It has been over ten years since mathcore pioneers Dillinger Escape Plan released their debut album, Calculating Infinity, which defined a new style of hardcore metal using unusual time signatures and disjointed chord progressions. Since then they have released two full length LP's and several EP's on Relapse and Epitaph Records. With their upcoming release of OPTION PARALYSIS we had the opportunity to sit down and talk to guitarist Jeff Tuttle of Dillinger Escape Plan.
So you guys decided this time around to tour smaller cities and venues across the USA? How has the experience been so far?
- It's been great so far. We always seem to thrive in smaller environments. There is nothing like being elbow to elbow with your fans. I would rather play in a smaller venue like that over one with a tall stage with a 5 ft. barrier any day.
Dillinger Escape Plan has been around for over 10 years and has gone through several lineup changes. Ire Works was released 2 years ago. What could your fans expect on your upcoming album Option Paralysis?
- At this point, the only thing our fans can expect is the unexpected. When you operate as we have you are afforded the luxury of being able to try different things and challenge your listeners in ways that other bands cannot. We have developed this ability to experiment with so many different influences and styles and do so without the backlash that many others would receive. That being said, Option Paralysis will continue to push outward in both the chaotic and the melodic directions and should prove to be our greatest effort yet.
This will also be your first album to be released on your own label Party Smashers Inc. How did the label come about and do you have any plans to sign other artists to the label?
- The album is actually released on 'Season Of Mist' records with the Party Smashers Inc. imprint also featured. For now, it's just a name. Hopefully in the future we can use the imprint to release different artists and side projects that we are involved with. Only time will tell.
You seem to use a lot of pedals in your live performances. I was happy to see some Electro-Harmonix gear on your board. How many Electro-Harmonix pedals do you own and which ones do you tend to use the most? Which of our new pedals would work best for you?
- I've really become an effects junky. I just had a new board made by Trailer Trash pedal boards and it features the Small Stone and the Holy Grail. Those two pedals are my favorites that Electro-Harmonix offers. Aside from those, I have a Small Clone, a POG, and the classic Big Muff, but those stay at home for my demo recordings. I'm honestly not that familiar with the newer Electro-Harmonix because, when it comes to pedals, I tend to act like a kid in a candy store. If I read about some new effect I have to have it!
Your guitar playing could be categorized as Math Rock. Did any particular artists or bands influence your style of playing? When did you pick up your first guitar?
- I was 12 when I first began playing guitar. From then on I have drawn influences from everybody from Jim Martin (Faith No More) to John Mclaughlin (Mahavishnu Orchestera) to Jimi Hendrix to Eddie Van Halen. I was fortunate enough to grow up in a house that always had great music playing and I absorbed as much as I could. I like to think that my influences peek out when the time is appropriate, but emulation is never something I aspire to. There are plenty of people who copy what some else has done. It's quite another thing to take music in an entirely new direction.
I remember when I was 14 I heard my friend play the Digitech Grunge pedal and thought to myself "I need this now". My brother ended up buying a Russian Green Big Muff for himself, which I ended up stealing every opportunity I had. Do you have any similar experiences?
- The first pedal I bought was the DOD Thrashmaster. I thought it sounded amazing!! Those were my humble beginnings. From then on it has been a slow process of trading and slowly upgrading my gear, which continues to this day. Music gear is really the bane of my existence.
You have been in several bands such as Capture the Flag and Heads Will Roll. How did you end up playing with Dillinger Escape Plan?
-A friend of mine was a tech for Dillinger for a couple years. He knew that they were going to need a new guitarist a bit down the road and he convinced them to take Heads Will Roll out on the road so they could check out my style. A year later they called me and asked me to come play with them. There wasn't even an audition. They were confident enough that I was a solid enough fit that they didn't even ask anyone else to try out. Luckily, it all worked out.
Thanks for taking the time to let the EHX community know a little about yourself and Dillinger Escape Plan.
-No problem. I look forward to many more years of playing guitar and using Electro-Harmonix pedals.
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