Dillinger Escape Plan Singer on Cathartic New Electronic Project
Dillinger Escape Plan vocalist Greg Puciato is widely acknowledged as one of the best frontmen in metal right now, if not the single best. Fans will point to his Mike Patton–esque vocal range and his daredevil antics amid the glorious chaos of DEP’s live shows, but really, it all comes down to intensity: few singers live, breathe and often literally bleed their art like he does. Such commitment comes with a price, however. Like an actor losing the line between a role and reality, Puciato found the destructive energy and emotion he tries to exorcise through Dillinger Escape Plan instead boiling over into the rest of his life. That’s when he knew he had to explore another musical avenue.
That avenue is the Black Queen, Puciato’s long-rumored electronic outfit, which also features sometime Nine Inch Nails and Puscifer member Joshua Eustis and former Dillinger, NIN and Kesha tech Steven Alexander. The group has finally released its first single, “The End Where We Start” (check out the song, which is available now on iTunes, and its video below), and is set to drop its debut album, Fever Daydream, this fall. Dillinger Escape Plan have covered many electronic artists since the group’s 1997 formation (Puciato joined in 2001), including Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails, Aphex Twin and Massive Attack, and fans will no doubt hear echoes of those musicians in the Black Queen. But there are strong R&B strands to the band’s DNA as well: Alexander cites, in particular, the influence of Boys II Men and Janet Jackson production team Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, whose songs, he says, “always sounded aggressive but in a pop radio format.” More than a product of the group’s influences, though, Fever Daydream is an expression of the emotional turmoil that the trio went through while working on it.
For Puciato, a long simmering desire to make music that isn’t “rooted in aggression” was intensified by the making of what might be Dillinger’s most aggressive record: 2013’s One of Us Is the Killer. The singer describes that album as “the absolute height of toxic energy in me and around me,” and while he thought the experience of “vomiting” out the songs would be a cleansing one, all the hostility and anxiety that were plaguing him quickly returned once the record was completed.