Lick My Label

The Dillinger Escape Plan Sign with Sumerian Records

Dillinger Escape Plan 2012
Jeff Tuttle has left the band since this photo was taken.

Shortly after we shut down for the Thanksgiving break last week The Dillinger Escape Plan announced some pretty big news via their Facebook page:

The video below is to announce that Sumerian Records is now the official home for our label “Party Smasher Inc.” Look for the new Dillinger Escape Plan release this spring followed by some other exciting projects and releases! Get ready. 2013 belongs to us.

Sumerian is an interesting choice for Dillinger.

At first, it seems like a strange pairing: Dillinger easily become the oldest artists on Sumerian (both in terms of age of the bandmembers and number of albums released) and their brand of metal doesn’t come close to sounding like any other band on the label (the way it did at one of the band’s former labels, Relapse). On the other hand, Dillinger were probably a direct influence on nearly all of those bands (even Asking Alexandria whether that band knows it or not!), and it wouldn’t be that much of a stretch at all to see them out on tour with, for example, The Faceless and Born of Osiris. Such a tour would probably alienate some of Dillinger’s older, dyed-in-the-wool fans, but so be it… band’s gotta move on. The truth is that Dillinger could probably use a fresh infusion of new, young metal fans via younger touring partners, and the alliance with Sumerian all but ensures they’ll be placed on Ash Avildsen-powered touring machines like Summer Slaughter. Those are some big strategic benefits for Dillinger. Sumerian in particular is uniquely positioned to market the band to a new generation of metalheads.

From Sumerian’s standpoint, Dillinger are one of the biggest bands in metal; what label wouldn’t want to sign Dillinger? The band presents Sumerian with a huge opportunity to a) make money, and b) re-establish itself with the label’s wavering fanbase that may feel disillusioned by Asking Alexandria, I See Stars and the like.

Then of course there’s the money stuff. That the band’s own label Party Smasher Inc. made its way into the Sumerian announcement would seem to indicate that this is a licensing deal, not a typical record label contract. This would mean that Dillinger have a bit more artistic freedom — they turn in the finished product on their own rather than being subject to label artistic input — they’d get to keep a bigger piece of the pie, and the deal term is probably shorter (their prior contract with Season of Mist was a licensing deal and only lasted one album), all financial terms that are favorable for Dillinger. Either way, I’m sure they were offered a helluva lot of money for this deal… I’d imagine every major metal label was interested.

So what seems like an odd pairing on first glance ends up looking like a pretty good match. But when all is said and done, does it even matter? New Dillinger is coming! Soon, too. Watch the video below, in which “Spring 2013” is teased as a new album release date.

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