We were able to catch DEP’s bassist, Liam Wilson, nursing a “bang-over” before they brutalize the crowd on Spring Garden with an early show tonight. It’s in honor boxes and online right now, too:
With their fourth LP, 2010’s Option Paralysis, the Dillinger Escape Plan cemented themselves in an elite class of metal monsters. With company like Mastodon, Isis, Converge and the Deftones, DEP is chugging along as one of the most brutal and towering titans of that magical mixture of metal, punk, thrash and noise. Their fifth, One of Us Is the Killer, is due in a few weeks, and boy, are we excited about it. Little known secret: They’re pretty local. The band was formed in Morris Plains, N.J., but collects its members from around the country, and DEP’s bassist, Liam Wilson, calls Philadelphia home. We snagged some time from him before the tour really starts gaining momentum and careens through Philadelphia’s Union Transfer on the 26th.
PW: Liam! Where are you? The tour kicks off in Massachusetts on the 20th? Is that right?
Wilson: At this very moment, I’m sitting on the parked bus somewhere in the suburbs of New Jersey. Last night was the first of six weeks of shows, and our first show in about six months. We’ve got a day off to rest our necks from all the cathartic head-banging and body thrashing abuse (aka our “bang-overs”) before we roll through Lancaster, Pa., tomorrow.
What can be expected from this new one? One of Us is the Killer—what a title! Can you expand on the meaning of the title a little?
Fans can expect a more twisted, yet fully focused dose of Dillinger. There’s an unhinged vibe to this one. The attitude has a certain rawness I don’t think we’ve been able to fully articulate until now. I don’t think we’ve ever all been on the same page as much as we are now regarding how all things related to how this band should sound, feel and look—from the music to the artwork, videos, etc. The title comes from a lyric from what became the title track and is a response to co-dependent relationships.
While there’ve been a handful of former members, you, Ben (Weinman) and Greg (Puciato) have been together for more than a decade. Do you feel a certain level of communion with your bandmates? How’s it been with Billy Rymer drumming?
I think the reality of how long the three of us have been “in a relationship”—and how complicated—it is, really hit us while we were writing and recording this one. In some ways, we’ve all taken different personal paths and become more individualistic as people during the last record cycle, and those individual adventures have given us new outlooks on our places in this band and the band’s place in our lives. When we record, those respective lanes intersect in undeniably profound ways, and now that the record is done, and we can all reflect back on the product of those journeys, it’s obvious how special and unique our chemistry truly is. That said, Billy is our secret weapon, so that’s all I’m at liberty to reveal about him.
I saw that video on the DEP homepage in Australia of a table floating around the crowd and Greg climbing on it. Damn. I knew a show like yours’d be intense, but do you expect that kind of energy at UT? That’d be nuts.
I think the ceiling for most other bands is what we consider our floor when it comes to live performances. That’s where the spirit of the music truly comes alive and possesses us, and that’s when the whole thing comes into focus and justifies itself. Unlike a lot of our peers who are showing their age, I feel like our performances are getting more intense and unpredictable as the years wear on, with our old fans suspending their disbelief of what they’ve always thought we were and expected us to be colliding with a new generation of fans reacting to something we’re positive they’ve never seen before at the high-level that we’re delivering it.
Doors at 5:30pm, show starts at 6:00pm. With the Faceless + Royal Thunder. Union Transfer, 1026 Spring Garden St. utphilly.com