000 people all share that weirdo, outsider [mindset], and it's nice to have reached that many of that kind of person, because I was that person, Ben was that person — you were that person — who didn't fit in ...

ULRICH THE BEST THING TO KNOW IS YOU'RE NOT ALONE.

PUCIATO Yeah, that's what it comes down to. You find a band, or an artist, or something that makes you not feel alone, that you're not just this oddball or this weirdo. There's another community of people that all feel this way, and that's a wonderful, really cool part of it.

WEINMAN I will say this: I read an interview about somebody who was just talking about this playlist time where people don't know bands, they just know the playlist of a style of music. And the journalist had asked his 12-year-old cousin what bands he liked, and he said, "I don't really know. I like metalcore, but I don't know the bands. I just have playlists. It's the style I listen to — oh, and there's this band, the Dillinger Escape Plan. I really like them." We weren't just one of the playlists. We represented something. We had a sound. We had a vibe. When you heard it, you knew what it was. When you saw it, you knew what it was. The fact that we have a group of people that really identify with this thing as being special and them being special for getting it, and understanding it, is one of the things I'm most proud of.

ULRICH PERFECT. I THINK THOSE ARE THE PERFECT END QUOTES FOR BOTH OF YOU. SO CAN I JUST SAY THANK YOU?

PUCIATO ... and I have to piss, like, right now. We've all gotta piss.

ULRICH OK, THAT'S THE LAST THING YOU'RE GONNA SAY? GO PISS. BUT YOU DON'T HAVE TO SHIT. YOU ALREADY DID THAT AT READING.

PUCIATO I haven't shit since — I've been holding it all in. It was so traumatizing. I've had to answer so many questions about it that I haven't shit since. I'm backed up.

WEINMAN It's just gonna be an explosion.

PUCIATO Our new band is called, uh, Fecal Complex.

ULRICH ALL RIGHT, YOU HEARD IT HERE FIRST. OVER AND OUT: THE NEW THREE-PIECE, COMING TO YOU VERY SOON, RIGHT HERE. SEE YOU LATER.