Longevity is never without its ups and down however and DEP has certainly experienced its fair share; from numerous lineup changes to, most recently, label drama. But thanks to their ever-evolving nature and standout extremism, the band has proven that they really are unstoppable. March saw the release of their fourth full-length studio album, Option Paralysis, which is (arguably, I suppose) their best record to date.
In June, DEP hit the road as part of this year’s Vans Warped Tour and, following their Montreal date, singer Greg Puciato took time to talk about his personal attachment to Option Paralysis, on-stage injuries, and oh so much more.
Q: You’re currently on the Warped Tour, how’s it been treating you so far?
A: It’s been great. Anyone that complains on any tour when they make their living playing rock n’ roll is an asshole, so the only acceptable answer to this question EVER is “great.”
Q: Is there anything that makes Warped better/worse compared to “normal” touring?
A: It’s just different. Better and worse is up to preference I guess, it’s just different. We don’t know what time we play every day until that morning, we have really short sets, and it’s not our tour, not our crowd. Those things are unusual, but I prefer to be a “glass half full” type and say that I dig that it takes us out of our comfort zone in every possible way. That having been said, I’m pretty psyched to get back into clubs [laughs].
Q: When I saw you in Montreal you played one of the earliest sets of the day and still managed to be ridiculously good, but was it hard at all to find that energy and motivation that early in the day?
A: Nah, like I said earlier, we play music for a living. Find the energy? If you have to try to “find” the energy you shouldn’t be doing it anymore. I could wake up in the middle of the night and go the fuck off. That’s how it should be. Actually, that’s pretty much what happens considering I go to sleep at like 7 a.m. I think when plenty of people are out there putting tar on roofs or pouring concrete for a living, “finding” the motivation to rock is pretty easy.
Q: You guys are amazing live, but have you ever pushed yourselves too far, to the point where you were forced to tone things down?
A: Well, on this tour in particular yeah, we’ve had to tone down, but it hasn’t been too much of a problem. We just had to pull back to 70% or so, which I understand. It’s not “our” tour, and someone else doesn’t wanna have to deal with our bullshit if, or when, it gets out of hand. I wouldn’t want to if it wasn’t our band.
Q: Worst injury suffered due to on-stage antics?
A: I’ve had the worst ones, and they all involve my head/face, which sucks. Teeth getting knocked out by guitars, head busted open numerous times from either guitars or falling out of ceilings, just really random things. The worst injuries are the ones over time from just grinding your body down playing like this. I don’t feel it now, but I’m sure one day I will. By then I’ll be a fossil anyway, so I may as well thrash now.
A: Really uncannily smooth. Everything we wanted to do was done with zero resistance, executed pretty flawlessly by everyone involved, and done exactly how we wanted. There was really nothing about this release we could complain about. Sure there are things that could have been better, there always are, but this was pretty smooth in the big picture.
Q: You’ve actually said that Paralysis was one of the toughest albums to write, could you elaborate on that statement?
A: It was the easiest and most organic instrumentally, but really hard lyrically. Mainly due to things I was going through and issues in my personal life at the time, that inevitably colored not just the lyrical content, but my mindset during the writing, which made the whole thing just very difficult. That’s about all I am willing to say really. It made for an album I feel very attached to, and for the most personal lyrics I have ever written, and it allowed me to gain some perspective on some things in my life that I kinda needed to really immerse myself in, and eventually allowed me to get through them and understand what the fuck I was doing.
Q: Are you considering ever releasing anything other than Dillinger on Party Smasher Inc?
A: It’s not a thought at the time, but who knows? Right now though it’s not even something we’re thinking about. Party Smasher is more or less a quality control stamp for things DEP related.
Q: This may come off as cheesy, but Dillinger has certainly seen its fair share of ups and downs, what’s the greatest thing you’ve taken away over the years? – i.e. wisdom you can pass on to other musicians?
A: Don’t do anything you don’t feel comfortable doing, or you feel compromises your integrity. Stay true to yourself and really find the intrinsic value/love in doing this, because if your goals become external, or compensation-based, or related to anything other than really loving this music and this lifestyle, you will be doomed to chase the unattainable forever. Thrash as hard as you can while you can and find a way to love every second of it.
Q: Finish this statement: I’m happiest when …
A: The answer to this varies throughout the day, depending on which side of crazy I’m on.
Q: Now, for the “easy” one word answers…
a. Best city to play in? Baltimore.
b. Must-have item on tour? Water.
c. Favorite word? Fuck – sounds lame, but really it is an amazing word.
d. Favorite drink? Coke Zero with tons of ice.
e. CD or MP3? MP3 for practicality, CDs for sound, Vinyl for cool factor.
f. John Dillinger was... probably not as handsome as Johnny Depp.
g. The Dillinger Escape Plan is… a never-ending inside joke that somehow keeps spreading.
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