THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN’S JEFF TUTTLE: THE METALSUCKS INTERVIEW
We love The Dillinger Escape Plan… and how could we not? Their live shows are among the wildest, most energetic and memorable today. Their discography both defines and defies mathy hardcore, throwing us for a loop yet again with their tight, ferocious new record Option Paralysis. So even though Axl had a chance to talk to some of the members right when the album dropped in March, I couldn’t pass up the chance to interview someone who wasn’t part of that chat: guitarist Jeff Tuttle. During the band’s Long Island, NY stop on this summer’s Warped Tour, I sat down with on a bench in a shaded area on the grounds of Nassau Coliseum to ask Jeff the Million Dollar Question: why the hell are The Dillinger Escape Plan playing Warped Tour???
I wanted to ask you some questions specifically related to you being here on Warped Tour. I know you guys have played it before, but I’m still kind of confused. Given all the different options you have for summer tours why you’d choose Warped Tour in particular?
You know what, man? Warped Tour has been around for fifteen years now, and I think it’s one of the few American summer festivals that continues to grow. Dillinger has really stayed true to our punk rock roots. As far as the punk rock ethic goes, I can’t think of a music festival that stays true to that more than Warped Tour. It’s like a family bonding with all the bands. All the bands are treated equal. A lot of people assume that the bigger bands are always going to get the best set times and stuff, but it’s a rotating schedule every single day. You don’t find out what time you play until the morning, which sucks.
[laughs] Waking up at 11 and find out that you’re playing at 12. Ouch!
Every band gets the same exact set time. We eat the same food. We all have to wait on the same lines. We all get to not shower equally. [laughs] So it’s great. Warped Tour generally attracts a younger audience, so we really took this opportunity to stick ourselves in the faces of the young generation again. We always try to tend to look at the entire rainbow of fans. We don’t want to neglect anybody. We want to give an opportunity for a lot of the younger people who may have heard about us but never really got a chance to see us or heard about us or didn’t want to see us – we’re going to force you to watch us now.
How has the response been from the crowd to the set?
It’s definitely been an uphill battle — which is good. We tend to thrive in those types of situations, but we’ve been doing meet and greets after every show and the response to that has been great. A lot of people have been coming up saying “I never heard of you guys. That was amazing,” or “I’ve been hearing the name for so long, and it’s great to finally see it.” So it’s been good, man. I think the reason we’re here is working.
I’m a big fan of the new album. It’s really fucking great. Now that it’s been out for a few months, and you’ve been on the road touring it, what’s your impression of the record? Are you guys satisfied with how it came out and how it’s working live?
We’re really satisfied. Right now at this point in different stages of touring for the record, we’ve already done six songs off of it. So it’s good. The album being as eclectic as it is, it’s really awesome to be able to do something like Warped Tour and say “Let’s cater the set and do fucking bashers.” Just all insane bashers and get into these kids faces. On the other hand, we just came back from Europe and we’re like “Let’s play a bunch of the mellow shit” because European fans are a little bit more receptive when you try to change it up a bit. Actually on the first day of this tour, we played a song called “Mouth of Ghosts.” It’s actually from Ire Works. We played it and got the blankest stares from these kids. They were just like “Pianos? They’re jamming? What the hell is happening?”
And everybody slowly started leaving. We were like “Ookay… fuck that. We’re going to do what we want. We’re going to play the songs that we want.” [Then], we were like “That clearly did not work the way we planned.” So with Option Paralysis, it’s great to be able to pick songs from that record and build a set. For the next tour that we do, [we’ll] pick another set of songs. So it’s cool. That album really helps define even further what we stand for.
One of the neat parts of your sets is an eclectic selection of cover songs that you guys throw into the mix. When I saw you at Webster Hall there was a Nine Inch Nails one. You guys do Living Colour, Tears for Fears, you’re all over the place. How do you guys come up with this?
I don’t know. I honestly…
How do you agree on these songs?
We come from all different types of musical backgrounds. A lot of times, someone will just jokingly suggest something and want to cover that. Everyone would be like “You know what? I actually love that song and that would be really cool.” Unfortunately, because we don’t always pick the most obvious cover songs, a lot of times they don’t really go over so well. The Tears for Fears song was a legendary flop in the Dillinger history. We all loved playing it. It did alright in Europe, but we tried playing it here a few times. I don’t even know if people realized it was a cover song half the time. Unfortunately we’re not doing any covers on the Warped Tour. We didn’t have time to learn a new one. Expect the unexpected when we pull out another one.
What’s your plan post Warped?
After Warped Tour we’re taking a little break. We’ve been at it pretty hard since February. We’re taking a month off and then we’re heading back to Europe for two months. We’ll break for the holiday and then do another two months in the States.
The Dillinger Escape Plan’s new album Option Paralysis is out now.