Raymond Westland of Ghost Cult recently conducted an interview with guitarist/co-founder Ben Weinman of the New Jersey-based “mathcore” act THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Ghost Cult: “One Of Us Is The Killer” seems rather more song- and groove-orientated than your usual fare, certainly compared to older THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN material. What’s your opinion on this?
Weinman: Maybe you’re right about that. This time we wanted to write material that we’re not comfortable with. It had be to be a challenge in order to keep things fresh and interesting for us. We used rhythms that are not natural for us, but at the same time the material sounded surprisingly groovy, like you said.
Ghost Cult: What’s the general theme of “One Of Us Is The Killer”?
Weinman: “One Of Us Is The Killer” is more or less a concept album, because all the music and lyrics come from pretty much the same place this time around. A lot of the theme has do with how, as you get older you stop pointing your finger at everyone else for your frustrations and difficulties and you start looking more inward, realizing that you’re responsible for your own happiness and relationships in this world. That’s the central theme that most of the songs and the lyrics revolve around.
Ghost Cult: The new THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN record is the second release on Party Smasher Inc., your own imprint. What triggered you guys to go completely independent?
Weinman: We wanted to down our own thing, really. One thing I’ve learned in the music industry is that there’s no right or wrong way of doing this, especially considering the shape it is in now. Compared to the old days, there are way more avenues to distribute your music, and it started making us think about new possibilities without being tied a record label telling us what is right or what is wrong. It’s been a very interesting ride so far and we’re working with many different partners all over the world. In Europe, we work with BMG, and it’s kind of funny to actually go their office to hire them to do stuff for you instead of the other way around. It gives a whole new perspective on things. [laughs]
Ghost Cult: So what did you learn along the way business-wise?
Weinman: It’s very rewarding to keep your finger in every detail of the entire process, but at the same time, you have to have a keen sense of what your strengths and weaknesses are. One thing I’ve learned is that time spent being creative is more rewarding than time spent doing secretary work. [laughs] Over the years, I was the guy who did almost everything in terms of running the band; from printing flyers and telling people to come to our show to renting buses and booking plane tickets, pretty much every aspect of the business. For me, it was very beneficial to hire someone who could take care of that, so that I can concentrate on what I’m best at, namely being a musician.
Read the entire interview from Ghost Cult.