By MIKE CHAIKEN
When it comes to The Dillinger Escape Plan, the key words are expect the unexpected.
And that’s what faces the fans of the band when its latest album, “One of Us Is The Killer” comes out on May 14.
The band headlines Toad’s Place in New Haven on April 28.
Calling from New Jersey, the band’s co-founder/ guitarist Ben Weinman was asked what the band was doing differently for the new album compared to previous efforts.
Essentially everything, explained Weinman, who is joined in the band by vocalist Greg Puciato, bassist Liam Wilson, and drummer Billy Rymer.
When it came to writing songs for the new album, Ben said he consciously tried to avoid repeating himself. For this album, if something he was writing started to sound familiar, he would work to change things up to make it new and different from anything he had done before.
As for what the audience will think of “One of Us Is the Killer,” Ben said that question never really enters into the band’s equation. It’s not that The Dillinger Escape Plan doesn’t care about it’s fans and what they think. It’s just that they don’t write to meet the expectations of the fans.
“At the time we started,” said Ben, “there were no fans or expectations.” Instead, The Dillinger Escape Plan was about creating music that its members found artistically fulfilling.
The band was not founded on the idea of trying to make it, said Ben. In fact, by the time, The Dillinger Escape Plan was founded, the individual members essentially gave up on trying to make it big.
And that turned out to be the missing element, explained Ben. Once the members of The Dillinger Escape Plan started worrying more about being honest and true to themselves, their career started finding traction with fans.
Another thing done differently on “One of Us Is the Killer” also added to the music change-up. Some of the album was recorded at his own home studio. That allowed him to strike while the creative iron was hot.
“The big part of the band is taking advantage of happy accidents,” said Ben.
Just as fans shouldn’t expect the predictable from The Dillinger Escape Plan on record, Ben said the fans shouldn’t expect the predictable when the band hits the stage.
This is due in part to the band’s roots in the underground where being unpredictable was a foregone conclusion.
As for what inspired the songwriting on “One of Us Is the Killer,” Ben said it’s a difficult question for him to answer. When he’s close to the record, having just completed the process of wrapping up the record, he said he can’t really see what the inspirations were and what part of his life were driving the songwriting.
“You focus on details,” said Ben of the songwriting process and recording. “It’s hard to step back and look at the big picture.”
However, with the perspective of time, when months have passed, Ben said he starts to see the big picture of what was going through his mind at the time he was writing.
On May 2, the band will get a chance to perform at Revolver’s Golden Gods Awards with Metallica.
“It’s a surprise whenever we get asked to do these things,” said Ben. “It’s insane for us to be under the same roof as someone like Metallica.”
“We’re just happy to be a part of it,” said Ben of the opportunity to perform on the awards and be there with their musical heroes, like Metallica. “Maybe we are doing something right.”
After the New Haven date, Ben said the band has 200 dates lined up to promote the new album. The band has plans for festivals, Europe, the rest of America, Japan, South America, and so on.
“We’re preparing to start that touring beast,” said Ben.
The Dillinger Escape Plan performs at Toad’s Place, 300 York St., New Haven on Sunday, April 28. Doors open at 7 p.m. The Faceless, Royal Thunder, and Xenosis open. Tickets are $18 in advance and $20 at the door.
For more information, go to ToadsPlace.com or DillingerEscapePlan.org
By MIKE CHAIKEN