Dillinger Escape Plan: Multiple Choice
Following the tour, Dillinger put out feelers for a new drummer and, after countless auditions, chose Rymer. “Billy really forced his way in,” Weinman says. “He shot a video of himself playing some of our stuff and got it into my hands. We had almost selected somebody, but there was something about Billy. He didn’t know as much as the other people, and the parts he played weren’t as ‘right.’ But for some reason we knew he was the guy, so we took the chance and threw him into the fire.”
Rymer had his work cut out for him. Evetts instructed him to hit the drums harder than he’d ever played, and since the band didn’t tweak his performance with ProTools, Rymer had to redo everything that wasn’t precise. “Billy literally had to take two days off because his hands and arms swelled up like balloons,” Weinman says. “He was crying. He’s like, ‘I don’t know if I ever want to play drums again.’ He probably could have done everything in one take and then we could have quantized it, cut and pasted it and we would have been out of there, but it wouldn’t have sounded right and he’s a much better drummer now than when he went in.”
In addition to having a new drummer, Dillinger Escape Plan have a new label. The band fulfilled its Relapse Records contract with Ire Works, and almost immediately, large indie and major labels made enticing offers. In the end, the band signed to the small French indie label Season of Mist, home of Mayhem, Watain and Cynic. The move left some industry folk scratching their heads, but for Dillinger, who have never followed traditional routes, it made sense.
“We’re starting to develop a really good relationship with the French, considering they don’t like Americans,” Weinman jokes. “In general, the French have always supported the arts, and artistic integrity is important to them. Season of Mist came to the table with a scenario that gave us the most freedom. It’s for one album, we finally have control of everything, and we’re able to monetize without compromising. A lot of bands out there are being hit hard by the recession because they got used to having a lot of tour support and royalties and marketing and money. We never had that, so it was never an issue. We were always a band that made money by touring and selling shirts. And now we’re a band that tours and sells shirts and can put stuff out on our own and have total say on what comes out and what doesn’t come out. We’re in a much better position in every way possible.”
Weinman has also turned his efforts toward inventing. He created a wireless transmitter that fits inside his guitar, eliminating the need for dangling hardwire and wires. “I have a patent pending on it right now, so we’ll see what happens,” he says. “But it’s a great device for me, because I throw my guitar around so much. Having the transmitter in there, with absolutely no wires or anything plugged into the guitar, has made a huge difference.”
All things considered, 2010 could be a banner year for Dillinger Escape Plan, provided Weinman can remain healthy enough to stay on the road. “I broke my foot [in September 2007] and couldn’t tour for a while,” he says. “And that was just from an accident that happened during a video shoot. Onstage, anything can happen, especially when you play like we do.”
“The bottom line, is we are real,” Tuttle concludes. “We’re not fake. And with that realness comes a passion that’s sometimes pretty intense. But we’re absolutely not just some degenerates who love destruction. You’re not gonna see us trashing dressing room or hotels, that’s for sure.”