’68 with Grenadiers, Pagan + Crusch Northcote Social Club, Melbourne 21 July, 2017 It just …
20 years, 240 months, 73,005 days. It’s a long time no matter how you put it. And even longer if you’re a member of The Dillinger Escape Plan, who have spent that majority of that time cheating death and putting their bodies on the line for their art. Now, the pioneers of contemporary art-metal have decided to call it a day.
The end of an era for a band that will not soon be forgotten by their lovers and their loathers. In a eulogy for The Dillinger Escape Plan, we decided to look back at ten of the most defining moments of the last two decades that have housed the bands career.
1. Greg Puciato shits in a bag at Reading Festival
Shortly after joining the band, Dillinger lead vocalist proceeded to defecate on stage at the UK’s Redding Festival in 2002 when they were the opening band on the main stage. He is alleged to have placed his droppings into a small towel and thrown the bag into the pit, not without then retrieving it from the crowd only to smear some of the mess on himself first, proclaiming “This is a bag of shit, I just wanted to show you this so you’ll recognise it later on throughout the day” in reference to his feelings toward many of the other bands billed on the festival that year. Puciato played the remainder of the set covered in shit, gagging into the microphone. This nearly had the band deported from the United Kingdom and banned from Redding, however they were invited back to play in 2016 and Puciato instead opted to open the set sitting on a couch reading the newspaper and drinking tea through opener Prancer.
2.The Presidency of Barack Obama
On the 20th of January 2009, Barack Hussain Obama II swore an oath on two bibles and became the 44th President of the United States of America. Obama was the first African-American man to take over office, and subsequently the man who took the job out of the hands of George W. Bush who was, well, a fucking tyrant really. The former President was responsible for the implementation of ObamaCare, ending George Bush’s catastrophic wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, he supported same-sex marriage, and he signed the Paris agreement to help reduce emissions and battle climate change. He was a working man’s hero and a President for the people that looked to the future and gave a voice to communities with no voice. Now America has Donald Trump. You’re fired!
It may seem strange to think about, but there was once a time when searching for videos of girls crying about how much they love cats, people hurting themselves in a variety of entertaining ways and Britney Spears fans telling us to leave her alone was a relatively impossible feat. But in 2005, seven years into The Dillinger Escape Plan’s career, we saw the launch of YouTube. A video streaming and sharing site that would eventually become the catalyst for procrastinating on your uni assignments, staying in on a Friday night drinking wine alone rather than seeing your friends, and another reason not to actually talk to people at social events – “Oh my god! You need to see this video of this dog that can speak like a human”. YouTube also paved the way for a new form of digital video journalling called Vlogging where people make 200 times the amount of money sitting around talking about some free facial cleanser they got asked to promote, then they would write a dumb top ten list for a music publication.
4. Calculating Infinity
The album that started it all for The Dillinger Escape Plan in 1999, and to this day many still believe it is the best and only good Dillinger record, as it is the only album to feature original vocalist Dimitri Minakakis. The album includes live staples that still show face during the band’s live sets such as 43% Burnt and Sugar Coated Sour and title track Calculating Infinity. It is a raw, intricate and utterly chaotic combustion in 10 short, sharp bursts and whether the band realised the how much the doors they opened on this album would change metal music forever can only be speculated. Mike Patton loves this record a lot too; that’s pretty special, right?
5. We survived the end of the world at least 46 times
Wikipedia will tell you that in the time The Dillinger Escape Plan have existed, there have been at least 46 instances, according to various religions and cults, where the four horsemen of the apocalypse were knocking at our door. Thankfully, in modern society humans are terrified of answering our doors and we didn’t let them inside. We have successfully avoided natural disasters, nuclear war (for now), supernatural forces, otherworldly and occult beings, giant asteroids and a plethora of other occurrences that were tipped to bring about doomsday, and we should all be incredibly proud of ourselves. Oh, and on a side note, good job at beating that Y2K bug too. With all of this in mind, it’s only a matter of time…
6. Harry Potter
Author JK Rowling is kind of like to literature what The Dillinger Escape Plan are to heavy metal if you really think about it.
7. When they changed the flavour of Barbecue flavoured Shapes, but then brought the old flavour back again
Back on our home shores now, and few things in Australian culture have outraged the public as much when in 2016, biscuit company Arnott’s decided to change the flavouring found on top of the barbecue flavoured Shapes savoury biscuit. The original topping, a tasty, chunky green and red barbecue herb seasoning was replaced with a weird powder that honestly made them taste like the cheap ones your mother would buy from the $2 shop a few days off the best before date and pass off as the same thing. The negative response from the public on social media and opinion articles was so strong that Arnott’s were forced to re-release the much loved, classic flavour. This was probably the greatest market ploy by an Australian biscuit company in the history of Australian biscuits. Heaps more things happened in the news that week and no one can remember any of it.
8. The Golden Guitar Awards
The Dillinger Escape Plan set fire (literally) to the Golden Guitar awards during a three song appearance at the event in 2013. The band left the stage covered in blood, broken gear and burns after igniting drummer Billy Rymer’s kit in flames during a cover of Depeche Mode’s Behind The Wheel. Deftones frontman Chino Moreno had joined the band on stage for the interpretation of the song, but can be seen hastily exiting the stage at the sight of fire. Can you blame him?
9. The Face Transplant
In 2005, a French lady by the name of Isabelle Dinoire was mauled by a dog, sustaining severe and irreparable damage to her face. In a feat of medical wonder, and only ever contemplated in our dreams and in films starring John Travolta and Nicholas Cage, facial tissue removed from a brain-dead organ donor was grafted onto Dinoire’s face, and she became the recipient of the worlds first partial face transplant. A small number of these procedures and in 2010, a Spanish shooting victim underwent the first full facial transplant, which included tear ducts and eyelids. THEY PUT A FACE ON ANOTHER PERSON’S FACE! A fantastic sign of the advancements and achievements in science throughout The Dillinger Escape Plan’s career.
10. Miss Machine
The piece du resistance. The masterwork. The one they’ll talk about forever. Converge have their Jane Doe, Bon Jovi have their Slippery When Wet, and the Dillinger Escape Plan have their Miss Machine was the first Dillinger Escape Plan album with Puciato on vocals, and the defining record that set a trend for the band defying critical expectations. Still one of the most heavy, intense and artistic metal records ever conceived, but also an album that replaces much of the youthful angst of Calculating Infinity with the bands now trademark weirdness and experimentation with jazz and industrial electronica. Miss Machine is, as the name suggests, a well-oiled contraption of destruction built with perfectly timed cogs and mechanisms. This was an album that could have just as easily been confused for a textbook on astro-physics. People were confused and scared of it, but apparently couldn’t get enough of it, with 12,000 copies sold in its first week of release through Relapse Records. Miss Machine propelled Dillinger to new heights, finding them ripped out of the clubs and placed on tours with top tier calibre bands of the time ala Slipknot and System of a Down. Metal was to never be the same again.