Published Feb 01, 2000New Jersey's Dillinger Escape Plan is unquestionably the razor's edge of creativity in the current hardcore/metal underground. Few bands have reshaped the limits of what extreme music can be to the degree that Dillinger has, redefining genres while establishing their own unique identity in the process. Combining the technicality of the most progressive metal with the rage and energy of hardcore, the band fuses it with a penchant for exploring odd time signatures, jazz excursions and bizarre guitar riff/runs, all the while executing its delivery with a surgical precision that belies its extremity and chaotic nature.
In four years, they've grown beyond their early tours of basements and halls, even taking a stab at reaching beyond their sphere of influence by touring with renowned avant-garde weirdoes turned pop perfectionists Mr. Bungle. Members have appeared in both Guitar Player and Modern Drummer and their next release is being touted as one of the most anticipated releases of the next year.
Then there's the live show, fraught with flailing equipment, strobing lights, convulsing bodies and the occasional fire breather. By sheer talent, it's not surprising how far the Dillinger Escape Plan has come the talent, intensity and ability of guitarists Brian Benoit and Ben Weinman, singer Dimitri Minakakis, drummer Chris Pennie and new bassist William Wilson are undeniable. The astounding feat is that they've come this far in such a short period of time and with just two EPs and a single full-length release, Calculating Infinity.
"If I'm proud of anything, I'm proud of the fact that we've come as far as we have with just one full-length," comments Ben Weinman. "Obviously, it's not music for the masses; we are the exact opposite [of that]. I don't know if I'm proud, surprised or just accepting [of the success], I don't know what I am." Their success has put them in a rather precarious position. Critics and colleagues alike have christened them both the current measuring stick, and the future, of extreme music.
"It's flattering, especially since we were labelled as an offshoot of other bands when we started. We don't take anything for granted and we don't have the attitude that we are going to be some kind of measuring stick and beat other people. We look at our previous work and we try to better it and keep stimulated. We don't try to base our music on other people or bands to come or bands that have been, and maybe that's why it's considered something different, but I'm sure we've had plenty of crappy reviews," Ben laughs. "I think we've always wanted to be one of those bands that you either love or hate. I think that means that you are doing something right."