home    news/reviews    editorials    new talent     interviews     randumb videos     discussion board     info/contact
 
     
 


DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN
members present:
Ben Weinman

conducted on:
September 2002
by: Stephen Bronner
extras:
official website
shout-out to PZO





 
 

PZO: Whatís your favorite line from one of your songs?
Ben: Uhh, thatís a tough one. I donít know, thatís a good question. I like, let me think, youíre making me think. Most questions I donít have to think, itís the same ones everyday.
PZO: Well we create new questions, we donít like asking -
Ben: Thatís cool.
PZO: Like who youíre influences are.
Ben: Yeah.
PZO: Iím sure youíre sick of that one.
Ben: Yeah Iím totally. I think I like a line from one of our songs ďIs it less of more or more of less.Ē Which represents a lot of what was going on in the time of when that song was written. But I think you can represent a lot of things, aspects of life.

PZO: Whatís a lyric in one of your songs that often misunderstood?
Ben: Actually thereís a part in one of our songs called Jim Fear where it goes ďHave you finishedĒ and for some reason more than one person has come up to me and thought it was fuck you faggot. <Laughs> Somehow I guess the way it was like articulated, but that was definitely literally misunderstood.

PZO: What has been your biggest decision in the past year?
Ben: The biggest decision in the past year. Probably our vocalist, our new vocalist signing on our new singer. Thatís definitely a big step. Certainly a singer kinda represents the band as a whole and front person of the whole thing. So like going through a vocalist change and deciding it would be best and everything. That was a huge decision.

PZO: What was your favorite Halloween costume when you were a kid?
Ben: Umm, when I was kid letís see. Trying to think, I was like weird shit. Letís get back to that, going blank on what I was.

PZO: What was the worst thing youíve done and gotten away with?
Ben: Oh man. I used to rob churches.
PZO: Damn.
Ben: Yeah me and my friend would like go and you could just kinda walk in churches all the time. And like go to the auditorium and then put a stick in the door. And then come back three in the morning and take the whole PA system. And like rock out in our basement with stacks of things. That was like, not proud of it.
PZO: Never got caught?
Ben: Never got caught. We were the church bandits. We were like in the newspaper and stuff. Probably should say that but that was so long ago, I was a stupid kid. <Laughs>

PZO: What has been your worst job and why?
Ben: Worst job, umm. Probably honestly the worst, I mean Iíve been in different kinds of jobs and things like that. But the worst one is probably just a retail job. Just umm, I worked in a record store and dealing with people was just so hard you know. Having to like, you know the boss wants you to ask if they need any help like five hundred times to the point where they just want to kill you. Dudes are just like ďWhat what you think Iím stealing or something?Ē You know the boss just makes you go up and people just like complain and things are out of your hand. You know like dealing with people in something that you have no heart and donít care about and itís not your business, itís like you really donít care at all. Having to actually put on this front is the worst thing ever. So I think that dealing with retail and sales and things like that when itís not your thing is the worst thing. You can be working in a shit plant, none of that stuff talks to you, just smells bad. Like people are the disgusting thing youíll ever have to work with.

PZO: Knowing the fact that the average fan has a small attention span, do you have a certain strategy for keeping your music interesting?
Ben: Well I mean, I think that umm our strategy. I think we try to become this whole package you know what I mean; we try to put 100% into everything we do. So if somebody canít find something special in one part of it they can find something special in another part of it. Whether itís the live show or like the attitude or the aggression or the technicality or maybe whatever it is. We just try to be a well-rounded unit. So we donít really have a strategy specifically because to keep peopleís attention. Itís like we kinda try to write music for ourselves and what we would like and we never thought anyone would pay attention to it to begin with it anyway. So we kinda just been doing what weíve been doing we figured if it become broke donít fix it. We really donít know what the strategy is, sometimes we just do it keep it going you know.
PZO: Thatís the way it is.

PZO: What aspect of the music business would you like to change?
Ben: I think the one thing Iíd like to change is the fact that, thereís some many things itís so hard you know what I mean. But I think the one thing about the music business is that thereís no, in a field thatís supposed to be based around an art, itís really nothing artistic about the business at all, thereís no consideration for that. And itís really such a slimy thing. The fact is thereís really no choice, and the fact is itís like a big forest. Itís like if something gets out there thatís out of the ordinary, itís just like a mistake. And then every now and again theyíll catch onto it and go for it, because no one in the music business will go searching for anything different or special. Theyíre just looking for a formula that already works and thatís what the problem with all music now is. Theyíre just continuing to grab the formula that they know works, go with it, and that provides no choice for the music listener. Unless thereís someone who wants to search for something, you know most kids donít have an older brother who listens to cool music. Some do and go out and learn about new bands. Whatís basically given to you as a music listener from like TV and radio and whatever. Itís very, thereís like 10 videos and they just recycle.
PZO: Got to get tired of that.
Ben: Itís the same band or artist gets new single out then it gets in and one comes off and it just keeps recycling. Thereís hundreds and thousands and trillions of bands out there. So the fact is thereís just no choice because of the music business continues to recycle what they know already works instead of looking for something new or different.

PZO: Is there a band out there that you wish would call it quits?
Ben: Again, so many.
PZO: Got a top one?
Ben: Puddle of Mudd is pretty bad; we just played with them in Europe at a couple of festivals. Itís like three corpses up there strumming chords, like trying to be Nirvana. Not really getting there, not getting what made Nirvana. No idea you know, but yeah thatís pretty bad. Mobyís not so great either, heard heís a nice guy and all.
PZO: Smart supposedly.
Ben: Smart guy whoís got some roots in some really cool underground stuff. Came from the underground, came from punk rock but I think the music, itís just one big car commercial now. Not so much quality in there.

PZO: As a band is there anything youíd like to improve on?
Ben: Totally. A lot of thing you know. One thing is, itís kinda hard because itís usually one or two people doing everything. So thereís always things left behind, canít be covered and stuff like that. I think itís improving, I guess I would like if we spend so more time on the creative process. Weíve done so much just touring and changing members, and doing those kinds of things the past couple of years that we havenít had as much time to stay on the creative aspect of the band. We havenít produced a whole lot of music, but again, a lot of that has to do with us being picky about what we do and not saying we have two weeks left letís write a record you know. <Laughs> It doesnít really work that way, but Iíd like to put a little more time in that which weíre about to do.

PZO: What do you think your best qualities are?
Ben: Umm, my handle bar moustache. As a band, I think our best qualities are weíre really competitive with ourselves; we always want to push ourselves to the limit, and take what weíve done already and push it farther. I think thatís really good cause a lot of other people are just competitive with other people and thatís kinda unhealthy. Thatís not healthy competition. Itís not like inspiration from other people; itís like being pissed that they have something that person doesnít have and wanting it.
PZO: Jealousy.
Ben: Jealousy and I think; we know thereís some many bands that have so much more than us who do so much less work. And if we spend time being jealous of that we wouldnít be productive. So instead weíre just competitive with ourselves and try to beat what weíve already done and accomplished whether goals, accomplishments, or music or whatever you know.

PZO: What event in your life had the greatest impact on you?
Ben: I know that everything that makes me is an accommodation of tons of events that just shape me for what I am, a whole bunch of things that made an impression on me you know. Everything from like seeing my first concert and being like whoa this is what I want to do you know what I mean. I want to play music.
PZO: What was your first concert?
Ben: Journey actually was my first concert. And then my first underground or club show was probably something like Cannibal Corpse or something. All those things had an impact on me in one way. It just turned out and everything kinda combined. But I think my first concert experience had probably one of the biggest impacts on me.

PZO: If you could change anything that you did in the past what would it be?
Ben: Umm Iím pretty happy with the path Iíve chosen. There are little things I regret obviously here and there but like robbing churches probably wasnít a good idea. <Laughs> Thereís that girl in SwitzerlandÖ<Laughs> I probably regret not taking music seriously at a earlier age cause I know Iíll be a lot farther in what I want to do and have a lot more resources to what I want to do instead of being the age I am and doing what Iím doing. I really wish I took music more seriously at a much earlier age. I kinda just play guitar and whatever had it in my closet, didnít take it very seriously until I started jamming with a couple of guys later on in high school. So yeah I definitely regret that cause I think Iíd be a lot further and a lot closer to where I want to be.

PZO: Are there any fairly unknown bands that you think people should check out?
Ben: Yeah actually thereís this band Iím working with called Your Enemies Friends from California. <Phone rings> Itís a band that Iím managing with my friend Tom, you met him. And Iím just really excited about them. Theyíre like really interesting, rock industrial thing and Iím pretty excited about them and theyíre kinda a new band but I think people will hear a lot about them soon, theyíre doing really well.
PZO: They have a website?
Ben: Yep, www.yourenemiesfriends.com actually just went up and I think they have the right attitude towards music. There arenít a whole lot of new bands out there that are exciting right now. But thereís been tons that have been great that no one really knew about, unfortunately in the past thatís just like even a band thereís a band Cynic that had a huge influence on us that had one record out that no one ever heard of. Thereís small bands, Cult Life influenced us, and thereís a lot of bands in the past I think have done really cool things that unless people really really searched for that special music no one really heard about. But right now thereís not a lot of new exciting things going on I donít think.
PZO: Not popular at least.
Ben: Yeah.

PZO: Do you have any guilty pleasures, as far as musical tastes go?
Ben: Yeah, totally. Totally listen to a lot of pop music like NíSync and Britney Spears and stuff. Totally rock that stuff sometimes. And like all the pop, hip-hop stuff like Jay-Z and all that and like <tape stops> so that a lot of people would consider it something not to preach youíre into. Hooks, thatís a guilty pleasure <Laughs>.


PZO: What has been the most shocking moment in rock and roll history to you?
Ben: When the singer of Mudvayne died, nah just kidding <laughs>. I think it was pretty crazy when Kurt Cobain shot himself. Nirvana was basically the start of a new era of rock. Where guitars were cool again.
PZO: Got rid of the heavy metal crap.
Ben: Yeah, I mean there wasnít anything I mean Nirvana and all started the whole new grudge thing which a lot people now a lot of people at the time it got over saturated and people thought it was cheesy and all that stuff. I think a lot of people are starting to appreciate it again now, again over saturation of just crap. And I think itís pretty crazy he was a dude who just never really, just rocked played music, and never expected to become such an icon. I think the people in Nirvana say ďWeíre just a garage band, we are not the Beatles.Ē They made such an impact on music, and to this day you hear people in the popular music scene and the industry saying weíre waiting for the next Nirvana. The fact is not just some band that sounds like Nirvana like a band that changed things. Like what was acceptable in popular music, like noise, and screaming, and distortion, and hard-hitting loud drums. It became something thatís a popular music. So I think when he shot himself it was pretty crazy.

PZO: Got any bad jokes you want to share?
Ben: Does it have to be a bad joke or could it be a good joke?
PZO: Yeah.
Ben: This guy he couldnít give his wife an orgasm so he went to the doctor and he said what you have to do is have sex with your wife while a handsome young man waves a towel over you guys. So he tries it, doesnít work so he goes back and he says alright have the young guy have sex with your wife and you wave the towel. He says okay and the guy has sex with the wife and she has this amazing orgasm, totally into it. Then he says alright, thatís how you wave a towel. Get it?
PZO: No.
Ben: He thought it was his towel waving that gave her the orgasm not the fact that she was with the young guy. See thatís bad.
PZO: Yeah thatís pretty bad.
Ben: See there you go, bad joke.
PZO: Alright, last one.

PZO: What question would you like to be asked in an interview?
Ben: Where do we send the money? <Laughs> What P.O. can we send you checks? I donít know, I just appreciate when someoneís a little more creative with their questions like youíve been, you know.
PZO: Cool.
Ben: Cause thereís nothing worse than answering the same questions over and over again. And youíve managed not to ask me typical questions so thatís really appreciated.




 
 
back to interviews