It's become common with Dillinger Escape Plan to discuss how much adversity the band has encountered and how it's been able to soldier through many hard times.
Bassist Liam Wilson will agree that one secret to survival is the familiar, if clichd, notion that "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger." You might also assume that Dillinger Escape Plan has weathered the storms because the band members share a strong personal bond.
Well, on that note, you might be surprised. Instead, Wilson says the main reason Dillinger Escape Plan continues to exist involves something else perhaps even more fundamental.
"We really need this," Wilson says, summing up the main reason Dillinger Escape Plan exists. "We don't want this band because it's cool to be in the band. We genuinely need this in our lives. It really doesn't get any simpler than that. We're not a bunch of friends from high school. We're not like, "Hey, buddy, buddy.'"
Dillinger Escape Plan has, without a doubt, faced more turmoil and trouble than any band deserves since forming in 1996 in New Jersey.
It's lost bassist Adam Doll and guitarist Brian Benoit to debilitating injuries. Original singer Dimitri Minakakis quit just as the band's 1999 debut album, Calculating Infinity, was putting Dillinger Escape Plan on the hardcore music map.
But perhaps the biggest blow was the most recent one. Just before recording the band's recently released third CD, Ire Works, drummer Chris Pennie jumped ship to join Coheed & Cambria.
Pennie, along with guitarist Ben Weinman, was one of Dillinger Escape Plan's chief songwriters. According to Wilson, when Pennie left, writing for Ire Works was about 80 to 85 percent completed.
Once again, Dillinger Escape Plan persevered. Drummer Gil Sharone (of Stolen Babies) was recruited, and the group entered the studio with producer Steve Evetts and finished Ire Works.
The CD, with Greg Puciato on vocals, makes good on the musical advances Dillinger Escape Plan first explored on 2004's Miss Machine.
That album, Wilson notes, was meant to separate Dillinger Escape Plan from other hardcore/metal groups, though it never was fully realized.
"Miss Machine, it was a strategic thing almost," Wilson says. "We didn't want to be a Slayer. We didn't want to get stuck in a scene where we have to write the same record forever or people won't listen."
Ire Works features plenty of furious music, careening from chaotic segment to segment on songs like "Lurch" and "Nong Eye Gong." But the band mixes things up stylistically with the techno touches of "Sick on Sunday," the haunting piano-ballad-turns-into-rocker "Mouth of Ghosts," and funkified rocker "Black Bubblegum."
Wilson's excited to introduce fans to Ire Works on this tour during which guitarist Jeff Tuttle will make Dillinger a quintet and says this is an opportunity to establish the band once again.
"We kind of feel it's important on this tour to show that although there is a new face in the band ... we do want to let people know that it's still Dillinger," he says. "And that old songs will still sound good with Gil on drums."