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Be Specific: Dillinger Escape Plan singer Greg Puciato on how the Warped Tour is like high school

By Allison Stewart

Dillinger Escape Plan singer Greg Puciato is calling from an amusement park -- he doesn't remember which one, but he's been looking forward to going all week -- to talk about his band's ongoing stint on the Warped Tour.

The long-running, mathcore-whatever-that-means quintet, touring behind their latest and probably best disc, "Option Paralysis," are unlikely candidates for a mall-punk package gig. Puciato, 30, talked to Click Track about the strangeness of life on the tour, which hits the Merriweather Post Pavilion on Tuesday.

How is the Warped tour going?

It's going really well. We're very used to playing to our [own] audience -- I don’t know if that's a good thing or a bad thing, but over the years we've never done a, what do you call it, support [slot]. We've only done two or three in the history of our band. We're always headlining or co-headlining, and you wind up growing your audience little by little.

But this is really cool. It took us a few days to get acclimated because it's like a random lottery. You could wind up playing at 11 a.m. or 7 p.m., and you don't find out 'til the day of the show what time you play.

(On Warped as a weird traveling summer camp, after the jump)

What's the audience demographic like?

Seventy-five percent of ticket sales are 14 to 16 year-old girls, and that’s about .75 percent of our audience. And that's kind of cool in a way. We're used to playing and having kids that go nuts and that’s how we gauged [a show's success], but now we notice that everyone's like, a spectator, 'cause they've never seen us before. It was tough to tell if anyone cared. But then we started doing these signings an hour after we played, and the signings would be huge, with late middle school-aged [kids] who had never seen anything like us before. It was neat to realize we could still blow people's minds that are a generation behind you.

What about life backstage with the other bands? Is it like a big traveling high school?

It's like a big traveling city. There's seriously a thousand people on this tour, between bands and crew. At nighttime it becomes this weird city of misfits, whether it's old punk rock guys who are now on the production end, or 18 year-old kids in their first band and they're psyched they're on the Warped Tour. There's people barbecuing, there's makeshift bars that people turn their merch tents into. It's a weird traveling summer camp.

Is there a cool kids' lunch table?

You know what, I'm sure everyone thinks their lunch table is the cool one. For me it's more of a generational thing. I don't have that much to say to certain [younger] bands … We find ourselves hanging out with bands we already know, like Every Time I Die or some of the older bands like Bouncing Souls. The All-American Rejects, even though we have nothing in common musically, we get along with them quite well.

Can you imagine going through [something like the Warped tour] when you were 18?

I was in Dillinger at 21, and that was pretty insane. We were on tour with System of a Down and that was at, like, the height of their career, and we were in Europe playing stadiums and I remember how insane it was. I still remember what it was like to be in awe of every facet of being in a band.

By Allison Stewart  |  July 15, 2010; 11:30 AM ET
Categories:  Be specific  | Tags: Dillinger Escape Plan  
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Amusing how Ms Stewart is the one trying to bring up the high school angle, and Mr. Puciato doesnt really sink to her level. Nice "reporting".

Posted by: saco | July 15, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

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